And take…the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Ephesians 6:17
Volume 17, Number
In this issue:
September 21-26, 2014
lessons nightly, Mon-Fri at 7:00 PM
“The Truth that Shall Make You Free”
Sunday Class: Truth Misunderstood in Bible Times
I-5 take Exit # 255 and go East 4.2 miles)
Where the Mind Is…
Proverbs 17:24, “A man of understanding sets his face toward wisdom, but the eyes of a fool are on the ends of the earth” (RSV).
Using one’s mind to search for, acquire and apply wisdom represents a great quest in the book of Proverbs. Wisdom is found with those that are lowly and who fear God (11:2; 9:10). Such people recognize that wisdom is “better than rubies” and getting it better than gold (8:11; 16:16). They further understand that wisdom is not caught like a virus. Rather, it comes from hearing counsel and receiving instruction as well as by walking with wise men (19:20; 13:20). It is, therefore, with “the well advised” (13:10). More importantly it delivers a person (28:26). This hopefully will make the reader want to understand a little more about wisdom and just how it “delivers”.
The psalmist wrote, “The testimony of Jehovah is sure, making wise the simple” (19:7). And again, “Thy commandments make me wiser than mine enemies; For they are ever with me” (119:98). God’s word makes one wise. Those that refuse wisdom will come to calamity, distress, anguish and, finally, eternal misery (Prov. 1:26,27,32; Matt. 25:46). By contrast, those that learn and love wisdom are delivered from the subtleties and paths of sinners, thus avoiding their woeful ends (Prov. 2:10-20). Guidance from God and from the wisdom of his inspired writers helps one plan for the future in ways earthly wisdom will not. It helps one prepare for situations in life which present opportunities to serve God as well as for those which lead away from Him (Ps. 119:11,105). Having looked at the source of wisdom and its importance, we now ask a question directly relevant to our proverb.
Where are the minds of the two people considered in the text we are studying? The man of understanding is homed in on wisdom – learning it and living it. He recognizes its importance above all else. Whereas a fool’s eyes betray his own estimation of the importance of wisdom. “Eyes” here “signifies concentration or attention …. Wandering eyes on the contrary, betray a lack of attention (Prov. 17:24)” (Stendebach, TDOT, XI, 34,35; cf. Ps. 123:1; 25:15; Jer. 22:17). A fool’s attention will be anywhere at any time instead of where his view should be constantly and steadily fixed. When we recall the importance of wisdom the difference in the focus of these two people is critical. The fool’s focus should bring to our minds the many tools Satan has to turn our attention away from the pursuit of divine wisdom (2 Cor. 2:11; Lk. 4:1-13; Jno. 8:44; Acts 5:3).
In light of all this we must discipline our minds. We must with the psalmist pray, "Turn away mine eyes from beholding vanity, and quicken me in thy ways" (Ps. 119:37). We must recognize the future rewards of wisdom rather than, like fools, being distracted by the temporal things of this earth, no matter how enticing they may be. Moses clung to wisdom when he “looked unto the recompense of reward” refusing “to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter,” “the pleasures of sin,” and “the treasures of Egypt” (Heb. 11:24-26). His focus is admirable and worthy of imitation by all. Such concentration will help one to forget “the things that are behind” and “press on toward…the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 3:12-14). Wisdom is not just something to learn, it must be used. Forgetting to apply the wisdom you have is like forgetting to bring your money when it is needed.
We close with a question which we hope weighs heavily on the mind of the reader at this point. Where is your mind?
-The Way of Truth and Life, (V:23), June 8, 2104
Scripture Reading: Luke 24:1-9
The resurrection of Christ is the keystone of the gospel. The empty tomb stands as a monument to God’s power and our faith in Jesus.
I. BECAUSE HE LIVES...
A. We Know
Jesus is the Son of God, Rom. 1:4; Psa. 2:7 (Acts 13:32-35); Psa. 16:8-11
(Acts 2:24-31); Matt. 12:38-40; Lk. 24:5.
II. IF CHRIST WAS NOT RAISED, 1 Cor. 15: 12-19.
Preaching the Gospel is Vain, 1 Cor. 15:14, 3-4. Acts 10:40-42
Scripture Reading: Proverbs 1:10-16
computer programmer’s adage: “Garbage in, garbage out.”
I. SINS OF THE FLESH. Gal. 5:19-21; Eph. 5:3-5; Col. 3:5
II. SOCIAL MEDIA. Prov. 14:29; 15:21
Sins of the Tongue are Posted and Maximize Hurt, Prov. 11:13; 26:20; 13:3;
18:21; Eph. 4:29; 5:3-4; Eph. 4:31-32.
III. FALSE RELIGIOUS DOCTRINE/HUMAN WISDOM.
Must be Discerning and Test with God’s Word, 1 Jno. 4:1, 6.
IV. TIME-BANDIT. Eph. 5:16; Jas. 4:14
(Current events in the light of Scripture)
The beheading this week of U.S. journalist James Foley by ISIS Islamic extremist terrorists reminds us again there is evil in the world. Many do not wish to hear it and contemplate it, much less address it in a meaningful and righteous way. To these moral relativists, this despicable act can only be explained when seen through the prism of societal ills and inequalities - not the corruption of sin. Arguments of moral equivalency always rationalize evil.
But I want to challenge ourselves to consider that we have become numb to the heinousness of sin by the very technology that delivered this visual atrocity of a man being decapitated at the hands of another. The entertainment that we have drenched ourselves with glorifies murder. Television and movies that depict all sorts of unspeakable crimes draw huge interest, crowds and dollars. Are we so foolish as to think that the visuals of savagery do not affect us? Why would Christians be entertained by the depiction of the disregard and destruction of life?
Then there are video games. The graphics have become so realistic it is hard to distinguish from actual human beings. Crime is glorified, selfish ambition is rewarded and life is cheapened as the blood splatters the screen. But of course, those things would never affect the Christian...right? Do not be deceived: "Evil company corrupts good habits" (1 Cor. 15:33).
Please do not watch the James Foley murder. You cannot "unsee" something. The horror will be burned into your mind. And that is the point: The evil images viewed on TV, movies, video games and the internet stay with us, lingering in the mind and shaping who we are. Shun evil and guard your purity (1 Ths. 5:22; Phil. 4:8). Be holy, as your Father is holy (1 Pet. 1:16).
Created by Chuck Sibbing, last updated. 08/25/2014
The Spirit's Sword is a free,
weekly publication of the Mt. Baker church of Christ, Bellingham, WA