God’s Love is the Greatest

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And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.     

(1 Corinthians 13:13)

I Corinthians 13 is the famous chapter of the Bible defining and describing godly love.

This chapter is important because the love that God has for us and expects us to have for one another is a difficult concept for us to grasp.  It is infinitely higher and better than human love.  We can only experience this love through our relationship with God.  We love Him because He first loved us.  As we learn how He loves us, we are taught to love one another.  Human love is based on relationship, commonality, conditions and mutual benefit.  God’s love is based on choice, commitment and selflessness without conditions.

The idea of godly love is so foreign to human experience that when God inspired the Bible He gave us a new word to denote His love.  The greek word agape’ used in the New Testament to define God’s love was not used before the inspiration of the Bible.  It is fitting to have a special word to teach us of His Divine love.

The word agape’ is translated into the word “charity” in this chapter of the King James Bible.  This is a perfect English word to describe God’s selfless & unconditional love.  If we give money or property to a charitable organization, we understand that we are giving it for their benefit and expect nothing in return.  Likewise, when we truly love someone the way God loves us, we give that love freely for their benefit without conditions or expectation of return.  Every relationship of life will be transformed as we are filled with the knowledge and power of God’s eternal love.

I Corinthians 13 gives us an outline proving the superiority of God’s love.

The Greatest Speech

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.     (1 Corinthians 13:1)

The Greatest Gift

And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.     (1 Corinthians 13:2)

The Greatest Motivation

And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.     (1 Corinthians 13:3)

The Greatest Character

Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;     (1 Corinthians 13:4-6)

The Greatest Strength

Beareth all things,     (1 Corinthians 13:7)

The Greatest Faith

believeth all things,     (1 Corinthians 13:7)

The Greatest Hope

hopeth all things,     (1 Corinthians 13:7)

The Greatest Endurance

endureth all things.     (1 Corinthians 13:7)

The Greatest Guarantee     

Charity never faileth:     (1 Corinthians 13:8)

God’s love is great!  It is a language that all humans understand.  That’s why Jesus tells us in John 13:35, “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.”  Agape’ love is a powerful evangelistic tool.  It proves the sincerity of God’s people to the world.  It is a stark contrast to the fickle human love that is prevalent in the world.  Seeing true love in action wets the appetite of the lost to experience God’s love.  God placed in the human heart the desire to be truly and wholly loved.  We must teach people everywhere where to find fulfilling and satisfying love God desires to give them.  It is found through faith in Christ and fellowship with sincere believers.

Have you considered how much God loves you today?

Will you ask God to teach you the breadth, depth and height of His love?

Will you be a conduit to bring God’s love to the world around you?

Right now, ask God to fill you with His love and empower you to convey that love to every relationship in your world.

And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.     (1 Corinthians 13:13)

Truly, God’s love is the greatest!

What to Do When the Mighty Fall

What to Do When the Mighty Fall

2 Samuel 1:17-27

(17)  And David lamented with this lamentation over Saul and over Jonathan his son:

(18)  (Also he bade them teach the children of Judah the use of the bow: behold, it is written in the book of Jasher.)

(19)  The beauty of Israel is slain upon thy high places: how are the mighty fallen!

(20)  Tell it not in Gath, publish it not in the streets of Askelon; lest the daughters of the Philistines rejoice, lest the daughters of the uncircumcised triumph.

(21)  Ye mountains of Gilboa, let there be no dew, neither let there be rain, upon you, nor fields of offerings: for there the shield of the mighty is vilely cast away, the shield of Saul, as though he had not been anointed with oil.

(22)  From the blood of the slain, from the fat of the mighty, the bow of Jonathan turned not back, and the sword of Saul returned not empty.

(23)  Saul and Jonathan were lovely and pleasant in their lives, and in their death they were not divided: they were swifter than eagles, they were stronger than lions.

(24)  Ye daughters of Israel, weep over Saul, who clothed you in scarlet, with other delights, who put on ornaments of gold upon your apparel.

(25)  How are the mighty fallen in the midst of the battle! O Jonathan, thou wast slain in thine high places.

(26)  I am distressed for thee, my brother Jonathan: very pleasant hast thou been unto me: thy love to me was wonderful, passing the love of women.

(27)  How are the mighty fallen, and the weapons of war perished!

