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Sunday, March 29, 2020

Whining Fault Finders

March 29

(Luke 7:31-34 NIV) ““To what, then, can I compare the people of this generation? What are they like? {32} They are like children sitting in the marketplace and calling out to each other: “We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge, and you did not cry.’ {33} For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine, and you say, 'He has a demon.'” {34} The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and you say, 'Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and “sinners.””

(Philippians 2:12-15 NIV) “Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed--not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence--continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, {13} for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose. {14} Do everything without complaining or arguing, {15} so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe…”

(James 1:5 NIV) “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.”

Every church has their share of whiners and fault finders. They usually focus on the trivial and make it into a major issue. We can all use legitimate critique. It keeps us honest and relevant. But whining and fault finding are destructive to the body of Christ. There is very little wisdom to be found in finger pointing. It will be very difficult to work out our salvation and shine like stars while we are complaining. God is willing to give his wisdom to us and overlook our faults. We are called to do the same with those around us. This doesn’t mean we should never critique or correct. But we should not live for it. We should not live with our finger constantly pointing at other people. We should not live with a magnifying glass in hand, unless we are looking in the mirror. The church is in a serious battle for the souls of people. We do not have time for trivial pursuits. -- Friar Tuck’s Word of the Day

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Greater Than John

March 28

(Luke 7:26-28 NIV) “But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. {27} This is the one about whom it is written: "'I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way before you.' {28} I tell you, among those born of women there is no one greater than John; yet the one who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.”

(Isaiah 30:9-11 NIV) ““These are rebellious people, deceitful children, children unwilling to listen to the Lord’s instruction. {10} They say to the seers, "See no more visions!" and to the prophets, "Give us no more visions of what is right! Tell us pleasant things, prophesy illusions. {11} Leave this way, get off this path, and stop confronting us with the Holy One of Israel!””

Jesus said that those who are least in God’s kingdom will be greater than John the Baptist. Believers are called to a prophetic ministry of declaring God’s truth, even in the face of stiff opposition. As Scripture is marginalized and trivialized by the world, raging secularists would like nothing better than a cowering, intimidated Church. Many believers continue to grow in knowledge, but have refused to be a prophetic witness to the world. Some even choose what to believe based on popular opinion and personal feeling. Many have begun to bless sin, simply because they know some nice people who practice these sins! We must stand against the enemies of the cross as prophetic disciples, full of grace and truth. We must become more like John the Baptist, speaking the truth in love in spite of the ridicule heaped upon us by both the religious and the secular. This is our calling. -- Friar Tuck’s Word of the Day

Friday, March 27, 2020

Wisdom in the Wind

March 27

(Luke 7:24-35 NIV) ““After John's messengers left, Jesus began to speak to the crowd about John: "What did you go out into the desert to see? A reed swayed by the wind? {25} If not, what did you go out to see? A man dressed in fine clothes? No, those who wear expensive clothes and indulge in luxury are in palaces.””

(Ephesians 4:11-15 NIV) “It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, {12} to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up {13} until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. {14} Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. {15} Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ.”

Children of wisdom will not be like reeds swayed by the winds of this world’s teaching. They are rooted in the bedrock of Christ’s teaching and stand like mighty oaks in the face of gale force winds. Those making the trip out into the desert to hear John the Baptist were not looking for another blowhard wise guy. They were looking for a deeper and higher wisdom. We would be wise to do the same. Stop bending in the winds of cultural theology. True wisdom is not swayed by the blustery words of the latest Bible guru. It is not blown here and there, but maintains a steady course. Many of our pulpits today are littered with entertaining speakers who say what people’s ears want to hear. They disseminate pop psychology disguised as theological teaching. They scratch where it itches, and the money rolls in. This should not be! Obtain genuine wisdom, or be blown away. -- Friar Tuck’s Word of the Day

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Wisdom

March 26

(Luke 7:35 NIV) “But wisdom is proved right by all her children."

(Proverbs 2:1-11 NIV) “My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, {2} turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding, {3} and if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, {4} and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, {5} then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God. {6} For the Lord gives wisdom, and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. {7} He holds victory in store for the upright, he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless, {8} for he guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones. {9} Then you will understand what is right and just and fair--every good path. {10} For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul. {11} Discretion will protect you, and understanding will guard you.”

(Proverbs 4:5-9 NIV) “Get wisdom, get understanding; do not forget my words or swerve from them. {6} Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you. {7} Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding. {8} Esteem her, and she will exalt you; embrace her, and she will honor you. {9} She will set a garland of grace on your head and present you with a crown of splendor.”

In this world of instant Wikipedia and Google knowledge, one thing lacking is genuine wisdom. We can be a treasure trove of facts, but have little wisdom. We can be a computer genius and have an IQ of 160, but still live a life that reeks of foolishness. Wisdom is not something you get from books or even sermons. You can buy knowledge (thus, the booming market for higher education), but wisdom cannot be purchased with money. It is most often attained by paying the price for foolishness. Wisdom is something you grow through years of learning from mistakes… from reaping the fruit of both wise and unwise behavior. It can only be acquired through personal experience. How do we know if we have wisdom? We know it by the children it spawns in our life… the fruit it produces in our living. Wisdom comes from the Lord. Its discretion will protect you. Wise up! -- Friar Tuck’s Word of the Day