3.29.2009

O Wisdom, Where Art Thou

I still have the Bible that my church gave me as a gift for my eighth grade graduation.  I grew up on a ranch in the middle of nowhere  (no, really, you've never been to nowhere until you've been there!)  Our nearest neighbors lived a couple miles away and the nearest town (i.e. small village) was over 30 miles away.  Cattle outnumbered people 10 to 1.  We're talking r-e-m-o-t-e.

Wait, it gets even better.  We didn't have cable, or satellite, or even internet.  Shocking, I know.  I grew up completely out of the loop on Saved by the Bell and Fresh Prince of Bel Air.  Everyone I knew was watching 90210 and all we could catch was Bill Nye the Science Guy on the local station.  So, I had a choice.  Either become an avid reader or count cows in the pasture.  I became a bookworm.  I devoured every book I could get my hands on.  I even read the dictionary.  Well, ok, maybe I didn't really read it, but you get the picture.  Looking back on my life on the ranch, though, I wouldn't have changed a thing.  Because it was during that time that I developed a strong foundation in the Word of God.  I pored over the Bible.  I read it and re-read it.  I studied it, slept with it, wept with it, rejoiced with it.  I had such sweet times with my Jesus out there on in the middle of nowhere.  Life wasn't perfect on the ranch.  We had a lot of family issues, to put it very mildly.  But the family problems only drove me closer to Jesus.  He was my rock, my shelter from the storm.  I still have the Bible my church gave me for my eighth grade graduation and inside the cover I wrote this saying that I found:
"I want to master this Book so that the Master of this Book will Master me."
It was sweet to find that old Bible, to re-read my teen and pre-teen scribbles in the columns and the highlighted verses.   I'm so thankful that I will always have that foundation that I built in the Word.  I don't have hours to read like I used to.  I have more responsibilities and demands on my time.  Reading the Bible is now a luxury for me.  But I know what an important luxury it is!  
My spirit must be fed.  And if I don't feed it the Word of God it will starve.  
I meet starving Christians all the time.  I've been a starving Christian many times in my own life.  The bible talks about a famine in the land in the last days of hearing the word of the Lord. (Amos  8:11 )  I believe we are in that famine.  And when you're hungry, you'll eat anything.  False doctrines, worldly wisdom, and new age "spirituality" are springing up everywhere!  And many brothers and sisters in Christ are sinking their teeth into some dangerous lies.

We all desire wisdom...and the enemy of our souls knows this.  That is why Satan's first attempt to destroy Adam and Eve was very well calculated.  He used wisdom as the bait and we all know that they took it-- hook, line, and sinker.  They wanted to be like God.  And we are no different.  We want to understand things that only God will ever know and our pride wants the accolades of wisdom.  God wants to give us wisdom.  But it is a humble wisdom that He bestows on those who ask for it.  Christ was full of the wisdom of God and He "...being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing..." (Phil. 2: 5)   As Christians, we should imitate Christ and hold unswervingly to the message of the gospel as it is written in the God-inspired, living, Word of God.  
"For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written:   "I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate."
Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?"  I Cor. 1: 18-20
The gospel of Jesus is so simple.  So very simple.  God made it simple for a reason:  so that all may be saved and rescued by His Love.  The message of the cross is one of incredible sacrifice, unheard of love, undeserved mercy, and amazing grace.  The message of the cross is that  "...while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." (Romans 5:8)  And that is the most important thing we will ever know or understand.

2 comments:

ServinGsus said...

I used my study Bible from my late teen years last night and got engrossed in reading my comments and sermon notes, as well as seeing what verses meant something special at that point in my life. I have a Bible for each season; it is my prayer that as my children hit that place in their life, I can go back and read and encourage them from that same place one day. I know one of my most precious gifts was my grandma's Bible.

Natalie said...

You are from the middle of nowhere :) And look at where God has taken you! Your post was honest and thoughtful - thank you!

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