The world of many Christians has been shaken this week with two great blows.  The unthinkable fall of one mighty man of God and another mighty man of God leaving a thriving church unexpectedly.  The circumstances are different, but the results of hurt, disbelief and injury to the cause of Christ are the same.  Every generation must face the pain of fallen heroes.  Many in our church are young Christians and have never felt this type of pain, while others who may be more mature have been insulated from this unusual kind of hurt.  America is replete with born-again believers sitting on the sidelines of God’s work because they do not know how to handle the unimaginable disappointment of fallen leaders.  I thank God for the army of Christians who have served God for many years through many dangers, toils and snares while the amazing grace of God has kept their eyes firmly fixed on our worthy Lord.

It is my desire to sit down with each of you and speak face to face about these matters.  I would comfort you, help you know that all is well and make some sense of it all.  With all that is going on this week that is not possible as we are busy serving the Lord.  May these few words help teach our church folks and any other reader how to weather this terrible storm and go on for God.

In the above verses we learn the heart of God through David about the fall of Saul.  May these verses and many others guide us during this stage of our battle.

In verse 19 of 2 Samuel, we learn that sometimes mighty people fall.  Moms, dads, preachers, mentors, Sunday school teachers, bus workers, soul winners and all other people who God uses to influence us for Him can fall.  Though they seem so strong and bigger than life, they are made of the same stuff as you and me.  Saul was head and shoulders above the rest of the children of Israel.  He was anointed of God to be the first king of Israel to rule on God’s behalf.  He started well but finished poorly.  God will raise up people in different areas and at different times to do a mighty work for Him.  We know from I Peter 5:8 that we have an adversary, the Devil, who is seeking whom he may devour.  Every Christian, no matter how filled with the Spirit or how wise, is in danger of falling until that Evil One is locked securely in the lake of fire and we are safe in Heaven.  Be sober!  Be vigilant!  He longs to destroy you!  Furthermore, we learn in Luke 22 that Satan specifically desired to have Peter so that he may sift Peter as wheat.  In I Chronicles 21:1 we are reminded that Satan stood against David and worked specifically in his life to get him to sin against God.  The fact is that Satan desires to destroy everyone, but he has a “hit list” of high priority targets whose fall will inflict the most amount of collateral damage.  Satan knows if he gets the parents to fall, he will often get the children.  If he gets the preacher to fall, it will affect the church.  If he can destroy a preacher with a national ministry, it will affect many churches.  As God increases your influence, your priority on Satan’s hit list rises, and you must be that much more sober and vigilant.  In this situation, the temptation is to throw away all godly leadership and choose mistrust as a way of life.  God knows the frailty of man; yet, He still chooses to use them to lead others.  You will never succeed in bypassing the Scriptures and seeking security outside of God’s plan.  Don’t waste your life trying to convince others that men will fail them, but rather spend your life trying to help frail men reach their potential for God.

In verse 20, we see David’s concern of how the terrible news should be handled.

 (20)  Tell it not in Gath, publish it not in the streets of Askelon; lest the daughters of the Philistines rejoice, lest the daughters of the uncircumcised triumph.

It was not David’s desire to hide the truth as so often is slandered against God’s people, but that the information be handled wisely so as to not give the Devil’s crowd even more reason to rejoice and take victory laps in triumph.  The Bible teaches plainly in II Samuel 12:14 that when God’s people partake in grievous sins, it gives “great occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme.”  God’s people should understand that the heathen will rage.

Psalm 2:1-3 “Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?  The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying, Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.”

The world will take any opportunity to slander our God, His work and His people.  They will publish it far and wide, and make the sin which is already so exceedingly sinful sound as horrible as possible for maximum shock value.   (A simple reminder not to believe that everything you hear is appropriate.)  If they rage against us for our righteousness and biblical stand, how much more will they rage over the obvious and unthinkable sins of God’s people.   We expect the heathen to rage.  What is so disappointing and unbearable is when God’s people join the chorus of the heathen to rage!  I hear someone saying now, “But sin must be called out!” or “But it’s true and people need to know!”  There are always those who fear that sin will not be called sin or will be swept under the rug.  I do understand that sin issues in some churches have not been dealt with biblically to those churches’ shame.  God will take care of them.  However, it is not necessary for us to try to convince the world of how horrible these horrible sins are – the Bible does that.  Sin is sin!  The wages of sin is death!  Always!  Saved sinners will be spared the eternal fires of Hell through faith in Christ, but they will face all the consequences of it here on Earth.  Their punishment will be quick and appropriate from the holy Judge of the Universe.  But again, we don’t need to convince the world of how wicked one of our own is when they have obviously been wicked.  It does the kingdom of God no profit when God’s people publish links and give strong opinions to things they know very little about and cannot fix.  Facebook, Twitter, chat rooms and the internet are full of Christians mishandling a tragic situation and bringing more shame to the cause of Christ.  I urge each of you to make sure your own heart is right.  God has prepared judgments for the backs of scorners (Proverbs 19:29). Make sure that as others sin, the Devil doesn’t get you to partake in the sins of gossip, scorn, murmur, pride and disbelief.  They too are sins that have a high price.  We should remember the value of silence.

