Wisdom, Understanding and the End Game

God gives the Word and disciples are made by the Book. We possess a living message that brings well-formed thought patterns fit for conduct and action. Like Stephen, we become full of faith and power. There is trouble when there is not wisdom at work in men who lead. We can only bear fruit when our attention is concentrated on what God is saying and on the work He is doing among us. Acts 6:1-8; Proverbs 27:22

Speaker(s): Pastor Thomas Schaller
Sermon # 11319
7:30 PM on 8/23/2017

 
P. Schaller

(1 Ki 3) Sometimes when you go soul winning, you can use this leading phrase. Excuse me sir, may I ask you a question? If God gave you one wish, what would you wish for? Then let him answer you. That could be asked to you, too. If you had one thing to ask God for, what would you ask?

This happened in 1 Ki 3:5. Wow! What an invitation.

vs. 11. Three things listed there. What are they? Long life, riches, and the life of your enemies. I like the last one! One thing! One thing Solomon asked for was wisdom. This word in the Greek language we have SOPHIA. It refers to the wisdom of ultimate things. The Greek writings have many definitions. The commonest definition is that it’s the K of things both human and divine and of their causes.

The word there is more than wisdom because in vs. 12. Wise is SOPHIA and understanding is PHRONESIS. Not just the theoretical K of things but in relation to the application, the practice. It has to do with life and conduct and action. You can have a wise man, but then how does he really understand? This is something we never grow out of. It’s constantly needed in our lives. Not only the gift of W but also added to the word, complementing the word is this word understanding.

One more word – turn to Acts 6. We have in our N.T. this amazing work that happened in the church. We have the third word SUNESIS. It means a union, a bringing together, a putting two and two together. Aristotle said SUNESIS was concerned only with judgment. A conclusion on that which is fair and based on things that are distinguished. You are able to have an assessment to the situation, give ground and strength to courage because you understand how things are going to go. SOPHIA, PHRONESIS and SUNESIS. One is understanding of ultimate things, one is the actual practice of life, the outworking of it, and the other is where are things going. Think with me that you have the H.S. If any man lack wisdom let him ask of God. This wisdom we read in the book – by the way, it’s a primary interest of God that we would have it. We would have an understanding of the ultimate things, the eternal things. That wisdom from above.

In Proverbs, we see the wise man crying out for the believer to get W. Prov. 27:22, that’s a difficult verse to get ahold of. I know what it means and understand it. It’s easy for me and I’m going to teach it simply, but before I do, could you give a try at it with your neighbor.

Mark 6, King Herod heard of John the Baptist. Herod it says in vs. 20. Did Herod like to hear John the Baptist? Yes, it says that. Did John the Baptist rebuke him for taking his brother’s wife?

Yes, vs. 18 says that. Herod was rebuked. He also liked to hear John the Baptist but when the young lady danced in front of him and he was seduced by her, he said I’ll give you whatever you want and half the kingdom. She said I want the head of John the Baptist. He was a fool. He liked to listen to John, but he couldn’t process this. He was not wise in the way that Solomon and you think.

You have three Greek words that say not only am I learning the Bible, but it is affecting me in my practical life. When I look at things, I get an idea of where they are going. If I live this way, where does it end up? I have some idea that 2 plus 2 equals 4. This is an amazing gift. The Bible says we are foolish and we are able. One of the marvels of our Bible is one very, very wise man in time became a fool. Who was it? Solomon. The very man that had it, also had 1,000 women in his life. The Bible said it’s not only the women that’s a problem. The women aren’t the problem. It’s the idols they brought with them. It was wrong, but Solomon didn’t have the sense. How did he lose it? He had it but how did he lose that understanding?

He writes in the proverb that a strange woman is a narrow pit (Prov. 23:27). I think of brothers and sisters who have problems with addictions. Best thing you can do is have wisdom before you touch anything. Have an idea where will this bring me. P. Lange took [name?] into the city of Budapest and they walked looking for alcoholics and drugs and had their talk about it. This is the end game. This is SUNESIS.

