Sunday, June 27, 2010

God Gives Wisdom

In Fall of 2005 I spent a lot of time talking with God about the future and what our family needed to do. I had been contacted by FBC Perry about being their pastor. I was happy where God had placed us but couldn't shake the feeling that He was up to something. So we talked. As time moved on we interviewed with the committee and met at a neutral site where I was able to preach. My wife and I began to feel a strong pull toward this church and her people. God and I kept talking.

I needed wisdom.

The followers of Christ, numbering around 120, were baffled about their current satte of affairs. Jesus had risen to life only to leave 40 days later. Now what? What were they supposed to do? Jesus said their would be a comforter to follow. Who was this? Where is He? When is He coming? Is He already here? No one knew and everyone was frustrated, I am sure. This group of believers kept gathering together and kept talking to God. The Bible isn't clear about how long it was, just that it was later. it was during one of these moments that Peter stood up and laid out a plan.

God responded to my wife and I with a sense of wisdom about what to do because we kept asking, kept seeking, and kept knocking. God responded to the group of believers by giving Peter wisdom that He knew Peter would share with the group. You see, the first way we see God responding to the prayers of the people is to give wisdom. James 1:5 tells us, "If you need wisdom, if you want to know what God wants you to do, ask Him, and He will gladly tell you."

Keep asking. Keep seeking. Keep knocking. God will respond. Are you listening?

Monday, June 21, 2010

How God Responds

We all like to talk. Sometimes we talk to much and listen very little. I find those cell phone commercials where the tweener girl is talking for thousands of minutes non-stop both humorous and frightening as I consider my own child and how much she likes to talk already. Finding the balance between speaking and listening can be tricky. If I speak to much then I never listen and know if what I am saying is being received. If I listen and never contribute then it could be misinterpreted as uncaring.

Giving and receiving is the basis for good communication. Without both you simply have extended monologues. God desires to communicate with each of us. Jesus tells us that we should keep asking, keep seeking, and keep knocking. I could spend pages trying to decipher all the meanings and parsings of these words. I could hours putting together good hermeneutics. An interesting things keeps popping up in my mind. If effective communication requires both parties to be involved and I am supposed to continue to ask, seek, and knock, then when and how does God respond?

Recently there has been much discussion concerning the church and her viability. We are in desperate need of a movement of God. Almost instantly I was inspired to read Acts. As I began looking at it again from this perspective I noticed a pattern. The people kept pressing God in prayer, but in a humble fashion, and God began to respond in dramatic fashion. As I read I noticed 10 ways that God responded to the early church. It was not that God responded 10 times but in ten unique ways. God heard the people and responded to the situation in a unique and wonderful way.

  1. Wisdom
  2. Direction
  3. Ability to Choose
  4. Power
  5. Transformation
  6. Salvation
  7. Presence
  8. Shared Ministry
  9. Leadership
  10. Rescue

Impressive. The God of the universe hears us and responds. Are you asking, seeking, and knocking? Maybe you should start. We'll look at the first one next time.