(Proverbs 11:12) He that is void of wisdom despiseth his neighbour: but a man of understanding holdeth his peace.

Job’s friends sat with him for 7 days before they said a word.  But even after that amazing show of personal discipline and obvious care for Job in a week of silence, they were in trouble with God because of pride and making unrighteous judgments about Job and his situation.  What they said was true.  However, it was not true of Job.  No matter how it looks or what you hear, only God knows all the details.  In times of great grief or emotionally charged situations, learn to be still for a while and know that He is God.  He is still on the throne, and all is well.  I also remind you that we believe in the local church.  If the problem is not in your local church then you cannot fix it and your responsibility is to pray.  Your world is still okay.  Your life will go on tomorrow as it should.  Your church and pastor are still serving God and have much work to do.  Don’t get distracted.

After you make sure you are right, I urge you to deal with this within your family.  Don’t allow fear to rule you and your response.  Use this situation as a real-life lesson that will strengthen your children’s faith instead of weaken it.  The most dangerous thing to your child’s faith and service for God is not any situation outside your home.  Instead, it is what they learn from you as you respond to difficult situations.  Go through the information here with your family as the Lord leads. Be steadfast in the faith.

In verses 21-24, we see David lamenting that Saul was being treated as though he had never been anointed by God to be king.

Ye mountains of Gilboa, let there be no dew, neither let there be rain, upon you, nor fields of offerings: for there the shield of the mighty is vilely cast away, the shield of Saul, as though he had not been anointed with oil. From the blood of the slain, from the fat of the mighty, the bow of Jonathan turned not back, and the sword of Saul returned not empty. Saul and Jonathan were lovely and pleasant in their lives, and in their death they were not divided: they were swifter than eagles, they were stronger than lions. Ye daughters of Israel, weep over Saul, who clothed you in scarlet, with other delights, who put on ornaments of gold upon your apparel. (2 Samuel 1:21-24)

This is an important truth.  How do we handle all the material we have from the mighty who have fallen?  What do we do with all of the truth we have learned from them?  The Accuser of the brethren will work to convince you that the fallen leader was a fake and that all great men are fakes to some extent.  He will try to convince you that God was never with the man at all, and he will desire that you throw away all that you learned from him.  This would be a foolish mistake.  Saul was anointed of God to be king and though he died in disgrace, it did not undo all the good that he did.  There will be fakes and conmen who compete for influence in your life from time to time.  There are those who are truly hypocrites, and may God give us wisdom to discern them.  Nevertheless, there are good men who have been mightily used of the Lord who in the end succumb to the Devil’s snares.  Saul and Jonathan were good men who did a lot of good and wrought mighty victories for the Lord.  David was concerned that fact not be lost in the tragedy of their fall.  Thank God for the victories.  Build on their labors.  Remember the good.  Embrace the biblical truth you have been taught. Live it before God the rest of your life.  Understand that good and mighty men can fall, and make sure your life is protected with biblical safeguards.

In verse 25, we are reminded that mighty men fall in battle.

