Wisdom From God

What does it mean to be wise? Many people look at the word wisdom and automatically think of knowledge or intelligence. Wisdom can contain both knowledge and intelligence, but it doesn’t necessarily have to. Wisdom is defined by Webster as, “the natural ability to understand things that most other people cannot understand”. Many people are “smart” in this world, but I would argue that there are few that are wise. True wisdom comes only through the Lord. 

Who would you describe as a wise person? The current Pastor at my church (Bob Smart), my campus ministry’s Pastor (Ben Miller), and my grandfather are three people who come to mind as wise people that I know. These three men have wisdom that is beyond my understanding. All have had the influence that I can only attest to the Holy Spirit. They all have wisdom from God. 

What is wisdom that comes from God? 

Throughout all of Scripture, God reveals His wisdom to His people. He grants wisdom to many who ask for it, but also gives it to those that don’t seem worthy of it. Moses is one of the many people that God chooses to use. Moses leads the Israelite people out of Egypt, and into the Promised Land. On paper though, Moses doesn’t seem like a worthy candidate, and before God comes to Him (Exodus 3). In Exodus 3, God reveals the qualities of wisdom that come from Him through the story of the burning bush. 

  1. Moses was called by God (Exodus 3: 2-3)
  2. Moses responded quickly to God’s call (Exodus 3:4)
  3. Moses listened to the words that God spoke to him (Exodus 3: 7-10)
  4. Moses questioned and investigated God’s words (Exodus 3: 13-19)
  5. Moses was humbled and responded out of fear and respect from the Lord (Exodus 4)

Moses was far from perfect! He wasn’t eloquent and didn’t fit the part of what he was called to do, but the LORD used him anyway. He provided Moses with what he needed. Without God, Moses wouldn’t be wise. 

Wisdom from above is very different from what we think of when it comes to wise people in this world. God’s wisdom is humbling and it is a lot to take on. It doesn’t come without some type of burden, and it relies heavily on God providing everything for you. Those that obtain wisdom from God are the ones that are His humbled servants that are called, respond, and live out their lives for God. Wisdom from God gives us all guidance in our lives. Each of us should be asking for more wisdom from Him daily. 

Lord, allow us to seek after your wisdom. I pray earnestly that we desire You more each day. I ask that we recognize where we need Your wisdom and discernment in our lives. Also, I ask that you put wise people in our lives that are able to share Your understanding that we need to hear. Allow us to have ears that will listen and to respond to Your Words. Thank you for using all of us to glorify You. 

A Living Stone

What goes into building a strong structure? Time, energy, and a strong cornerstone. Together as the Church, we are all one strong structure that is supposed to uphold our faith with Jesus as our cornerstone. That means that we must see ourselves each individually as small building blocks.

As a stone to uphold a structure, how are we able to be good enough to work together as the church and have Christ as our cornerstone?

It may come to a surprise to some of us, but we are not perfect. Our Heavenly Father made us in His image, but sin has made us broken. When we are born into this world, we are made to be broken because of sin. How do we overcome sin and be in a relationship with Christ? We can’t, we can only believe in what God has done for us to be saved.

It is by faith alone through Jesus Christ that we come to know true salvation and the presence of the Holy Spirit. As we come to a relationship with Christ, He calls us to believe in Him. That means to believe that we are made broken and in need of a Savior. Jesus is that Savior, fully God and man. He is eternal with the Father and Holy Spirit. Because God loves us and wants to be in relationship with us, He brought His Son down to Earth to preach the “good news” and to become an eternal sacrifice for all. Therefore, Jesus came to Earth as a baby, died on the cross as a man, and was resurrected to give us eternal life.

When we believe in this, there is a change in all of us. We see lives to start changing and go toward the Word of Jesus. In 1 Peter 2:4-5, Peter says, As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ”. We come to Jesus broken and with a past. None of us are perfect or are called to be perfect when you come to a relationship with Jesus. We need a Savior and He wants us to be with Him.

Jesus makes us into living stones, building blocks, that will be rejected by others, but will make us into one whole structure. This structure is a royal priesthood that is in a relationship with Jesus. This structure is constantly growing and will continue to do so. The Church is unlike other structures or buildings, it will continue to transform each and every day. It will add more building blocks and become more refined, but always have a perfect cornerstone that allows the structure to never fall.

As the Chruch, let us grow more towards living like a royal priesthood and sharing the good news of the Gospel. Never forget that God’s grace is a blessing and gift towards us, that is worth sharing with everyone!

