1.23.2018

Is "the Wisdom From Above" at Work in Your Life? -Conclusion of "Acquire Wisdom"-How?


A third essential is the study of God's written Word.  Jehovah's wisdom is revealed in his Word.  To acquire that wisdom, we must put forth the effort to dig for it.  (Proverbs 2:1-5) A fourth requirement is prayer.  If we sincerely ask God for wisdom, he will be generous in giving it.  (James 1:5)  Our prayers for the help of his spirit will not go unanswered.  And his spirit can help us to solve problems, ward off danger, and make wise decisions. -Luke 11:13.

As we noted in Chapter 17, Jehovah's wisdom is practical.  Hence, if we truly acquire godly wisdom, it will be evident in the way we conduct ourselves.  The disciple James describe the fruits of divine wisdom when he wrote:  "The wisdom from above is first of all chaste, then peaceable, reasonable, ready to obey, full of mercy and good fruits, not making partial distinctions,  not hypocritical." (James 3:17)  As we discuss each of these aspects of divine wisdom, we might ask ourselves,' is the wisdom from above at work in our life?' 

Next time: Is "the Wisdom From Above" at Work in Your Life?-Chaste, Then Peaceable" 

From the book: Draw Close to Jehovah

1.22.2018

Is "the Wisdom From Above" at Work in Your Life? -"Acquire Wisdom"-How?


Must we have great intelligence or be highly educated in order to receive godly wisdom?  No.  Jehovah is willing to share his wisdom with us regardless of our background and education.  ( 1 Corinthians 1:26-29) But we must take the initiative, for the Bible urges us to "acquire wisdom." (Proverbs 4:7) How can we do so?

First, we need to fear God.  "The fear of Jehovah is the start of wisdom. ["the first step to wisdom," The New English Bible],"says Proverbs 9:10.  Fear of God is the foundation of true wisdom. Why? Recall that wisdom involves the ability to use knowledge successfully.  To fear God is, not to cower before him in terror, but to bow before him in awe, respect, and trust.  Such fear is wholesome and powerfully motivating.  It moves  us to bring our life into harmony with the our knowledge of God's will and ways.  There is no better course that we could take, for Jehovah's standards always promote the highest good for those who follow them.  

Second, we must be humble and modest.  God's wisdom cannot exist without humility and modesty.  (Proverbs 11:2) Why is that? If we are humble and modest, we are willing to admit that we do not have all the answers, that our opinions are not always right, and that we need to know Jehovah's mind on matters.   Jehovah "opposes the haughty ones," but is pleased to grant wisdom to those who are humble at heart. -James 4:6. 


Next time: Is "the Wisdom From Above"at Work in Your Life? -Conclusion of "Acquire Wisdom"-How?

From the book: Draw Close to Jehovah

Chapter 22/Is "the Wisdom From Above" at Work in Your Life?


IT WAS a difficult case-two women arguing over a baby.  The women shared a home, and each had given birth to a son, just days apart.  One of the babies had died, and now each woman claimed to be the mother of the living baby.  There were no other witnesses to what had happened.  The case had likely been heard in a lower court but not resolved.  Finally, the dispute was taken to Solomon, the king of Israel.  Would he be able to uncover the truth? 

After listening for a while as the women argued, Solomon called for  a sword.  Then, with seeming conviction he ordered that the child be cut in two, with have given to each woman. At once, the real mother pleaded with the king to give the baby-her precious child -to the other woman.  But the other woman kept insisting that the child be cut in two. Solomon now knew the truth. He had knowledge of a mother's tender compassion for the child of her womb, and he used that knowledge to settle this dispute.  Imagine the mother's relief when Solomon awarded her the baby and said: "She is his mother." -1 Kings 3:16-27. 

Extraordinary wisdom, was it not? When the people heard how Solomon had resolved the case, they were in awe, "for they saw that the wisdom of God was within him."  Yes, Solomon's wisdom was a divine gift.  Jehovah had given him"a wise and understanding heart." (1 Kings 3:12, 28)  But what about us?  May we too receive godly wisdom?  Yes, for under inspiration, Solomon wrote:  "Jehovah himself gives wisdom." (Proverbs 2:6) Jehovah promises to give wisdom-the ability to put knowledge, understanding, and discernment to good use-to those who sincerely seek it. How may we acquire wisdom from above?  And how can we put it to work in our life?

Next time: Chapter 22/ Is "the Wisdom From Above" at Work in Your Life? -"Acquire Wisdom"-How?

From the book: Draw Close to Jehovah






1.21.2018

Jesus Reveals the "Wisdom From God" -Conclusion of His Way of Life


Jesus showed Godly humility in yet another important way. He was reasonable, or yielding, when mercy made this proper.  Recall, for example, the time when a Gentile woman begged him to cure her badly demonized daughter.  In three different ways, Jesus initially indicated that he was not going to help her-first, by refraining from answering her second, by stating directly that he had been sent forth, not to the Gentiles, but to the Jews; and third; by giving an illustration that kindly made the same point.  However, the woman persisted, giving evidence of extraordinary faith.  In the light of this exceptional circumstance, how did Jesus respond?  He did exactly  what he had indicated he would not do.  He cured the woman's daughter.  (Matthew 15:21-28)  Remarkable humility, is it not? And remember, humility is at the root of genuine wisdom.

