Tag: wise

Sept 25 Unity and Maturity

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Father, the words Paul writes to the Ephesians become my prayer today:

Help me “live a life worthy of the calling I have received.”  Help me understand the life You have called me to.

In dealing with others, help me be less self-centered and more God-centered in the way I treat people, make decisions, and respond to circumstances.

Every day, let me ask: “Am I living the life You died to give me?”

Toward that end, help me be “humble and gentle.”  Show me how to walk away from pride, arrogance, conceitedness, and that attitude of superiority that so easily entangles me.

Teach me to “be patient” and treat people with love.  When I am frustrated, let me bring that to You so You can disarm it before it becomes anger and resentment.

Father, with so many people who call themselves by Your Name, there will be differences.  Help me see past the differences that don’t matter in order to support the unifying beliefs that do make a difference.

Help me use the gifts You have given me, spiritual and otherwise, to build up Your body of believers, so that we all become a mature, complete body with You as the head.

Then I will no longer be “tossed back and forth by the waves, blown here and there by … the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming.”  Help me become so familiar with Your Word that I recognize the crafty, deceitful teachings of the world.

Bless me as I make time to read and study Your Word, Your love letter to me.  Reveal its meaning and show me how to apply Your wisdom to my life.

Thank You Father, that Your Word is true.  That it teaches. That it encourages.  And guides.  And comforts.  And helps me grow more and more in step with You.  Amen

Ephesians 4:1-16

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Sept 4 Apply my heart to what You teach

WisdomFather, I do desire to have Your wisdom.  So I will heed the words Solomon wrote.

“A good name is better than fine perfume.”  I want my name to stand for loyalty, honor, noble character and honesty.  So help me act in a way that when people hear my name, they will think well of me.  And they will know that You are my God and that I am Your servant.

“Wisdom makes one wise person more powerful than ten rulers in a city.”  Wisdom is greater than power.  So when a wise person corrects me, let me learn from it. Let me reject pride that would keep me in ignorance.  Help me embrace patience.  Do not let me be quickly provoked, or waste time yearning for “the good old days.”

Let me not simply seek the approval of fools.  Instead, help me turn and apply wisdom to the present circumstances of my life.  Rather than be a fool, I want to recognize and learn from wisdom.  Let it shelter me, preserve me, and give me an advantage.

Father, in this wisdom, let me be obedient to the authorities You put over me.  Give me a wise heart so I will know the proper way to act at the proper time.

There are many things that only You know and I will never understand or see the reason behind it all.  That is as it should be.  But regardless, let me always seek the way of Your wisdom.

Help me “pay attention and turn my ear to the sayings of the wise; apply my heart to what You teach…so that my trust will be in the Lord.”    For You are “Great and most worthy of praise…You are my God forever and ever; You will be my guide even to the end.”  Amen

Ecclesiastes 7:1-19; Psalm 48:14; Proverbs 22:17-19

May 19 not my first thought…

abigail-icons-of-the-bible

Lord, make me wise like Abigail.  When a word was brought to her of disaster hanging over her household, she acted quickly, boldly and with diplomacy.

Quickly, before those set on her destruction could reach her, she sent gifts of food and drink to them.

Boldly, without seeking her husband’s approval or permission, her plan was enacted.

Diplomatically, she bowed before David, took responsibility and asked him to spare himself from burdening his conscience with needless bloodshed.  All the while she praised his conquests and acknowledged his godly honor.

Here are the things I can think of that she could have done:

She could have sat down and wept, bemoaning that fact that they would all be destroyed soon.  Her pity party would have been well deserved, after all, it was her husband that caused the calamity, not her; she was just the victim here.

She could have gone to her husband with a belittling tirade of accusations and complaining, insisting he get up and do something about it.  Or demanded he fight David to defend them all.

She could have met David with a “nobody asked you to protect our shepherds” attitude.  Or argued that legally there had been no contractual agreement.

Or she could have packed her things and left her husband to be killed, running to safety, only to return when it was all over.  She had lots of options!

My thoughts are not as wise or as noble as Abigail’s.  Thank You Father for this example of someone who did not act out of helplessness, or fear, or anger, or self-righteousness, or any other of the characteristics I tend to go to when up against a wall.

Help me remember Abigail’s quickness, and boldness, and diplomacy the next time I am facing a hardship.  I think she must have heard from You.  Keep my spiritual ears open so I may too.  Amen

I Samuel 25:1-44

May 10 The Best Father

father-and-son-1717770_640

O Father, how many times have I behaved like the Israelites here, and asked for something so I could be like everyone else?  Instead of trusting Your will and the plan You had for me, I settled for what You allowed because I asked for it.

So many times the wisdom of the world seems right.

