What do you ask of God?

June 28, 2018

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.
(James 1:5 (NIV))

Too many people take this passage and paraphrase it to read something like, “ask God and it will be given to you.” They literally make it sound like God is in the business of being a genie who simply grants wishes. Upon a closer read of this passage, it becomes clear that God is generous with giving wisdom if you ask for it. We must, however, understand what wisdom is.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding. To him belongs eternal praise.
(Psalms 111:10 (NIV))

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
(Proverbs 9:10 (NIV))

If the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, do you truly desire to be given wisdom?

Most people associate the word fear with a strong emotion caused by an awareness of danger. Do you look upon the Lord as a source of danger? There is another definition that should be applied to the word fear when it is used in conjunction with fearing God. This definition means a profound reverence or sense of awe. Some ever say that it can simply mean a healthy and sincere respect.

Think about the definition of fear with respect to God. I already asked if you look upon the Lord as a source of danger. I want you to ask yourself, and give yourself an honest answer. Do you hold God in reverence? Are you in awe of His majesty and power? Do you respect the Lord enough to desire to not betray Him or to sin against Him? If you are able to truthfully answer these questions in a way that places the Lord God above all else, then you are on your way to possessing the greatest wisdom that you can ever possess. The next time that you begin to feel like God is a genie, remember that what He wants to give you is Godly wisdom.

What do you ask of God?

Copyright 1998 – 2018 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you sow generously or sparingly?

January 31, 2017

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.
(2 Corinthians 9:6 (NIV))

There are several other ways of saying this that are probably a little more familiar to most people.
Perhaps the best one is that you get out what you put in. With not too much of a stretch of the imagination, you could also apply the old saying, “Garbage in. Garbage out.” No matter how you look at it, the concept comes down to one simple, yet valid truth. A little effort will yield a little result and a big effort will yield a big result.

We understand this concept when it comes to work, but have you stopped to think about the universal truth to this. It applies to all aspects of our lives!

Relationships. School. Athletic endeavors. Careers. All of these, and many others, follow the concepts as espoused in 2 Corinthians 8:6. It also applies to Biblical understanding and our relationship with God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit. We can’t expect something for nothing. Everything requires an effort on our part before we see the fruits of our labors. If you love to play baseball, then you spend countless hours giving of yourself to the sport that you love. If you are madly in love, then you spend countless hours with the person that you love. If you love the Lord, then you spend all of the time that you can in study, prayer and communication so that you can get a better understanding of God’s heart.

“Not everyone who says to me, `Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, `Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, `I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’
(Matthew 7:21-23 (NIV))

It sounds like Jesus is telling people to sow generously in their relationship with Him.

Copyright 1998 – 2017 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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