Fools for God’s Wisdom

1 Corinthians 3:18-19 “Do not deceive yourselves. If any one of you thinks he is wise by the standards of this age, he should become a “fool” so that he may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight.”

The message of God’s word is our common birthright as Christians. Anyone familiar with it ought to realize that God’s view of what is wise or foolish, and the world’s view of what is wise or foolish, are usually opposites. The world celebrates the lifting of every sexual boundary and safeguard. It considers every restriction harmful. The wisdom that comes from God’s word teaches the opposite. It recognizes that the “sexual revolution” confirms people in self-destructive lifestyles, because “he who sins sexually sins against his own body” (1 Cor. 6:18).

More to the context here, the wisdom of this world suggests that you can become more prestigious, you can rise in the respect of others, if you are associated with the right people. It is wise to adopt the popular positions on key issues. This was going on in a small way in Corinth. Members of the congregation were guilty of name-dropping. They lined themselves up with famous leaders in the church in order to make themselves look more important or better educated.

But there was no difference in the teachings of Paul, Peter or Apollos, the men they were elevating. Saying you followed one didn’t make you wiser than those who claimed to follow another. On the contrary, it revealed a dangerous sense of pride. This attempt to acquire a morsel of donated dignity, this perceived need to be popular, caused divisions. Even more, it suggested that these people might value the acceptance, praise, and respect of charismatic leaders over the truth of God’s word. When the world came along with some immoral teaching that “anybody with any brains believes,” would they have the backbone to resist it? Would their desire to “be somebody” cause them to stumble? They might become “wise” in the eyes of the world, but big fools in the eyes of God.

Are we willing to be considered fools by the world around us? Are we secure enough in our faith and God’s love for us to stay true to the foolish things God asks us to believe? Part of what makes you and me valuable assets not only to the Church, but to the foolish world around us, is the biblical wisdom we possess in common.

The world ridicules us for believing that Jesus, with his selfless sacrifice and free forgiveness, is the only way to heaven. “How narrow-minded!” they say. “Do you really think God is going to condemn all the Buddhists, or all the Hindus, or all the Muslims? How foolish!” But it’s true! Not because we are any better than Buddhists, Hindus, or Muslims, but because no one can work his way to heaven. Jesus is the only one holding out the way of God’s free and unconditional grace and forgiveness.

It’s not about us. It’s about him. If we ever give that up to join the ranks of the worldly wise, we will cease to be of any use to our world anymore. But as long as we still possess God’s wisdom of salvation by grace, and share that wisdom, we are worth more than all the advice columnists in all the newspapers. We will be wiser than all the professors in all the universities in all the world. We share this great value in common: we possess the wisdom of God’s word. It is worth being thought a fool by our world.

You Are God’s House

1 Corinthians 3:16-17 “Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him; for God’s temple is sacred, and you are that temple.”

When elderly Christians become weary of the struggle through life, it is not surprising that they long to go home to live with God. What is surprising is that the God who already lives in heaven not only make his home with us. He makes his home in us. But that is what it means that we are his temple. It may seem redundant to say that God lives in a certain place when we know that he is present everywhere at all times. He is present with us right now, though not in the same sense that you are present and occupy a certain amount of space in a room or on a chair. He fills all things. He permeates the walls and the furniture and the people. He is this vast being, and we exist inside of him, so to speak.

            And yet, since the creation of the world, God has always made himself present and available to his people in special ways. He takes up special residence in places where people can find and experience his grace and love. At the time of Moses, he did this in the tabernacle, the mobile worship structure the Israelites moved with them through the desert to the Promised Land. From the time of Solomon on that place became the temple. There God made his home on earth with the people of Israel in a unique way.

            Since Jesus has come, God doesn’t use buildings or structures in the same way. Now he emphasizes the fact that he has taken up residence in each one of us by faith. We are his temple, his special home on earth. We are places where people can come to find God’s grace and love.

            This is why Paul warns, “If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him.” When members of a church behave in a cliquish or mean-spirited way, they are ruining hearts for the gospel. This is a serious sin. The weak in faith may become disgusted and be driven away. Lack of love among church members convinces them the Christian faith is all a sham. These temples of God are destroyed.