Son of God

The Bible depicts God’s undying love for His people. God is referred to as the Trinity, three in one. The Father, the Son, and The Holy Spirit. Through most of the Old Testament, the Father is depicted as the creator, God, the great “I am”, and Jehovah over the Israelites. However, throughout the entire Old Testament, the Son of God starts to be depicted as the One that can save everyone from the Israelites’ sins, uproot the evil from the world, and much more. Everything leads up to the Son of God, but who is the Son of God and why do we need Him today? 

As any “Sunday School” answer goes, let’s answer the first question. Who is the Son of God? Jesus. Matthew 1:21-23. (English Standard Version) is one of the earliest depictions of knowing that Jesus would be the Son of God. 

“‘She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins’. All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: ‘Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel’ (which means, God with us). 

Jesus, the Son of God, is going to be God with us. We see clearly that the Son of God must be Jesus himself. Also, in John 1:43-51 (ESV), Jesus’s depiction as the Son of God is no longer just said in a dream by an angel, but by Jesus himself. In these verses, Jesus is calling Phillip and Nathanael to follow Him. Philip immediately takes the response and is ready to believe in who Jesus is, but Nathanael questions Philip until he sees who Jesus is himself. 

John 1:47-51 (ESV)

Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him and said of him, ‘Behold, an Israelite indeed, in who there is no deceit!’ Nathanael said to him, ‘How do you know me?’ Jesus answered him, ‘Before Philip called you when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.’ Nathanael answered him, ‘Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!’ Jesus answered him, ‘Before I said to you, I saw you under the fig tree, do you believe? You will see greater things than these.’ And he said to him, ‘Truly, truly I say to you, you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man'”. 

Who is the Son of God? A baby that was born of a virgin, who was called to save the people from their sins. A young boy, who followed after his father’s craft. The Son of God was a man that forgave the sins of many, performed miracles, and became the Savior of the world. That man, fully God and fully man, was Jesus Christ. 

Why the Son of God? How does Jesus, the Son of God, affect us today?

Most people today question the relevance of the Bible. Not only do the question the Bible, but Jesus himself. I’ve heard multiple times, “That’s great for you that you are Christian. It sounds like you needed that in your life. I just don’t need it for my life”. With everything out there in the world like advanced medicine, technology, and human development, why would we need the Son of God? 

The answer is truly found in who the Son of God is. Jesus was named Jesus because “he will save people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21b). That must mean that humanity needs to be saved from their sins. From the beginning, we learn that we are all broken and sinful people. In Romans 3:23 we see that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”. Nobody is good enough on their own. We are all destined to sin and rebel against God. Jesus is the only one who can save us and all of us are in desperate need of Him. 

Jesus is the Son of God, whom God chose to save us from our sins. He did this because of agape (unconditional) love for us. In 1 John 4:9-10 its stated that “In this, the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins”. God sent His only Son to die on a cross to save us from our sins. He is the Son of God, the One that we are all in desperate need of. 

Thank you Father for sending your Son to die on the cross for my sins. I believe in You Jesus, and want to live out Your love in my life and share this with others. Keep sowing that inside my soul more and more each day. Amen!

My Salvation

How do you describe God? What words do you usually use? Deliverer, comforter, loving, just, redeemer, etc. There are endless words that can be used to describe God. Throughout all of Scripture, we are constantly learning more about the character of God. God is described in so many different ways, but what truly makes us believe and have hope in Him is that He is our salvation.

What does it mean that God is our salvation?

In Exodus 15:2, we see that Moses describes God as his salvation, “The LORD is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation; this is my God, and I will praise him, my father’s God, and I will exalt him”. Moses and all the Israelites have just been saved from the Egyptians. The Israelites, since the time of Abraham, believed in God as their Creator, but now, they are coming to a different understanding of Him, he has now become their hope and freedom from slavery. The Israelites have been delivered from 400 years of slavery. They know that God is for them, and is willing to save them! Moses is rejoicing and trusting that God is the only hope that He has.

In God, we have hope, and we are saved from our enemies. For the Israelites, their enemies were the Egyptians. Our enemies look a little different today. Sometimes we face physical enemies, but more than likely, we are facing “the enemy” through sin. Depression, anxiety, racial tensions, poverty, lust, etc. These are the tactics that Satan uses to try and lead us astray. Since we can say that God is our salvation, we have hope from sin!