How are the mighty fallen in the midst of the battle! O Jonathan, thou wast slain in thine high places.    (2 Samuel 1:25)

In the Scriptures, we are reminded repeatedly that we are in a spiritual battle of epic scale.  I don’t mean to sound cold or unfeeling, but the truth remains that in every battle there are casualties.  Often when mighty men fall, they are on the frontlines of the battle.  They are doing amazing works.  They are pushing back the Enemy’s lines and taking much ground for God.  The officers in the Lord’s army are high priority targets for Satan’s “special forces.”  The weak and fearful are in their tents cowering from the fray.  The untested critics are on the sidelines being puffed up by their blogs and posts.  Those who can’t do – criticize.  The heroes are on the field doing the hard things that others won’t dare to conceive.  Soldiers live with heavy hearts and memories of friends who they watched die in the battle.  When troops and officers are lost in the middle of a war, the war does not stop. War is hard.  “Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.”  2 Timothy 2:3.  We must mourn on the move and not be distracted from the battle or defeated in the battlefields of our hearts and minds.  We may lose good people along the way, but the Captain of the Lord’s Host is still leading the charge and we must follow.  Follow on!

In this verse, we are reminded that we should be concerned about those who are the casualties of the mighty man’s fall.

I am distressed for thee, my brother Jonathan: very pleasant hast thou been unto me: thy love to me was wonderful, passing the love of women. (2 Samuel 1:26)

While others were discussing the stupidity of Saul’s decisions and giving their “expert” opinion of why all these things happened, David was distressed for Jonathan.  Jonathan was Saul’s son.  He was a good man, a mighty man, and a great friend of David.  David’s heart was broken because Jonathan was collateral damage of Saul’s sin.

In all the drama that takes place as a great man falls, we must not lose fact that there are many people hurting.  The Bible admonishes us to “weep with those that weep” in Romans 12:15.  It is so undeniably devilish to get caught up with the raging accusations and finger pointing that we miss the heart of Christ for those who are hurting. When someone falls, there are moms, dads, husbands, wives, sons, daughters, friends, church members and others who are hurting beyond your comprehension.  If you must move your mouth, make sure it is in prayer for those whose lives have been turned upside down.  Strive to handle the hardest situations how you hope others would handle it if it was your loved ones involved.  God loves those people and so should we.

In verse 27, we are reminded that when mighty men fall, we lose great weapons in the battle for souls.

How are the mighty fallen, and the weapons of war perished!  (2 Samuel 1:27)

Allow me to plead on God’s behalf for a moment.  When the mighty fall, it hurts us greatly; I do not mean to diminish that.  Nevertheless, I do want to remind you that when the mighty fall, the hurt you feel is not all-important.  We must realize the loss to the kingdom of God.  God has lost a great weapon in the battle for souls.  All of the time that was invested in grooming them and the ministry experience of that mighty one is lost for a time.  Thanks be to God that His work will continue and that His work isn’t only dependent upon a few mighty ones.  All of us have our part to do.  However, it takes years for God’s people to mature to maximum fruitfulness.  Any loss of a mature fruit-bearing Christian is a great loss to the kingdom of God.  When mighty men fall, we must be motivated to seek God more and strive to be more effective for His kingdom.  We must pray more, visit more, invite more, preach more, submit more and give more than ever before.  We must do our personal best to hinder the loss to the Kingdom of God by giving our best to the Master.

The words you just read are a labor of many hours of prayer and over 3 hours of writing.  I fear that some will misunderstand something that was said while others will skim over it in minutes and hastily make their expert judgments with little prayer or a few verses out of context.  My prayer is that our people will learn to handle this most tragic situation with a level of grace and faith that will bring much glory to our Lord.

If this helped you, leave a kind word.  If you struggle with something I wrote, I encourage you to do something much more helpful than a hasty, negative comment.  You can pray for me and all of God’s people.  I encourage you to rise above the drama.  Be still and seek God until you find Him in an unusual way.  Let’s do more for God than we have ever done.

If you have sincere questions or desire guidance in how to handle this with your family, I welcome your call and would love to meet with you.

Thank you for the privilege of being your pastor.  May we serve Him mightily until we see Him!

Pastor Paul Chapman

The Fundamental Top 500

Refreshing honesty from an Evangelical about Fundamental Christians

Refreshing Honesty

I do not know the man who wrote the following article.  I have never read any of his books or sermons and as such do not recommend anything else he has produced.  There is more good material produced by Fundamental brethren than I will read in a lifetime.  However, I do appreciate his honesty in the following column.  An outspoken article such as this will not win him any favor with his constituents and took courage to write. I am thankful for his candor and sincerity.

May our fundamental churches heed this warning from one who is on the other side trying to deal with the significant problems that result from compromise. Let no more Bible-believing churches fall for the empty promises of concession.  The Bible and it’s doctrine are not ours to do with as we please, but belong to God who has given us the sacred trust of teaching and preaching it without error.  May we be faithful in that commission and shine His light brightly to the world with the beauty of a holy life!

