Faith of a Father

"Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; for he is faithful that promised; – Hebrews 10:23


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Lesson #5 From a Heart Attack: “I Have How Long?” (part 3)

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Lesson #5, Part 3

Recently for a 4 week period, I had the opportunity to share these lessons with the family Sunday School class that we attend.  Because I am not a regular teacher, preparing for these weeks has distracted me from completing part 3 of the fifth lesson. 

It is neat to see how God directs others in their message preparations to match up perfectly with an ongoing theme that God is showing and using in our lives.  Since my last posting, during an outreach ministry in our local city park, our pastor preached a message to our church and park goers on the Brevity of Life.  Then again on the eighth of August, he preached on Applying Wisdom.  It never gets old to see God working to overlay teaching from different sources to drive home a point we need.

In my last post I said that I wanted to discuss how wisdom is applied in two general ways and while I didn’t say what these two ways were it in the blog, I did in our Sunday School class and these were:  to our physical life and to our spiritual life.  But the more I began to mediate on it I was reminded that this was the wrong approach.  To apply God’s wisdom to the root of our being is to apply wisdom to our spiritual life because our physical life is only an outworking of our spiritual life.

In the last post we ended discussing Psalm 90:12 which says: 

So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.

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And we talked about the purpose of numbering our days which is to apply our hearts unto wisdom.   We briefly went through the topic of what is wisdom and how to obtain it.  Because my pastor did a great job in his message several Sunday nights ago, instead of me spending many words expounding on a topic that he has done a masterful job in doing I want to refer you to his message on the topic of Applying Wisdom.  You can listen to his full message here.   So get you Bible out or go to your favorite Bible website, turn to James chapter 3 and listen to Pastor Bryan Ferrell as he does some expository teaching on Applying Wisdom. 

So what did you think?  I trust you took the time to listen to Pastor Ferrell message and found it useful.  As you can see from the link, there are many other sermons available from Pastor Ferrell available at your fingertips.  Why not add this link to your favorites!

On my next blog post (which I hope to have posted a lot sooner) I will wrap this topic up and plan to have a few posts from my family on how God has used this experience in their life.


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Lesson from a Heart Attack: I Have How Long? – Part 2

I have how long?

Today we are picking up where we left off from Lesson #5 entitled “I Have How Long”.

In Psalm 90:12 we read,

“So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.”

For what purpose does the Psalmist tell us to number our days?  So that we will recognize the brevity of this life and will live out our lives in wisdom.

So let me ask you, how many days do you have left to live?

According to the US Census Bureau, the average length of life in the US is 78.3 years and it is expected to go up to an “amazing” 79.5 by 2020.  If you lived until the ripe old age of 78 how many years would you have left?   For me, it would be 31 years remaining.  Now take out a calculator and multiply the years you have left by 365 days in a year.  Now you have done partially what the Psalmist asks.  I have approximately 11,315 days left with approximately 60% of my life already over.

What about you, how many days do you have left?

My desire is not to encourage us to be consumed with our mortality, but to take the time to regularly assess where we are in life and apply our hearts towards wisdom.  We so often apply our hearts toward family events like births, graduations, marriages, grandchildren and retirement and while these things are good, our actions and reactions in these areas are only a reflection of our pursuit or lack thereof of godly wisdom to our hearts.

Why should we apply our hearts towards wisdom?  We will not do an in depth study on wisdom but I’d like to provide a little insight for you to study out further.  To answer the question, why, we must first define wisdom.

What is Wisdom?

Wisdom is the ability to properly use and apply knowledge, therefore we must first have knowledge before we can have wisdom.  The application of wisdom in the Bible has three levels:

  1. Level one is defined as to have skills such as a craftsman (Ex 35:25-26, 30-36, Jer. 10:9).
  2. The second level is defined as having insight into life’s issues and problems, a problem solver.  I think of an engineer, an attorney, or a judge when I think of this level.  Here are the facts and here is how to solve the problem.  In many ways King Solomon would fall into this category (I Kings 3:1-15, I Kings 4:32-34).
  3. The third level is defined as a way of thinking and being, orderly and morally upright.  Allowing godly wisdom to flow in and through us.  This is the primary purpose of the book of Proverbs (examples: Prov 4:20-27, 22:6, 24:9)
  4. The Bible says in Proverbs 1:7, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” It doesn’t say fools despise knowledge, although some do, many fools, and yes even some in the educational system desire knowledge but they fail to have a level three kind of wisdom.   Have you ever heard someone you know that you consider pretty smart say to you they can’t understand the Bible? Or have you wondered why so many smart people reject God’s Word?  It is because they have a human knowledge and they don’t fear (reverence) the Lord.   They can only get to a level two wisdom because they ignore God’s knowledge (Word of God) and harden their hearts towards godly wisdom.  As we reverence the Lord, we will grow more and more in His knowledge, (reading His Word).  As we grow in His knowledge we recognize our human wisdom falls desperately short and it is His wisdom, His application of His knowledge that we need to live a wise and godly life.  So, we then desire more of His wisdom which we realize comes from knowing Him more – Godly knowledge.  (I Corinthians 2:1-16)
  5. It is a gift from God.  James 1:5 “But if any many lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally and upbraidth not; and it shall be given him.”   We cannot receive God’s wisdom but through His Spirit – I Corinth 2:14-16
  6. Wisdom is desired by the world.  This is seen in 1Kings 10:23-24

So now that we have a little better understanding of what wisdom is and where it comes from how do we apply our hearts towards wisdom?  How do we apply our hearts towards a level three kind of wisdom?  Here are 4 steps to doing this:

  1. Desire wisdom  Prov 3:13, Prov 4:5, Prov 19:8
  2. Recognize wisdom comes from God  Col 2:2, Psalm 119:18, Prov 2:6, Daniel 2:20, Eph 1:7James 1:5
  3. Pray for wisdom  James 1:5, Eph 1:17, Col 1:9
  4. Seek wisdom in God’s Word  Psalm 119:98

Additional reading on wisdom from  John MacArthur and John Piper

So how does numbering our days and applying wisdom play out in our lives in a practical way?  I see applying our hearts towards wisdom in two general ways. Come back for part three of this discussion and we will spend a little time on this subject.

Comments and feedback welcomed.