Jesus Christ is our salvation and hope! In John 3:16, we see that Jesus says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life”. God loves us so much that He gave His only Son to die a horrific death, so that we may be saved from our enemy and sin! God is our salvation through Jesus Christ!

In our salvation through Jesus Christ, we have confidence in being worthy of freedom from our enemies and sin! Psalm 27:1 says, The LORD is my light and my salvation; who shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?”. We are not only saved through Jesus, but we are made into a new creation. God protects us in our salvation and promises that He will be with us forever.

Jesus Christ is our salvation. He is the only one that can free us from the bondage of sin. The salvation that Jesus provides is eternal. It gives us hope for the future. This salvation that Jesus grants us is to be shared with everyone. How are you sharing this joyous message today? I encourage you to lean into understanding the Gospel message more, so that way you can continue conversations in your daily life around the salvation that Jesus gives us.

Resting Place

Lost and nowhere to be found in the middle of the woods. You are all alone, miles and miles away from any communication to the outside world. As the hour draws near, it starts to get dark outside, and it starts to rain. You find yourself searching for shelter to get out of the rain and rest for the night. Finally, you find a cave, a resting place.

This short story is an analogy for how we walk through life. Humans walk around looking for something significant. Everybody wants to be seen as valuable in society. People attempt to do this through their work, families, health, achievements, etc. It is exhausting, to see how much weight is put on finding value in life. Everybody wanders around to find something that will put their minds and hearts at peace.

From the time of the Fall till today, God recognizes that sense of belonging and value that individuals seek. Humans were always supposed to live with God in the garden until Adam and Eve sinned against God. They are left with a void inside themselves because of sin. People are left leading a life without a shepherd that they need (Jeremiah 50:6). Now, everybody attempts to fill that void with material goods, achievements, families, relationships, school, advancements, etc. People are running themselves exhausted because they are not rooted in the Lord.

What happens when people get to this point of exhaustion?

What does God do to help with this?

Why is being rooted in the Lord do for us?

Back to the story told from earlier, you find yourself lost, stranded, and stuck in the rain in the middle of nowhere…you are to that point of exhaustion and need a resting place. This is what happens in life, and how people find themselves in life. They get to a point where they can’t handle it anymore, and they want to give up or find some type of answer for why everything is falling apart in their world.

God knows that everyone can’t do this alone, and that is why He wants us to see Him as our resting place. Psalm 62:5-7 says, “Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him. Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken. My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge”. When we are to that point of exhaustion, to the point of giving up, God gives us that cave every time. He always provides a resting place in Him.

Throughout all of the Gospels, Jesus tells all the people, to allow Him to take their burdens and rest in Him (Matthew 11:29). Jesus came to give us rest from all of our labors. He came, so that way, the burden of sin would no longer leaving us to feel lost and broken.

The longing and value that everybody is attempting to find on their own are found in a relationship with Jesus Christ. In 2 Corinthians 5:17, Paul says, ” Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come”. Everything that you are searching for is in Christ Jesus. He is the resting place that we are all longing for. He provides that cave for us every time we need it!

The Prophet

John 7:40-44

“When they heard these words, sone of the people said, ‘This really is the Prophet.’ Others said, ‘This is the Christ.’ But some said, ‘Is the Christ to come from Galilee? Has not the Scripture said that the Christ comes from the offspring of David, and comes from Bethlehem, the village where David was?’ So there was a division among the people over him. Some of them wanted to arrest him, but no one laid hands on him”. 

Recently, I was taken back to the amazement to what it meant to for Jesus to be our personal Lord and Savior. Many times, I believe that we lose sight of what it means to have Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior. However, when I look back at what is in Scripture, it must have been extremely difficult for the Israelites to understand who Jesus was. 

Jesus showed up as a teacher of the Word to the Jewish people. In His early thirties, Jesus was a young man, who knew the Torah, The Prophets, and Psalms/Proverbs backward and forward. However, by name, Jesus was only the son of Joseph, a carpenter. Not many people knew him as the prophesized messiah. In John 1: 46, Nathanael said, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.” Jesus came into a scene where people believed that nothing good can come from this man. 

Then, we see that as Jesus gets more renown with the people of Israel, they believe that He is either Elijah or some type of prophet. Jesus wasn’t just some prophet, teacher, or even carpenter, but their coming Savior. In our verses today, we see Jesus described as “The Prophet”, and then later discussed that Jesus is the Christ. 

