Knowledge vs Wisdom

Have you ever had all the right information to make a decision, then you make the decision, and later find out that though you had all the right information you still made the wrong decision?

A couple years ago, we found ourself with only one vehicle. We knew we needed a second one.  I knew how much cash I had on hand and wanted to use a good chunk of it.  So I called a guy in my church who is in a financial place that I would like to be in when I am his age. I call him and told him what I wanted, how much money I had, and asked his advice.  His recommended budget was way less than mine.  I totally disagreed with what he said.

I spent time thinking about what he said and it exposed my motives. I wanted a nicer car than I could afford.  He was looking further down the road than I was.  So I decided to do what he encouraged me to do.  God then blessed us with a great deal at a price we could afford.  I am so grateful I did not trust in the information alone.  I could have paid cash for a more expensive car and avoided debt.  I had information but lacked wisdom.

King David who killed Goliath had a son named Solomon.  Solomon became King when David was about to die.  Solomon was considered the wisest man who ever lived.  Royalty would travel the world to hear his wisdom.

One time, two young mothers of babies shared a home.  In the middle of the night, one mother rolled on top of her baby and suffocated it.  She wakes up to a dead baby.  So she switches her baby with the other moms baby.  Well the other mom wakes up the next morning to a dead baby and knows it is not hers.  She knows exactly what happened.  So they take this to the authorities who take it to Solomon.

1 Kings 3:22 They argued back and forth in front of Solomon, 23 until finally he said, “Both of you say this live baby is yours. 24 Someone bring me a sword.”

A sword was brought, and Solomon ordered, 25 “Cut the baby in half! That way each of you can have part of him.”

26 “Please don’t kill my son,” the baby’s mother screamed. “Your Majesty, I love him very much, but give him to her. Just don’t kill him.”

The other woman shouted, “Go ahead and cut him in half. Then neither of us will have the baby.”

27 Solomon said, “Don’t kill the baby.” Then he pointed to the first woman, “She is his real mother. Give the baby to her.”

28 Everyone in Israel was amazed when they heard how Solomon had made his decision. They realized that God had given him wisdom to judge fairly.

Solomon was able to expose the motives behind the information, and display wisdom for what to do.  Often information can be manipulated to serve us.  What motives are negatively influencing the decision you need to make? Where do you need to get wisdom?  What decisions are you making regarding information and yet not considering wisdom?  Who has the wisdom that could help you?

Seek wisdom! Know true wisdom comes from God and doesn’t change.

Obsessively, recklessly following Jesus

Brandon Sereg

Different: Different Values

Of all the ways God calls us to be different than the world, the one we THINK we understand the best is that we have different values. We all know that Christians are to live according to a different set of values. We understand we are to obey the commandments, the teachings of Jesus, the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and the Bible. We understand that our lives should look different than the rest of the world. Yet, I fear we fall into one of two major traps.

First, we choose to live by God’s values sometimes, while at other times we follow the world’s values. Two major areas we men fall into this trap are in terms of sexual purity and pride. We know God calls us to sexual purity, yet we often choose to indulge in the world’s ways (not just pre or extra marital sex, but also lust, pornography, etc.). God also constantly calls us to humility, yet as men we are often driven by our pride. We KNOW that God commands purity and humility, but we CHOOSE to follow the world’s values out of desire, simplicity, enjoyment, fitting in, or any host of reasons. The second trap is that we sometimes follow God’s values for the wrong reasons. I’ve known many Christians (myself included at points in my life) who view the following of God’s values as making them superior than others. They look down condescendingly on those who don’t follow God as closely as they do, and are quick to judge others. Some of their self worth comes from seeing themselves as following God in a better manner than others (again, I’ve been there). This was a major problem in Jesus’ time, and the reason he found himself at constant odds with the Pharisees, who prided themselves on being purer, and thus better, than other believers. 

There is a common problem with both of these traps: it’s that we don’t always fully understand why it is that we are to follow God’s values. There are many reasons we follow God’s ways, but I want to focus on one very simple and profound one today. We live by God’s values because Jesus (God in the flesh and the Savior of the World) lived by those same values. In other words, we live holy lives because Jesus is holy

Just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.” 1 Peter 1:15-16

Men, we are SO fortunate that the creator, savior, and sustainer of the universe has given us a blueprint for how to live. Don’t you think that we should follow His plan for life? It is a blueprint to help us live the best life possible, while also blessing others and giving honor to Him that created, saved, and sustains us. We live out God’s values, living Holy lives, because Jesus lived a Holy life. In the process we live lives that bless others and honor God. 

