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Spiritual wisdom truly helps our understanding of God's words
Thinking of God
Larry Sheehy
Larry Sheehy

The modern camera is a wonderful piece of equipment. First invented in 1816, it has progressed from a bulky, box-like apparatus to the lightweight cell phone and the tiny cameras able to be swallowed to allow the interior of the human body to be viewed. Obviously, pictures are often beautiful, often not.

One of the amazing pictures that came out of the terrific destruction wreaked by El Nino several years ago was that of the residents of the California coastline watching their homes slide into the ocean. Immediately following this, they were proclaiming their determination to rebuild on the same slippery slopes!  

Their love for the lifestyle represented by those locations was so great, some were willing — even anxious — to risk their lives and fortunes to the dangers of the unstable foundations.

Far more horrific is the image of people making the same blunder spiritually.  Jesus concluded his famous Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) with a parable of two men who were house builders. One wisely dug to bedrock to lay his foundation.  The other builder foolishly built on unstable sand. The consequences of those decisions were as dramatic as the choices.

The first builder is called wise because he not only heard what Jesus taught, he practiced his instructions in his life. The second builder is referred to as foolish since, although he heard Jesus’ words, he failed to obey them.

When the storms come in our lives, survival depends on our faithfulness to the teachings of Jesus. Rather than dependence on ourselves, this is dependence on the faithfulness of God.  Perhaps with this parable in mind, James, the brother of the Lord, said in James 1:22, “… be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” 

The Bible is wonderfully practical.  As the revelation of God’s wisdom and will for man, the Bible gives us a sound, pragmatic and balanced approach to life which serves as a blueprint to help us build for eternity!

For some, this view of the word of God is cold and insensitive, even legalistic. But it isn’t the only way God presents himself. Jesus of Nazareth, God in the flesh, came to give us a living picture of the Father in heaven (John 14:9). And thank the Lord for that picture! God’s word is more than a collection of teaching by Jesus and others inspired by the Holy Spirit. (See 2 Timothy 3:16-17.) 

It was Jesus who told Philip in John 14:10, “The words I say to you are not just my own.  Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work.” In the opening testimony of his gospel, John depicted Jesus as “the Word,” a significant description of the divine purpose of the incarnation.  

Spiritual wisdom can help us understand that Jesus’ words are helpful only to the extent they are practiced.


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