“A Better Weight Than Wisdom…”

“…A Traveler Cannot Carry.”

I saw that “Viking Proverb” statement written out across the Direct TV screen in front of me on a day last year when I was flying back home on an airplane.  I had been visiting with family in Virginia for 10 days.

It is a great statement to ponder; and I wondered which type of “wisdom” the Vikings were referring to?

 

For me, the ultimate wisdom comes from God through His Written Word – the Bible, and His Living Word – Jesus Christ.

Evidence abounds these days that many are ignorant about God’s Word. The sad part is, many who call themselves Christian fall into this unfortunate category. I think it is really a terrible state of affairs to realize that even Christian college students (e.g. BIOLA U.) are being found to be biblically illiterate! There should be no excuse for them, in particular, to be guilty of such a flaw.

Recently, I received an email link to Muddy Streams blog that mentioned an interesting article that compared, contrasted, and explained the differences between religion and spirituality. The entire article can be read at Got Questions.

Excerpt:

Question: “What is Christian spirituality?”

Answer: When we are born again, we receive the Holy Spirit who seals us for the day of redemption (Ephesians 1:13; 4:30). Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit would lead us “into all truth” (John 16:13). Part of that truth is taking the things of God and applying them to our lives. When that application is made, the believer then makes a choice to allow the Holy Spirit to control him/her. True Christian spirituality is based upon the extent to which a born-again believer allows the Holy Spirit to lead and control his or her life.

Read it all at the link above. The details and Scripture references are all important regarding the type of “spirituality” that a Christian should follow and adhere to.

The NBC TV series – A.D. The Bible Continues – had its second episode originally broadcasted on Sunday evening (4/12/15). The disciples are now only starting to grasp the true meaning and significance of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead. They see Him, in the physical sense, as He appears various times to them (i.e. in the Upper Room, in front of Mary who was weeping inside the tomb wondering “where have they taken my Lord).

In the case of Mary, she asked such a question of someone whom she perceived as a “stranger” that appeared to her outside the tomb. It was only when He said her name, “Mary” that she recognized Jesus – her Risen Lord and Savior!

Jesus also appeared on the shore of Galilee where the disciples were fishing, but experiencing another bad day because they were not netting any fish. Jesus called out to them and said, “throw the nets on the right side of the boat.”

 

When they listened and obeyed His directive, their catch was abundant!

Jesus also had a discussion with Peter where he asked his wayward and denying disciple if he loved Him. The Lord asked three times, and Peter replied affirmatively three times. This was a way of restoration for Peter’s previous denials as Jesus was being led to the cross.

Love is sacrifice.
Love is mercy and grace.
Love is forgiveness of sins.
Love is listening and obeying.

Love is worship.

But it ultimately matters in whom one worships! Does the Messiah have worth-ship in order to lead us towards truth?

For our part, we need to believe in Jesus and repent of our sins, allowing the Holy Spirit to enter into our hearts in order to guide us into all truth.

All of this has been gained by Jesus’ sacrificial death on the cross!

During my Virginia visit, I made what is likely construed by most as a typical observation regarding all of the violence, hatred, evil, sin and death going on in the world today.  Jesus did tell us in Scripture that the “signs of the times” pointing towards His return would be “as in the days of Noah and Lot.”

In the case of Noah, there was so much violence, evil, sin and death that it grieved the Lord God immensely. The only “righteous ones” found were within Noah’s own family! All the others mocked, scorned, laughed at and ignored Noah for his “eccentric behavior” for building an Ark on dry land.

The people went on to continue in their sinful lifestyles.  They ignored Noah’s warnings and continued in their chosen evil and deadly ways.

In the case of Lot, the whole place (Sodom and Gomorrah) would have been spared if 50, then 20, then just 10 righteous people could be found in the cities.

We know that only Lot, his wife and children made it out (practically dragged out by the angels!); but even then, Lot’s wife looked back longingly (ignoring the angels warnings not to!) and she turned into a pillar of salt.

I always thought that it was interesting that we never knew her name, but Jesus’ admonition to “remember Lot’s wife” was a New Testament  (as well as modern-day) warning not to go back to our former lives of sin.

Back to my observation.

I mentioned to my brother that the ways of man without the wisdom of God being followed result in all forms of evil…and eventually lead to death. Why would God, knowing this, then allow a brutal beating, scourging, crucifixion and death of His “Holy One” in order to get through to all that need to be re-born and saved? Doesn’t it make sense to counter what the sinful mindsets of men do throughout the centuries in order to get our attention with the goal of discovering THE WAY out of our predicament?  That could be considered “man’s wisdom.”  The message of the Cross of Christ is “foolishness to those who are perishing…but to us who are being saved it is the power of God!”