Our Fundamentalist Betters

    by R.C. Sproul, Jr.

As I write, I find myself visiting Gwinnett County, Georgia. It’s a good thing that I am only visiting. If I actually lived here, I’d find myself on the wrong side of the law. It seems the county recently passed a law that says you may not have more than eight people living in a single house at a time. Me, my wife, and my seven children puts us over the limit. The law, I’m pretty sure, wasn’t designed to keep families like mine out of the county. That wasn’t the express intent of the county commissioners. Instead, I believe the intent, though this too wasn’t expressed, was to discourage certain immigrant groups from settling here. Rather than pass a law against those immigrant groups, which wouldn’t be politically correct, they came up with their clumsy solution that also affects large families. This particular law has run smack into another law, the law of unintended consequences. Such always happens when we try an end-around around honesty. When we try to have our way, while hiding our convictions, we lose everything we seek.

It is no new insight to note that in America the evangelical church is worldly and anemic. We are so earthly minded that we are no heavenly good. The anemia comes from the worldliness. But whence comes the worldliness? Like any other sin, we have options for placing its advent. We could argue that it began with the latest fad to hit the church. Or we could go back to the beginning, to the garden. Both have their advantages. It might be more helpful, however, to see the beginning of this descent at the height of the fundamentalist-modernist controversy.

Fundamentalism is so named for a fundamental reason. It was a movement that concerned itself with affirming, defending, and maintaining the fundamentals of the faith. As a movement, it affirmed the authority of the Bible. It affirmed the accounts therein of creation, of miracles, of the virgin birth, of the death and resurrection of Jesus. It affirmed the necessity of conversion through faith in the finished work of Christ. It affirmed, in short, the defining issues of historical evangelicalism. Why, then, isn’t the controversy called “the evangelical-modernist” controversy? To get at that answer we must ask another. What is it that distinguishes evangelicals and fundamentalists? Suddenly our problem becomes clear. An evangelical is a fundamentalist that wants the respect of modernists, and sells his soul to get it.

That is to say, the difference between a fundamentalist and an evangelical isn’t the content of their respective beliefs, but the way in which those beliefs are held. Fundamentalists, to their credit, clung to the fundamentals like a pit bull on a t-bone. There was nothing attractive or sophisticated about it, but everyone knew you’d never tear the two apart. The evangelical, on the other hand, sought to find, at least culturally, a middle ground. Yes, we believe in the authority of the Bible, but we believe it for nice, professional, academic reasons. Indeed, all that we believe we believe for nice, professional, academic reasons. What separates evangelicals from fundamentalists is that we evangelicals don’t breathe fire, and we have fancy degrees hanging in our studies, instead of pictures of Billy Sunday. We evangelicals are they who cut this deal with the modernists, “We will call you brother, if you will call us scholar.”

Please don’t misunderstand. The point isn’t that the right way to believe in the fundamentals is to be stupid. Instead, the point is that the right way to believe in the fundamentals is with a holy indifference to what others think about us. Anything less leads us right where we are. That is, any movement that begins with a fear of those we are seeking to win has already been won by those that are feared. We thought we were defending the fundamentals, but we were giving away the store. Like the Gwinnett county officials, our failure to demonstrate the courage of our convictions led to exactly what we didn’t want. Weakness disguised as compromise compromised our convictions, and exposed our weakness. Because we were too worldly to not care, we have become too worldly to matter.

We still follow that same path today. For fear of offending the lost, we will not tell them they are lost. For fear of looking narrow and close-minded, we have made peace not just with the deadly secularism of modernism, but with the doubly deadly folly of postmodernism. There the culture itself reflects our uncertainty, refusing to make affirmations, just like us. In our pride we have embraced a humility that won’t stand for anything.

Our Shepherd, however, calls us to a different path. He tells us that having those outside the faith revile us for our faith is something to be sought, not something to be avoided, that those who experience the disdain of the world for His name’s sake are blessed. The fundamentalists of the last century were laughed at and scorned. And for that they earned the praise of Jesus. May we find the courage not only to affirm the fundamentals, but may we be given a double portion of the spirit of the fundamentalists. They fought the good fight, while we collaborated. They kept the faith, while we merely kept our positions in our communities. May we learn to fear no man, and to fear God. For such is the beginning of wisdom.

