‘Day One’ Blog

Wisdom Of The World?

If I seek to apply the wisdom of the world as the events of this week unfold, I will make no meaningful contribution to the greater good. I will in no way advance the kingdom of God. I will not aid anyone’s attempt to rise above the fray. I will be a child of God content to keep the light of the world hidden within me. That’s not going to do.

For most of us, there are but a handful of people we directly influence. Most of them live under the same roof we do. The rest we are likely maintaining running text threads with. In other words, they are accessible.

Let’s determine to behave in the world with simplicity and godly sincerity for the good of those we influence. Let’s plead with the Lord for the ability to apply His wisdom to whatever needs might arise. If Godly wisdom should flow from us, it will be so by the grace of God. But make no mistake, it’s His desire that it would flow freely.

Be encouraged! The One whose kingdom never ends is already on the other side of our nations transfer of power. And He is here with us now. He has wisdom in His hands for us if we would but ask for it.

For our boast is this,
the testimony of our conscience,
that we behaved in the world
not by earthly wisdom
but by the grace of God,
and supremely so toward you.

2 Corinthians 1:12

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Wisdom Traits

Need wisdom? I’ve never been more keenly aware of the need for the wisdom from above for myself, my family, my friends, my fellow Christians, and my fellow citizens (nationally/globally).

Can I know for certain if Godly wisdom shows up? Can I recognize whether or not I’m applying the wisdom of God? Apparently, it’s possible to look for very specific attributes in order to establish the authenticity of the presence of the wisdom of God. The Holy Spirit was kind to inspire James to record them for us. Buckle up.

Godly Wisdom Traits:

  • pure
  • peaceable
  • gentle
  • open to reason
  • full of mercy
  • full of good fruits
  • impartial
  • sincere

When’s the last time I remember thinking I brought wisdom to bear in my life? I’m sifting that memory through this list of traits. Selah. Many points of need will surface in the day before me. Only wisdom from above will do in response to those needs. So please Lord, I’m asking for wisdom— Your wisdom.

But the wisdom from above is first pure,
then peaceable, gentle, open to reason,
full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.
And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace
by those who make peace.
James 3:17-18 (ESV)

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The Savior Has Come – Book Launch

Click To Buy

Hello Faithful Readers!

I am seriously thrilled to let you know that this blogger has branched out into the world of print! The Savior Has Come – An Advent Devotional is expanded in its length, and is now available as a lovely paperback book.

I’m selling it directly (in limited supply) and wanted you to know in case you are interested in buying it before the Advent season is upon us. It would make a great first-gift-of-Christmas for your Thanksgiving day guests! Thanks for your generosity to me and for your faithful support! I would be very grateful if you could pass the news along to your friends!

I’m praying earnestly that this little book will remind readers of the beauty of the Babe in the manger, and draw hearts to Jesus especially in a year where many of us are beyond exhausted from ‘all things 2020.’

Peace and Joy to You,

Click To Buy

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NON-essentials & the HEART

photo by Jean Philippe Delberghe – courtesy of Unsplash

In essentials unity,
in non-essentials liberty,
in all things charity.

German Lutheran theologian, Rupertus Meldenius

It’s one thing to acknowledge and even agree with this quote. It’s another thing altogether to live it out. I started exploring the quote in my last post, asking if I knew for certain what essential beliefs bind us together as the family of God. The idea is that everything outside those essential beliefs would be seen as non-essential. In those non-essential areas, I would choose to extend liberty— the freedom to think differently than I think.

That leaves space for me to passionately hold to my preferences, without losing sight of my Christian siblings’ freedom to do the same. If I’m going to do that with integrity, it can’t be predicated on whether or not my brothers or sisters extend that same liberty to me. I have to do it because I know it’s the right course of action – period.

Further, humility must blanket the act of granting liberty. There can be no air of superiority. There must never be an attitude where I imply, “Go ahead with your inferior, wrong view. You have the liberty to be wrong! I’ll be here when you come ‘round to the truth.” Kindness and tenderness must lead the way as I seek to hold the tensions inherent in relationships with differing points of view.

In marriage, I reserve space for non-essential differences of opinion. I understand that my husband and I are going to have them, and choose to hold to the bonds of unity in love within our covenant relationship. Imagine Christ, our Bridegroom, responding to our differing points of view with hate-speech, or even lording our inferior opinions over us. Such would never be the case, even though He would be in the right.