1Co 1:18

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

2Co 2:15

For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing.

God’s Wisdom in this is often regarded as offensive to those who are perishing.  It is for this reason that many non-believers hate Christians and Christianity.  Such hatred is ratcheting up the closer we get to the end times.  Jesus warned us that many would hate us.  But remember that they “hated Him without a cause.”

Jhn 15:25

“But this happened that the word might be fulfilled which is written in their law, ‘They hated Me without a cause.’[fn]

This also, was a fulfillment of prophecy!

Psa 69:4

Those who hate me without a cause
Are more than the hairs of my head;
They are mighty who would destroy me,
Being my enemies wrongfully;
Though I have stolen nothing,
I still must restore it.

In the economy of the Godhead – from eternity past to eternity future – this agreement was made between the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit so that mankind could be reconciled back unto a Holy and Righteous God! While we were yet sinners…Christ died for us!

The Bible tells us that there is no greater love than for a Man to lay His life down for His friends. But the God-Man Jesus Christ followed through to prove who he is and for this reason he was born to save his people from their sins.

1Jo 4:19

We love Him[fn] because He first loved us.

So, what are we to do? Accept it…and believe!

Thomas wanted proof that Jesus was actually resurrected from the dead. He stated that he would not believe until he saw Jesus alive again. What’s more, he needed to put his finger into the nail scars in Jesus’ hands and His side.

Jesus said, “Thomas, you believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who have not seen me yet believe.”

That is FAITH!

Faith is the evidence of things not seen. Faith is the substance of things hoped for.

Heb 11:1

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

The next episode of “A.D. The Bible Continues” showed what happens to the disciples when they receive the power of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost.  These men were transformed forever – and  carried on through the Book of Acts in the Bible spreading The Way of salvation through Jesus Christ and reiterating man’s need to be born again through the Holy Spirit.

Another excerpt from Got Questions:

Therefore, Christian spirituality involves a choice we make to “know and grow” in our daily relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ by submitting to the ministry of the Holy Spirit in our lives. This means that, as believers, we make a choice to keep our communication with the Spirit clear through confession (1 John 1:9). When we grieve the Spirit by sin (Ephesians 4:30; 1 John 1:5-8), we erect a barrier between ourselves and God. When we submit to the Spirit’s ministry, our relationship is not interrupted (1 Thessalonians 5:19). Christian spirituality is a consciousness of fellowship with the Spirit of Christ, uninterrupted by carnality and sin. Christian spirituality develops when a born-again believer makes a consistent and ongoing choice to surrender to the ministry of the Holy Spirit.

It matters greatly which kind of “spirit” one follows. You don’t want to be trapped under the influence of deceiving spirits! So, how do you know whether or not you are being deceived?

1. Read and study God’s Word – the Bible.
2. Follow God’s Living Word – Jesus Christ

That’s it!

We are told both in the beginning and the end of the book of Revelation that those of us who read and study it – will be blessed!

Yet, many churches and pastors these days ignore that book. Why? Why would they want their congregations to miss out on such blessings?

It must have something to do with knowing (or ignoring) the truth.

In Zechariah’s prophecy where he describes the King “riding on a donkey,” he also states:

Zec 9:11

“As for you also,
Because of the blood of your covenant,
I will set your prisoners free from the waterless pit.

 

No one likes the term “slave.” But the meaning here is a positive one.

Rom 6:18

And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.

Rom 6:22

But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life.

Being set free from sin is the greatest achievement of all time! Jesus Christ accomplished this for us on the cross because without the shedding of blood, there is no remission from sin.

Jhn 8:32

Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

Three things that matter within our trust in Jesus and in our desire to be with God:

Jhn 14:6

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

P.S. The Vikings Proverb was included in a very long Land Rover commercial via Direct TV. In addition to that saying, the following quote appeared:

“Fifty percent of people in Iceland believe in elves.”

Wow.

Question:  What does believing in elves get you in this lifetime or in eternity?

Answer:  Nothing.

I think that staking my life on the historical, spiritual, and biblical proof of the resurrection of Jesus Christ is light-years more sensible!

~ Christine

Hat tips to all links.

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3 Responses to ““A Better Weight Than Wisdom…””

  1. GMpilot Says:

    CJW: … and I wondered which type of “wisdom” the Vikings were referring to?
    Well, you could look it up. You know how to do that; they didn’t spend all their lives fishing, fighting and raiding.
    Or are you content to just ‘wonder’?

