Baptism at Singles Retreat - 147 Baptized!!!

*******************Baptism at Singles Retreat 147 Baptized!!! ***********************

* Sharing times in the Word and looking for growth. Let's Commune Together!

Monday, October 5, 2015

If it does not Apply, you need to ask Why?

Probing Proverbs 12:14 Wise words bring many benefits, and hard work brings rewards.

At 3:00 A.M. one cold morning a missionary candidate walked into an office for a scheduled interview with the examiner of a mission board. He waited until 8:00 A.M. when the examiner arrived. The examiner said, “Let us begin. First, please spell baker.” “B-a-k-e-r,” the young man spelled. “Very good. Now, let’s see what you know about figures. How much is twice two?” “Four,” replied the applicant. “Very good,” the examiner said. “I’ll recommend to the board tomorrow that you be appointed. You have passed the test.” 
At the board meeting the examiner spoke highly of the applicant and said, “He has all the qualifications of a missionary. Let me explain. “First, I tested him on self-denial. I told him to be at my house at three in the morning. He left a warm bed and came out in the cold without a word of complaint. “Second, I tried him out on punctuality. He appeared on time. “Third, I examined him on patience. I made him wait five hours to see me, after telling him to come at three.  “Fourth, I tested him on temper. He failed to show any sign of it; he didn’t even question my delay. “Fifth, I tried his humility. I asked him questions that a small child could answer, and he showed no offense. He meets the requirements and will make the missionary we need.”[1]

Many times our character is being tested and we dont even realize it. That is why it is so important that we allow the Holy Spirit the opportunity to produce some godly patterns in our life, so when tested we just do what we are, instead of figuring out how we should act. This Proverb gives us some real truth concerning cause & effect in our life. 
As I have always taught though, God does not want us to read His Word, and because it sounds good, we just move on. He wants us to challenge that Truth, not in a rebellious way, but seeking how this truth applies and impacts our life. So lets do that:

"Wise words bring many benefits,"

How do wise words bring many benefits?

First, knowledge is the data, but wisdom understands how to use that data. So when a person possesses wisdom they know how to use all the truths and information that is stored in their mind.
When a person possesses only knowledge their car is in great running condition, its tank is full with fuelbut they dont know where they are going! Not very beneficial! They are very much like the majority of our heroes today; they are well known for being "well known"not for their contribution to the bettering of life on this planet! 

Another benefit of wisdom is that when you share counsel with someone, your words speak to the issue, from an eternal perspective, and guides to a solution that speaks to the "problem." So much counsel today deals only with the symptoms and that is why many people, after the counseling, fly for a short period, but then crash and burn. Real problems need real answers, not Politically Correct rhetoric, or childish solutions for adult problems. Wisdom brings substance to the table and leaves it their for the individual to make the choice to starve or eat and digest that truth.

Still, another benefit is, others will look to you for advice. This will become a wonderful bridge where you can speak truth into individuals lives. They see that you are authentic, hence they know you are not trying to sell them something. I find it extremely freeing to be able to share the truths of God as they are, leaving the individual coming to me for help to work out their solution with God. It is not my personal opinion versus theirs; this is what the Book states, deal with it! I still feel compassion, I am very empathetic, however, I do not own the decision that must be made. I have given them what Gods Word states, now it is between them and God.

There are many more "benefits," but time will not allow, so I will leave with this last one. When we share our wise words, if we are hated for that, it makes the suffering purposeful! I find that essential when I am being attacked! When I know I have only tried to share what God states, if I am hated or even attacked (and I have been, even physically) my heart remains at peace between God and I, which enables Him to express His unconditional love toward that person through me. They are attacking Him, not me. I just happen to be the visible vessel, so I find that resource I need to forgive and not live in hatred and bitterness. Peter stated it well:

1 Peter 3:14–18 But even if you suffer for doing what is right, God will reward you for it. So don’t worry or be afraid of their threats. Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it. But do this in a gentle and respectful way. Keep your conscience clear. Then if people speak against you, they will be ashamed when they see what a good life you live because you belong to Christ. Remember, it is better to suffer for doing good, if that is what God wants, than to suffer for doing wrong! Christ suffered for our sins once for all time. He never sinned, but he died for sinners to bring you safely home to God. He suffered physical death, but he was raised to life in the Spirit.

The second portion of this Proverb is just as true!

and hard work brings rewards.”

The rewards are obvious: Real esteem, Integrity, Accomplishment, Purpose, Testimony, Character, Admiration and Material gain, to name just a few. Let me end with this story:
W. B. Riley used to tell the story of a man who had walked the streets of Philadelphia searching for employment. One day he happened to go into the office of a well-known businessman by the name of Girard. When he asked for a job, Mr. Girard answered, “Yes, I can give you work. See that pile of bricks out there? Carry them over to the other end of the yard and stack them up.” By nightfall the man reported that the project was completed and received his pay. When asked if there would be more work the next day, his employer said, “Yes, come in tomorrow and carry those same bricks back to where you found them.” The following morning he came in early and got busy without a word. For more than a week he was instructed to carry bricks back and forth until it was evident that he could be trusted to do exactly what he was told. Then he was given a new and bigger responsibility—to go downtown and bid on a large quantity of sugar. 
Not recognizing him, the people at the auction were surprised by the bid of this total stranger. When it was accepted, the auctioneer asked who would pay the bill. “Mr. Girard,” the man replied. “I am his agent.” He had earned this position by being faithful in a menial task. [2]

1 Corinthians 3:8 The one who plants and the one who waters work together with the same purpose. And both will be rewarded for their own hard work.

Philippians 2:12…Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear.

2 Timothy 2:15 Work hard so you can present yourself to God and receive his approval. Be a good worker, one who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly explains the word of truth.

2 Peter 1:10 Do, dear brothers and sisters, work hard to prove that you really are among those God has called and chosen. Do these things, and you will never fall away.

Meditation: When you read something that claims to be “truth,” what do you do with that? Is there a standard you validate it with? What do you do with the “data” you are given each day? Do you seek applications from God when you read His Word? If the Scriptures are just another book, how could they be trusted? If I were to challenge you with this question; what is the greatest help in understanding and applying Scripture, what would your answer be?

[1] Tan, P. L. (1996). Encyclopedia of 7700 illustrations : A treasury of illustrations, anecdotes, facts and quotations for pastors, teachers and Christian workers. Garland TX: Bible Communications.
[2] Tan, P. L. (1996). Encyclopedia of 7700 illustrations : A treasury of illustrations, anecdotes, facts and quotations for pastors, teachers and Christian workers. Garland TX: Bible Communications.