Month: February 2020

Godly wisdom is sweet and valuable

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Proverbs 24

13     My son, eat honey, for it is good,

and the drippings of the honeycomb are sweet to your taste.

14     Know that wisdom is such to your soul;

if you find it, there will be a future,

and your hope will not be cut off.

Psalm 19

10     More to be desired are they than gold,

even much fine gold;

sweeter also than honey

and drippings of the honeycomb.

 

In a world filled with the ‘wisdom of the loudest voices’ there is a void of true wisdom. The loudest voices often have the highest positions or the most money and an agenda they are pushing. We often hear these voices but afterward have serious questions about the true wisdom of what they just said. We usually feel empty and frustrated as we try to discern just what agenda is being pushed.

The Bible uses the sweetness of honey to describe the fulfillment of our sweet tooth. (They did not have Snickers, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, and Kit-Kat back then.) Honey is so sweet that you cannot eat much but when you eat it you know you are getting true sweetness. This is the nature of wisdom; when we get godly wisdom we know we are getting truth. Psalm 19 1-9 discuss the Word of God and concludes with verse 10 regarding the desire of God’s word being greater than the desire of fine gold and honey.

As men and women who seek wisdom from God’s word, we should people that bring valuable understanding to the confusing voices of our day. God’s word is full of wisdom both in word and in example. For instance, Solomon had the greatest wisdom of all time, but in his great wisdom he did not watch out for the dangers of beautiful women who worshipped idols and they turned his heart from wisdom to foolishness. His example is a warning us of the potential danger of our own weaknesses.

When we hear godly wisdom, we know it is true, it is valuable, it is sweet, and as such is fulfilling. Wherever we go and whomever is speaking, we should filter what is said through the wisdom of God and determine just how wise or how foolish those words of men really are. We should be careful of whose bandwagon we jump on and whom we give our support and allegiance to. As followers of Christ, we hope to lead others to follow Him with us. Seeking and finding godly wisdom will allow us to be beacons of God’s light, His truth, and yes, even His sweet fulfillment.

 

Yesterday’s flooding in Jakarta was not as bad as the first flood of the year but it caused damage and frustration. Pray for a friend named Mahdi who was caught away from home on his motorbike. The water damaged his motorbike and being wet for so long he ended up sick. Pray for this young believer to know the love and power of his Savior today.

 We enjoyed lunch yesterday with a young family hoping to get a Visa to go to the US for training to serve the Lord. We were so blessed to be with them and to see how God is caring for them as they seek His will.

My dad is back in the hospital with an infection and my mom is struggling with where she is in her life. Pray with us for them and for my sister who is their primary caregiver.

 Have a great day in the Lord,
PS

Seeking advice keeps us safe

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Proverbs 24

5      A wise man is strong,

Yes, a man of knowledge increases strength;

6      For by wise counsel you will wage your own war,

And in a multitude of counselors there is safety.

7      Wisdom is too lofty for a fool;

He does not open his mouth in the gate.

The message of these verses is that getting the advice of others is a good thing to do. First, we see the wise man, the one strong of character who continually gains knowledge and strength. In the medical field and in the teaching field people must get continuing education credits and renew certifications. They are increasing in knowledge of their field and we think this is good.

When a country goes to war, we hope they have gotten good counsel before putting lives and resources at risk. War is risky and the ones in charge need wise counsel. Many Presidents are criticized for going to war without the right wisdom. However, when a multitude of counsellors get together safe actions result. The one who learns to ask others and to listen to them will not go to war with a great risk, for their risk will be minimalized by the counsel.

A foolish person cannot seek the wisdom of others; they think their wisdom is superior to others so there is no need to listen to anyone. In the gate, that is in the presence of people of wisdom, the foolish person does not ask for advice.

Most of us are not going into literal battles where our very lives are at risk; however, there are many times in life when the counsel of others should be sought and submitted to. One of the problems with youth is that they think they know what they want and they think they know what will happen next. Young people and young adults need to stop and seek advice of those older than them to keep from regretful decisions. And yes, we as adults still need the counsel and advice of others before we step into regretful situations.

Let’s begin and continue to seek the multitude of counsel throughout our lives so that we continue to live in the safety of wisdom.

Yesterday at church we had a taste of heaven. Our congregation regularly has people from all over Asia in the service. Our international regulars come from South Africa, Sweden, Ecuador, Brazil, Australia, Great Britain, and the U.S. Yesterday we had visitors from India and from Sri Lanka as well. What a joy to share the joy of the Lord with so many people from so many nations.

As Christians, we are the ones to be praying first for our brothers and sisters who are suffering with the COVID-19 virus. They are suffering and crying out to the Lord and we can cry out with them. There are other brothers and sisters who are putting their own lives at risk to care for those who are infected. Then we need to pray for those who are seeking a vaccine to have God’s wisdom to get this discovered much more quickly than usual. We do not have anyone here yet, that we know, who is infected, but it shouldn’t be long as this thing spreads so easily. If God is trying to get the world’s attention, I hope they are listening.