    For me, the ultimate wisdom comes from God through His Written Word – the Bible, and His Living Word – Jesus Christ.
    The Norsemen (or Vikings), OTOH, had some pretty good gods of their own. The chief one, Odin, was remarkably similar in tone to Jehovah; not only the god of war and death, but of poetry and wisdom, as well. Unlike Jehovah, he did not send his son to die on a cross; he did so himself, and is said to have spent nine days in agony on a tree—upside down!
    Also unlike Jehovah, Odin was never said to be omniscient; he sacrificed one of his eyes in order to “see” better; that is, to gain wisdom and insight. To gain something, you must give up something. The Vikings realized that nothing’s for free.

    But as far as I know, Vikings made no distinction between the wisdom of gods and that of men. Wisdom is wisdom no matter who has it, and it is accessible to all.

    Love is sacrifice.
    Love is mercy and grace.
    Love is forgiveness of sins.
    Love is listening and obeying.
    Love is worship.

    That’s not the way I heard it:

    Love is patient, love is kind.
    It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
    It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
    Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
    It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
    –I Cor 13:4~7 (NIV)

    Of course, the record shows Paul was inclined to smack a few heads himself, in the name of love. Still, those words are said to be his, and divinely-inspired or not, they are very wise words.

    In the case of Noah, there was so much violence, evil, sin and death that it grieved the Lord God immensely. The only “righteous ones” found were within Noah’s own family!
    And only some of them, seeing as how Noah got drunk after he finally got off his ship, and then cursed his son Ham for simply seeing him naked and drunk. That’s righteousness, all righty!
    For many centuries this was the religious underpinning for slavery, since Ham was said to be of darker hue than his brothers. But it sounded suspicious even then, and few biblical scholars try to justify it now. It was less than 200 years ago that the Lord got upset about it.

    In the case of Lot, the whole place (Sodom and Gomorrah) would have been spared if 50, then 20, then just 10 righteous people could be found in the cities.
    That was a sucker’s bet, and you know it. An all-knowing god would have known they wouldn’t be found. So either the god wasn’t omniscient, or he was manipulating Noah.

    We know that only Lot, his wife and children made it out (practically dragged out by the angels!); but even then, Lot’s wife looked back longingly (ignoring the angels warnings not to!) and she turned into a pillar of salt.
    What Lot and his daughters did afterwards wouldn’t be called righteous, though. Not now, and not then.

    …Doesn’t it make sense to counter what the sinful mindsets of men do throughout the centuries in order to get our attention with the goal of discovering THE WAY out of our predicament? That could be considered “man’s wisdom.”
    A better consideration of man’s wisdom might be to “lead by example”. If a god wanted men to not beat, scourge, crucify and kill, wouldn’t the best way be to NOT KILL? Instead, he allowed them to do that to his own Chosen One. If they could do that to him–well, clearly it was okay to do that to anyone!

    Thomas wanted proof that Jesus was actually resurrected from the dead. He stated that he would not believe until he saw Jesus alive again. What’s more, he needed to put his finger into the nail scars in Jesus’ hands and His side.
    Jesus said, “Thomas, you believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who have not seen me yet believe.” That is FAITH!

    Did Jesus revoke Thomas’ blessing? No. But no one since then is allowed to question. Thomas didn’t need faith; he had knowledge, which is even better. (Saying “I know that I know that I know” is still faith.) Thomas could say to anyone who questioned him “I was there, I touched his wounds, he held my hands and talked to me.” That’s usually more convincing than FAITH.

    …many churches and pastors these days ignore that book. Why? Why would they want their congregations to miss out on such blessings?
    It must have something to do with knowing (or ignoring) the truth.

    More likely it’s something to do with the pastor’s version of the truth. In most church matters, there are almost as many answers as there are Christians to give them.
    Presbyterians, Quakers, Mormons and Evangelicals are all worshipers of Jesus and none of them talk to each other. All have their version of The Truth™ and it rarely meshes with anyone else’s.
    The perfect word of god always comes through imperfect men, and that’s its problem.

    Like

  2. christinewjc Says:

    Argghhh…I accidentally hit the wrong button and lost the comment I was working on, so here it is in brief:

    The question I asked is what is known as a conversation starter.

    You could look up whether or not the Vikings made any distinction between the wisdom of God vs. the wisdom of man. Those who equate such wisdom as equal are in error.

    Even when comparing the wisdom of one man to another, it is obvious that some have less than others.

    You took me to task for writing:

    Love is sacrifice.

    Jhn 15:13

    “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.

    Love is mercy and grace.

    2Jo 1:3

    Grace, mercy, and peace will be with you[fn] from God the Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love.

    Love is forgiveness of sins.

