“I [wisdom] love those who love me, and those who seek me find me. With me are riches and honor, enduring wealth and prosperity. My fruit is better than fine gold; what I yield surpasses choice silver” (Proverbs 8:17-19 NIV).
Proverbs has a lot to say about wisdom. Repeatedly, it talks about getting wisdom, seeking wisdom, and finding wisdom. So, it looks like getting, seeking, and finding wisdom is choice; it’s not something that just falls on us or just happens. We have to do something. We have to choose to get wisdom. Where do we get it? From God’s Word.
Realize this, God is not a dictator. He won’t make you do anything. He always gives us choices. For example, He said, “I have set before you life and death, blessing and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live” (Deuteronomy 30:19 NIV).
That’s pretty plain, isn’t it? It’s like asking someone, “Would you like to have a nice day in the sun with your friends? Or, would you rather be lying in a casket at the morgue?”
But if they hesitated and said, “Well, I just don’t know. That’s a hard choice. Give me a few days to think about that,” you’d probably think, Man, that’s just stupid!” But people do it every day, and many end up making the wrong choices.
God has given us a book full of wisdom on how to live a victorious life. But He’s also given us a free will. The choice to get that wisdom and walk in His blessing is up to us. What will you choose today?
If you want wisdom, you have to go and get it. You have to hang around wise people, read wise books (like the book of Proverbs), and you can also ask God for wisdom (James 1:5). If something’s not working in your life, you probably need some wisdom in that area. God’s a pretty smart Guy! If you ask Him, He’ll show you what you need to do to get things working successfully.
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Take hold of my instructions; don’t let them go. Guard them, for they are the key to life” (Proverbs 4:13 NLT).
A lot of people will pay a lot of money to go to a seminar on how to get rich and be a success in life. But if you want to know the real key to living a blessed life, God tells us what it is—wisdom. Proverbs 4:13 says for us to take hold of wisdom’s instructions and don’t let them go because they are the key to life.
Wisdom is the single most important thing you can get. It’s more valuable than gold, silver, stocks, bonds, and real estate because wisdom is the key to getting all of those things. If you only get those specific things—gold, silver, stocks, etc.—you can lose them. But if you seek after and get wisdom, then even if you those lose assets, you can get them back again because you have the wisdom that enabled you to get them in the first place.
You’ve heard the saying, “You can give a man a fish, and he’ll eat for a day. But if you teach a man to fish, he’ll eat for the rest of his life.” Many people are seeking after the “fish” instead of getting God’s wisdom. But wisdom will enable you to eat at God’s table of blessing for the rest of your life!
Don’t chase after material stuff; pursue God and His wisdom first and foremost, and when you do, God will show you how to get all those other things. Matthew 6:33 (KJV) says, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” When you walk in the wisdom of God, then you’ll walk in the blessing of God, and “the blessing of the Lord, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it” (Proverbs 10:22 KJV).
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“How much better is it to get wisdom than gold! and to get understanding rather to be chosen than silver!” (Proverbs 16:16 KJV).
Every day, you and I make decisions. There are only so many hours in a day, so the decisions we make on many levels are really important—how we spend our time, who we hang out with, the jobs we take, and the things we choose to get involved with. And some of the decisions we make today can affect us and those around us for the rest of our lives. That’s why it’s important to know grow in wisdom so that we can make wise decisions.
The Bible gives a comparison between a wise and an unwise person. And let me just say this—you don’t want to be unwise! Life is challenging enough, and being unwise, immature, and constantly making poor decisions only makes it that much harder.
The Bible says a foolish, unwise person will despise instruction and end up in poverty and shame (Proverbs 13:18 KJV). Disaster, calamity, distress, and trouble will overtake and overwhelm them (Proverbs 1:26-27 KJV). That’s a picture of many people’s lives. But God’s Word says we don’t have to live that way. If we will listen to God’s wisdom and determine to be a wise person, then we can live long, have riches and honor, and live a pleasant and peaceful life (Proverbs 3:16-17).
That’s how I want to live, and that’s how I want my children to live. So, I’ve determined to study God’s Word and find out how to walk in wisdom. You know, God’s been around a whole lot longer than I have, and He’s a whole lot smarter than I am! So, if I’ll respect His Word and have faith that what He says is true and do what He says to do, then God says I’ll have a really good life! Make a decision to grow in wisdom and walk in the benefits of being a wise person!
Make a decision to become not just a “reader” but also a “studier” of the Word of God. Take time to look up and meditate on scriptures about wisdom. Ask God to show you how you can apply His Word to your own life. It’s when you become a “doer” of the Word and choose to walk in God’s wisdom, that you’ll see the benefits and blessings of God’s Word in your life. Be a studier and a doer!