Prov 27:22 if you put Herod in a mortal with a pestle. Maybe in chemistry remember the ceramic bowl with the blunt instrument and you crush the instrument. This is bray. Bray means to beat. If beat a fool in a mortal, you can’t separate the substance. That’s why there is a hell. God can’t separate the foolishness from the human heart. God can’t extract it. When I’m a fool like Herod was, he said I like John the Baptist’s preaching. I hear him gladly. He’s a bit entertaining. But when it comes down to it, he will kill him. A fool can’t direct his steps and a fool doesn’t understand or comprehend.

Acts 6:1, there is so much for division. In our country we see there is a lot of contesting, a lot of strife and a lot of issues of great importance in our world, in our lives as Americans. What is needed to navigate through these waters is wisdom. I need help from God. To know what to talk about, think about, what to do, how to practice, how to live, how to process this life. We had a great Grace Hour. We talked about navigating in the waters in troublesome times. What is needed is spiritual understanding not the Grecians and Hebrews fighting with each other.

Acts 6:2 who are the 12? The leaders of the church there in Jerusalem. That phrase “word of God” has a profound meaning. It’s not just the letters on the page, but it’s the Spirit of God in the Word of God. We cannot leave a living message that ministers to the spirit and the heart of the church. We can’t just be organizers or managers. We can’t just be leaders in a normal sense. There has to be a living presentation, like the ladies sang tonight, – the Spirit of God in the church, the mind of God in the heart. A very wise man, Solomon can become a very foolish man. How long does it take? Where does the foolishness come from? My sin nature. How is it fed? By the world I live in. They will argue issues that are mute and of no importance. They speak with the wisdom of this world but it’s not from God. We see here and this is what we grow up in.

vs. 2. Deuteronomy, Exodus, Leviticus, and Book of Numbers. We cannot leave that. Learn it, meditate on it, think about it, and process it. It will give me perspective. We moved and in the move we didn’t watch TV. In the new house we lost our hunger for it. I don’t have enough time for it anyway. I don’t know the news. I’m not a news addict. I have something that I really want, labor in the work of the ministry. I care that people don’t drift off and become something less. We will be before God at the Bema in a short time. In a few years maybe.

All that we do in our effort, our heart, and our attitude – go to vs. 3. Troubles with leaders that don’t have wisdom. We get in trouble with men leading in a church, this one or any other one, when not filled with the Spirit. We get in trouble in our home when not filled with the Spirit and not have wisdom. We have problems with the youth ministry if we don’t have wisdom and the Holy Spirit’s filling. So we bear fruit and understand how we can live and make our decisions. They said we need seven men.

vs. 4. Wow. Continually to prayer. Luther said three hours of prayer on a busy day. They didn’t have phones or iPhone. About iPhones in the church. Someday I will bring a stack of magazines in the church with me, and go through the magazines while in church. What’s the difference me going on my iPhone and searching the net while I’m in church? Would you bring a stack of magazines and do that? No, but I have a stack in my phone. That can’t happen if you want to worship God. This takes all my concentration. Sometimes I can’t even write on a piece of paper I’m so concentrating on the speaker and as he is preaching I have something going on in my spirit and mind and I’m with him in his message. I have Bible verses going through my mind. I love church. I don’t go because of duty. Iron sharpens iron. These are the wisest people on the earth next to the Hungarians, the Fins, – you understand. We will give ourselves continually.

vs. 4. It’s not a labor of sweat, but a labor of love. It’s a joy and to the ministry of the Word. You don’t come to this church and hear a commentary on politics, or an opinion on psychology or sociology or biology. You come because you want to learn this chapter and that one.

I went to a church and heard Acts 2 and Jn 3:16. Next week, Acts 2 and Jn 3. Next week, Acts 2 and Jn 3. And that’s all he spoke on. It was anointed and the man was a man of God but I wondered, what are all these other pages about? It takes effort. That’s when you go to Bible College and get into that. If you’re not going, get one hour of doctrine every day and get into the concentration and you use your phone as a great tool. I love the phone. What an incredible device. I have nothing against it but when it comes into the assembly, God needs my full concentration on his presence. When I go into a prayer meeting, I bring a stack of magazines and leaf through the magazines. Is that prayer? No, that’s leafing through the magazines. That’s ridiculous. There is an amazing H.S. presence that is needed. We are going to be a funny people if we lose God’s presence and to fear him is the beginning of wisdom and amazing respect for him and his work.