How to Pray for One Another

Pray to Praise

When God brings someone to our minds, we should pray for them.  As we pray, we should praise God for the people he brings into our lives.

Philippians 1:3 “I thank my God upon every remembrance of you,”

Pray to Protect

We must pray for one another to protect them from the attacks of the Devil.

Luke 22:31–32

“And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.”

We should pray fervently for those who are struggling with sin, those who are in a great trial.  Those who have forsaken the way of God and are backslidden must be prayed for until they are converted from the error and they way and restored to the will of God.

James 5:16–20

“16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. 17 Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months. 18 And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit. 19 Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him; 20 Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.”

Pray to Perfect

As we pray for others, we must pray that they will grow in the Lord.  The Biblical word perfect means “complete, mature”.  We should pray that others will grow in grace and become more like our Saviour.

In several places, the Bible gives us a list of what we should pray for each other.

Ephesians 3:13–19

“13 Wherefore I desire that ye faint not at my tribulations for you, which is your glory. 14 For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, 16 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; 17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; 19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.”

Ephesians 6:18–20

“18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; 19 And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.”

Philippians 1:9–11

“9 And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment; 10 That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ; 11 Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.”

Colossians 1:9–11  

“9 For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; 10 That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; 11 Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;”

1 Thessalonians 5:23

“23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

2 Thessalonians 1:11–12

“11 Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power: 12 That the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and ye in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.”

2 Thessalonians 3:1–5

“Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you: 2 And that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men: for all men have not faith. 3 But the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you, and keep you from evil. 4 And we have confidence in the Lord touching you, that ye both do and will do the things which we command you. 5 And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ.”

List of Biblical Prayer Requests From the Above Verses:

  1. Protection from Satanic attack
  2. That thy faith fail not
  3. That trials will convert and strengthen
  4. For physical healing
  5. For strength to overcome faults
  6. Faint not at tribulations
  7. To be strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man
  8. That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith
  9. Be rooted and grounded in love
  10. Comprehend and know the love of Christ
  11. Be filled with all the fullness of God
  12. Boldness to speak the Gospel
  13. That your love may about yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgement
  14. That ye may approve things that are excellent
  15. That ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ
  16. Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God
  17. Filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding
  18. Thant ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing
  19. Be fruitful in every good work
  20. Increasing in the knowledge of God
  21. Strengthened with all might according to his glorious power
  22. Unto all Patience
  23. And Longsuffering
  24. With Joyfulness
  25. The God of peace sanctify you wholly
  26. your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ
  27. God would count you worthy of this calling
  28. Fulfill all the good pleasure of his goodness
  29. Fulfill the work of faith with power
  30. That the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and ye in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ
  31. That the word of the Lord may have free course
  32. That the Lord be glorified
  33. That we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men
  34. The Lord direct your hearts into the love of God,
  35. And unto the patient waiting for Christ.

The Pursuit of Wisdom

The following is an outline of the Bible Study I shared at our Men’s Prayer Breakfast this morning.  I thank God for spiritual men who desire to be more like the Master.

May all of our lives be lived in the pursuit of wisdom!

 THE PURSUIT OF WISDOM

James 1:5-8 “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. (6) But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. (7) For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. (8) A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.”

1. Wisdom is precious.

a. Skillful living.

b. The right use or exercise of knowledge; the choice of laudable ends, and of the best means to accomplish them. This is wisdom in act, effect, or practice.

Proverbs 3:13-18 “Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding. (14) For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold. (15) She is more precious than rubies: and all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her. (16) Length of days is in her right hand; and in her left hand riches and honour. (17) Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. (18) She is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her: and happy is every one that retaineth her.”

 

2. Everyone needs wisdom.

James 1:5

3. Wisdom must be pursued.

Proverbs 4:5-7 “Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not; neither decline from the words of my mouth. (6) Forsake her not, and she shall preserve thee: love her, and she shall keep thee. (7) Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.”

 

4. Pray for wisdom.

James 1:5

 

5. Purchase wisdom.

Proverbs 23:23 “Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding.”

 

6. Choose wise friends & mentors.

Proverbs 13:20 “He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.”

 

7. Study wisdom.

2 Timothy 2:15 “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”

 

8. Be wise and God will give you more wisdom.

Daniel 2:21 And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding: