Monthly Archives: February 2009

15 posts

Open to Reason – for Peace

We have looked at the importance of being open to reason. At this point let's take a quick look at James 3:18, the last verse in the section on wisdom from above. The verse reads:  "And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace." The goal of being open to reason is to make peace. Often in the middle of the confusion of family disturbances, the goal of peace is lost. Instead, winning is substituted as the goal. The opportunity for a harvest of peace is lost. Damage is done. To underscore the importance of peace and peacemaking, I have selected several passages that speak of peace. This compilation is by no means comprehensive. Not […]

Open to Reason – Part 2

<p>et_final.indd</p> We are looking at the sharp contrast that the book of James makes between two kinds of wisdom , earthly wisdom and wisdom from above. The difference is sharp and distinct. This, of course, has to be the case since the source of earthly wisdom is demonic and the source of wisdom from above is the Holy Spirit. James does not offer a third type of wisdom, wisdom from the middle. It is only one of the two. That means the stakes are high. One type of wisdom leads to war, the other to peace. Read this section in James again in that light. Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his […]

Open to Reason

In the middle of the seven components of wisdom from above listed in James 3:17 is the phrase that the ESV translates open to wisdom. Other translations translate the same words as submissive, willing to yield, compliant and reasonable. In any dispute, a charge you will not hear brought against someone is that that person is open to reason. It will be just the opposite; he won’t listen to reason! And yet here it is clearly listed—open to reason. To be open to reason, you must be both wise and confident. The wise person is comfortable with God’s word. This means that he knows where to go in the Bible for help. He knows that the Bible has everything needed […]

Pure, Peaceable & Gentle

Wisdom from above. Wisdom from God. What does it look like? This one sentence in James 3:17 lists seven facets of the wisdom that comes from heaven. The first three facets show the radical nature of following God.  Let’s look at them one by one. However, before we start it is only fair to issue a warning to anyone who chooses to read further. Reading—and then implementing wisdom from heaven—will be hazardous to your flesh. It is simply not possible to take these words seriously and continue to live and speak just as you have been doing for years. The change may be painful, but it is the change of putting off what is old and destined for destruction anyway, […]

Wisdom from Above

The book of James has a lot to say about wisdom. Some have called James the wisdom literature of the New Testament. Early in chapter one the importance of wisdom is underscored by the promise that wisdom will be freely given to those who genuinely ask for it. Certainly, parents need wisdom to faithfully represent God to all of their children. But I believe that perhaps the greatest need for wisdom is when interacting with teenagers. Teenagers seem to appear out of the blue. Yesterday, you had a respectful child who seemed eager to please and thought that most of the things you said and did were wise and wonderful. This morning you woke up and found a stranger living […]

The Wonder of Christ – Immeasurably More

The apostle Paul ends this section with a strong benediction in Ephesians 3:20. He says that God is able to do immeasurably more that we would dare imagine. The ESV wording is even stronger: it says infinitely more than we might think or ask. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us. NIV  Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. ESV Let me get right to the point. If this passage is true, then why are we so easily discouraged with our parenting? […]

The Wonder of Christ – More than a Wall Plaque

Marriage and parenting are not human ideas. They are created by God for his purposes. The institution of the family was not made primarily for us. Does that sound illogical? Let me explain. Yes, things work best when we follow God’s direction for family living. But the bigger picture is that first and foremost, the institution of family exists for the glory of God. So we should not claim marriage primarily for our own enjoyment and fulfillment and then, secondarily, seek to honor God in marriage. No, marriage is designed to be a human picture of Christ’s relationship to the church. Ephesians 5:21-33 is not an afterthought. The idea of Christ and his bride, the church, came first; then came […]

The Wonder of Christ in You

Parenting can seem to be a lonely occupation at times—just you, the kids, and the digital clock on the nightstand. Gone from your memory are the baby showers, first steps, birthday parties, and adoring friends fawning over your children. Instead, you are faced with one child who is sick and another one who is whining that he has no one to play with since his sister is sick in bed (the same sister that has gifted you with the same cold she has). Your husband is out of town for three days and it is raining, a cold winter’s rain. Lonely, indeed. Two thousand years ago, your brother Paul knelt before his Father and yours and prayed a simple, profound […]

Parenting & The Wonder of Christ

We have looked at some challenging topics in recent weeks: Facebook, Schoolwork and Gaming. Now I want to take the next several posts to focus on the wonder of Christ. Parenting is a demanding and draining calling. The tendency of our flesh is to fall into a routine and then to count on that routine to keep us on track. While there is value in routine, it must not drive your parenting. To present the wonder of Christ to your children, regardless of their age, Christ himself must be a wonder to you. Ephesians 3:14-21 will help you to see the awesome wonder of Christ. Too often, this passage is seen as a summary statement, or inspirational thoughts, but it […]

Wisdom and Gaming

As we conclude this series on gaming, there is one more question that remains: Can Christians engage in gaming with a good conscience? The answer, I believe, is yes, given a significant qualifier:  This pursuit must be done with biblical wisdom. Wisdom is the skill that comes from a deep passionate love of God’s truth. You may have been born with intelligence, precocity, and a good memory, but with regard to wisdom, you were born a fool. Wisdom is a skill that may only be acquired through great energy and faith. Protection from the allure of gaming comes from a vigorous pursuit of wisdom. Take a moment to read Proverbs 1:30-2:6. 30 since they would not accept my advice        […]