It makes sense to the mind.  It pleases the eye.  It pacifies the emotions.  But one can follow logic and still be dead wrong.   A person can feel like things are going well, when they are not.  Things can look good, but be rotten to the core.  This is proven each time someone is tricked or duped; because we trust our eyes and our logic.

But You, Father, can see the end from the beginning.  You have a perspective that I do not.

I protect my child when I prevent them from a danger I can see that they cannot.  To them, it may feel like I am restricting them, not protecting them.   Hopefully as they grow, they trust my judgment until they can see the dangers for themselves.

And sometimes, I need to let them make their own choices, even if they are unwise, in order to learn for themselves.  For instance, when you eat a tube of raw cookie dough, there are unpleasant consequences, even though it tastes really good during the eating part.

Though I like to think of myself as independent and smart enough to make wise decisions, I have learned that simply lining up pros and cons and judging by worldly standards is not the only or the best method.

I have access to the God who created the universe!  You have wisdom I could never in a million years attain.   And praises to You, You are willing to share it with me!

Father, when I want something, let me examine my motive. Help me discern what is best from Your perspective.  Give me godly understanding that surpasses the world’s view.  And help me accept that wisdom if it turns out that what I think I want is not the right thing.  Help me wait for the best thing.  Teach me to be wise.  Amen

I Samuel 8:1-22

Feb 28 Words can hurt

leo-350690_640“When words are many, sin is not absent…”

O Lord, twice I have learned the truth of today’s Proverb.

Twice I have given full vent to my anger, spewing words at another person.  And both times the eruptions have caused me much grief.

Even though I felt completely justified at the time for the hurt they had caused in my life or my child’s; the damage to the relationships and the way I felt afterwards was not worth the momentary release of anger and frustration.

The examples I have heard about words spoken are so true:  you can’t put the toothpaste back in the tube – you cant put all the feathers back in the pillow, you can’t un-break an egg… because you can never undo the impact of words after they’ve been heard.

“…but he who holds his tongue is wise.”

Since those two occasions, I have become “wise.”    When the anger builds up and the words are on the tip of my tongue, the memory of those two outbursts come to mind immediately, and I am able to hold my tongue and think before I speak.

Thank You for imprinting them so indelibly on my memory to keep me from sinning in this fashion again.  Thank You for teaching me that these words which so easily roll off my tongue are not the godly way to handle situations.

Keep this lesson in the forefront of my mind so that my witness will not be wasted.  Let me honor You with my words.  Amen

Proverbs 10:19 ESV

Sept 4 Apply my heart to what You teach

Wisdom

Father, I do desire to have Your wisdom. So I will heed the words Solomon wrote.

“A good name is better than fine perfume.” I want my name to stand for loyalty, honor, noble character and honesty.

So help me act in a way that when people hear my name, they will think well of me. And they will know that You are my God and that I am Your servant.

“Wisdom makes one wise person more powerful than ten rulers in a city.” Wisdom is greater than power. So when a wise person corrects me, let me learn from it. Let me reject pride that would keep me in ignorance. Help me embrace patience. Do not let me be quickly provoked, or waste time yearning for ‘the good old days’.

Let me not simply seek the approval of fools. Instead, help me turn and apply wisdom to the present circumstances of my life. Rather than be a fool, I want to recognize and learn from wisdom. Let it shelter me, preserve me, and give me an advantage.

Father, in this wisdom, let me be obedient to the authorities You put over me. Give me a wise heart so I will know the proper way to act at the proper time.

There are many things that only You know and I will never understand or see the reason behind it all. That is as it should be. But regardless, let me always seek the way of Your wisdom.

Help me “pay attention and turn my ear to the sayings of the wise; apply my heart to what You teach…so that my trust will be in the Lord”.   For You are “Great and most worthy of praise…You are my God forever and ever; You will be my guide even to the end.” Amen

Ecclesiastes 7:1-19; Psalm 48:1-14; Proverbs 22:17-19

June 18 You know what I need

prayer answers

Father, how reassuring to know that You listen to me; that You pay attention to my prayers. You listened to Elijah when he was so burned out. And to the believers gathered in Jerusalem who interceded for Paul’s release.

I too, have had times when I felt burned out; when I had done all I could possibly do, and was at the end of myself. With Elijah, You provided for him and gave him a plan. You appeared as an angel and fed him, then gave him directions for a personal meeting with You.   When he responded that he was overwhelmed and done, You gave him release from his ministerial duties.

You allowed Elijah to anoint replacements. Hazael and Jehu would take over the battle against the idolatrous rulers and people. And Elisha would become the next prophet. You heard the needs of Elijah and answered. How reassuring to know that You know me and know my limitations too, and will always have a plan to help me cope.

The believers in Jerusalem prayed; You responded with an angel to released Peter from prison, sparing his life. This was a miracle, as he was literally shackled to two guards, and under the watch of sixteen of Herod’s soldiers!   How heartening to know that when You answer prayer, physical restrictions cannot limit You!

