Get Wise

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Get Wise

WISDOM BUILDS THE SOUL

 

Romans 16:19 I want you to be wise in doing right and to stay innocent of any wrong.
Proverbs 4:7  Getting wisdom is the wisest thing you can do! And whatever else you do, develop good judgment.

 

It has been said that there are 3 ways to learn:

1.   The easy way – Learn from other peoples mistakes

2.   The hard way – Learn from your own mistakes

3.   The tragic way – Not to learn from either

 

2 Chronicles 1:6-12
6 There in front of the Tabernacle, Solomon went up to the bronze altar in the Lord’s presence and sacrificed 1,000 burnt offerings on it.
7 That night God appeared to Solomon and said, “What do you want? Ask, and I will give it to you!”
8 Solomon replied to God, “You showed faithful love to David, my father, and now you have made me king in his place. 9 O Lord God, please continue to keep your promise to David my father, for you have made me king over a people as numerous as the dust of the earth! 10 Give me the wisdom and knowledge to lead them properly, for who could possibly govern this great people of yours?”
11 God said to Solomon, “Because your greatest desire is to help your people, and you did not ask for wealth, riches, fame, or even the death of your enemies or a long life, but rather you asked for wisdom and knowledge to properly govern my people— 12 I will certainly give you the wisdom and knowledge you requested. But I will also give you wealth, riches, and fame such as no other king has had before you or will ever have in the future!”

Wisdom can be described as God’s Word Applied.


Proverbs 4:7 (NKJV)
Wisdom is the principal thing;Therefore get wisdom.

PART ONE

What is Wisdom For?

James has seven suggestions for the purpose of wisdom (James 3:17, 18). 
17 But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere. 18 And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness.

·      Purity. 

·      Peace loving. 

·      Gentleness - Kind and considerate.

·      Merciful.

·      Shows itself by the good it does.

·      Impartiality. 

·      No hypocrisy

 

Wisdom’s purpose is the foundation of our relationships in life. It gives us the ability to build great moral and value structures on.

 

How do you Get Wisdom?

Proverbs 2 1-7 The Benefits of Wisdom
2 My child, listen to what I say, and treasure my commands.
2 Tune your ears to wisdom, and concentrate on understanding.
3 Cry out for insight, and ask for understanding.
4 Search for them as you would for silver; seek them like hidden treasures.
5 Then you will understand what it means to fear the Lord, and you will gain knowledge of God.
6 For the Lord grants wisdom! From his mouth come knowledge and understanding.
7 He grants a treasure of common sense to the honest. He is a shield to those who walk with integrity.

 

1.  Stir up a DESIRE for Wisdom

The actions described in this verse is:

·     CRY out

·     SEARCH for it

 

2. Ask For it..

·      You cannot study to get a degree in “wisdom” because it surpasses knowledge and intellect.

Deuteronomy 30:19 (NLT)
19 “Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live!

Simply put: WISDOM BEGINS WITH A CHOICE


Proverbs 8 (NLT)
1.Listen as Wisdom calls out!Hear as understanding raises her voice!
2 On the hilltop along the road, she takes her stand at the crossroads.
3 By the gates at the entrance to the town,on the road leading in, she cries aloud,
4 “I call to you, to all of you!I raise my voice to all people.
 
James 1:5
5 If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.

 

 

3.  Be of Good Character

 
James 3:13 (NKJV)
13 Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom.
 
Proverbs 1 (NLT)
1 These are the proverbs of Solomon, David’s son, king of Israel.
2 Their purpose is to teach people wisdom and discipline,to help them understand the insights of the wise.
3 Their purpose is to teach people to live disciplined and successful lives,to help them do what is right, just, and fair.

Discipline is living within the boundaries of God Word and His Grace.


 

4.   Do Good

 
James 3:17
It is full of mercy and good deeds.
 
Hebrews 10:24 NLT
Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works.
 
Matthew 5:16
In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.
 
1 Peter 2:12
Be careful to live properly among your unbelieving neighbours. Then even if they accuse you of doing wrong, they will see your honourable behaviour, and they will give honour to God when he judges the world.
 

 

5.   Remain Humble

 
James 3:13 NLT
 If you are wise and understand God's ways, prove it by living an honourable life,  doing good works with the humility that comes from wisdom.

