Focus

pupils-152835_640Have you ever had trouble staying on task?  As a classroom teacher, I have witnessed many with roaming eyes.   I have often seen students wander off topic and lose their focus on the task at hand.  Before we get too self righteous, I must admit I have seen adults do this and am sometimes guilty myself.

It is easy to get busy and let our eyes roam.   Proverbs says, “Wisdom is the focus of the perceptive, but a fool’s eyes roam to the ends of the earth.” (‭Proverbs‬ ‭17‬:‭24‬ HCSB).  Too often we take our eyes off the wisdom of God and substitute  a false wisdom which comes from our own understanding.  If we look to the world around us, our moral compass will be off.  I have witnessed a slow fade away from godliness became a mad dash racing toward destruction.  Society is distancing itself from God’s wisdom in so many areas today.  Regardless of the topic, if someone’s justification for their opinion and conclusion comes from their observations in the world, they have lost their focus.   They become fools when they allow their roaming eyes to find justification for their sin they desire to cling to.  They feel right and justified because they can point to others who have the same opinion.  However, morality can never be determined by polling the populace.

My dad is a retired pastor.   I recall him saying many times, “God said it, and that settles it!”   I cringed as a kid at the absoluteness of that view.  As I moved out of the house and entered my adult life, I found myself finally getting it.  When choices arose about my behavior and the behavior of those around me, I found myself at the point of casting off God’s word, or complying with it.  It is really as simple as that. 

 Too many Christians today are conforming to the world.  They are looking at the world to answer questions of morality.  Today, we need an awaking to wisdom.  We need to refocus our eyes on God and His view on life’s issues.  Only then will we have the right focus. 

Wisdom’s Invitation

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This blog has been created to record and share my reflections on godly wisdom. The key verse for this blog is Proverbs 1:20-21, “Wisdom calls out in the street; she raises her voice in the public square. She cries out above the commotion, she speaks at the entrance of the city gates:”
God isn’t silent! He gives us wisdom literature in the Scriptures to guide and direct us in life. The Creator wrote the instruction manual for life.
The invitation is clear. God desires to share His wisdom with us. It is up to us to listen and heed the call.

Hopefully this blog will assist you in understanding wisdom from above so you may better live for Him here below.

Walking in Wisdom

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I admit it, I am a large man. One time I was at Scarborough Faire, and heard it explained. My ancestors were the Robinson sept of the Gunn clan of Scotland. The re-enactors explained that there are three kinds of Scots, wee little Scots, average Scots, and “Oh my gosh that’s a big Scot!” I clearly descend from that latter claymore wielding variety. Being large, I have to walk with a little more care than others. If I’m not careful, I hit my head on things to which the rest of you might be blissfully unaware. I also have to consider the ability of quaint wooden bridges to adequately resist the force of gravity while I am crossing them. Many times my wisdom fails as I break things and nearly knock myself out.

In life we must also consider our steps. Paul said this to the believers in Colosse. “Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time. Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.” (‭Colossians‬ ‭4‬:‭5-6‬ NKJV). We must walk in wisdom toward unbelievers. I have always considered this to be a reminder to consider our testimony. We must never do things to push people away. Our words and actions will either draw people to Christ or scatter them away. These verses remind us to think before we speak and act. Consider the impact we will have on the people around us.

May we all walk in wisdom and this draw others to the Savior.

Questions

 

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Not long ago I was hit with a question which felt like a Mack truck running me over.   For 17 years I have pastored the same church and for the last 13 I have been bivocational.   This question out of the blue set my head to spinning.  I panicked,  and my palms got sweaty.  It sparked in me a fire that has led me to rethink a lot of things.   What question could be so earth shattering?  I was asked if I would ever be willing to transition back into full time ministry.  Don’t misunderstand me, it wasn’t a job offer or something demanding an immediate life changing answer.   However, it was a question of “would I”.  Why was that so earth shattering?  Because it caused me to stop and examine my heart.  It was a chance to say, “I will do whatever God sends my way”, or “I can’t see God ever doing that…” Or some other way to stay in my comfort zone.  That answer was revealing.  It showed the condition of my heart.

Have you ever pondered the power of a well-timed question?  In education, questioning is recognized as a great tool for provoking thought and getting students to make connections for themselves between different pieces of information.  It is also a powerful tool in our spiritual walk.

That well timed question and my honest answer has been used by God to shake me up and renew my call to the ministry.  Oh, I have been holding the position for years, but I am sad to confess that my other job had been dominating my time and energy.  This innocent question got me studying what would change if I was full time.  What is it a pastor does?  What priorities are used to schedule their lives?  What is the focus of their labors?  After reviewing these things, I realized that I had no valid reason not to do most of those things now.  A simple question has called me out of my rut and revitalized me.  I have no idea if we will be blessed by growth to the point that I will be needed full time at the church and we can reasonably do that, but I know that pastoring is why I am here.  It is why God put me on this planet and in my current community.  It is a switch in my mind and heart.

Jesus obviously knew the power of questions.  One example is found in Luke 9:18-19 HCSB 18 While He was praying in private and His disciples were with Him, He asked them, “Who do the crowds say that I am?” 19 They answered, “John the Baptist; others, Elijah; still others, that one of the ancient prophets has come back.”

He engaged their minds by having them relay what answers others would give about who Jesus was.  They went through the list, and then Jesus went in for the kill.  He asked in verse 20,  “But you,” He asked them, “who do you say that I am?”

This took the discussion from the theoretical to the real.  It wasn’t just about the crowd, not it was personal.  I love Peter’s enthusiastic response, “Peter answered, “God’s Messiah!”  That statement of faith still echoes today.

Have you ever had a question hit you like that?  Have you ever asked someone such a life changing question?  That is one of the great things about the family of God.  We can stir up each other and call each other to new levels of faithfulness.  Often all it takes is asking a well-timed question.   I don’t know if my questioner had any idea the impact it would have, but I’m glad they asked.