Dr. Ray Pritchard

Author, Speaker, President of Keep Believing Ministries

We just uploaded a new podcast called Three Arguments for Generous Giving. You might like it because our money matters to God. 

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Seven Marks of God's Wisdom

"Life is hard. It’s harder when you’re stupid.”

We chuckle at that because we all know it’s true. Some people claim John Wayne said those words. I don’t know if the Duke did or didn’t (the line doesn’t appear in any of his movies), but it sounds like something he could have said.

Let’s flip that statement around into something positive:“Life is hard, but it’s easier when you have God’s wisdom.”That’s better, isn’t it? And it’s just as true as the first statement. Our problem is, we don’t know how to find the wisdom we need. That’s where the little book of James comes in handy. He started his letter with a wonderful promise:

“If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking” (James 1:5 NLT).

I love that phrase: “Ask our generous God.” That’s good news for all of us. If you need wisdom, ask for it! That’s all you have to do. The hardest part is admitting you need God’s help. If you are ready to say, “Lord, I’ve made a mess of things,” he’s ready and willing to help you out.

Remember that knowledge and wisdom aren’t the same. Knowledge refers to the accumulation of facts. Wisdom gives you understanding of what the facts mean. You could be the smartest person in the world and still be a fool. Anyone can gain knowledge, but only God can give you wisdom.What does God’s wisdom look like? How do we know it when we see it? James 3:17-18 gives us seven marks of God’s wisdom:

"But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness."

Let’s look at the seven marks of God’s wisdom and see how we measure up.

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Does Your Soul Need Power Washing?

You never know where you’ll discover spiritual truth.

For me it happened when I spent a few hot hours power washing the deck in our backyard. When we bought our home in Dallas four years ago, it came with an attached deck and a hot tub that was installed in 2001. We used the hot tub once or twice, but decided not to fool with it because a) things get plenty hot in Dallas nine months out of the year, and b) the hot tub was old and needed repairs.

I never gave the deck a second thought since we didn’t use it. But finally the time came to either refurbish it or have it removed. So I rented a power washer at Home Depot and decided to give it a try. That’s when the surprises started. With nothing more than air pressure forcing the water out at 1400 PSI, the power washer stripped away 15 years of grime, gunk, mildew, mold and dirt. If you look at the picture, the top gives you the “before” and the bottom gives you the “after.”

All it took was water under pressure to wipe away all that gunk and transform the deck in a matter of moments. As I was power washing from one plank to another, the thought came that all of us are like an old wooden deck. We carry layers of bitterness, frustration, doubt and despair that cling to the soul and produce a kind of discoloration that normal washing will not remove.

That very day I talked with Chris Fabry on Moody Radio about the hidden sin of envy. I told him that in 45 years of ministry, only a handful of people had ever admitted to me that they struggle with “the green monster.” We will confess almost any sin before we will confess envy or jealousy because it makes us look so small. Some sins are harder to deal with than others. Envy leads to bitterness that hardens into malice that becomes a jaundice of the soul. Like the 15 years of gunk on our deck, that spiritual jaundice is hard to remove.

We all need the “power washing” of the Holy Spirit from time to time. Sometimes we aren’t even aware of how corroded things are on the inside, which is why David prayed in Psalm 19:12 (LB), How can I ever know what sins are lurking in my heart? Cleanse me from these hidden faults.” We need the Holy Spirit to take the Word of God and wash us clean from the inside out.

It won’t be easy or painless. Water alone will never clean that gunk away. It’s water plus pressure that makes the difference. Rooting out bad attitudes will cost you something. But if you ask the Lord to “power wash” your soul, get ready for the gunk to start flying away.

 Lord, do whatever it takes to “power wash” my soul. Reveal the secret sins and the bad attitudes that stick to me. Strip away the gunk so that my life will be clean from the inside out Amen.

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New Podcast: Why Galatians Matters

A few weeks ago I recorded a podcast for Word of Life where we talked about the importance of the book of Galatians. I thought you might enjoy this discussion because we all need to get the gospel right. 

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