Tag Archives: Bible

Knowledge v. Wisdom

(A two-minute read)

Here’s a tough question for me: Do I spend more time each week listening to people teach or talk about God (via YouTube, podcasts, social media feeds, etc.) than I spend hearing from God directly from scripture?

The teaching and interpretation of scripture are good, but never as good as what Holy Spirit can tell me Himself. That’s because God knows my heart, and knows what I need to hear far more than what I might choose to listen to on my own. Five minutes with Him can outdo five hours from anyone else.

Paul warned his disciple Timothy about this: “For the time will come when people will not endure sound doctrine, but they will gather to themselves teachers in accordance with their own desires, having itching ears, and they will turn their ears away from the truth and turn to myths.” 1

Are you cautious about which so-called ‘influencers’ shape your world-view?

Even if you think you are being intelligent, you can be fooled.

I can’t do this seeking in a vacuum

I need discernment. I also need to remember Charles Spurgeon’s observation that discernment isn’t the ability to tell the difference between right and wrong, but between right and almost right.

We live in what’s been labeled a “post-truth” society; no coincidence it’s also labeled a “post-Christian” society. In my view, of course (unapologetically), the two go together.

As John says in his first letter,2 I must “test the spirits to see whether they are from God.” I test these things against the full body of Scripture, and also amongst a company of discerning believers, including people who will challenge my assumptions.

This is because I cannot automatically assume I’m right, or even that I hear rightly. The inarguable point is that the more time I spend in the Bible, the better I will hear God’s opinion, as opposed to that of some inane YouTube bloviator.

So, how much time will I spend in God’s word today? How much do I want to hear from Him directly? Or is it ‘easier’ to just munch on another YouTube video?

Knowledge (from man – even when Spirit-inspired) may be good, but wisdom (from God) is better. It’s also worth the extra effort.

1. 2 Timothy 4:3-4
2. 1 John 4:1 – “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.”

Image by Cottonbro via Pexels

Rainbow on my Bible

The Power of a Word

(A two minute read)

What we say is powerful, perhaps more powerful than we know.

You and I are made in God’s image. So, just as His words have creative power, our words have creative power.

My words, and the ideas they contain, are planted as seeds. If they fall on good soil, and are fed and watered, there’s a harvest. If they are good seeds, a good harvest. If not – there’s trouble.

Since my words have creative power, I should be careful what I say. Not because other people will judge my words, but that God may.

Words, like actions, have consequences. They are also our offspring, and I’m responsible for them. If a minor child is in trouble with authority, isn’t the parent held responsible? So it is with words. If something I say creates trouble, or strife, or negativity, or distress, shouldn’t I carry the consequences for that word?

My words are also powerful in my own life. Do I use words to build myself up, or tear myself down? Do I proclaim myself accident-prone and then see that become a self-fulfilling prophecy? Or do I speak words of grace and dexterity over myself?

What I say about myself comes out of my secrets, the things I hold closest to my heart. My beliefs about myself. I say what I believe, and believe what I say. And it shapes me. So what’s my template?

If I myself is all I have, so as to only measure myself against myself, or – worse still – against you, my options are very limited.* But when I measure myself against who God says I am, my growth potential is unlimited. So I go looking for those words.

To have success, and make positive change in my life, I speak God’s words. Because with God, nothing is impossible. And His words? Well now, His living word – that’s Jesus Christ. What could be more effective than that?

*2 Corinthians 10:12
† 1 Peter 2:9

If you liked this essay, try this one.

Augustin Hirschvogel: Sandals with Classical Ornaments

The Road to Emmaus

(A two minute read)

There’s a story in Luke’s gospel known as the Road to Emmaus.

A pair of Christ’s disciples were walking from Jerusalem to a nearby town after the terrible Passover during which He was crucified. Jesus joined them, although they didn’t recognize Him at first. They were discussing His crucifixion; they didn’t understand it.

This is a snapshot of my own walk with Jesus.

Jesus came alongside me when I didn’t know Him, or expect Him (indeed, I had rejected Him as a younger man, effectively rendering Him ‘dead.’). With the people walking on the road to Emmaus, He slowly and surely revealed Himself to them by showing them from Scripture why it was ‘necessary for the Christ to suffer these things.’

They invited Him in when they reached their destination and remained ignorant of Him until the moment they broke bread with Him. In other words, they didn’t know Him until they had communion with Him and were in relationship with Him. Then, the gospel says, they finally recognized Him.

He immediately vanished from sight (into the realm of faith) in the same instant.

God is like that for me. He reveals something and then, in the twinkling of an eye, departs until next time. But He has left His Spirit behind, to guide me, establish me and build me up (or wear me down) until I am deemed ready for the next encounter with Him.

My heart is a trumpet, 
Listen to it sing.
My heart is a torch,
Watch it burn.I gave you feet for a reason,
Now, use them to follow Me.’

Read more poetry here.

Image: Augustin Hirschvogel: Sandals with Classical Ornaments via Wikimedia Commons