Those outside a congregation won’t be able to see past the bickering and infighting to embrace God’s grace and salvation. Their hearts are wrecked before he gets a chance to set up shop in them. Without repentance, a prideful party spirit and self-promotion destroy the heart of the person who thinks and acts this way. It drives God’s Spirit out. Those who make it impossible for God’s Spirit to live in the hearts of others make it impossible for God’s Spirit to live in their own. There is only one fate left: “If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him.”

            But Paul was convinced that the Corinthians had not yet fallen so far: “…for God’s temple is sacred, and you are that temple.” These words were more than a warning. They were the solution to the root problem. God had still chosen to make these Christians in Corinth his home. They had this in common. It made them truly important. A sinful human being can receive no higher honor than to have the Almighty God cleanse him of his sins and make him holy, and then live in that heart himself. There is no more prestigious position than “God’s own temple,” no promotion, no “up” from there.

            We share this honor. It puts how we treat each other in a whole new light. The people sitting around me, the people who take the opposite side of an issue at a church meeting, the people who always seem to rub me the wrong way, are the Holy of Holies where God himself is living by his Spirit.

It puts how we value ourselves in a whole new light. God’s house is not just a place I go on Sundays. It’s who I am. God lives in me, and that makes almost everything else I am tempted to use to feel good about myself insignificant in comparison. We are God’s temple, his home, together with all our brothers and sisters in the faith.

Hidden with Christ

Colossians 3:3-4 “For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you will also appear with him in glory.”

Who am I? What sort of person am I? How we answer those questions depends upon where we are looking. Biblical Christians know that each believer is simul iustus et peccator, at the same time a justified saint and a wicked sinner. When we look at our visible life, when we look within ourselves, we see sin and rebellion. This is true even for the believer. Evangelical author Michael Horton once wrote: “Our surrender is halfhearted and partial; our victories seem always to be sullied by pride. Even if we could live the ‘higher life,’ could God not smell our smugness? Wouldn’t our best works be sabotaged by our own depravity?”

But that is only half the story. Christ is also our life as our substitute. We have a life which we cannot see in ourselves because it is hidden in him. When we are justified, God hides us in Christ. Therefore, in God’s eyes, we look like Jesus. When we are looking at Jesus’ life, then we are seeing ourselves as God sees us. God looks at us with “Jesus-colored glasses” so to speak. This new identity is based on the teaching the theologians call the “Active Obedience” of Christ.

You may remember an old Warner Brothers cartoon in which Sylvester the cat painted a picture of Tweety Bird on Granny’s glasses while she was sleeping. That way, when Granny awoke, put on her glasses, and looked at the bird cage, it would appear as if the bird were still in the cage.

In making Christ our substitute, the Lord has painted Christ, both his life and his death, in front of his eyes so that he no longer sees us. Everywhere he looks, he sees Jesus. This is the robe of righteousness in which he has promised to dress us (Isaiah 61:10, Galatians 3:27, Revelation 6:11).

This comfort and confidence is the birthright of every child of God by faith. The better we know Jesus’ life, and the better we understand that Jesus’ obedience to God under the law was performed in our place, the better we will realize and appreciate our blessed new identity in Christ. Our life, with all its flaws, looks as beautiful, perfect, and loving as the life of Jesus Christ himself in God’s eyes.

But those who are unaware of it will have gaps in their understanding of justification and its comfort. Preach the Gospel, a book on preaching, says it this way:

“It is possible to neglect the active obedience so that people are left with a truncated view of how God reconciled the world to himself in Christ. That view may rob them of the certainty of salvation God intends them to have. It frequently causes a person to look to something within himself rather than outside himself to God’s promises for assurance of right standing with God. Analogically speaking, they end up using a stethoscope instead of a telescope in search of the certainty of salvation” (Balge and Gerlach, p. 10).

This misunderstanding in our faith will spill over into our life of sanctification, too. It will detract from the joy and freedom with which we live and serve. Remember, Christ’s life, the whole thing, is our life by faith. We may not be able to see it now, but God’s promise makes it so. Look at him to know how God sees you. To his eyes, I am Jesus. So are you.