We are flawed creatures in relationship with other flawed creatures. Each of us are maturing at the pace set for us by the Holy Spirit. We are too often missing the forest for the trees by elevating rightness over relationship. Should we be passionate about the things we believe the Lord has directed us to be passionate about? Without hesitation! But our hearts must remain tender toward those in the family of God who do not agree with our perspective.

One day we will relearn the art of loving-communication. When we do we will enter into conversations, eager to tap into the heart of the other. Together we will go to the One who knows everything about everything. We’ll seek Him side by side with our differing opinions out in the open. We will remember how little we understand, even in our areas of expertise, and that will keep us teachable and contrite.

We will begin to champion each other again, and being right will no longer be of primary concern. Loving one another as Christ loves us will retake center stage. We’ll find ourselves having created an environment where granting liberty in non-essentials is normal. And then watch out! We just might find ourselves overrun with people wanting to join our ranks.

Love one another fervently
with a pure heart.

1 Peter 1:22

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what IS the MAIN thing

photo by Jean Philippe Delberghe – courtesy of Unsplash

Unity within the body of Christ is fragile in the best of times. The tensions of 2020 have taken their toll on that unity in ways I have not personally experienced before. I’ve heard a few Christians lately talk about keeping the main thing the main thing. In the growing number of conversations (more like confrontations) surrounding controversial hot-buttons, I am feeling the need to know for certain what the main thing even is. The phrase reminds me of something oft-quoted by my husband—

In essentials unity,
in non-essentials liberty,
in all things charity.

German Lutheran theologian, Rupertus Meldenius

To keep the main thing the main thing, I have to know what is essential as a Christ-one. What are the indispensable elements without which we cannot function as the body of Christ? What are those things that bind every follower of Jesus to every other follower of Jesus? Do you know? Do you know for certain? Until you and I know, we cannot begin to understand what is non-essential— what falls into the sphere that would call for liberty.

You’re about to read my list-in-progress. This will be potentially the most controversial part of this post. But we have to start here or we’re going to keep getting stuck and we’re going to remain divided.

What is essential? What is the main thing?

1. Christ-ones are to love God with all their
heart, mind, soul, and strength,
(Duet. 6:5; Duet. 10:12; Mark 12:30).
2. We are to do for others what
we wish they would do for us,
(Matt. 7:12).
3. We are to consider others
as better than ourselves,
(Phil. 2:3-8).
4. We are to love others
as we are loved by Jesus,
(John 13:34).
5. We are to be witnesses for Jesus
to the ends of the earth,
(Isaiah 52:6-8; Acts 1:6-8).

These are commands. They apply to all who call Jesus Lord. Our demographic is the whole of humanity— friend, and enemy alike, (Matt. 5:43-48). A person should not be able to tell whether someone is my friend or enemy based on the way I love them. A person should be able to see Christians from a mile away because of how we love one another within the body. After all, Christ-ones are bound together, each of us expected to make our unique, indispensable contribution to the health of the body, (1 Cor. 12:12-26).

I would venture to say that most of us are feeling the crippling effects of disunity within the body of Christ. I know the world sees it– finding us pitted against one another just like they are. So what do we do about this? How do you and I fight to restore and then protect unity in the body?

If I have even one relationship that is suffering because of a difference of opinion concerning politics or race or any other hot-topic, I know I have a job to do. First I MUST seek the counsel of the most high God. Then I have to make the call and make the date to meet and talk and LISTEN. I must pursue unity so far as I am able, (Rom. 12:18). I must love even and especially if differences remain between us. I must not let those differences, however passionately held, drive a wedge between me and my brother or sister. I must pursue unity and be willing to maintain it, (Ephesians 4:2-4). This will cost me time and perhaps a smidge of dignity. It will require the presence and activity of the Holy Spirit. It’s worth it. It’s critical. And it’s at the heart of what deeply matters to our Lord, (John 17:9-23).

How wonderful, how beautiful,
    when brothers and sisters get along!
It’s like costly anointing oil
    flowing down head and beard,
Flowing down Aaron’s beard,
    flowing down the collar of his priestly robes.
It’s like the dew on Mount Hermon
    flowing down the slopes of Zion.
Yes, that’s where God commands the blessing,
    ordains eternal life.

Psalm 133: 1-3 (The Message)

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