4/28/06

Encouragement for Today

 

“Got Wisdom?”

Rachel Olsen, Co-Editor of Online Devotions, Proverbs 31 Speaker Team Member

 

Key Verse:

“Get wisdom, get understanding; do not forget my words or swerve from them.  Do not forsake wisdom, she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you.” (NIV)

 

Devotion:

You’ve likely seen the milk commercials or magazine ads that feature celebrities and sports stars sporting a big, white milk moustache with the caption: “Got Milk?”  The latest ads from the American dairy industry are touting a new slogan and the notion that “milking your diet” (getting adequate dairy intake each day) can help you lose weight or stay slim. 

 

I’m betting that will be a successful ad campaign, as American women are seriously weight-crazed.  Let me illustrate my point: ediets.com recently surveyed thousands of females from all regions of the United States and learned that when asked if they would prefer a slimmer waist or a higher I.Q., 56 percent of the women questioned chose a slimmer waist. Over half said they’d rather be thinner than smarter.  It’s not just American women who would rather be lighter than brighter; a similar study in the United Kingdom revealed 19 out of 20 UK women would choose the slim waist over the boosted brain power.

eDiets.com psychologist, Dr. John Sklare, suspects the problem is that we live in a visually focused culture that reverences the slim and beautiful, but pays little attention to those who fall short in these areas.  Sadly, he is quite right… but God pays attention to everyone, regardless of their dress size, and there is a day coming that these physical bodies will be discarded and forgotten.

We spend so much time focused on our physical appearance.  But I ask… Can a slim waist guarantee you financial stability? Can a buxom breast bring you eternal life?  Can shapely legs keep you from walking down the wrong path?  Will full, pouty lips always say the right thing? 

The answer to each of those questions is “no,” but there is something that can bring all these benefits to our life – Wisdom.  Consider these 4 verses from the NIV version:

1) Psalm 111:10, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding...”

2) Proverbs 3:13-14, “Blessed is the man who finds wisdom, the man who gains understanding, for she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold.”

3) Proverbs 4:11, “I guide you in the way of wisdom and lead you along straight paths.”

4) Proverbs 15:23-24, “Everyone enjoys a fitting reply; it is wonderful to say the right thing at the right time! The path of the wise leads to life above; they leave the grave behind.”

So let me ask you … Got wisdom?  The Proverbs 31 woman sure does: “She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue” (Proverbs 31:26, NIV).

What is wisdom?  In the book of Proverbs wisdom is personified as a woman, but wisdom is actually a skill that can be learned and developed.  It is the skill of making Godly decisions, of realizing how to live life in accordance with God’s ways.  God is the source of wisdom, and reverence for Him – not mere physical attributes – is the key to our ability to live wisely and well.

If you feel you are lacking in the area of wisdom, I have great news.  James 1:5 says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.” (NIV)  It is given freely to those who ask God for it – cool!  Ever lose weight, only to be disappointed when you gain it back again?  All my Christian life I have sought and prayed for wisdom, and while I’ve got plenty more to learn, I’ve never found it to disappoint.

A white moustache reveals when a gal has been guzzling milk.  Likewise, it’s evident in her attitude, decisions, speech and demeanor when a gal has gotten great wisdom.  I’d sure like to have a slimmer waist line – but ultimately I’d rather have the peace, joy and the security that comes with the brain boosting power of Godly wisdom.

My Prayer for Today: 

Dear Lord, today I ask You – according to James 1:5 – for more wisdom.  Please give me the ability to understand Your Word and follow Your will.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

Application Steps:

Memorize Proverbs 3:15-18: “She [wisdom] is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her. Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor. Her ways are pleasant ways, and all her paths are peace.  She is a tree of life to those who embrace her; those who lay hold of her will be blessed.”

Commit to reading a chapter of Proverbs each day, or every week.

Reflection Points:

Got Wisdom?

Do the decisions of your life since coming to know Christ show evidence of you growing in wisdom?

The verses in the book of Proverbs are not absolute, iron-clad promises but they are principals upon which to base your life.  They will certainly spare you much heartache which foolishness brings.

Power Verses:

Psalm 128:1-2, “Blessed are all who fear the LORD, who walk in his ways. You will eat the fruit of your labor; blessings and prosperity will be yours.” (NIV)

Psalm 4:5-9, “Get wisdom, get understanding; do not forget my words or swerve from them.  Do not forsake wisdom, she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you.  Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom, though it cost all you have, get understanding.  Esteem her and she will exalt you; embrace her and she will honor you.  She will set a garland of grace on your head and present you with a crown of splendor.”  (NIV)

Proverbs 3:15-18, “She [wisdom] is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her. Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor. Her ways are pleasant ways, and all her paths are peace.  She is a tree of life to those who embrace her; those who lay hold of her will be blessed.

Additional Resources:

Dreams of a Woman, by Sharon Jaynes

http://proverbs31.gospelcom.net/newresources_dreamsWoman.htm

 

Who Holds the Key to Your Heart, by Lysa TerKeurst

http://proverbs31.gospelcom.net/newresources_whoHoldsKey.htm

 

Secrets of the Vine, by Bruce Wilkinson

http://proverbs31.gospelcom.net/newresources_secretsVine.htm