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“This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.” (Joshua 1:8 KJV).
When God creates something, He creates it to work and function in a certain way. That’s why there are laws in operation on this planet—laws of physics, gravity, nature, etc. However, if any of those laws are broken, things can get messed up, cause damage, and not work the way they were intended.
The same is true of “family.” God created family, and He created it to work a certain way. He created the very first family on earth and their job description was to multiply, replenish, and rule over this earth under God’s authority (Genesis 1:27-28). God intended for the family to function in unity, harmony, and fellowship with Him and with one another. But that’s not the overall picture of “family” that we see today. Families have become broken to the point that a common quote today is, “Well, who doesn’t come from a dysfunctional family?” Dysfunctional families may seem to be the norm, but that was not God’s intention in the beginning.
Dysfunction came because of breaking the one law God had given. When Adam and Eve disobeyed God’s instructions and ate the forbidden fruit, they became the first dysfunctional family in the history of mankind. They were evicted from their home in the Garden, sentenced to a life of sweat and toil, and then their firstborn son murdered his brother! The family God originally intended to walk in fellowship with Him and rule under His authority on this planet, became broken, dysfunctional, and messed up.
Thank God, He loved us enough to send His Son, Jesus, to come and fix the mess that was created in the Garden!
God’s original design for the family may have become broken and skewed when Adam sinned, but Jesus regained everything Adam had lost, including the ability to operate as a family the way God intended. The key is to walk according to the laws God has written in His Word. When we do things God’s way, our families will be blessed, prosper, multiply, and be a mighty force for God on this planet!
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“When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things” (1 Corinthians 13:11 NLT).
Probably one of the most important and foundational keys for living is wisdom. If you’re a parent, wisdom is one of the greatest gifts you can give your child. Unfortunately, we aren’t born with wisdom. Neither does wisdom just somehow come upon us when we reach a certain age. We don’t turn fifty and suddenly, it’s like, Man, I feel really wise now! A person might be fifty years old and have a head full of white hair, but that doesn’t automatically mean he or she is wise.
Have you ever heard someone say, “Wow! So-and-so is really wise beyond their years”? That doesn’t mean that person has a special gift or an anointing. But it describes a person who has chosen to grow up and get wisdom. There are some 30-year-olds who have more wisdom than some 50-year-olds. Why is that? Because some people don’t want to grow up. They don’t want to mature or take responsibility. They may be older in age, but they still act like a child and make poor decisions. They haven’t grown in wisdom.
In 1 Corinthians 13:11 (NLT) the Bible talks about growing up and putting away childish things. If we want to grow up and mature, we have to make a decision to put away childish things—childish talk, childish thinking, and childish reasoning. We have to make a choice to grow in wisdom.
Where do we get wisdom? From reading God’s Word. God is smarter than we are. He is the author of wisdom, so if we want to get wisdom, we need to make it a priority to read His Word.
Did you know that you have to go get wisdom? The Bible says, “Getting wisdom is the wisest thing you can do!” (Proverbs 4:7 NLT). But you have to do the “getting.” Make it a priority to get wisdom, and then teach your kids how to get wisdom. A great place to start learning about wisdom is by reading through the book of Proverbs. A good idea might be to take time to get together as a family and read a chapter a day.
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Happy Father’s Day from Joe!
Dads are wonderfully needed and important.
Show him that his influence and potential is unlimited!
Watch & Be Encouraged!
“Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do.” (Joshua 1:8 NLT).
If you buy a new car, or a new TV set, or a new appliance, it’s always a good thing to read the manufacturer’s instruction book. It’ll give you the list of parts included, directions on how to put it together, make it work, and keep it running efficiently. It’ll also have warnings to look out for on what not to do so that it doesn’t break down and quit working. So, instruction manuals are a pretty good thing to give some attention to.
Well, God is the creator of life. And since He created it, He knows how it’s supposed to operate and work. He wrote the operating instructions down in a book called The Bible. In that instruction manual are directions on how to make our lives work and how to keep them running successfully. He also included warnings so we’d know what not to do, so that our lives wouldn’t break down and quit working.
If we do things the way God said, which is the way He’s laid it out in His Word, then God says we’ll have success in all we do. That doesn’t mean opposition and challenges won’t come, but when they do, He’s given us the instructions in His Word on how to overcome them and live in victory.
Do you feel like some pieces to your life are missing, or aren’t working quite right, or maybe they’re completely broken down? Have you taken time to read the Manual? Take time to go to the Word of God and look up scriptures concerning the area you have a need in and find out what God says about it. Things work a whole lot better when we find out what God’s instructions say and operate our lives based on what He says rather than how we think they’re supposed to operate. If you want your life to operate successfully, you have to read God’s instruction manual.