 

Have a great day in the Lord,

PS

A correlation between fainting and faith

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Proverbs 24

10 If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small.

Some statements of truth are quite small and quite powerful, such is this little one. Just a few thoughts today. First is that we will all face adversity. Life is comprised of blessings and of problems with a few times of coasting in-between. James wrote telling us that we ought to count our times of trials as blessings from God who designs our trials to shape us. Job wrote that the thing he feared worst came upon him. Peter had a crisis of faith and denied the Lord in his crisis. Hannah, the mother of Samuel, could not conceive and was just miserable for several years. Adversity comes upon us all.

A second thought here is correlation between fainting and faith. To faint is to falter, to stutter-step, to trip, or to stumble. In Hebrews 12:3 we are called to look unto Jesus so that we don’t faint; Jesus did not faint in the day of His greatest adversity. Remember that the Christian life is a life of faith when we are called to obey the Word of God even when we don’t understand it all. It is the same in life; adversities come, we don’t understand them, and we are called to stand firm and not faint.

Thankfully, we are not told that when we faint we have no faith, just that our faith is small. It is through the adversities of life that we find God to be faithful, good, and kind. In the adversities God is the One who is there for He never changes and never leaves nor forsakes His own. Since the Word of God endures forever it’s promises also endure. Therefore, when adversity comes, we have God’s word to go to, to lean on, to hold us up, to keep us from fainting.

Are you in an adversity today? Ask the Holy Spirit to open your understanding to God’s word. Open your Bible and seek God’s guidance during your trial. As He shows you His power, His love, and His grace your faith will grow and the adversity, instead of causing you to faint, will do just the opposite and make you a stronger and more confident child of God.

 

We are rejoicing n God’s commitment to meet with us when we gather as His church. Sunday after Sunday we gather and cry out to God to gather with us. Week after week God shows up and leads us as we worship Him through song and through His word. God provides reconciliation as well, unity in His church, and He is glorified. After church I was able to meet with two men and share Christ with one of them. Pray that this man will receive clarity from God’s Holy Spirit and be led to salvation.

Each week we pray that anywhere the Word of God is opened and proclaimed that those who hear will receive the message and come to Christ or mature in their faith of Christ. We serve a mighty God who freely gives His miracle of salvation to those who believe and put their eternal faith in Him.

Have a great day in the Lord,

PS

No, our leaders are not acting in wisdom

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Proverbs 24

   Wisdom is too high for a fool;

in the gate he does not open his mouth.

   Whoever plans to do evil

will be called a schemer.

   The devising of folly is sin,

and the scoffer is an abomination to mankind.

 

It seems to me that the majority of world leadership today is lacking wisdom. No, they are not ignorant people, on the contrary, they are highly intelligent people. As I read the book of Proverbs, Solomon says that people who plan to do evil are schemers and those who devise to do folly, or foolishness, are committing sin. Furthermore, those who scoff at God’s truth are an abomination to mankind, that is, those they are supposed to be leading.

When my dad raised me, he taught me to respect people in government positions. He taught me to respect the authorities that were over me. It seems to me that back then, those who were in authority were respect worthy. We are still called to respect them and especially to pray for them, but it sure would be easier to do if they acted with wisdom and not with such evil scheming and foolish actions.

Leadership is supposed to lead with wisdom and with concern for all whom they are leading. Leadership is to seek the counsel of other people of wisdom and work together for the good of those whom they lead. Solomon also said that when the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice but when the wicked are in authority the people mourn. People in many nations are mourning today because of foolish and evil leadership.

So, what are we to do? 1 Timothy 2:1–4 “Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” We must increase our efforts in prayer for our leadership. They are acting foolishly but so did Nebuchadnezzar, whom God humbled. Let us pray that our nation’s leader will have Nebuchadnezzar moments when they will be humbled before the God of heaven and acknowledge that He is in control, not them. God can still change lives and do the impossible work of bringing salvation to needy souls.

 

Bobbi and Jared are visiting our family in the US right now. Jared is doing well and we are thankful for this. He really does know and love all twelve of his nieces and nephews. It is an interesting relationship that they all share with him. Jared knows all of his family by name, at times he talks about them, sometimes we pray for them all, and he fills in any blanks I leave.

 Please pray with us for this upcoming Sunday. I am almost finished preaching through the book of Colossians. What a great journey this has been for us. I am also wrapping up from my last class having turned in a project yesterday and another one due the 21st. Word of Life Indonesia has asked me to speak at two of their upcoming youth retreats. Pray for these opportunities to point young people to the Savior.

 Thank you for all of your prayers for the Schroeders. We appreciate you and thank God for your prayers and for your love.

 Have a great day in the Lord,

PS