PART TWO

 

 

1. Wisdom is the Foundation

·      Building dream houses depends on carefully following detailed architectural plans.

Proverbs 24 (NLT)
3 A house is built by wisdom and becomes strong through good sense.
4 Through knowledge its rooms are filledwith all sorts of precious riches and valuables.

 

·      The foundation of a house determines what is built.

·      Foundations are also built for the worst of seasons and weather. They are built to withstand the storms. Floods and gale-force winds that do come our way.

 

Matt 7:24-27
24 “Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. 25 Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock. 26 But anyone who hears my teaching and doesn’t obey it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand. 27 When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will collapse with a mighty crash.”
 
Psalm 127:1 NIV
 Unless the Lord builds the house,the builders labor in vain.

 

 

2. Wisdom is Releasing…

 

·      Many build something that SEEMS right instead of what IS right.

·      Some attempt to build on rules and regulations, assuming that if they keep all the rules, they can never go wrong.

 

1 Corinthians 6:12 (NKJV)
12 All things are lawful for me, but all things are not helpful.

Rules will always look at what is lawful but wisdom will focus on what is helpful and beneficial.


 

3.  Wisdom and Knowledge go hand in hand

 

Proverbs 14:33 (NLT)
33 Wisdom is enshrined in an understanding heart

 

Proverbs 3:13 (NLT)
13 Joyful is the person who finds wisdom, the one who gains understanding.

 

·      It is one thing to have knowledge but another to know how to apply it

·      Raw talent can take you so far, however to be successful you have to apply yourself.

 

Proverbs 2:2 (NLT)
2 Tune your ears to wisdom, and concentrate on understanding.

When you understand you have to make a decision and use discipline to create the boundaries.


Colossians 2:6-7 (Message)

6-7 My counsel for you is simple and straightforward: Just go ahead with what you’ve been given. You received Christ Jesus, the Master; now live him. You’re deeply rooted in him. You’re well constructed upon him. You know your way around the faith. Now do what you’ve been taught. School’s out; quit studying the subject and start living it! And let your living spill over into thanksgiving.


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RelationSHIFT

RelationSHIFT Pt 4

Life is a series of relationships.

Every stage Baby - Child - School - Work - Married - Kids - Retirement.

Healthy, successful life = healthy successful relationships.

I’m going to continue our series at look at an important aspect of relationships and that is HEARING.

- hearing on a horizontal level +
- hearing on a vertical level.

We have two types of relationships. Horizontally with those we do life with, and vertically with God.

Statistics tell us that we spend 40% of our waking hours listening, and of that 40% we only hear 25% of what is being said. 
In other words, only a quarter of what we hear actually goes in.

Both the ability to speak and the ability to listen are important in relationships.

If either of those isn’t functioning we can receive the wrong information.

One of the biggest breakdowns of relationships is a lack of communication.

I want to look at: 
Three ear plugs - things that stop us from hearing. 
Three hearing aids - things that help us to hear + 
Three ways that we can hear God more clearly.

The first earplug is: Presumptions.

Proverbs 18:13 He who answers before listening—that is his folly and his shame.

Presumptions are when we think we know what the other person is saying. Or we think we know what the other person is about to say.

This can be detrimental in relationships because we are filtering what other people are saying through our own perspective, and can miss what is trying to be communicated.

How do we avoid this?

By active listening.

There is a difference between listening and active listening.

Listening is hearing. 
Active listening is giving your full attention towards someone.

Active listening reduces assumptions and strengthens relationships.

The first hearing aid is: listen with your eyes.

Approximately 80% of communication is non-verbal. This means what you say only makes up 20% of what’s being communicated, the rest is made up of your body language, expressions, tone etc.

This is why emoji’s are so popular. Expressions that compliment the words you are texting.

When we listen with our eyes we are able to take in not just what people are saying, but how people are saying it.

We are able to engage in better communication because we are not just hearing words, we are seeing people.

Mark 10:21 says speaking about the rich young ruler “Jesus looked at him and loved him”.

Listening with your eyes allows you to see people for who they are.

The second ear plug is: impatience.

Experts say that the mind can listen to about 650 words/min, but only speak 150 words/min. This leaves a 500 words/min gap where the mind can wander.

