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But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. ~ James 3:17

Is wisdom still valued? We can google for information and have the data in seconds. And the knowledge gained from this data is all well and good. (My apologies to all the elementary school teachers who told me never to begin a sentence with the word ‘And’.) And this quick and ready reservoir of knowledge serves its purpose most of the time. But, how do we engage this knowledge? Does gaining knowledge lead to wisdom?

Our fast-paced society applauds the gathering of knowledge but grows impatient with the acquiring of wisdom. So, it’s not always easy to see that wisdom should be sought above riches (Proverbs 8:11; Job 28:15; Ecclesiastes 7:11-12; Proverbs 3:15). Wisdom is personal and social. Wisdom is always visible. Wisdom always leads to understanding and taking the best course of action. Knowledge can be visible. But knowledge alone does not always lead to understanding and taking the best course of action.

But, isn’t wisdom and knowledge the same thing?

It’s obvious that there’s a relationship between wisdom and knowledge. Think of knowledge as the data gained. Think of wisdom as the ability to use the data gained. Wisdom assimilates knowledge from many different sources… another person, experiences, the internet, a book, or personal insight… and processes it with good judgment to take the right action.

Knowledge alone doesn’t equal wisdom. Yet, knowledge is always present in wisdom. Though, knowledge can exist without wisdom. Wisdom will always contain knowledge. It’s wisdom that inculcates creativity, intuition, reflection, common sense, wise decision-making, and prayer into honorable daily living.

Wisdom is knowing how, where, when, what, and with whom… to bring about the maximum positive benefit. Wisdom uses knowledge with benevolence and strength…in humility for the good of all. Wisdom is the private and public responsible use of knowledge in God’s Creation. There must never be an abandonment of wisdom.

God Bless… I am Wiley’s granddaughter.

The LORD is nigh unto all them that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth. ~ Psalm 145:18

Sometimes we forget that God still hears the sinner’s prayer. Cloaked in self-righteousness and a judgmental mind, we forget to remember Mark 2:17. Where Jesus said “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.” Can we remember when we fell to our knees? Do we recall when Jesus heard our desperate cry for help?

If so, we’d be wise to let the mind of Christ be in us before we attempt to judge others. Yes, it’s easy to think that our salvation makes us superior. Gives us permission to avoid people that we see struggling every day. Like those who speak ill of good. Those who are envious. Those who are control freaks. Those who are arrogant. Those who blame others for their mistakes. Those who are always negative. Those who are liars and those who gossip.

A group of people that we are often told to avoid because we can’t help them. Since their transgressions sprang from moral degeneracy. But these are the people, who need to see Jesus in us. So that they may repent and call on the name of the Lord.

Jesus came down to earth because of the sinner. He demonstrated concern for their well-being in love. He showed love in the way that He met them where they lived. He fed them, taught them, and healed them (Luke 8:40-46; Mark 6:30-32; Matthew 9:9-11; Mark 1:33-34 & Mark 6:30-42; Luke 5:1-11; John 8:1-11; John 10:10; Luke 23:33-34) without looking down on them. Or treating them as though they were less worthy of love and kindness then His disciples. Ephesians 2:8-9, reminds us… For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

God Bless… I am Wiley’s granddaughter.

O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him. ~ Psalm 34:8

“It is in the quiet crucible of your personal, private sufferings, that your noblest dreams are born, and God’s greatest gifts are given in compensation for what you’ve been through” is a quote from Wintley Phipps. Profound words of wisdom at the beginning of the video It is Well With My Soul.

We often don’t have control over the things that we suffer in this life. The devastation of a natural disaster… The loss of a loved one… The dishonesty of trusted family and friends… Cynicism and heartaches that shake our world and cause us to weep. Nevertheless, when we’ve done all that we know to do. Remember, we still can change our lives and restore our joy.

We can give all our heavy burdens and fiercest struggles to God. For, when we cast our eyes to the hills from which comes our help, be assured that God can take care of us. Matthew 6:26 tells us to Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?

Although, God sometimes doesn’t take away the suffering, as we learn from Paul in 2 Corinthians 12:7-9. Nor does God always deliver us… at our first desire. But, He’s always on time with whatever we need. We can have joy despite the suffering or we can have joy without the suffering. It’s all according to God’s plan. In 1 Peter 5:10, we learn that God will restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish us, by His grace. So, let’s be encouraged, for God is still God, regardless of our circumstances. He’s with us always, on the mountaintop and down in the valley.

God teaches us through the things that we suffer. Not because He wants to know what’s in our heart and on our minds. He already knows our weaknesses and where our treasures are hidden. Suffering teaches us about ourselves. According to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., “the ultimate measure of a man [woman] is not where he [she] stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he [she] stands at times of challenge and controversy.” How we behave, when in a struggle is most likely a testament to our faith and trust in God.