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“Blessed are those who fear the Lord, who find great delight in his commands. Their children will be mighty in the land; the generation of the upright will be blessed” (Psalm 112:1-2 KJV).
Families are a pretty big deal to God. It’s the main reason God created man and put him on this planet. After God created Adam, He could have just stopped there and called it good. But He didn’t. God said, “It’s not good for man to be alone.” So, He made Adam fall asleep, took out one of Adam’s ribs, and created a woman, Eve. Adam woke up one rib short, but he gained a beautiful wife and someone with whom he could create a family.
When God created Adam and Eve, He didn’t make them like angels. There was something special about this being He created called man. In Genesis 1:27, the Bible says that God created man in His own image and likeness. God wanted someone like Himself that He could love and have fellowship with. He wanted to create a family.
Most people desire to have and be a part of a strong family. That’s because it’s the way God created us to function and live. A key to having a strong foundation for living a successful life on this earth is in knowing that God places a lot of value on families. It’s His will that our families be godly, strong, prosperous, and blessed, so that we can be a witness for Him on this earth and be a pillar and a blessing to society.
Solid, godly families have a strong influence on those around them and are a witness for God on this earth. But strong families don’t just happen. They have to be built. The first place to start is by respecting and honoring God and His Word. Read the Bible and pray over your family daily. Pray this prayer, “Father, as a family, we put You first in our lives. We honor You by reading your Word and determining to be a doer of Your Word. I thank you that as we do, You cause our family to be mighty upon this earth. We walk in Your blessing and favor, and we are a godly influence on all those around us.”
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“It is better to be a poor but wise youth than an old and foolish king who refuses all advice” (Ecclesiastes 4:13 NLT).
Men, I hate to say it, but something that many of us have to watch out for is becoming stubborn and refusing to change. If we allow that to happen it can cause us to fail and not be successful in life.
Now I’m a typical male, so I’ll use myself as an example. At my house, I have a favorite chair that I like to sit in. It’s pretty much “my chair.” When I’m home, I don’t want anyone else sitting in my chair because I want to sit in my chair! When I drink my coffee, I use the same cup. I bet we’ve got fifty cups, yet I use the same cup every time.
There are habits I’ve developed and certain things that I like, and I don’t like to change. A lot of us men are stubborn in that way. But what we must realize is that sometimes we have to change because if we don’t, we won’t grow.
We live in a world and culture that is constantly changing. When I was growing up, a lot of men worked for the same company for thirty years or more and then retired. They weren’t afraid of losing their jobs by having it outsourced because outsourcing wasn’t as common as it is now. If a job needed to get done, a position was created within the company to meet the need. But that’s not necessarily the case in today’s culture. Outsourcing and contract labor is a big part of the labor market. Job security within companies isn’t as reliable as it once was, which means we have to stay flexible to learn new things and always be ready for transition and change.
Don’t develop a stubborn, “Bless God, I’m not going to change!” attitude. If you do, you may find yourself left behind in an age that is ever progressing and advancing. Don’t get stuck in your ways. Keep growing. Keep learning new things. You might have to learn how to use the latest technology, or routinely take classes to stay current in the field you are working in. If you want to keep moving forward and continue being successful, you have to be adaptable, continue to learn, and be open to change.
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“Be thou diligent to know the state of thy flocks, and look well to thy herds” (Proverbs 27:23 KJV).
God expects us to us live by faith, but He also expects us to have wisdom and common sense. Many men fail to succeed in life because they ignore the results of what is happening in their lives. For example, if I have a five-year plan and two or three years into it I haven’t moved a step closer to accomplishing it, then I can’t ignore the results. I need to be smart enough to realize something’s wrong and go talk to God about it. “God this isn’t working. What’s going on? Is this the right plan? Are these the right steps? Am I not in faith? What am I missing here?”
If I ask, God will talk to me. But many people won’t go to God and ask; they’ll just work harder to try and make things happen. But I can’t keep trying to push forward by working harder, thinking I’m in faith, when there’s a reason I’m not getting results. It takes both faith and works to get results, so if I’m doing a whole lot of work and not getting any results, then I’m either doing the wrong things or else I’m not in faith. I need some wisdom from God, and He said if I’d ask, He’d give it to me (James 1:5).
If you want to succeed, you’ve got to start looking at the results in your life. A good way to keep track of progress and see if things are working or not working is to have a plan, a budget, and a calendar. If you’re going over budget by constantly throwing money at something that’s not producing results, then something needs to change. Or, if you have a set timeline but roadblocks keep popping up, and the timeline keeps getting adjusted, maybe you need to step back and see what issues need to be addressed or what adjustments need to be made. Paying attention to these kinds of results will help you stay on track and see any changes that need to be made so your plans will be successful.