Weekly Wisdoms for the week of September 14, 2009
1 John 5:21 says, Dear children, keep yourselves from idols. The Amplified Bible elaborates on this: Little children, keep yourselves from idols (false gods)--[from anything and everything that would occupy the place in your heart due to God, from any sort of substitute for Him that would take first place in your life]. (AMP)
It is imperative that you prevent any sort of substitute from becoming first place in your life. Fill your life with the true, living God, not a phony substitute.
You can tell what is important to you simply by examining how you spend your time. If you are spending so much time trying to make money that you don't spend any quality time with God, then wealth is more important to you than God. Likewise, if you are always spending time with friends and don't have any time to spend with God, then your social life is more important to you than God.
How you use your time is so important, because you can either invest it or waste it. However, if you waste your time, you'll never get it back. On the other hand, if you invest your time into forming a deep, close, personal relationship with God, then you will reap the rewards of such an investment for the rest of eternity.
Decide to put God first in your life: spend significant, quality, personal time with Him. Put the first, most important thing (God) first place in your life.
When a person, especially a minister, is very gifted, others often flock to that person. However, he or she must have Godly character in order to remain humble, so that the ministry won't turn sour.
If you have great gifts and you are waiting for God to promote you and wondering why He doesn't, check your character. Examine your Fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). Do you walk in love with others (John 13:34-35)? Do you purposefully look for ways to bless others and reach out to people (Luke 10:30-37)? Do you try to serve and put others first (Mark 9:35)? Do you keep your word and do what you say you will do (Psalm 15:1-5, especially notice v. 4)? Those are the key elements of character necessary for successful, lasting ministry.
Integrity, excellence, and faith are the only things that can keep you steady in the storms of life. If you lack those, then you lack Godly character.
If you lack character, then you may end up doing more harm than good to the name of God. Although your gifts may take you somewhere, you need character to keep you there.
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All scripture quotations are in italics. Some portions of scripture have been placed in bold by the author for emphasis.
All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION©. NIV©. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.
Scripture quotations marked (AMP) are taken from the Amplified Bible, Copyright © 1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.