Already in my life I have seen answers to prayer. Sometimes the answer is “Yes”. Sometimes it is “No” for one reason or another, or “Wait”. Sometimes, it is “I will answer your prayer, child, but I have a better plan.” And I am usually amazed that You find ways of answering that surprise and delight me: things I had never thought of!

Thank You Father, that You are not limited by what I can think of as solutions to difficulties and problems. Thank You that Your power is not limited; it is boundless! Thank You that You are merciful and wise in Your answers: not always giving me what I ask for. Thank You, that You, the God of the Universe, listen to and answer prayer. Amen

I Kings 19:1-21; Acts 12: 1-19

May 19 not my first thought…

abigail-icons-of-the-bible

Lord, make me wise like Abigail. When a word was brought to her of disaster hanging over her household, she acted quickly, boldly and with diplomacy.

Quickly, before those set on her destruction could reach her, she sent gifts of food and drink to them.

Boldly, without seeking her husband’s approval or permission, her plan was enacted.

Diplomatically, she bowed before David, took responsibility and asked him to spare himself from burdening his conscience with needless bloodshed. All the while she praised his conquests and acknowledged his godly honor.

Here are the things I can think of that she could have done. She could have sat down and wept, bemoaning that fact that they would all be destroyed soon. Her pity party would have been well deserved, after all, it was her husband that caused the calamity, not her; she was just the victim here.

She could have gone to her husband with a belittling tirade of accusations and complaining, insisting he get up and do something about it. Or demanded he fight David to defend them all.

She could have met David with a ‘nobody asked you to protect our shepherds’ attitude. Or argued that legally there had been no contractual agreement.

Or she could have packed her things and left her husband to be killed, running to safety, only to return when it was all over. She had lots of options!

My thoughts are not as wise or as noble as Abigail’s. Thank You Father for this example of someone who did not act out of helplessness, or fear, or anger, or self-righteousness, or any other of the characteristics I tend to go to when up against a wall.

Help me remember Abigail’s quickness, and boldness, and diplomacy the next time I am facing a hardship. I think she must have heard from You. Keep my spiritual ears open so I may too. Amen

I Samuel 25:1-44

Feb 28 Words can hurt

leo-350690_640

“When words are many, sin is not absent…”

Lord, twice I have learned the truth of today’s Proverb. Twice I have given full vent to my anger, spewing words at another person. And both times the eruptions have caused me much grief.

Even though I felt completely justified at the time for the hurt they had caused in my life or my child’s; the damage to the relationships and the way I felt afterwards was not worth the momentary release of anger and frustration.

The examples I have heard about words spoken are so true: you can’t put the toothpaste back in the tube – you cant put all the feathers back in the pillow, you can’t un-break an egg… because you can never take those words back, or undo their hearing.

“…but he who holds his tongue is wise.” Since those two occasions, I have become ‘wise’.   When the anger builds up and the words are on the tip of my tongue, the memory of those two outbursts come to mind immediately, and I am able to hold my tongue and think before I speak. Thank You for imprinting them so indelibly on my memory to keep me from sinning in this fashion again. Thank You for teaching me that these words which so easily roll off my tongue are not the godly way to handle situations.

Keep this lesson in the forefront of my mind so that my witness will not be wasted. Let me honor You with my words. Amen

Proverbs 10:19

May 19 not my first thought…

abigail-icons-of-the-bible

Lord, make me wise like Abigail. When a word was brought to her of disaster hanging over her household, she acted quickly, boldly and with diplomacy. Quickly, before those set on her destruction could reach her, she sent gifts of food and drink to them. Boldly, without seeking her husband’s approval or permission, her plan was enacted. Diplomatically, she bowed before David, took responsibility and asked him to spare himself from burdening his conscience with needless bloodshed. All the while she praised his conquests and acknowledged his godly honor.

Here are the things I can think of that she could have done. She could have sat down and wept, bemoaning that fact that they would all be destroyed soon. Her pity party would have been well deserved, after all, it was her husband that caused the calamity, not her; she was just the victim here. She could have gone to her husband with a belittling tirade of accusations and complaining, insisting he get up and do something about it. Or demanded he fight David to defend them all. She could have met David with a ‘nobody asked you to protect our shepherds’ attitude. Or argued that legally there had been no contractual agreement. Or she could have packed her things and left her husband to be killed, running to safety, only to return when it was all over. She had lots of options!

My thoughts are not as wise or as noble as Abigail’s. Thank You Father for this example of someone who did not act out of helplessness, or fear, or anger, or self-righteousness, or any other of the characteristics I tend to go to when up against a wall.   Help me remember Abigail’s quickness, and boldness, and diplomacy the next time I am facing a hardship. I think she must have heard from You. Keep my spiritual ears open so I may too. Amen

I Samuel 25:1-44