What is a prophet? What is the difference between a Savior and a Prophet? Which one do we classify Jesus as? 

In Scripture, we see that a prophet is a chosen person from God to speak on behalf of Him. Some examples of prophets were Elijah, Elisha, Isiah, Daniel, etc. God used each one of these individuals to speak to the people of Israel. Also, each one of these prophets foretold an aspect of the coming Christ. These prophets spoke to the people of Israel and did help them through certain situations, but they were not the ones saving them. 

However, Jesus, as the Messiah is someone that was to come and save the people from the World. The Jewish people of this time expected an overpowered prophet to save them from the Romans. However, Jesus came as fully man and God to save them from their sins. 

The people wanted an overpowered prophet, just as we do sometimes because dealing with the knowledge of having a personal Savior who has delivered them from their sins requires a lot more effort. Jesus is our personal Lord and Savior. He is the ultimate Prophet that fulfilled every prophesy because He has loved us. 

What would it look like if we saw Jesus just as a child does? Take a look at a clip from The Chosen episode 3 to get a real idea of what it looks like to view Jesus in a real way! 


Our Peace

Our world has changed over the past few months. Currently, we are dealing with social and racial issues that are splitting the country apart. COVID-19 has changed the economic, physical, and emotional tides of the country. Each day, in the United States, we hear on the news about everything that is going wrong in the world around us.

Many of our families live in fear and dismay over the COVID-19 pandemic and all the other concerns going on. Each one of us is shaken and made to rely on something in their lives for hope and peace.

During all the uncertainty, I keep listening to Christians and Non-Christians’ uncertainty of what the future could be. Each one of us depends on some type of faith. I believe that during all this time, that Christians should portray a peace that passes understanding.

Ephesians 2:14 is our verse today. It says, “For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility”. Paul is speaking to the Ephesian church and is addressing the disagreements within the church. He addresses this issue by saying that, Jesus is our only true peace, and He is the only thing that can solve all their issues going on. Also, in Christ Jesus, we are made brothers and sisters in Christ. Therefore, as brothers and sisters, we must represent the sacrifice that Christ has made for us and rally together around that.

How does this disagreement that the church in Ephesians helps us understand peace?

Dictionary.com defines peace as “a state of mutual harmony between people or groups, especially in personal relations:”. As stated above, we can see that we are far from peace in this country and world. There is only one way to obtain true peace, by putting your hope and faith in Christ Jesus for your salvation. Jesus says in John 16:33, “I have said these things to you that in me you have peace. In the world, you will have tribulation. But take heart, I have overcome the world”. Our peace is found in Jesus!

Each day we fight, disagree, backstab, and worry all out of the fear of the future. We are looking for some type of utopian society. Because of sin, that isn’t possible, but with Christ, we do have a peace that will surpass all understanding. See Jesus paid for our sin on a cross to provide us the peace in our hearts that we yearn for. The peace that Jesus provides, is the understanding that we have a Savior and God, who loves us so much that the Father sacrificed the Son to pay for all the sin in our lives so that we can live with Christ in eternity.

In the current season of life that we are all living, Christians need to unify under one banner, the cross of Jesus Christ. I encourage each of you to keep your hope in Jesus Christ. Life isn’t easy and there will always be some amount of uncertainty. However, when we are able to band together as believers, we gifted with the Holy Spirit that strengthens us. In Galatians 3:28, Paul says, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” There is no distinction that Jesus makes.

Our peace is stronger together as Christians. I encourage you, now is the time to reach out to Christians and Non-Christians, that you know you disagree with on topics. Pray with them, share the Gospel with non-Christians and Christians alike, share a meal together, and overall be together and unify under Christ Jesus, who provides a peace that passes all understanding.

Need Meeter

I feel like I am drowning each day by one thing…money. I am only twenty-five years old, and I am concerned with the amount of money that is in my bank account every day. Growing up, my family was always in debt. My parents went through a bankruptcy, which always instilled fear of the same happening to myself. I face that fear each day as I struggle with the amount of student loan debt that I have. Worry and anxiety overcome, and I always feel like I don’t have enough.

We all have our own needs that make us worry and put fear in us. Some of us have family and/or relationship issues. Others are constantly dealing with health concerns.No matter the case, we all are attempting to find ways to fulfill the needs we have in our lives. What if we had one person who could take care of each need?

