“But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.”
If you’ve been reading the Word of Encouragement for any length of time you will know I have a good dog who makes very bad choices. Last week he once again tested the limits of my patience.
My family and I just sat down to a steak dinner. I began to pray over our meal, (heads bowed, eyes closed) when my son Alex yelled, “GET DOWN!” Stunned by the sudden outburst in the middle of our prayer, I looked up to see our dog, Tahoe, pulling a steak off the counter and gulping it down.
After we got Tahoe out of the kitchen, his belly full of steak, we sat down and continued to pray. Again, in the middle of our prayer Alex shouted, “GET DOWN!” Tahoe was back on the counter looking for another steak. I know I may be giving him more credit than he deserves, but the fact that he did it twice convinces me that he was just waiting for us to close our eyes to pray so he could steal that steak. Merriam Webster’s third definition of wise is “clever or crafty”, so by that definition I have a wise dog.
Isaiah 5:21 says, “Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes and think themselves so clever.” (ESV) Proverbs 16:25 gives us further warning “There is a way that seems right to man, but in the end it leads to destruction.”(ESV) James 3:14-16 tells us worldly wisdom produces “bitter jealousy and selfish ambition” and the fruit of this wisdom is “disorder and every vile practice.” Worldly wisdom is full of pride. It says, “God you won’t give me what I want, so I will get it myself”. Worldly wisdom refuses to seek the Lord’s direction and in the end it “leads to destruction.”
Godly wisdom is different. It is a combination of knowing what the Lord wants you to do and taking it a step further by walking it out. King Solomon is a good example of the contrast between being wise and walking in wisdom. 1 Kings 3:3 tells us that Solomon loved the Lord and followed all the decrees of his father David. 2 Chronicles 9:22-23 says, “So King Solomon became richer and wiser than any other king on earth. Kings from every nation came to consult him and to hear the wisdom God had given him.” (NLT)
But later in life, Solomon began to trust in his own wisdom instead of following God and his life ended poorly. Solomon disobeyed the Lord and took many wives, 500 to be exact, and 300 concubines. These women led Solomon into idol worship. The worship of these idols included child sacrifice and prostitution. Because of Solomon’s sin Israel was divided into two warring kingdoms. The story of Solomon’s life demonstrates the kind of worldly wisdom that James described as resulting in “disorder and evil of every
James also wrote about the wisdom that comes from God. God’s wisdom is meek, kind, gentle and full of mercy and peace. The fruit of this wisdom looks like Jesus.
In the midst of the world health crisis, we face a choice, will we walk in worldly wisdom or godly wisdom? Will we lean on our own understanding and become selfish, looking out for our own interests? Or will we walk in godly wisdom that produces fruit that looks like Jesus to a lost and frightened world? By the power of the Holy Spirit I want to choose godly wisdom, don’t you?
My precious husband, Bill, and I have been planted in Fort Myers, Florida for almost 35 years. As a newly married couple, God most graciously had placed people in both of our jobs to share Christ with us. Its hard to believe it has been almost 34 years since we asked Jesus into our hearts! Bill and I have been blessed with four children, 3 daughters, then a son. These blessings came quickly, all within 6 years!! During these years I'm so thankful I was able to be part of women's ministry classes at our church, helping me to grow in my walk with Him. Then came the day when I was asked that question that stretched me way outside of my comfort zone...will you teach a class? Its hard to believe that I have now been teaching more than 20 years. Bill and I love to travel, most of the time going to visit our 9 grandchildren, oh ya, and their parents! I also love reading, walking and hanging out with some very special young moms in Beloved that bless my socks off!
Julie is a Kansas girl who resides in sunny Southwest Florida. She's been married to her husband Sean for 23 years and they share two boys ages 21 & 17. She enjoys baking and biking, but her absolute favorite thing is snow skiing which is a little difficult to do in a sandy 80 degree land.
She became a follower of Christ at age 10. She loves studying and teaching God's Word. She has a passion for encouraging moms to love and follow Jesus.
Beth grew up in a loving home; however, in her early 20s she faced a very lonely time. During that time, she cried out to God and asked “If You are real, please show yourself to me!” God met her where she was and she trusted in the Lord Jesus at that time. Her life verse and desire is “no matter what happens, to conduct herself in a manner worthy of the gospel.” Philippians 1:27
Beth now resides in Tampa, Florida with her husband Larry. The Lord has blessed them by blending their family of five children. They currently have eight grandchildren and are hoping that there will be more grandchildren in the future.
Donna accepted Jesus as her Savior at the age of nine and has been amazed at God’s goodness and faithfulness throughout her life. She has been blessed to have had many mentors through each season of life, who have shown her what trusting God looks like. Donna and her husband, Bryan, have five children, one son-in-law, one soon to be daughter-in-law, and one wonderful grandson. Donna and Bryan have recently moved back to their home state of Arkansas after livingin southeast Alabama the past 23 years. Donna enjoys spending time with her family, laughing with friends (usually over coffee), going for long walks with her husband, and reading a good book (which may also be accompanied by a cup of coffee).
Sarah is a true Florida Cracker. She was born and raised in Southwest Florida. At the age of 6, Sarah accepted Jesus as her Lord and Savior, and she hasn't looked back since. Hebrews 13:8 is one of her favorite verses, "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever." Eating delicious desserts, spending time with her family and friends, and teaching people about Jesus are a few of the things she enjoys to do in her spare time.
Sarah has been married to her best friend and husband, Brandon, for 7 years. They have been blessed with one beautiful, determined son, Asher, who keeps them on their toes. Sarah and her family live in the Tampa area. They love exploring their community together, family hugs, and eating pizza whenever possible.
Katie Flint just recently moved back home to Fort Myers, Florida with her husband, Ryan and two children, Collins and Madden. At the age of 5, Katie accepted Jesus Christ to be the Lord and Savior of her life, after attending Vacation Bible School. Through each phase of her life, God has shown her that He alone is trustworthy. The verse that has been her life source is Psalm 46:10- “Be still and know that I am God.”
She is a stay-at-home mom and enjoys exercising and baking. She has been married to her husband Ryan for almost 9 years, who is her high school sweetheart. They enjoy trying new restaurants, family trips to the beach, and relaxing at home.
Marsha grew up in a small rural town in upstate New York. In 2006, after finishing college, she moved to sunny SW Florida where she met her, now husband, Shawn. Together they enjoy spending family time with their two fun-loving toddler boys Zachariah and Kairos.
Marsha enjoys living an active lifestyle, which is helpful, considering that her favorite hobby is baking.
Though she attended church as a child, Marsha was not saved until adulthood when her eyes were finally opened to the love and mercy of Jesus Christ.
Since being saved, God has placed a loving burden on her heart to share the truth about God’s healing grace with those who may feel like forgiveness is not possible for them.