Ask for Wisdom and Read in Faith

God promises that if you ask Him for wisdom, He will give it to you! But how do you expect Him to give it? The primary means He chose is through the written word. So if you ask for wisdom, don’t expect Him to just “zap” you. Ask and then in faith, go to His Word, and go to good books. We gain wisdom from others, so read biographies, works of theology, history, science, and fiction to name a few.

This reading stat may get your attention, but if you don’t set a time, and decide on a book, then it’ll just be an interesting stat. What’s your recommendation? How about Don Whitney’s modern classic, “Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life,” or “Trusting God,” by Jerry Bridges? Don’t get overwhelmed with the selection… pick one and start!

– pb

Whose Side Are You On?

If I’m not for Him then I’m against Him. But what does it mean to be “for Him?” Certainly it’s more than me just trying to not be against Him. If a soldier doesn’t show up for their duty they’re not simply being neutral, they’re actively being rebellious, and this rebellion gives an advantage to the enemy.

“Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God… as instruments for righteousness” (Rom. 6:13).

Do we fight the battle against sin by simply avoiding it? “Don’t look… don’t do!” Paul’s instruction is active, not passive. There’s no neutral ground; we’re either presenting ourselves to one side or the other, and the battle is not over until we enter into his presence and become like him – sinless, as he is sinless. If we’re not showing up for duty, if we’re not presenting ourselves to God for the sake of His righteousness, then we’re rebelling. So, not presenting ourselves to Him IS an act of presenting ourselves to the other side.

Yes, there’s a lot going on in our 24-hour day. We sleep, we eat, have jobs and errands to run, we exercise, we watch the news, we look at art, we play, we do our hobbies, we may even watch sports and TV. None of these are inherently sinful, but all of these have a greater power to tempt us in sin if we’re not actively about our Father’s will.
Jesus didn’t resist sin by averting his eyes, or avoiding people. No, he was intentionally about his Father’s will – he was so active in presenting himself to God: studying the Scriptures, in prayer communing with his Father, humbly submitting himself to doing the Father’s will – that the lures from the enemy had no power to pull him away from his active duty. And don’t hear “duty” in a negative sense because his duty was also his greatest love and desire. How much more allegiance; how much more motivation is there in our actions when we love the commanding officer? If this is the case: we joyfully present ourselves, we gladly do what he commands, and the temptations to rebel have no place in our minds to linger.
My fight against sin is best won by realizing there is no neutrality in life. As one old saint said, “Be killing sin, or sin will be killing you.” It’s an active fight (in the Word, relying on the Spirit, in prayer, receiving the means of grace at church as we encourage one another), by intentionally presenting ourselves to God for the sake of His kingdom. 
Pastor Brian