vs. 5-7. Look what happened. The Word of God increased. Is it increasing in your heart and mind? Do you know more now than a year ago? Is it increasing in your heart and mind and your way of thinking? Sometimes I know I’m a foolish man. So I pray, give me wisdom. I listen to a person in counseling and I don’t trust myself. God help me. Give me wisdom. This person is a precious person and I don’t want to mess them up or interfere with what you are doing. We are people like Stephen. You and I are people like Stephen.

vs. 5-7. Where did you get the disciples? They multiplied. God gave the Word. A disciple is not by nature. That’s a religious disciple. We are disciples by the Word of God. You are my disciples if you continue in my Word. If you continue in this book, you are my disciples. It means you will have a word in season. You will be able to make a negotiation in troubled water. You will be able to say no; I can’t do it. When Solomon was taking foreign women so he can have peace around him, like in our case a Canadian wife or Mexican wife, – take the neighboring counties. He should have said, no. God is my way. I need wisdom and he tells me not to multiply wives or gold or horses. Somehow he went off the rails. I don’t want you or any of us, when the Word of God is increasing, he will make you a disciple in your heart and you’ll have this SOPHIA, PHRONESIS, and SUNESIS wisdom. I’m not going to go there. I have a hunger for this and can overcome that temptation.

A little girl was asked, she’s four years old, and she prayed forgive us our trash baskets as we forgive those who put trash in our baskets! Lead us not into temptation.

How about W and I’m not led into my temptations like others. I have something going on in my heart. Meditation on this book and thinking about it. Being fed by the Spirit of God. Stephen had this and couldn’t be resisted.

vs. 8. I got to believe that’s for you and me. Full of faith and power. We got to believe that’s it for us. And peace, and W and quietness.

They couldn’t resist the W in vs. 10. That’s what I want to say. That’s the end of the message. You got it. I want to say simply these words are so important to us. By them we can make decisions at work, in relationships or when we fail. In our disappointment, when we have to forgive people. We see the big picture and say that’s not going to take all my time. I’m not getting occupied with that. I’m not going to spend an hour with that person. They are destructive in their language and attitude. I’d do the loving and the praying. It’s not edifying. It lacks wisdom. That happens among us. You don’t entertain people who are have another spirit. A very, very wise man became a very, very foolish man. Herod was a foolish man and God couldn’t get the foolishness out of him even if you grind him in the mortar. He will not change. I got an answer here. This is it. I got an answer. I believe it. I’m not much. I’m not much of a person at all. But he gives you something so important in your life. He gives it to you by the H.S. and by this book. He feeds us and leads us. A time when it can’t be resisted. The enemy is there and they are very foolish. As you grow in W, you recognize it and discern it. That’s foolishness to me. Not part of that. I have something else going on in my heart. That wisdom will change a life, resist an enemy, overcome the devil, and edify the Body. Some of it might go to another place and do something awesome. God is with that man and that woman, and that group of people.

(He started to pray and then spoke again).

Let me say one other thing. If you are a missionary and you come back home, and you don’t do soul winning, and you don’t meet us on a Saturday morning, then why would we send you out on the mission field? If you cannot be building us up in the Body, in our soul winning efforts and be part of what we are doing in Baltimore, then why would we send you abroad? There you go. That’s a good subject, isn’t it? Let us not fool ourselves by the deceit of our own heart and say I like the mission field but not so much in Baltimore. That’s carnal. That’s wrong. That cannot be. We were six years in Finland and came back nine years, and said to P. Stevens, I’m with you in prayer. I don’t have to do any preaching. I’m not that important. I just want to build up the Body and do whatever you are doing. He said that’s what we need. And we had Lenox. And we had an amazing work of God. God did the work. Then the time to go back out. And God brought me nine years later me and my family went to Hungary. We were there and that was a strange arrangement too, because after one year, they lived here and I was going and coming. Whenever I came, it was about the Body and building up and edifying. You know what I’m saying. Then when he got sick, he asked P. Scibelli and me please to be here, and help him. And we did. Here we are years later.

What is the point? I don’t care where I live. I got wisdom. And wisdom tells me wherever I go I got something worthwhile thinking about, practicing in my life, expressing in my heart, and he that winneth souls is wise. We are all missionaries. We are all called into it. We all have an important part in it. And we are all learning it. Was that a prayer or an exhortation? In Jesus name, Amen.

 


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