Bulletin for 7-16-23

Birthdays and Anniversaries

None this week

Prayer requests:

Emma Reames new doctor, working it out

Chaney Reames is undergoing extensive dental work.

Gladys Ramirez tests on stomach.

Clayton Castle, friend of Steve and Dena, not well. Pray for parents, Debbie and Pat.

Paul Tyler has a bad sort Parkinson’s. Got stem cell treatments. Pray for their success.

Shirley Weeks, Steve’s mom, some better

Teresa Weeks, Steve’s sister, having age related issues. She has Down’s Syndrome. PT for knee.

Sarah, Chris Girvin’s sister, on hospice care and not doing well

Robert and Sue Waller, health issues

Darla Nitti, recovering from a fall

Leta, has a recurring cancer, prayer request from her granddaughter via our website.

Tammy Jones, Weeks’ neighbor, kidney failure/dialysis

Sarah Ussery, Chris Girvin’s sister, in hospice care after long fight with cancer.

Wisdom’s invitation

“Does not wisdom call, and understanding lift up her voice?” (Proverbs 8:1, NASB).

How often have we heard someone say, “I can’t understand the Bible (or some other subject); I’m just not smart like some are”? Certainly not all minds have the same innate capabilities, nor do all people have the same learning opportunities. But to assume that this condemns some to ignorance or excuses them from attempting to increase their knowledge is false and destructive.

Solomon asserts that wisdom is not only available, but that “she” actively seeks to enlighten and guide us. In Proverbs 8 he depicts wisdom as a woman standing in prominent places proclaiming loudly, “To you, O men, I call, and my voice is to the sons of men. O naive ones, discern prudence; and O fools, discern wisdom” (Proverbs 8:2-5). Even the untrained and foolish can learn and are encouraged to do so.

It is important to realize that wisdom is not synonymous with intelligence (i.e., smartness) or knowledge. As previously stated, not everyone has the same IQ, and one’s brain capacity will obviously impact the quality and quantity of the information which he or she is able to absorb and process.

Likewise, knowledge is simply the accumulation of information. It does not necessarily include the ability to apply the things learned to particular circumstances and needs. Knowledge and wisdom are distinct attributes, both essential to correct understanding.

Regardless of these distinctions, the key concept is that wisdom is not inherent in mankind; it is an acquired characteristic that is available to all (other than those who are mentally impaired). Trusting in our presumed “un-smartness” to excuse us from the need to study our Bibles and increase in knowledge of God and his will is a false refuge.

Christianity is a learned religion (Ephesians 4:20-24). One cannot come to faith in God and Christ without being taught (Romans 10:13-17). Nor can one progress spiritually without the renewal of the mind (Romans 12:2) and continuous learning “towards perfection” (Hebrews 5:11-6:3).

Paul’s letters often include exhortations and prayers for his readers to increase in knowledge, wisdom, and understanding (Colossians 1:9). All of this is to emphasize that Solomon’s assertion of wisdom’s availability is supported throughout the Bible. Regardless of our present knowledge or lack thereof, and of our state of perceived intelligence, we can learn more about God, Christ, the Church, and God’s will for us. And He expects us to do so and holds us accountable for our efforts.

Study is not easy. Paul exhorted Timothy, “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, handling accurately the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15). That this includes familiarity with God’s word is obvious in the text. In another place he commanded,

“Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching; persevere in these things; for as you do this you will insure salvation both for yourself and for those who hear you.”

The preacher studies so that he can teach truth. His doing so provides the opportunity for salvation to his audience and furthers his own hope of pleasing God. This principle applies not only to those who fill the pulpits of churches or journey to mission fields — it applies to every Christian. Let us all “discern prudence and wisdom” that we may strengthen our own faith and assist others to do the same.

Michael Brooks, link to original article