For, when we’re in a struggle. Let’s not give up. Let’s keep embracing our faith and hope in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Let’s learn every possible lesson that we can learn, knowing that God wouldn’t leave us or forsake us. He’s guiding us. He’s monitoring our progress and watching as we grow in favor and grace.

As we mature through our struggles, God’s there to reward us with His greatest gifts. Therefore, let’s continue to feast on “broken bread and poured out wine” by trusting in God as our noblest dreams are born.

God Bless… I am Wiley’s granddaughter.

With lovingkindness have I drawn thee. ~ Jeremiah 31:3

Kindness is a fruit of the Holy Spirit. It’s expressed when you genuinely act friendly, generous, or considerate. It involves compassion, tender concern, and uprightness in both thoughtfulness of heart and thoughtfulness of action.

What’s interesting about kindness is that it always involves an action. For God’s kindness gave us salvation (Titus 3:4-5; Romans 2:4; 11:22). In kindness, God provides green pastures, quiet waters, and the renewal of our minds when we’re exhausted (Psalm 23:2-3). God’s kindness leads Him to gather us under His wings, protect us and keep us close to Him in His everlasting abiding love (Psalm 17:8; 36:7; 61:4; Matthew 23:37; John 3:16).

Jesus showed kindness by healing the sick (Matthew 14:14), raising the dead (John 11:35, 38), feeding the hungry (Matthew 15:32), preaching in love (Mark 6:34), casting out demons (Matthew 8:16), interceding for His disciples and the Church (John 17:20-21), and giving His life (John 3:16). Jesus also touched those considered untouchable (Matthew 8:1-4), spent time with those rejected by society (Luke 19: 5), and showed compassion to those suffering (Luke 8:48).

Kindness caused Jesus to help those in need (Mark 6:34; Mark 7:29; Mark 10:46-52). Kindness leads the Good Shepherd to rescue you when you stray (Luke 15:3-7). When you feel rejected and downtrodden, Jesus lifts you up in kindness. Luke 6:31, instructs…  Do to others as you want them to do to you.

For kindness… only in talk is useless… easily ignored and forgotten. But kindness demonstrated through action… shines irresistible and is long remembered. When you act in kindness, you become useful to others.

It doesn’t matter if the act of kindness is great or small… it’s never wasted. Nor… can you do kindness too soon. For, acts of kindness make you a better person. It leaves those receiving the kind deed better than they were before.

So, whether it’s sharing a cookie with an elderly neighbor. Donating to a favorite charity or giving your time to help with disaster relief efforts thousands of miles from home. Kindness makes a difference! By exercising this fruit of the Spirit, you’re bearing witness to the Master Teacher.

Know that kindness is contagious! Being kind to others, encourages them to be kind to others, and on-and-on it goes.

God Bless… I am Wiley’s granddaughter.

Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me: ~ Proverbs 30:8

“Give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me my daily bread” a powerful and simple way to interact with the world. Yet, some practices embraced by many Christians, seem to seek bread by the weeks, months, and years. Gluttonous… wasteful excess for personal gratification that lives in the prosperity doctrines found in many churches. An ideology that most often produces greed.

God affirms that it is He, who gives a person the power to gain wealth (Deuteronomy 8:18). 1 Timothy 6:9, tells us that those who seek to get rich fall into temptation, traps and many foolish and harmful desires that lead to ruin and destruction. Which is sad, because “rich” denotes money and possessions, while “wealth” is so much more.

For when God gives wealth,  be assured of happiness and prosperity, with spiritual well-being. The following Scriptures, help to explain the right and the wrong use of money and possessions; Matthew 6:21, Matthew 21:12-13, Malachi 3:10, 1 Timothy 6:17-19, Ecclesiastes 5:10, Romans 13:8, Psalm 37:16-17, Proverbs 13:11, Hebrews 13:5, Matthew 19:21, Proverbs 17:16, Matthew 6:24, Luke 3:14, Exodus 22:25, 1 Timothy 6:10, and Proverbs 10:4.

Christians beliefs and practices about wealth must not seem indistinguishable from non-believers. The Sermon on the Mount teaches perplexing and challenging wisdom from Jesus about the right relationship with wealth… to avoid greed. Based on Matthew 6:24, Christians “cannot serve God and wealth” and must remember that greed is much craftier than merely the desire for wealth.

Those who know Jesus Christ will not store up all their riches on earth… It is enough that this day… we have our daily bread (Matthew 6:11).

God Bless… I am Wiley’s granddaughter.