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Lesson 11: Daily Wisdom *

Introduction: Anyone with any smarts wants to be smarter, right? Would you also like to be wise? What do you see as the difference between the two? Which would you rather have, intelligence or wisdom? The problem with intelligence is that it is inherited - thus you had little to do with whether you have it or not. This is not true about wisdom. Wisdom you can acquire by study and effort. Our lesson this week is about wisdom, so let's wisely jump right into our study!

  1. Where to Find Wisdom


    1. Read Psalms 19:7. What does it mean to "revive" your soul? (This sounds like a "tune-up" a "make-over" for the core of your being.)


      1. Are only smart people being made wise? (It is available to all: "Making wise the simple.")


      2. Why is "trustworthy" a part of becoming wise? (Wisdom is in large part understanding how things operate. Thus, if you have reliable knowledge (you are trustworthy) you are well on the road to wisdom.)


    2. Read Psalms 19:8. We studied happiness last week. How can the law give us joy?


      1. What does light do for your eyes? (Helps you to see things more clearly.)


      2. What relationship is there between light and beauty? (When you put a flower under a strong light can you see more of its beauty! Light helps you to more correctly perceive things.)


      3. What does light do for evil? (Exposes it.)


    3. The term "legalist" is sort of a dirty word among Christians. This text tells us God's law revives our core, makes us wise, helps us to see clearly and gives us joy! Who would want to turn that down? Why wouldn't you want to become the biggest legalist possible?


      1. Since my picture of a "legalist" includes joy, wisdom, light and revival, perhaps we are calling the wrong people legalists!


    4. Read Psalms 19:10. How is it appropriate to compare God's law to gold and honey? (If you asked someone if they would like some money, or asked them if they would like something sweet, they would say "yes!" God is telling us that His law is something that we want. Something we will enjoy.)


    5. Read Psalms 19:11. How does the law "warn" us? (Normally a "warning" has to do with something that can be dangerous. Life can be dangerous and the law gives us warnings about those things that can harm us. The law also does the opposite, it shows us what is good for us.)


    6. What is the best "toolbox" for improving your life? (God's law.)


    7. This series of verses makes the most extraordinary claims for God's law, statutes, precepts, ordinances, and commands. If this is true, who is the source of wisdom, joy and a glorious life? (God.)


      1. How do we tap into this source of wisdom, joy and blessings? How do we acquire a knowledge of God's law? (We read and study God's word - the Bible.)


    8. The reader of this lesson is unlikely to be a very young person. Therefore, you can test this with your life. Do your life experiences confirm or deny what the Psalmist writes in Psalms 19:1-11?


      1. To competently answer this question, you would not only need to have experienced life, you would need to know God's word well. Are you competent to answer this question? Do you know your Bible well enough to know whether following the law made your life better?


    9. On the web site "Progressive Adventism," I bumped into a television clip of Martin Sheen which carried the caption that Sheen knew his Bible. In the clip Sheen cites a number of God's Old Testament laws which he thinks the audience will find ridiculous. His reason for doing this is to make the point that God's law about homosexual practice is also ridiculous.


      1. What does this say about the Psalmist's view of the law verses Sheen's view (or the view of his writers)? (Sheen's point is that God's law is unwise and untrustworthy. This is just the oppose of the Psalmist's view.)


      2. If we decide to ignore some part of God's law, are we then taking on the role of law-maker? (Yes, but this is not a simple matter. In Acts 15 the early church wrestled with what parts of the law should be observed by the Gentiles. In the end, the church decided that only part of what Moses wrote was binding on Gentiles ( Acts 15:19-21). I think Psalms 19:8 helps us - that if we study God's law we will have "light to the eyes" which will help us to understand God's will for us.)


  2. Emotional Wisdom


    1. Would you like to get along better with others? (I have read that most employees who are discharged from their jobs are not fired for incompetence, but rather because they could not get along. Incompetence alone does not always (or maybe often) get you fired.)


    2. Read Matthew 22:37-40. What emotional wisdom do we find here? What instruction do we find for getting along with others and keeping our job?


      1. We determined in Psalms 19 that the law was this perfect tool for making our lives better. What shortcut does Jesus give us if we are uncertain that we know His law? (Jesus reduces the law to two foundational principles. You should be able to keep track of two things!)


        1. These principles are easy to say. How easy is it to apply the principle to love others as you love yourself?


    3. Read Colossians 3:22-24. One of Sheen's attacks on God's law was His regulation - not elimination - of slavery. If you were God, would you counsel your slaves to rebel against the authorities?


      1. What counsel does God give to slaves?


      2. Would this advice apply to employees today?


      3. If you were an employer, what would you do with an employee who took Colossians 3:23 to heart? (I would never fire that employee!)


  3. Citizen Wisdom


    1. Read Romans 13:1-5. Is this wisdom for dealing with the government?


      1. Paul keeps repeating that the governmental authorities are "God's servants." He was talking about Rome which had some leaders who seemed far from being "God's servants." What does Paul mean by this?


      2. If you are an American, and you believe God has blessed our country, how do you square our rebellion against England with this text?


        1. Would the United States be where it is today without the war of independence?


      3. Would the wisdom of Romans 13 also apply at work?


  4. Leadership Wisdom


    1. Read Matthew 20:20-22. Having just the facts in these verses, would you think that these sons were qualified to hold the highest positions in Jesus' kingdom? (Mom makes the request while they are present! True leaders would make the request themselves, or have another group of leaders make it.)


      1. Other than having your mom negotiate your promotions, is this otherwise a reasonable plan?


        1. If you want the "gold," you have to go for it, right?


    2. Read Matthew 20:23. Will Jesus be doing the promoting? (No.)


    3. Read Matthew 20:24-28. To what is Jesus responding? The request of the mother? The irritation of the other ten disciples? Or, the nature of leadership? (The implication is that they all wanted to be the top leaders. Jesus is saying the job is not what you think - I expect you to be a servant leader.)


      1. Is this "wisdom" for church administrative positions? Or, is it wisdom for all management positions? (Jesus says this is what He did for us. It seems this is universal advice for Christians.)


    4. Friend, God's word can make you wise. Will you pledge to study it? Will you agree to take the world's ultimate "life improvement" course?


  5. Next week: Growing Through the Word.


























* Copr. 2007, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D. All scripture references are to the New International Version (NIV), copr. 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society, unless otherwise noted. Quotations from the NIV are used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers. Suggested answers are found within parentheses. The lesson assumes the teacher uses a blackboard or some other visual aid.

© 2017 Bruce N. Cameron, J.D.
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