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I Kings 3:9 (NASB) So give Your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people to discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of Yours?”  

Think about your day in and day out, your week in and week out.  We are, each and every one, faced and tasked with a never ending sea of decisions.  How do you decide?  Most of the choices we are routinely faced with are simple, straight forward and require little if any pondering, but we still have to choose.  I would contend, that God equips you with the tools to make, what you feel, are the correct choices.

Some of our choices have to be more carefully measured, worked through and may have a great deal more hanging on them.  They may have far reaching consequences and may impact one or more other people.  How do you choose? 

Just because there is more or less at stake, the process and means in which we make decisions should not vary, merely the scale of the method.  Solomon could have asked God for anything, wealth, fame, long life, anything.  He asked God for wisdom, a discerning heart.  Big or small, affecting just himself or the entire populace of his kingdom, Solomon understood the importance of his decisions and asked God for the wisdom to get it right.

When you start your day, do you ask God to open your eyes, ears and heart?  Do you ask God for the wisdom to rightly discern between the correct and incorrect path to follow?  When faced with decisions in the moment, do you pray and ask God for clarity?  If your answer is no, you need to be.  Every decision we make, every single choice that is presented to us, should be passed through God’s discernment filter.  Then at the end of the day, we need to be checking in with Him to see how we did.  Have a blessed weekend.

In full pursuit of the greatest Trophy,

Scott Pace

Close Call

I love to watch a ball game that comes down the last play of the game!  The interest and excitement level is so much better when a game can go either way and it comes down to one play instead of a boring blowout.  If you are ever bored, you can also find lots of videos of accidents and near misses from the road or fails in the backyard.  Accidents are never good, but if they remind us to be a bit more cautious and value life more, then they can help.  After having a child born 2 weeks ago, I have already found that I take a few less risks while driving by myself and especially with family members along for the ride.  The line between life and death can be fairly thin at times.  Sometimes things that frighten us into realizing what could have been is a good thing, if it moves us to action, or to make positive changes.  What was the last close call you had, and did it cause you to change anything in your life? 

My son, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart, for they will prolong your life many years and bring you peace and prosperity.  Proverbs 3:1-2

We probably come close to big and small disasters each day, but may not even realize it.  Just yesterday, after plugging my phone in overnight, it was dead in the morning and would not charge after trying 5 times through the day.  I gave it up for gone, but tried a couple more times and eventually, to my relief, got it charging – small disaster averted, but eventually my phone will be done.  A week ago I was about 2 seconds from having my fingers broken from being caught and twisted in an electric auger.  I recall my mom telling me a story where she nearly wrecked in a car and sat and trembled for 30 minutes from the adrenaline (all before I was born).  I’ve had a few close calls over the years as well.  It does not always turn out so well, as the accident or medical report can easily be bad news.  My 16 year old brother was killed by a drunk driver when he was a passenger in a car just 2 blocks from our house.  All these things make us look at our own mortality, and maybe even help us re-prioritize how we are spending our lives, right now.  What type of wake-up call would it take for you to change what you are doing?

And do this, understanding the present time: The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed.  Romans 13:11

Maybe the older we get, we better realize that our lives are moving pretty fast.  I remember going back to where I grew up and sitting with my dad in the barber shop as he asked about people he had not seen for decades, and hearing that many of them had passed away.  We take it for granted that friends and family will be with us indefinitely, but as we find out, this is not the case.  Opportunities come and go and those we know and love pass away as well.  Eventually, those we leave behind will be reading about us.  How do you want to be remembered?  One eye opening exercise is to sit down and write your own obituary.  Try it!  You can share it or tear it up if you like, but what verse or songs would you want others to sing after you pass from this world? 

Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.  James 4:14

How about when it comes to your faith, is that a close call?  Can you imagine saying, wow, I just made it to Heaven by the skin of my teeth!  If your perception of what it takes is a works-based, pop-culture, earn your way to heaven where one ‘good deed’ puts you over the top kind of deal, then maybe it would be a close call.  If you are trusting in the forgiveness and shed blood of what Christ has already done for you, then it shouldn’t even be a question, no instant replay needed!  Questioning your salvation should hopefully lead you to a closer examination of your life and your faith and eventually lead you to the truth.  It is that truth, found in Christ, that makes us free. 

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.  John 14:6

Yours in Christ,

Every Sunday at 8:30 AM

Listen to Mike Sereg on kBOE 104.9FM


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