    Eph 1:3

    Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,

    Eph 1:4

    just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love,

    Eph 1:5

    having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will,

    Eph 1:6

    to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.

    Eph 1:7

    In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace

    Eph 1:8

    which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence,

    Eph 1:9

    having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself,

    Eph 1:10

    that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both[fn] which are in heaven and which are on earth—in Him.

    Love is listening and obeying.

    Mar 4:3

    “Listen! Behold, a sower went out to sow. (see rest of parable in Mark)

    Jhn 8:43

    “Why do you not understand My speech? Because you are not able to listen to My word.

    Jhn 9:27

    He answered them, “I told you already, and you did not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you also want to become His disciples?”

    Act 4:19

    But Peter and John answered and said to them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you more than to God, you judge.

    Act 7:2

    And he said, “Brethren and fathers, listen: The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham when he was in Mesopotamia, before he dwelt in Haran,

    Act 13:16

    Then Paul stood up, and motioning with his hand said, “Men of Israel, and you who fear God, listen:
    (read the rest of this chapter HERE

    Act 15:13

    And after they had become silent, James answered, saying, “Men and brethren, listen to me:

    Act 15:14

    “Simon has declared how God at the first visited the Gentiles to take out of them a people for His name.

    Act 15:15

    “And with this the words of the prophets agree, just as it is written:

    Act 15:16

    ‘After this I will return
    And will rebuild the tabernacle of David, which has fallen down;
    I will rebuild its ruins,
    And I will set it up;

    Act 15:17

    So that the rest of mankind may seek the LORD,
    Even all the Gentiles who are called by My name,
    Says the LORD who does all these things.’[fn]

    Act 15:18

    “Known to God from eternity are all His works.[fn]

    1Pe 1:22

    Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit[fn] in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart,

    1Pe 1:23

    having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever,[fn]

    Pe 1:24

    because

    “All flesh is as grass,
    And all the glory of man[fn] as the flower of the grass.
    The grass withers,
    And its flower falls away,

    1Pe 1:25

    But the word of the LORD endures forever.”[fn]
    Now this is the word which by the gospel was preached to you.

    Love is worship.

    Jhn 14:15

    “If you love Me, keep[fn] My commandments.

    Jhn 4:23

    “But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him.

    Jhn 4:24

    “God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

    *******
    About the request to spare Sodom and Gomorrah if 50, then 20, then even 10 righteous people were found there – the incident showed the utter depravity of all of the people. God spared only the members of Lot’s family because there weren’t any others.

    *******
    About Thomas. Jesus said “blessed are those who have not seen, yet believe.” It was an object lesson for all who would read this account about Thomas.

    Like

  3. GMpilot Says:

    CJW: The question I asked is what is known as a conversation starter.
    Horse puckey. Almost everything you said after that first paragraph was you quoting your bible, not making a point of conversation. If your dialogue consists exclusively of that, you’re not conversing at all–you’re preaching!

    You could look up whether or not the Vikings made any distinction between the wisdom of God vs. the wisdom of man. Those who equate such wisdom as equal are in error.
    You’re the one who ‘wondered’, not me. You look it up and tell me, and then we’ll both know.

    Even when comparing the wisdom of one man to another, it is obvious that some have less than others.
    Point taken.

    You say I took you to task for your list of what ‘love’ is. I took another list of what love is, using the same holy book, and I’m telling you that what you said is not what I’d been told. There are some parallels in both: one who shows “forgiveness in sins” would also “keep no record of wrongs”. I just happen to think the list in Corinthians is more succinct. (This, BTW, is an example of why Christianity is so full of ‘splinter’ sects. Just one doctrinal difference can start a whole new church.)

    About the request to spare Sodom and Gomorrah if 50, then 20, then even 10 righteous people were found there – the incident showed the utter depravity of all of the people. God spared only the members of Lot’s family because there weren’t any others.
    But God knew the search would fail! He accepted the plea because he knew he couldn’t lose the bet.
    Lot was a nephew of the one-and-only Abraham, and Abe was tight with God; he actually persuaded God to allow Lot to escape Sodom. Abraham’s plea for mercy couldn’t save the cities, but he did manage to save his relatives. Lot’s righteousness probably had little to do with it (as later events showed).
    Even back then, “it’s not what you know, but who you know” was applicable.

    About Thomas. Jesus said “blessed are those who have not seen, yet believe.” It was an object lesson for all who would read this account about Thomas.
    You, who have never seen Obama’s actual birth certificate, nevertheless believe it is fake. But you want me to believe–without evidence—that a man who was (by then) at least six days dead walked and talked, and ate. Sorry, Christine; I’m just not that credulous.

    Enjoy the weekend.

    Like

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