This gap can lead us to become impatient and cause us to interrupt.

I do this all the time. I’m a sentence finisher. Anyone else?

If people are talking, in my head I’m already finishing their sentence…or sometimes even out loud and I’m helping them finish their sentence.

We must value peoples time by allowing them to communicate and listen to what they have to say.

The second hearing aid is: listen with your time.

The most valuable things you can give someone is your time.

Other things are important, but your time is something we all have to give people.

Who in your life can you give the gift of time to?

Are you utilising the time you have been given for the people in your life?

The third ear plug is: Pride.

Pride will stop us from hearing what people are saying.

What is pride?

Psalm 10:4 NIV [4] In his pride the wicked does not seek him; in all his thoughts there is no room for God.

This can also be finished as “in all his thoughts, there is no room for people”.

Pride is when your thoughts are so consumed with yourself there is no room for anyone else.

We need to let go of pride by allowing space for others.

Making a relationSHIFT means i am making a decision to take the focus off myself and put it on others.

When we focus on, and care about others we listen to what they are saying.

The third hearing aid is: listen with your heart.

Another example of Jesus hearing someone is in the story of the woman at the well.

Jesus is having a conversation with a woman who is telling him about her life on a superficial level, however he listens with his heat.

He ends up seeing past the superficial and into the heart of what is going on.

He speaks life into her life and changes it forever.

When we listen with our heart we see past the barriers or walls, and see to the heart of what is happening.

With the people in your life are you seeing into the heart of what’s going on?

Jesus heard what her heart was saying, not just the words coming out of her mouth.

Healthy relationships have depth to them.

Those are practical things we can do to help us listen to others, and strengthen our horizontal relationships.

What about our vertical relationship with God?

God is always speaking, it is in his nature to.

How well are we listening to God?

Do you know how to?

God speaks in different ways, lets look at the three main ways:

1) Through his Word.

This is the primary way God speaks to us.

He has lots to say to you that he has already written down, we have to read them.

Getting into the word is simply listening to what God is saying.

Let me encourage you to listen to the word of God as much as you can.

Allow him to speak directly to you by simply opening up your heart and asking his word to come alive to you.

2) God speaks through circumstances.

If we are open to hearing from God, we would be amazed at how often he speaks through the things that are happening in our lives.

Let me encourage you, whenever things out of the ordinary happen to you, as it the question; “God what are you saying?”.

So many times God uses situations to get our attention.

This happened to me this week.

3) God speaks to our hearts.

The Holy Spirit can speak directly to you. This is an amazing experience.

Commonly it is a still small voice that stirs something in our heart.

John 16:7-13 NIV
[7] But I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. [8] When he comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment: [9] in regard to sin, because men do not believe in me; [10] in regard to righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; [11] and in regard to judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned. [12] “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. [13] But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.

Open you heart to him and allow him to speak to you.

God is wanting to speak to you.

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Blessed not Stressed - Part One

LIVE LARGER WITH LESS.

Today I want to talk to you about the one word that is KEY to living blessed not stressed.  One word.  An elusive word.  A difficult word to master.  A difficult word to live by.  But one word that changes the trajectory and happiness of your life.   One word that allows you to be blessed with more,  without it being stolen by stress.

Jesus said Matt 6  Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?”  

In other words it’s the quality of your life that matters.  It’s about living blessed not stressed.

Paul writes to Timothy and says I’ve learned living blessed and not stressed.   Remember I’ve been through everything you could imagine, but I’ve realized the secret is contentment.

1 TIM 6:6 But godliness with contentment is great gain.

Contentment is not the word we think it means which means to settle down.  Contentment means to get more bang for your buck.  It means to gain more than just money or possessions.

Contentment:  Greek word autarkeia

1) a perfect condition of life in which no aid or support is needed. It means to be blessed not stressed!

“Until you make peace with who you are, you will never be content with what you have.” ~Doris Mortman

In the 6th chapter of Paul’s letter to Timothy there is a detailed explanation about the enemy of the blessed life.  It’s the stressed life that is consumed with consuming.

