Wednesday, November 27, 2013

“Give thanks for your country… and the rest”

The wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable” – James 3:17

Today there is more knowledge in the world than ever before.  Computers or fiber optic cables can transmit information in a millisecond to any part of the globe.  More facts have been discovered in the past century than in all of the other centuries of human history combined. Yet the same century also recorded the most devastating wars and the fiercest genocides in human history.  We have never been farther solving our basic problems.

The Bible says there are two kinds of wisdom in the world.  First, there is wisdom that is given by God, a wisdom that views life in terms of eternity.  Of this wisdom, the scripture says, “The wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy” (James 3:17).

The second is the “wisdom of the world”, This wisdom excludes God and His moral standards from human decisions, and seeks to solve society’s problems apart from Him.  But where has it gotten us?  Which kind of wisdom will you choose? – Billy Graham

In an article by Grace to you  titled “The Only Source of Wisdom “ God defines wisdom this way: "Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding" (Job 28:28). That verse describes saving faith-both fearing God and departing from evil take place initially at conversion. So you begin to be wise when you fear God by trusting in Him and repenting of your sins. As long as you have only human wisdom-or to put it in James' words, that which is "earthly, natural, demonic" (3:15)-you cannot know God or true wisdom. Without that critical first step, there is no relationship to the Giver of all wisdom and understanding.

On the other hand, if you have submitted to the gospel in repentance, you know the "only wise God" (Rom. 16:27) as your Father. His book of wisdom is open to you as a Christian. The indwelling Spirit of wisdom illuminates to you the wisdom of His H Word-you truly can be wise.

Why then do we still have a sinful tendency to look first to man's wisdom and virtually ignore the sufficiency of God's wisdom found in the Bible? I think if we truly understand the stark contrast-the absolute opposition of the one to the other-we will leave behind the elementary understanding of the world to embrace the riches of divine wisdom.

Today your thinking is attacked by worldly philosophies and methodologies in an attempt to divert you from the Word of God-the only source that can satisfy the deep needs of the human heart. It's not a new attack; the Corinthian believers had the same problem. They were strongly influenced by the prevailing ideas of their day. When they became Christians and were awakened to the revelation of God, they were exposed to an obvious conflict.

Paul, describing that conflict, said, "The word of the cross is to those who are perishing foolishness, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.... Has not God made foolish
the wisdom of the world?" (1 Cor. 1:18, 20). While the first-century philosophers viewed the wisdom of God as foolishness, in truth, God exposed their so-called "wisdom" as foolish. That opposition makes the wisdom of the world and the wisdom of God incompatible-they are mutually exclusive.

God has given man the ability to study, analyze, categorize, and develop the physical resources of this earth to benefit physical life. But that's where his wisdom ends. Because of sin, his mind is totally unable to discern the spiritual dimension. He has no power to change his own heart, no understanding to solve his spiritual dilemma, and no resources to satisfy his soul-he is spiritually dead.

The wisdom of men makes no contribution in the spiritual dimension, and it doesn't need to make a contribution. God's wisdom is rich and infinite-it needs no supplement.

The LORD reigns, let the earth rejoice;
            let the many coastlands be glad!
(Psalm 97:1)

Pastor Jack Graham in his article “Give thanks for your country… and the rest”, sums it up all.

Many years ago, I heard a man make the statement that Christianity would be almost nonexistent by the year 2000. And while it’s true that there has been a decline of people who call themselves believers in many areas of the world, the church is also growing rapidly in other parts.

In China, for example, it’s estimated that 20,000 people every day are trusting Jesus as Savior. In Africa, the church is growing dramatically, as it is in South America and across parts of Asia. These areas, commonly called the “Global South,” are seeing an intense and passionate response to the Gospel.

So what does that tell us? Well, I think those of us in the Western world have a duty to support and encourage the spreading of the Christian message in these parts of the world. Also, we need to open our hearts to learning from our faithful brothers and sisters around the globe and not think that we hold all the answers here.

It’s good to thank God for your country this Thanksgiving. But let’s never forget that our God is a global God. So get involved in what He’s doing around the world by praying, giving, and going to make His name known among all nations!


Raj Kosaraju

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