The Right Time to Be Blessed

Ezekiel 34:26 “I will send showers in season.”

            Getting rain at the right time was very important for ancient Israel. When they lived in Egypt, agriculture was all based on the Nile River. In the spring time it flooded, and the rest of the year they used the river to irrigate, and this provided a kind of consistency to their farming.

            Farming in the Promised Land didn’t work that way. Everything depended on the rains coming at the right time. There were spring rains, and there were fall rains, and without them God’s people weren’t going to have much to eat. That actually had happened from time to time. You remember that God kept the rains from falling for three years at the time of Elijah because he needed to teach his disobedient children a lesson.

            In Ezekiel, these showers have more to do with God’s blessings for our souls than with blessings for our bodies. With those showers, too, the Lord has a sense of “seasons:” proper and necessary times for his various blessings to drop into our lives. It was that way when he sent Jesus to save us. Christmas had its own season. “When the time had fully come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under law, to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons.” Good Friday and Easter had their own season. “You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.” God has a sense of timing for these things he used to save our souls.

            His blessings have dropped into our lives in much the same way. “All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be,” David writes in the Psalms. We can walk back through our life stories and know that every milestone, every highlight, every blessing has dropped into our lives in God’s appointed season, at just the right time. Some of these blessings have been easy to see: birth, baptism, school, confirmation, marriage, children, etc. Others require a closer look. Pain and tragedy don’t look like “blessing” until we see the way in which the Lord uses them to train us, correct us, and deepen our faith.

            The careful timing of our blessings is a comforting thought as we look ahead. The coming seasons of our lives are still laid out by our Lord, and each blessed experience will be timed to provide the maximum blessing. We can approach tomorrow with no worries, because blessings are always in season with the Lord, and the God who keeps track of every hair on our heads has a plan for every day he gives us.

            Associating rain showers and blessings may feel like irony at first. We usually associate good and happy events with sunshine. We use the clouds, the storms, and the rain as pictures of gloomy times and sad chapters in our lives. But God promises to rain down blessings on his people. Expect nothing but torrential downpours in your future.

It’s Raining Blessings

Ezekiel 34:26“I will bless them and the places surrounding my hill. I will send down showers in season. There will be showers of blessing.”

We are missing Ezekiel’s point if we think he is writing about getting enough rain. It’s not water he is concerned about. He repeats here: showers and blessings. At the end he puts them together: showers of blessings. Ezekiel is writing about God’s promise to bless his people.

If not water, then what? What are God’s “blessing-drops” made of? These blessings are bigger, and more inclusive than we might realize at first. The biblical languages each have two families of words that we associate with blessing. One of them stresses the happiness that comes along with being blessed. You remember that the name of one of the twelve sons of Jacob, one of the twelve tribes of Israel, was “Asher.” His name means happy or blessed. The same is true of the first word of each of Jesus’ beatitudes in the Sermon on the Mount. There is happiness in the things that Jesus promises us there.

Ezekiel uses a different word for “bless” and “blessing” here. That does not mean that happiness is excluded. It just means that happiness is not emphasized. God’s blessing is not limited to the kinds of things that make us happy, at least on the outside. Blessing comes with all the many promises our Lord makes to us, even things that don’t seem very pleasant at first. Even when people around us are hostile, inconsiderate, or lazy, God is blessing us. He uses the foolishness in their sinful natures to work on the impatience in our own. He is teaching you and me to be more like him–someone who keeps loving the unlovable.

I don’t want to give the impression that his blessings look mostly like burdens, though. I just want to point out that it is raining blessings all the time. There has never really been a drought, and that becomes more clear when we see what his blessing-drops are made of. They include everything our loving Savior and Good Shepherd does to serve our souls. If we stop looking at the word “blessing” with a telephoto lens for a moment, if take a wide-angle shot of the blessings Ezekiel mentions by name in the context, the picture is clearer.

