Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Week Three: Days 1 and 2

Day 1: The Watchman At Your Thought-Closet Door

- Living out false assumptions is like waking from a bad dream and believing it to be true.
- We must take control of what we say to our souls - make our inner speech truth driven rather than feeling driven.
- We have two choices concerning our thought closet content: Act according to truty or react to our emotions.
- Feelings are valid, but they must concur with truth to be worthy of our life's wardrobe! We need to understand the basic nature of our feelings so we can give emotions their proper placement.
- Jeremiah 17:9 - The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?
- If you think with your feelings, you can fall into all manner of false conclusions. Feelings are supposed to serve and strengthen us. Left to themselves, however, they enslave and deplete us.
- Through the gift of wisdom God protects us against the self-deceit and enslavement that come from thinking with our feelings. So, before we grab a bin of wisdom and throw it into our thought closets, we must determine what kind we need.
- A surplus of emotion usually precedes acting without wisdom.
- When we operate out of human wisdom or don't realize we lack God's wisdom, we think and act according to our feelings.
- Serenity Prayer: Lord, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. - Saint Francis of Assisi
- Wisdom is more relable than feelings.
- Think of the story of Sarah, who was concerned that she wouldn't have children. She gave her servant, Hagar, to Abraham in order to have children through her (she had Ishmael). Muslims consider themselves children of Ishmael, so the conflict continues today!
- Without wisdom we act emotionally, think with our feelings, and don't recognize truth - with catastrophic results.
- ASK for wisdom!

Day 2: More Ways To Fill Your Thought Closet With Wisdom

- Pr. 9:10 - The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
- To fear the Lord means we revere Him and show deference and respect.
- We are keenly aware of God's high position and the honor of approaching Him! To fear God means we esteem His truth more highly than our feelings or perceptions of truth. To fear the Lord means holding His knowledge and truth in higher regard than our own.
- Hebrew scribes meticulously copied the text of the Old Testament to preserve Scripture for future generations. Before a scribe would write the name of God, he would first wash himself and then use a new pen. This was to show respect for the name of God and to carefully keep from breaking the Third Commandment.
- A Jew never uttered the name of God when reading Scripture aloud out of fear of the Lord.
- Until you revere God most highly in your life, you will never find true wisdom.
- So the second way to gain wisdom is to fear God.
- The third way to receive wisdom is to receive counsel.
- The Book of Proverbs advises us that "wisdom is with those who receive counsel," and "a wise man is he who listens to counsel."
- When we walk with wisdom, it will wear off on us. Think about the people we hang around with and the TV shows that we watch. Can you tell a difference when you spend time with wise people? What about when you watch TV that is educational as opposed to filthy???
- Often we need to take time to listen to others, learn from their mistakes and experiences, and recognize they struggle too.
- The study suggests that we each have a "wise guide" - someone (a female if you're female, male if you're male) that we can peek into the closet of. Who is yours? I've made a conscious effort lately to read blogs of women who I respect and admire for their Christian beliefs and the way they live it out in their lives. There are SEVERAL that I love to read each day!
- You will become well-acquainted with wisdom when you simply request it, revere God, and receive wise counsel.
- Three Rs to wisdom: Request it, Revere God, and Receive counsel.

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