1 Timothy 6:5,6  These are the things you are to teach and insist on. If anyone teaches otherwise and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching, They have an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions constant friction between people of corrupt mind, who have been robbed of the truth and who think  that godliness is a means to financial gain. But Godliness with contentment is great gain.  9 -10 Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.

Some translations

Now godliness combined with contentment brings great profit.

A godly life brings huge profits to people who are content with what they have.

But godliness actually is a means of great gain, when accompanied by contentment.

The greek word for GAIN is the word PORISMOS.  It’s a very uncommon noun and only used 2 x in the whole of the NT.  And both times it appears in verse 5 and verse 6 of 2 Timothy 6.  In verse 5, the word PORISMOS means financial gain and it’s obvious from the text.  ‘some think  that godliness is a means to financial gain.’

Then in verse 6 it says, but Timothy please understand something.  Godliness with Contentment is GREAT GAIN.  The word PORISMOS is used here too.  What Paul is saying, is if you will get it the right way around.  If you will seek Godliness and contentment, first you won’t be stressed, but even more your will be blessed not stressed.   And it includes great gains financially, relationally, emotionally and spiritually.

Contentment is the great protector against greed, and against the love of money.  Contentment stops you being a slave to Mammon.  Contentment with godliness Paul says leads to great gains.   If we are going to get ahead in life and in deed live blessed not stressed, then we have to aim to be contented.  To be Godly, means you have put Jesus first and you trust him with all your heart and to be contented means you aren’t LONGING for stuff.  You aren’t longing or pinning your satisfaction of achieving a certain status.  You have realized that he is the all sufficient one.   The longing and striving is gone.  Can you say that about yourself.

WHY IT IS SUCH A GREAT WAY OF LIFE.

Because you are able to live larger and lose less.   Because you aren’t longing, living and a slave to GAINING stuff, you lose less.

  • You lose less time trying to keep pace with everything.

  • You lose less money to banks and credit cards in continual interest payments.

  • You lose less sleep and have more energy because you aren’t chasing everything and trying to keep up.

  • You have less stress because you aren’t worrying so much. You aren’t so tired.  You have less stress therefore less arguments therefore less conflicts.   You have less frustration.

  • When you are content, you have more time to be creative and do more for others.

The greatest thing stopping God’s blessing sticking to your lives is Godliness and contentment.

Because we don’t live content most of our blessing is lost in

a)   Bank interest

b)  Worry

c)   Comparing what we have to what others have

d)  Working harder to keep up with the repayments

e)   Unnecessary effort.

SO HOW DO WE LIVE CONTENTED LIVES.  BLESSED NOT STRESSED.

1.  Stop looking at the lack you have

You can choose life, or you can choose to chase after your lack.
Luke 12: 14   “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.”

Start looking at life, and not the lack.   When you are focused on your lack, you completely miss life. What does it profit you or materially gain you if gain the whole world but lose your marriage, lose your kids, lose your faith, lose your joy, lose you peace.

2.  Stop comparing yourself to others

eg;  Have you noticed you are doing fine, until you compare yourself to others.  They have a man, they have a woman, they have more time. They have a better job.

3.    Develop a thankful attitude.

4.    Focus on accumulating not acquisition

God’s blessing is on you.  You can’t stop God’s blessing.  Nobody can stop God blessing you.  The only thing that can, is stressing.  Stressing ruins the blessing.  Stressing is messing up the blessing.

Over the years we haven’t got wealthy, but we have accumulated things.  Making small incremental moves forward.  Sometimes failing, often getting it right.  Accumulation is God’s plan of sustainable wealth creation and contentment.

5.  Create Margins

Is 5:8  Woe to you who add house to house and join field to field till no space is left and you live alone in the land.

NB:  Many of us want to give so that lives can be changed, but you are choked by your lifestyle.  It’s time to downsize so you can include God in your life FULLY.

6. Be content with what you have, but never with what you are.

Never stop learning, growing, or discovering. Take pride in your person and the progress that you have made, but never become so content that you cannot find room for improvement. Contentment is not the same as complacency. As soon as you stop growing, you start dying.

What are you going to do for Jesus this next 3 months?  Thanksgiving for me this year was about looking at all the times I encouraged people and changed their lives with my smiles and my words.

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PENTECOST ATMOSPHERE

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PENTECOST ATMOSPHERE

The Holy Spirit

He Lives in Us..

