Last Days…

June 2017
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“The Truth about Wisdom”

The Lord has blessed us with another beautiful day! Take a look around – notice
anything special as you awoke this morning? Of Course! You were able to open your
eyes and SEE!!!

We take “little things” like our sight for granted – don’t we? That is, until we no longer
have our sight! What would you do if you could no longer see – if you were blind?
Unfortunately, this is a physical reality for many in this world, and a very scary prospect
for most of us to consider. By God’s grace, we are blessed with all kinds of abilities
(including our sight) which allow us to see and enjoy the intricate splendor of God’s
creation around us. Praise the LORD for His mercy and grace!

Early in the morning, I enjoy looking outside and seeing the activity at our bird feeder.
Each day brings a new flutter of feathered friends, coming and going – displaying their
in-flight antics as they approach and land at the bird feeder. There’s no Air Traffic
Controller on duty, but nonetheless a highly orchestrated event. It’s truly amazing how
these slight creatures are able to move about with such speed, precision, and perfection –
God’s miracle of flight on display – the best air show in town!

During this organized “feeding frenzy” that takes place each day, I’ll sometimes hear the
distant and mysterious “hoot” of an owl (probably up on the roof, looking at the feeder —
licking his chops). There has always been a mystique surrounding the owl… I wonder…
Is it “true” what they say about owls… Are they are full of “wisdom”?

I’m not sure about “owlish wisdom”, but I can show you a “heavenly owl” that might
“give a hoot” about your day! You see… Perched in the night sky, shedding its light
toward earth, is a heavenly body that boasts big eyes and a round face. It’s located in the
night sky near the bottom of the Big Dipper. This “cosmic fowl” is shown in the image
below, which was recently taken from our JMSM Observatory.

This object resides in our own Milky Way Galaxy, and is commonly called “The Owl
Nebula”, and technically named M97 — a Planetary Nebula. It is some 2,600 light years
distant from our earth. This glowing gaseous shell is the result of a dying sun-like star
that is now compressed to a very dense hot star condition, which now illuminates the gas
cloud that surrounds it. Note the bluish color of the central star…
Can you see the owl-like-face within this planetary nebula?

Our Cosmic Owl may be hard to make out at such great distance, as shown in the widefield
image above. Let’s move in for a “closer” look in the magnified image below.
Note the surrounding background galaxies in both field of views… Each of these “tiny”
galaxies contain upward to billions of stars!

 

Well… It might take the wisdom of an owl to figure out how astronomers use their
imagination to come up with all the earthly names for these heavenly objects! But then,
we are all witness to His Creation… Perhaps God is touching their hearts?

Here’s a question for you… Where did the owl get its wisdom? It’s interesting that
most of this “perceived wisdom” comes from worldly perceptions and cultural roots that
range from the owl having supernatural knowledge in some Indian cultures, to the owl
symbolizing messengers of the gods, as in some parts of Japanese culture. Such is the
worldly perception of wisdom. – at least concerning the owl.

But what is the truth about wisdom? Let’s take a brief look at these two terms – “truth”
and “wisdom”. It might be worthwhile to consider what Webster’s says: It states that
“truth” is a fact or reality that has been verified; and that “wisdom” is accumulated
knowledge or enlightenment. Sounds reasonable… But what does the Bible say about
truth and wisdom? Let’s take a brief look at how God’s Word enlightens us on the reality
of these multifaceted terms, and as Christians, how they relate and may apply to our daily
lives.

It seems good that in order to understand wisdom, that from a Godly perspective, we
must first understand the Truth.

Do you remember how in John 18:38, Pilate asked Jesus, “What is the truth?” Clearly,
Pilate was stuck on worldly truth. Isn’t it amazing that Pilate was looking directly into
the face of Truth, yet he was still perplexed! This may help us to understand that there is
a worldly truth and a Godly truth. As with Pilate, it can be difficult for we Christians to
sometimes distinguish between the two in our daily lives. To be clear however, we know
that this Truth we speak of is Jesus for as it says in John 14:6, “Jesus said to him, ‘I am
the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”

As Christians, the reality of the worldly truth that we perceive, is that which is
transcended by the Godly truth we find in the Bible. It is the Godly truth that affirms the
worldly truth – not the other way around. Listen to what Paul says in 1 Thessalonians
2:13, “When you received from us the word of God’s message, you accepted it not as
the word of men, but for what it really is, the word of God, which also performs its
work in you who believe.”

Therefore, in a Christian context, we need to follow Godly truth with discernment as
applied to what we know as worldly truth. In this regard, our priorities need to be
focused on God and the Truth that is found in His Word, as it can be applied in our daily
lives. Jesus knew the importance of focusing on the truth – for Jesus is the Truth. Recall
how many times Jesus stated, “I tell you the truth,“ Note how Jesus calls our
attention to the truth in John 8:31, “To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said,
“If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the
truth, and the truth will set you free.”

We could go on about how the Bible talks about truth. In fact, truth is referenced over
200 times in the Bible! Something you may wish to explore in your spare time…

The key point here is that understanding God’s truth helps to yield Godly wisdom. This
is more than just accumulating knowledge. For Godly wisdom is the result of trusting in
God’s truth. Not only trusting it, but applying it! When we do this, we gain in both
knowledge and in wisdom. This serves to enhance every aspect of our life.

Having a form of Godly wisdom is indeed a plus, for it allows us to avoid many of the
snares encountered in the world. With Godly wisdom comes discernment, and the
willingness to allow the Holy Spirit to work in our lives. I like what it says in Luke
12:12, “For the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.”

When we exercise our Godly wisdom, combined with other gifts we have received, we
discover that our lives are built on a solid foundation of the Truth, where the forces of
evil find it difficult to prevail against us.

Godly wisdom also encourages us to seek God’s truth, which further strengthens our
ability to persevere and endure. Listen to what it says in James 1:12, “Blessed is the man
who preserves under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the
crown of life that God has promised to those who live him.”

Godly wisdom also carries significant responsibility, for we have accepted a calling.
That calling requires us to be faithful to the One that has shown us the Truth. For we
have been baptized by one Spirit into one body (1 Corinthians 12) – the Body of Christ.
This more than implies that we should flee from our sinful nature. For having accepted
Christ, although we are in the world, we are no longer of the world.

This Godly wisdom also allows us to exhibit our eternal qualities of unity in Christ Jesus
by loving one another, fulfilling our call to service, worshiping and giving praise to the
Lord, and sharing the Good News of Jesus. In all this, we commit to be obedient to God.

If you have some time… reflect on how God’s truth has impacted your life, and how it
has helped to develop your Godly wisdom. Remember, it is not enough to simply add
these understandings of truth and wisdom to your “Christianity” — it’s important to apply
them, and continually assess how God is working in your life. In your sanctifying
process of gaining Godly wisdom, know that you are a new creation in Christ.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away;
behold, all things have become new.” (2 Corinthians 5:17)

In all this, get connected with the fact that Jesus will come again – soon! So be active in
what He commanded for us to do — just as He commanded His disciples:

“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the
Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I
have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
(Matthew 28:19-20)

As you prepare for the busy week ahead, take time to “see” what God has placed before
you, and regardless the hardships, recognize the many blessings in your life. In all that
you do, be “wise as an owl” by exercising your Godly wisdom. Allow the Holy Spirit to
energize your soul as you seek God’s Truth, and always be obedient to God as He reveals
to you His perfect loving will.

May the Lord place someone in your path this week to share the Good News of Jesus
Christ – our Lord and Savior. Amen!

Have a great week!

Your brother in Christ,
Mike Sherick

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