Where is the philosopher of this age?

April 12, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength.
(1 Corinthians 1:20-25 (NIV))

I find it sadly interesting that we are seeing this passage come to reflect our world more and more. The wise man, the scholar and the philosopher all look upon the things of God as foolishness. In all reality, humanity has come to the point where we feel that we can do it all. We can solve all of the world’s problems if we just get the smartest people to work on them.

Think about that for a moment.

I have heard it said that our university system allows a person to learn more and more about less and less. In other words, someone can focus so much on the smallest details and know everything about these small details, that they don’t see the big picture. We may be gaining knowledge, but we are not gaining wisdom. I am sure that we can all think of someone who is a specialist in a certain field and can tell you minute details about things, but can they carry on an intelligent conversation about anything else?

We think that understanding the smallest details will make us wise. We can look at the stars and understand that they are thousands of light years away, but do we stop and recognize the majesty and the awe that has been spread out before us?

God has given us a tremendous gift with the physical world. He has also given us a priceless gift of salvation through His Son, Jesus. Knowledge is looking at these gifts and trying to dissect them. Wisdom is knowing that dissecting them will make you miss the gifts themselves.

We need to understand. We need to seek wisdom. We need to seek knowledge. There used to be a time when an education was intended to make you well-rounded in many areas. Now, people tend to look upon it as a way to become a know-it-all about something very small.

How does God fit into this picture?

In today’s society, we are so focused on other things that we miss the gifts that He has given to us. It has come to the point that we are being taught “knowledge” that has nothing to do with wisdom.

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Judgment belongs only to Jesus

August 3, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him.
But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.
At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”
“No one, sir,” she said.
“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”
(John 8:1-11 (NIV))

Then neither do I condemn you.

Can we, as the church, say the words that Jesus said and mean them?

Think about that for a moment.

It is not our place to condemn, for we are all sinners. Sometimes I think that the church forgets this. Sadly, the non-believing world sees our human faults and equates them to Jesus. How many times do you think Jesus literally shakes His head and thinks, “Will they ever learn?” I know that I have caused some of those episodes.

Just as the church forgets the part about not condemning, the non-believing world ignores that part about leaving your life of sin. To be honest with you, this is not limited just to the non-believing world. The individual members of the Body of Christ all sin. Some of us even have our own little “pet” sins. Still, we try to follow Jesus and give up our sins.

What is the difference between not leaving your sin and trying to leave your sin?

What is the difference between condemning others and reaching out to others?

What is the difference between being a witness for Christ and being a stumbling block?

When do we, as the Body of Christ, need to hold our tongues and hold our actions and when do we need to speak out?

The Body of Christ is made up of many different backgrounds and many different races. We are as different as night and day, yet we all share a common faith that Jesus is the only begotten Son of God, that He died and on the third day He arose, and that He now sits at the right hand of God the Father.

We share a common faith.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
(John 3:16 (NIV))

Just who does the world comprise?

It is not made up of people only like you. God loves us all. He loves the sinners who have claimed redemption and He loves the sinners who have not claimed redemption. With what is going on in this country right now, the Body of Christ needs to be in prayer about what God would have us do. We need to listen to that still, small voice and be the Light that He is calling us to be.

And, we also must remember that all sins are equal in the eyes of God. And, yes, that means our own little “pet” sins.

When I think of my sins each day, I am eternally thankful for God’s grace.

It is that grace that we must be showing to the world. Don’t allow the world to shake your faith and do not judge. Judgment and condemnation is not ours to show. Judgment belongs only to Jesus.

Copyright 1998 – 2012 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Contradictions!

July 5, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

We put no stumbling block in anyone’s path, so that our ministry will not be discredited. Rather, as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: in great endurance; in troubles, hardships and distresses; in beatings, imprisonments and riots; in hard work, sleepless nights and hunger; in purity, understanding, patience and kindness; in the Holy Spirit and in sincere love; in truthful speech and in the power of God; with weapons of righteousness in the right hand and in the left; through glory and dishonor, bad report and good report; genuine, yet regarded as impostors; known, yet regarded as unknown; dying, and yet we live on; beaten, and yet not killed; sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; poor, yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet possessing everything.
(2 Corinthians 6:3-10 (NIV))

Contradictions!

According to the world view, we are totally wrong in our faith, yet, according to God’s Laws we are totally right in all that we believe. Even though we are right in our faith, we must be humble and willing to endure whatever is presented to us for the sake of those who may be able to be reached. We should never act in such a manner as to give anyone cause to criticize us for making others stumble or fall in their faith.

Paul was an excellent example of what we are to do when faced with hardships because of our faith and our witness. Most of us will never have to face even a portion of the circumstances that Paul had to face for the Gospel. Still, in our everyday lives, we must strive to follow Paul’s example no matter what the circumstances.

No matter what we may face today, tomorrow, or whenever, we must always “REJOICE” for the grace and mercy of God has redeemed us!

Copyright 1998 – 2012 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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