1 Cor 3:16 Don’t you realize that all of you together are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God lives in you? 

 

He Guides Us.. into truth

John 16:13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth.

 

He is our Counsellor and Teacher

John 14:26 But when the Father sends the Advocate as my representative—that is, the Holy Spirit—he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you.

 

He leads us

Rom 8:14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God

 

He helps you to Win over Sin.

Romans 8:13 For if you live by its dictates, you will die. But if through the power of the Spirit you put to death the deeds of your sinful nature

 

He helps us when we are Weak and don’t know how to Pray

Rom 8:26 And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words.

 

Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit. 6 So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace.
— Romans 8:5-6

In Acts 2 the Atmosphere of the world changed because of Pentecost.

Acts 2: 42- 47 (This is the result of the spirit of God being poured out on the early church. The atmosphere was unbelievable. Three thousand people were added to the church in one day.)

42All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supperi), and to prayer.43A deep sense of awe came over them all, and the apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders. 44And all the believers met together in one place and shared everything they had. 45They sold their property and possessions and shared the money with those in need. 46They worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord’s Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosityj— 47all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people. And each day the Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved.
— Acts 2:42-47

ATMOSPHERE ACRONYM

ALIGNED in Heart & Mind

              Vs 42 “They devoted themselves to the Apostles teaching”.

·     They allowed the word to renew their mind.

·     Devoted – de vote.

 

TRANSPARENT Unity

       Vs 42“ They devoted themselves to the Apostles teaching and to the fellowship”

       Vs 44 “All the believers were together and had everything in common”

       Vs 46 “Everyday they continued to meet together in the temple”

       Vs 47 “…enjoying the favour of all the people”

 

There was an incredible display of open love for one another. Everyday they met together to worship.

“They’ll know you are Christians by your love.”

How do we cultivate this?
Be prepared to trust people.
Believe the best in people.
Set people up to succeed not fail.
Personally – be vulnerable. Allow people into your world.

MOMENTUM was Vital

Vs 42 They devoted themselves to the APOSTLES TEACHING, FELLOWSHIP, BREAKING OF BREAD AND PRAYER

Vs 43 EVERYONE was filled with awe, MANY miracles were done

Vs 44 ALL the believers were together EVERTHING was in common

Vs 46 EVERYDAY they continued to meet together

The Lord added to them daily. There was incredible momentum.

Momentum starts by lots of energy being applied.

·     Momentum is deliberate. 

 

OTHERS First

       Vs 45 “Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone who had need of it”

Rick Warren puts it aptly in his book “The purpose driven life” 

In his opening sentence – IT’S NOT ABOUT YOU.

They were very cheerful, and very generous in the use of what they had.

All the believers were united in heart and mind. And they felt that what they owned was not their own, so they shared everything they had.
— Acts 4:32

SPIRITUAL Maturity

Vs 46 “Everyday they continued to meet together”

Spiritual and personal stability is shown by your increasing consistency to be faithful to the call on your life.

Great atmosphere can be created in our churches as we give:

1.   Consistent Biblical Leadership.

2.   Personally worship. Worship stronger and louder in the storms and tests.

 

PRAYER & PRAISE

Vs 42 “The devoted themselves to the apostles teaching, to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to PRAYER”

Vs 43 “Everyone was filled with awe” 

Vs 46 …..ate together with glad and sincere hearts

Vs 47 praising God and enjoying the favour of all the people.

 

HOLY SPIRIT was Evident

Vs47 …and the Lord added to their numbers daily those who were being saved.

 

ENTHUSIASTIC

Acts 3:8 He jumped to his feet and began to walk, then he went into the temple walking and jumping and praising God.

Psalm 100 …. I will enter his gates with ……thanksgiving in my heart.

  • Enthusiasm is a decision based on foreknowledge.
  • Enthusiasm isn’t enthusiasm unless energetically activated.

 

REVELATION

Vs 46 …they broke bread daily”

 

EXCELLENCE is EVERYTHING

Vs 47 “they enjoyed the favour of all the people”

Just like Daniel in Babylon, the people found favour with ALL the people because they were operating with an excellent spirit.

“Excellence is doing your absolute best with absolutely everything you have.”

 

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