How thankful we can be that the Gospels reveal to us the words and actions of the wisest man who ever lived! Let us remember that Jesus was a perfect reflection of his Father. By imitating the personality, speech and ways of Jesus, we will be cultivating the wisdom from above.  In the next chapter, we will see how we can put godly wisdom to work in our life.

Next time: Chapter 22/ Is "the Wisdom From Above" at Work in Your Life?

From the book: Draw Close to Jehovah

Jesus Reveals the "Wisdom From God" - Continue with His Way of Life


Jesus manifested flawless judgments in his dealings with others.  His insight into human nature gave him a clear-sighted view of  his disciples.  He well knew that they were  not perfect. Yet, he discerned their good qualities.  He saw the potential in these men whom Jehovah had drawn. (John 6:44)  Despite their shortcomings, Jesus showed a willingness to trust them.  Demonstrating that trust, he delegated a heavy responsibility to his disciples.  He commissioned them to preach the good news, and he had confidence in their ability to fulfill that commission.  (Matthew 28:19, 20)   The book of Acts testifies that they faithfully followed through on the work he had commanded them to do.  (Acts 2:41, 42; 4:33; 5:27-32)  Clearly, then, Jesus had been wise to trust them. 

As we noted in Chapter 20, the Bible associates humility and mildness with wisdom.  Jehovah, of course, sets the best example in this regard.  But what about Jesus?  It is heartwarming to see the humility Jesus showed in dealing with his disciples.  As a perfect  man, he was superior to them.  Yet, he did not look down on his disciples. Never did he seek to make them feel inferior or incompetent.  On the contrary, he was considerate of their limitations and patient with their shortcomings.  (Mark 14:34-38; John 16:12) Is it not significant that even children felt at ease with Jesus? Surely they felt drawn to him because they sensed that he was "mild-tempered and lowly in heart." -Matthew 11:29; Mark 10:13-16. 

Next time: Jesus Reveals the "Wisdom From God" -Conclusion of His Way of Life

From the book: Draw Close to Jehovah 

1.20.2018

Jesus Reveals the "Wisdom of God" -His Way of Life


Note: So sorry for my mistakes here in the title the last three times. I normally check if I don't remember,  but I forgot. I am after all an imperfect human and I do make mistakes. Again, I apologize. 

A third area is which Jesus reflected Jehovah's wisdom was his manner of life. Wisdom is practical: it works.  "Who among you is wise?" asked the disciple James.  Then he answered his own question, saying:  "Let his right conduct give practical proof of it." (James 3:13, The New English Bible)  The way Jesus conducted himself gave "practical proof" that he was governed by divine wisdom.  Let us consider how he demonstrated sound judgment, both in his way of life and in his dealings with others.  

Have you noticed that people who lack good judgment often go to the extremes?  Yes, it takes wisdom to be balanced.  Reflecting godly wisdom, Jesus had perfect balance.  Above all else, he gave spiritual things first place in his life.  He was extremely occupied with the work of declaring the good news.  "It is for this purpose that I have gone out," he said.  (Mark 1:38)  Naturally, material things were not of primary importance to him; it seems that he had very little materially.  (Matthew 8:20) However, he was not an ascetic.  Like his Father, "the happy God," Jesus was a joyful person, and he added to the joy of others.  (1 Timothy 1:11; 6:15) When he attended a wedding feast-typically and event marked  by music, singing, and rejoicing-he was not there to cast a pall over the occasion.  When the wine ran out, he turned water into fine wine, a beverage that "makes the heart of mortal man rejoice." (Psalm 104:15; John 2:1-11)  Jesus accepted many invitations to meals, and he often used such occasions to teach. -Luke 10:38-42; 14:1-6. 

Next time: Jesus Reveals the "Wisdom of God" -Continue with His Way of Life

From the book: Draw Close to Jehovah




Jesus Reveals the "Wisdom From God" -Conclusion of His Manner of Teaching


Jesus sometimes  combined methods by weaving thought-provoking questions into his illustrations.  When a Jewish lawyer asked Jesus what was required to gain everlasting life, Jesus referred him to the Mosaic Law, which commands love of God and neighbor.  Wanting to proved himself righteous, the man asked:  "Who really is my neighbor?  Jesus answered   by telling a story.  A certain Jewish man was traveling alone when he was assaulted by robbers, who left him half dead. Along came two Jews, first a priest and then a Levite.  Both ignored him.  But then a certain Samaritan came upon the scene.  Moved with pity, he gently dressed the victim's woulds and lovingly carried the man to the safety of an inn where he could recover.  Concluding the story, Jesus  asked his inquirer: "Who  of these three seems to you to have made himself  a neighbor to the man that fell among the robbers?"  The man was compelled to answer:  "the one that acted mercifully toward him. -Luke  10:25-37. 

