By Chris WittsTuesday 6 Aug 2013Morning Devotions with Chris WittsUncategorizedReading Time: 0 minutes
If you went to Sunday school as a young person,you may have actually said the prayer that goes like this. “Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in Your sight,O Lord,my strength and my Redeemer”. Words taken from Psalm 19:12. It’s a powerful statement if we took a few moments to think about it.
Word and deeds go together. What we say and what we do are linked together,just as love and marriage or a horse and carriage. The Bible often says that words and actions must go together. James 1:22 says “don’t deceive yourselves by just listening to His word. Instead,put it into practice”. It is possible to say with our mouth that we belong to Christ and deny that claim by what we do. Richard Foster,the Christian author once said “we cannot preach good news and be bad news”. Jesus tells the story of 2 sons who were asked by their father to go into the field and do a certain job. One said he would not go,but changed his mind and went. The other son quickly agreed to go,but did not carry out his promise. Jesus asked his listeners which one really did the will of the father. You see,words were not enough. Action was required. Words only made sound sense when they were backed up by deeds.
The Greeks believed that if a person had both wisdom and common sense,he would be perfectly equipped for life. When Jesus came He taught many things about eternal life,and answered the big questions people were asking about life and death. But He also knew how to deal with everyday issues of life,showing common sense to solve problems of everyday living. Many people were puzzled about Jesus… where did He get all this wisdom and knowledge? The people in his hometown couldn’t believe this man of Galilee was the fulfilment of Isaiah’s prophecy that the Spirit of the Lord would rest on Him,the Spirit of wisdom and understanding and knowledge (Isaiah 11:1)
As we read the Gospels we note that many times Jesus was asked questions. His opinion was sought on many issues,including current events like the fall of a tower,the threats of Herod,the moral puzzle of a man born blind. His answers were extraordinary,not what was expected. He went on with His mission with calm courage. He was impartial,had tremendous insight and made good sense even on nonreligious topics. One day Jesus observed guests manoeuvring for seats at the head table,and said it would be wiser to take lower seats and be invited higher,than to take higher seats and be told to move down. Another day He gave advice that in an occupied country,it is better when commandeered to walk a mile carrying military baggage,to offer to go further voluntarily. Best to do that than resent every step with a bitterness of the soul. Remember His words about worry – extraordinary teaching like “can you live a bit longer by worrying?” He was saying that worry is a waste of time because it won’t add to your height.
Jesus had tremendous credibility and integrity. People could see His transparent goodness. His words and actions were never opposed .This made Him a wise counsellor. And His wisdom can be ours as we become a son or daughter of the Heavenly Father and live our lives in honest ways. It’s so much more than words or formal prayers. Jesus said one day “When you pray do not use a lot of meaningless words as the pagans do. Do not be like them. They think their gods will hear them because their prayers are long” (Matthew 6:7-8).
Sure,the words we use are important,but what is more valuable is the genuine attitude of heart. I like what James said in his epistle: “Are there any of you who are wise and understanding? You are to prove it by your good life,by your good deeds performed with humility and wisdom” (3:13). And that is the key to being an effective Christian …being wise just as Jesus was. If you say how? Recall the words of Scripture “If any of you lacks wisdom,he should ask God”. Simple statement …The best wisdom comes from above,from God Himself. Eternal God is the source of wisdom – not the philosophers,nor the scientists nor all the Hollywood superstars. When Jesus spoke,many thought He was mad. Turn the other cheek? Love your enemies? Go the second mile? Here was revolutionary teaching about life that didn’t make sense. But He said “Everyone who asks receives; he who seeks,finds; and to him who knocks,the door will be opened”. (Matthew 7:8).