In the surrounding verses God promises, “I will save my flock.” That is exactly what he did when he sent Jesus to be our Good Shepherd and to lay down his life on the cross. “I the Lord will be their God.” Out of all the billions of people in the world, we are not living in the darkness, terrorized by scary gods and evil spirits, hoping we have done enough to convince them to let us live another day. He placed us in Christian homes, or sent someone to introduce us to Jesus along the way. We were led to know the Lord, and by faith he has been our gracious God ever since. “I will make a covenant of peace with them.” Jesus’ death promises us forgiveness. Jesus’ resurrection promises heaven. In these blessings we have a peace most of our world can’t even imagine. “They will live in safety.” Body and soul, day in and day out, we are never out of our Savior’s sight, and no matter what we have experienced in the body, he has brought our souls safely to this day.

For the Christian, the forecast always calls for blessing showers today. They rain down on us until they overwhelm us with a flood of his grace and love. Soak it in.

Christians, We Have Arrived!

Hebrews 12:22-24 “But you have come to Mount Zion, to the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the judge of all men, to the spirits of righteous men made perfect, to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.”

With three terms—Mount Zion, heavenly Jerusalem, and city of the living God—the writer of Hebrews describes our spiritual destination. Perhaps “the city of the living God” is the easiest one for us to understand.

A city is not a place where one person lives alone. Many people live close together, often stacked on top of each other. The city of the living God is the place where people are living close to God. Here He has invited them to be his neighbors and enjoy his friendship.

This is a place to which we have already come by coming to the Christian faith. It is our home in the Church of Jesus Christ. God himself has led us here. It is not just a part of our heavenly future. We are God’s children, his family, his friends right now. We can come to him boldly and confidently and ask him for our heart’s desire. His replies express a tenderness that assures us we are finally home.

There are angels here! “You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly.” If only God would open our eyes, as he did for the servant of Elisha, and we could see the hills filled with angelic horses and chariots of fire–the armies of God. One guardian angel? Thousands upon thousands surround us with their protection.

And what else are these angels doing? They are having a joyful assembly, a festival celebration. We have crashed their party, where they are celebrating the fact that sinners like you and me have repented of our sins and come home to our heavenly Father.

These are the kinds of people we have as neighbors in God’s city: “You have come to…the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven.” Though it seems like numerical nonsense, he treats each of us as though we were his own firstborn son. He gives us a double portion, a double share, of his blessings. We are loved, and honored, in a way that would be fitting for Jesus himself. And not the least of these honors is the title to a piece of heavenly real estate, signed by the Lord’s own hand.

“You have come to God, the judge of all men.” Please notice that he does not say that we have come before God, the judge of all men, as though we were on trial and about to be condemned. We have come to God the judge of all men. The Lord is on our side as judge, and he is going to vindicate his children by making right all the wrongs they have ever suffered.

In this city we possess the hope which so fills the hearts all who have ever been parted from those they love. “You have come…to the spirits of righteous men made perfect.” We have come to the spirits of our believing parents and grandparents, and friends, and maybe even spouses or children for some of you, whom the Lord has called home to heaven before us. We have not lost them. We still live together in the same Christian Church. With us, they continue to sing our Savior’s praises. With us, they are residents on Mount Zion, fellow citizens in this same city of God, except they live in it by sight (while we still live in it by faith) because they have now been made perfect.

Our life here is possible because we have come “to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.” You remember the story of Cain and Abel. Cain became jealous of his brother Abel, because Abel had offered God a sacrifice from a heart of faith. So he murdered him. Abel’s blood preaches how far our human race has sunk–that a man would murder his own brother just because he sought to please the Lord.

Like Abel, Jesus had his blood spilled by sinful men and died. But his blood has something better to say. His blood is not the sign of an unfortunate murder or miscarriage of justice. It is blood of cleansing. It speaks to us about sins forgiven. It preaches the love of God, who so yearns to have us live with him in his holy city that he would rather let his one and only Son be cruelly crucified than live forever without you and me. The blood of Jesus has carried us up Mount Zion, lifted us to this heavenly Jerusalem, and made us citizens in the city of God to which we have come. Christians, we have arrived!

Holy and Gracious

Exodus 3:5-8 “‘Do not come any closer,’ God said. ‘Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.’ Then he said, ‘I am the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ At this, Moses hid his face, because he was afraid to look at God. The LORD said, ‘I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey–the home of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites.’”

When the Lord met Moses at the burning bush, he did not need to go into a lengthy discussion of what it means that he is holy. Standing in the presence of God’s holiness, Moses was immediately aware of the greatness of God, and how vastly inferior and unworthy Moses was by comparison.

Do we still get the point? People from other cultures and other nations sometimes accuse Americans of a “greasy familiarity” with people we have just met. We tend to treat everyone like our old pal. We immediately assume that we are on a first name basis. Some may even take offense at formality. I know a young man raised in the deep south who was scolded by a young waitress when he called her “ma’am,” “You don’t have to call me ‘ma’am.’ I’m not your mother.”

What is a matter of culture or taste in our earthly relationships could be deadly in our relationship with God. We cannot live our spiritual lives as though we have yanked God off his throne or climbed up to take a seat next to him without serious danger to our souls. Unless we understand that God is infinitely far above us, we will not pay him the respect and honor he is due.

But to think that this is all there is to know about the Lord would be as dangerous as not knowing anything about him at all. The Lord was concerned about Israel. Even though they had lived in Egypt for more than 400 years, he had not lost track of them. He saw their misery as slaves. He had also been listening to their prayers. He was truly concerned about what they were suffering.

That is why he had come to rescue them. More than putting an end to their slavery, he was going to give them an abundant new land that would bless them with their every earthly need.

Such deliverance was possible only because the Lord is incredibly gracious and loving. What had these people ever done for him? If you know their history, you know that their ancestors generally behaved like naughty children. They tested God at every turn. But the Lord remained concerned. More literally, he “felt their pain.” Because he loved them so much he had come to rescue these helpless sinners.

Don’t we need to be reassured of his grace? Our suffering does not need to last hundreds of years before we begin to question his care. Some tragedy can reduce us to helpless, fearful creatures in a matter of minutes. At times of deep loss, C.S. Lewis once said, the danger is not that we stop believing in God at all, but that we come to believe such dreadful things about him, “So this is what God’s really like. Deceive yourself no longer.” We need to be assured that he forgives our sins, that he “feels our pain,” that he comes to help, as much Moses did.

This meeting between God and Moses even relates to our own need for grace and deliverance thousands of years later. This is an important link in the chain of events that led to Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection in the land of promise. If the nation of Israel doesn’t survive Egypt’s attempted genocide and move to the land along the southeastern Mediterranean, then Jesus doesn’t come and die on a cross outside Jerusalem. Then we don’t have a Savior. Then we face God’s holy judgment alone.

But we have a gracious God who comes down to rescue his people. And he is bringing us up to a better land of promise, a heavenly one.

Our Peace

Ephesians 2:13-16 “But now in Christ, you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by abolishing in his flesh the law with its commandments and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace, and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility.”

Being a member of a Christian church isn’t like shopping for something you want at Walmart or going to the theater to watch a movie. We may do these things our whole lives without personally knowing the people at the cash register.

Being part of the church involves us in its own set of human relationships. Paul points us to that relationship here. It is based on our shared peace with God, a peace only Christ can establish for us. 

At one time there was no peace, no real peace, for the people to whom Paul wrote the book of Ephesians.  The non-Jews, or Gentiles, had been “far away.” They were far away from God and from his people. They had a nasty attitude toward Jews, feelings which the Jews returned. This arose from what Paul calls “the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility.”

Its source was the Law which God had given to the Jews on Mount Sinai. The Lord had intended it to keep the Jews a separate nation. He wanted to spare them the idolatry of the nations around them. But it was never intended as an excuse for hatred between Jews and non-Jews. 

The Jews may have been God’s chosen people, but sometimes they became a little smug about the special covenant God had given them. The Gentiles mocked the moral principles God’s law represented and ridiculed the Israelites for keeping it. It seemed silly to deny themselves all the pleasures pious Israelites lived without. There was little peace in the relationship between Jews and Gentiles.

People still take sides on the issues raised by God’s law, though the divide falls less along ethnic lines. Knowing the Bible inside and out is a praiseworthy goal for Christians. God commands us to practice godly morals. Let those outside the church criticize faithful Christians for their faith and values. That does not excuse us for spiritual snobbery. Our same Biblical principles call for a life of humility and love. 

The source of the problem does not lie so much in the relationship with each other. It is the relationship with the Lord. That was the problem for the people to whom Paul wrote. Self-righteous Israelites had a hypocritical, “just-for-show” relationship with God. Self-absorbed, self-serving Gentiles despised the true God and flaunted it. They were far away from him. They had no real peace. 

Only Christ provides this peace, peace which makes us all the people of God. “His purpose was to create in himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace, and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility.” Jesus makes peace by creating one new man out of the two. He takes us with our sins, our hostilities, and our factions, and makes us into one new people of God. That is where his cross fits into the equation. 

Jews and Gentiles, you and I, could not be God’s people on our own. But Jesus has reconciled us to God through the cross. At the cross Jesus stripped off the ugly sins that covered us and put them on himself. His blood washed away the filth and pollution of hateful, self-centered lives. He dressed us in his own righteous robes. At the cross the Father turns against Jesus with our sins, and he turns to us in love. Jesus reconciles us to God and provides the peace which makes us his people.

As one new people of God, Jesus has brought us peace with each other. That’s not a theological theory to ponder. It is a relationship, a living truth to put into practice.

Wisdom’s Invitation

Proverbs 9:3-6 “She (wisdom) has sent out her maids, and she calls from the highest point of the city.  ‘Let all who are simple come in here!’ she says to those who lack judgment. ‘Come, eat my food and drink the wine I have mixed. Leave your simple ways and you will live; walk in the way of understanding.'”

Wisdom is intent upon getting the news of her feast out. First, she has sent her maids to spread the news. Your pastor is one of those maids. As he preaches the wisdom of God’s word in his sermon or Bible class, the invitation is reaching you. As he makes hospital calls and evangelism visits, he is delivering the invitation to come to godly wisdom’s feast.

Maybe you will be one of wisdom’s maids. Maybe you can be the first to share Jesus with your friends.

Sometimes the invitation is delivered with no more effort than placing a Bible in someone’s hands.  While I was doing mission work in an inner city neighborhood years ago, I ran across a lady who came to know her Savior simply because someone had given her a Bible. She was too poor to own a radio or TV. She picked up her Bible just for something to read. Without any outside help, the Bible delivered the invitation so clearly that she, too, was brought to faith.

Are we in earnest about delivering this invitation, sharing true wisdom, talking about our Savior? Solomon says wisdom “calls from the highest point of the city.” In Bible times you couldn’t buy advertising on TV, radio, or social media. There was no Craigslist, Ebay, or online marketplace. If you wanted everyone to get a message as soon as possible, you had to pick the highest point and yell. A message delivered that way had to be important. The wisdom of proverbs, the salvation of the gospels, deserves every effort, every tool we can find to spread the good news we have.

Who are the intended recipients of the invitation wisdom works so hard to deliver?  “Let all who are simple come in here!’ she says to those who lack judgment.” They are simple. They lack judgment. They are a world full of people who don’t know and don’t care about what they are missing from the feast of godly Wisdom. Maybe they treasure luxurious cars, exciting vacations, sprawling estates, or classic art that years of hard work and careful investments can purchase. Some may be more interested in finding escape in a bottle or short-lived affair.  Many are content with a secure job and a stable family. The invitation goes out, but sadly, it often remains unopened and unappreciated.

We, too, may find ourselves among the simple. The invitation may bring us to the feast. When we get there are we eating our fill or only picking at our plates? God’s wisdom is there for the taking at church, in Bible class, or anytime we care to open our Bibles at home. Yet we lack an appetite. We are bored with the word. We struggle to see its relevance. When its relevance is undeniable, we find the application distasteful. We were hoping for nothing but candy and sweets, not a carefully planned and balanced meal.

Getting wisdom’s spiritual nourishment remains a matter of life or death.  “Leave your simple ways and you will live; walk in the way of understanding.” Leave your simple ways and you will live. Our earthly treasures can’t feed our souls. Self-righteous attempts to find our own way through life don’t lead to heaven. Come to wisdom. Trust in God. Receive Jesus and his grace, and you will live.