How does the parable reflect the wisdom of Jesus?  In Jesus' day, the Jews applied the term "neighbor" only to those who kept their traditions-certainly  not to Samaritans.  (John 4:9)  Had Jesus told the story with a Samaritan victim and a Jewish helper, would that have overturned the prejudice?  Jesus  wisely framed the story so that a Samaritan  tenderly cared for a Jew. Notice, too, the question Jesus asked at the end of the story. He shifted the focus of the term "neighbor."  The lawyer, had in effect, asked 'Who should be the object of my neighborly love?'  But Jesus asked:c"Who of these three seems to you to have himself neighbor?"  Jesus focused, not on the one who received the kindness,the victim, but on the one who showed the kindness, the Samaritan.   A true neighbor takes the initiative   to show love to others regardless of their ethnic background.  Jesus could hardly have made his point more effectively. 

Is it any wonder that people were astounded at Jesus' "way of teaching" and were drawn to him? (Matthew 7:28, 29)  On one occasion "a big crowd" remained near him for three days, even going without food! -Mark 8:1, 2. 

Next time: Jesus Reveals the "Wisdom From God" -His Way of Life

From the book: Draw Close to Jehovah 
























1.19.2018

Jesus Reveals the "Wisdom From God" Continue with His Manner of Teaching


Jesus often used parables. short stories from which moral or spiritual truths are drawn.  Since stories are easier to grasp and remember than abstract ideas, the parables helped to preserve Jesus' teaching.  In many parables, Jesus described his Father with vivid word pictures that could not easily be forgotten.  For example, who cannot comprehend the point of the parable of the prodigal son-that when one who has gone astray shows genuine repentance, Jehovah will feel pity and tenderly accept that one back? -Luke 15:11-32. 

Skillful use of questions. Jesus used questions to get his listeners to arrive at their own conclusions, examine their motives, or make decisions.  (Matthew 12:24-30; 17:24-27; 22:41-46)  When the religious leaders questioned whether he had God-given authority, Jesus replied:  "Was the baptism by John from heaven or from men?"  Stunned by the question,they reasoned among themselves:  "If we say, 'From heaven,' he will say to us, 'Why, then, did you now believe him?' If, though, we say 'From men,' we have the crowd to fear, for they all hold John as a prophet." Finally they answered: "We do not kn ow."  (Mark 11:27-33; Matthew 21:23-27)  With a simple question, Jesus left them speechless and revealed the treachery in their hearts. 

Next time: Jesus  Reveals the "Wisdom From God" -Conclusion of His Manner of Teaching

From the book: Draw Close to Jehovah 

Jesus Reveals the "Wisdom From God" -His Manner of Teaching


A second area in which Jesus reflected God's wisdom was his manner of teaching.  On one occasion, some soldiers who had been sent to arrest him returned empty-handed, saying: "Never has another man spoken like this." ( John 7:45, 46) This was no exaggeration.  Of all the humans who  have ever lived, Jesus, who was "from the realms above," had the greatest reservoir of knowledge and experience from which to draw. (John 8:23)  He truly taught as no other human could teach.  Consider just two  of the methods of this wise Teacher. 

Effective use of illustration."Jesus spoke to the crowds by illustrations," we are told.  "Indeed without an illustration he would not speak to them."  (Matthew 13:34)  We cannot help but marvel at his matchless ability to teach profound truths through the everyday things.  Farmers planting seeds, women preparing to bake bread, children playing in the marketplace, fishermen hauling in nets, shepherds searching for lost sheep-these were things his listeners had seen many times. When important truths are tied in with familiar things, such truths are etched quickly  and deeply on the mind and heart. -Matthew 11:16-19; 13:3-8, 33, 47-50;18:12-14.

Next time: Jesus Reveals the "Wisdom From God" - Continue with His Manner of Teaching

From the book: Draw Close to Jehovah 

1.18.2018

Jesus Reveals the "Wisdom From God" -Conclusion of What He Taught


Listen as Jesus reasons convincingly.  Since Jehovah has given us life and a body, can he not provide food to sustain that life and raiment to clothe that body?  (Verse 25)  If God provides Birds with food and he clothes flowers with beauty, how much more will he care for his human worshipers! (Verses 26. 28-300) Really, undue anxiety is pointless anyway. It cannot extend our life even by a fraction. (Verse 27)  How can we avoid anxiety?  Jesus counsels us: "Continue giving worship of God priority in life.  Those who do so can be confident that all their daily needs "will be added" to them by their heavenly Father.  (Verse 33)  Finally, Jesus give a most practical suggestion-take one day at a time.  Why add tomorrow's anxieties to those of today? (Verse 34) Besides, why worry unduly about things that may never happen?  Applying such wise counsel can spare us much heartache in this stressful world.

Clearly, the counsel Jesus provided is as practical today as it was when it was given nearly 2,000 years ago. Is that not evidence of wisdom from above?  Even the best advice from human counselors tends to become outdated and is soon revised or replaced. The teachings of Jesus, however have stood the test of time.  But that should not surprise us, for this Wonderful Counselor spoke "the sayings of God." -John 3:34.  

Next time: Jesus Reveals the "Wisdom From God" -His Manner of Teaching

From the book: Draw Close to Jehovah