God is the only one that can provide for all of our needs. No matter what it is, God is present in your life and will carry you through whatever you need. In Philippians 4:19, Paul writes, “And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus”. Paul is telling us that God loves us beyond what we can imagine, that He will take care of it. It doesn’t matter if it is health, money, relationships, etc., God supplies everything we need.

How can we know this is true? What proof do we have? Beyond the countless examples in the Bible, there is one example that trumps all else, the way God provided His Son to pay for our sins. We require a Savior. Without a Savior, we are destined to be drawn to sin. Sin leads us to be disconnected from God. God loves us so much that He supplied a sacrifice that would be for everyone, His Son Jesus.

Each one of our needs is different. We all carry burdens that weigh on us. However, we need to stop living each day, worrying about areas of our lives that God already has a plan for. We need to trust in Him and His promises to us. God will always provide and has a plan for us.

Master of Heaven and Earth

Creation shows God’s majesty! How often do you stop and notice the birds in the sky, each blade of grass in your lawn, a beautiful blue sky, or the snow that falls on a cold winter night?

God’s creation is everything on this Earth, the heavens, and the entire universe. The Lord our God is the creator of all things! When was the last time you spent significant time meditating and praying about God’s creation?

Psalm 146:5-6 says, “Blessed is he whose helps is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord his God, who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, who keeps faith forever,”.

These verses are here to not only show us that God has created all things, but that is He is always with us. God is the master of Heaven and Earth, which includes us. Our creator has chosen to give us dominion over all the beauty and majesty of the Earth (Genesis 2:15-22).

The beauty and majesty that the Lord has provided need to be recognized and enjoyed. God has created an incredible landscape to live out our lives.

One of my favorite things to do on a vacation or time off is to spend time in God’s creation. I go to a quiet place and sit in awe of His creation. During that time I feel connected to God in a way that I never do anywhere else. I believe that is because I don’t stop each day to recognize what God has created.

We live in a fast-paced world. Change happens quickly, and we have to adapt to it. That leaves us no time to slow down. In Genesis 2:1-3, God finishes all that He has created, and then He took time to rest. I believe that in the time of creation, God used that seventh day to enjoy what He has created. I also believe that He has set aside that day for us to use to enjoy his creation and slow down, even when it seems impossible.

Take time this week to find one day where you can go for a hike, drive to a quiet place, or just spend some time looking at the stars. Daily, we all need to recognize how great and powerful it is that God has created all things and that we get to be a part of that. I pray that each of you would take time to see that this week!

Living Water

John 7:37-39

On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’” Now this he said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive, for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.

Water has always reminded me of calmness, patience, and serenity. In times of turmoil, I have looked to calm myself through the water. On retreats and campouts, I’ve veered towards finding adventure through creeks, rivers, and any other body of water.

Jesus presents us with a different kind of water. The water that Jesus speaks of is called living water. Health experts seem to agree that no matter what, water is necessary to our human existence. Any nutritionist would tell you to cut out any other drinks, and just drink more water. As humans, we can see that water is necessary for our survival. Jesus uses this fact to point out that this “new” living water that He speaks of, is essential to our survival.

What is living water? How do you obtain living water?

Living water is the salvation and an outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon us.

All around the world, clean sustainable water isn’t accessible. Many organizations and missionaries’ primary goals have been around creating sustainable ways to create clean drinking water. In America, clean water is in surplus. Not many Americans have to think of ways to get a clean source of water. However, countries such as, Eritrea, Papua New Guinea, and Uganda (the three countries with the lowest access to clean water as stated in “WaterAid report reveals nations with the lowest access to water”), struggle with finding access to clean water. Even though Earthly water isn’t always accessible, the water that Jesus talks about is in abundance and offered for everybody.

To obtain living water, everybody has to just come and ask Jesus. What does this look like? Do you have to get rid of all the crud from your past before you come to Him? By no means!

When Jesus asks us to come to Him, He is asking us to recognize the need of a Savior in our lives and to trust in His promises. None of us get grace from Jesus by “doing” something, we receive grace as a gift from Him. All we have to do is come to Christ and ask Him to quench our thirsts.

Living water, the Holy Spirit, is given to us through accepting Jesus as our savior. Chris is in and working through us at that point. We can share how Jesus gave us His living water with others, and we are called to do so.

Where are you at right now? Do you have that living water flowing in you right now? What is stopping you from coming to Jesus and asking Him for water today? Who can you show this abundance pool of living water?