Learning to Listen To Wisdom’s Words

Wednesday, June 29, 2016 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments



Proverbs 4:10 (NLT), My child, listen to me and do as I say, and you will have a long, good life. 11 I will teach you wisdom’s ways and lead you in straight paths. 12 When you walk, you won’t be held back; when you run, you won’t stumble. 13 Take hold of my instructions; don’t let them go. Guard them, for they are the key to life.

Listening to wisdom is the key to success and safety. We learn through listening. We become skillful through listening, following instructions, and gaining expertise through practice.

When I was a college instructor, I re-discovered the truth that students whom people consider to be “smart” are mostly very committed listeners and followers of instruction. The habit of listening closely, as to be able to accurately represent what was said, is a talent for some, but something everyone can learn.

The wisdom listeners’ promise of living a “long, good life” is not only a spiritual promise, but a practical reality. The simple, wise admonition of “buckle your seat belt” has saved many lives in auto accidents. Ignoring that practical wisdom has also, sadly, resulted in injury and loss of life.

Wisdom is not simply listening to good suggestions. Living in the “House of Wisdom” is about enriching and saving our own lives, and the lives of others. We all know that life is full of obstacles. To these challenges, wisdom says, “When you walk, you won’t be held back; when you run, you won’t stumble.” We overcome obstacles, not because we had a wisdom “pep talk.” We overcome because wisdom provides the understanding, knowledge, and skill to rise above those obstacles through the grace of God through Christ.

When we take God’s wisdom seriously, Verse 13 takes on a new weight and meaning, “Take hold of my instructions; don’t let them go. Guard them, for they are the key to life.”
          

Reflection Question: What is God’s wisdom speaking to you right now?

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Act Like Men - Honor

Wednesday, June 22, 2016 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments




1 Cor 16:13  (NIV) Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. 14 Do everything in love. 

1 Cor 16:13 (NASB) Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. 14 Let all that you do be done in love.

In a world that has cast aside biblical gender identity and traditional roles, God’s Word offers both hope and clarity. In the original biblical Greek, "act like men" means, "to make a man of or make brave...to show one's self a man, be brave.” In this light, both men and women can demonstrate qualities of a “man,” just as men can demonstrate qualities of tenderness and nurture, which is more common for women. 

Good and godly men are already motivated to be brave, protective, work hard to provide for others, use their physical strength, be aggressive when needed, and more. These are all characteristics demonstrated by the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the ultimate Man.

What blesses men and fathers is something called “honor.” A lack of honor for fathers and men, on the part of their children or other key persons in their lives is reflection of a lack of honor for the Lord. Remember this Scripture,  If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? (1 John 4:20)

Honoring is a basic trait of healthy families and spiritually healthy people. Deuteronomy 5:16 says, "Honor your father and your mother, as the LORD your God commanded you, that your days may be long, and that it may go well with you in the land that the LORD your God is giving you.”

In his book Honor’s Reward, John Bevere shared the following principles: The Greek word for honor literally means “a valuing.” The picture is one of something valuable, precious or weighty, such as gold. Other definitions: appreciation, esteem, favorable regard, respect.The antonym for “honor” is “dishonor” or to treat as common or ordinary, to not show respect or value.

Honor can be shown in actions, words, or thoughts, but all true honor originates from the heart. This is what the Pharisees and most religious leaders in Jesus’ day lacked. This is why they lacked power and moral authority.

This lack of honor for Jesus actually limited what He could do for people who did not value or honor Him. The same principle holds true today:

Mark 6:1 Then He went out from there and came to His own country, and His disciples followed Him. 2 And when the Sabbath had come, He began to teach in the synagogue. And many hearing Him were astonished, saying, “Where did this Man get these things? And what wisdom is this which is given to Him, that such mighty works are performed by His hands! 3 Is this not the carpenter, the Son of Mary, and brother of James, Joses, Judas, and Simon? And are not His sisters here with us?” So they were offended at Him. 4 But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own country, among his own relatives, and in his own house.” 5 Now He could do no mighty work there, except that He laid His hands on a few sick people and healed them. 6 And He marveled because of their unbelief. Then He went about the villages in a circuit, teaching.

A lack of honor restrained Jesus’ ability in His day. If we know what restrained him, we can know what restrains us.

A godly man won't lose motivation for a lack of honor, though he might lose heart. Motivation is the will to act and do what is necessary and right. Losing heart is to lose confidence or to stop believing that you can succeed. Godly men do not quit for a lack of honor, but persons who fail to honor cannot receive the best he has to offer. Godly men are motivated from within. This is something that separates men from boys. Boys have to be told what to do and will fade under difficulty. Men know what to do and will rise under difficulty. 

The late Edwin Louis Cole was a great motivator of men and author of the book Maximized Manhood. Below are some of his quotes:

You seek the heights of manhood when you seek the depths of God.

Your best friend and worst enemy are both in this room right now. It's not your neighbor right or left - and it's not God or the devil - it's you.

Inconsistencies in men are generally testimony to their immaturity.

Reasonable men adapt to the world around them; unreasonable men make the world adapt to them. The world is changed by unreasonable men.

Successful people recognize crisis as a time for change - from lesser to greater, smaller to bigger.

Returning to our key Scripture text, let us all embrace the following mandates:

1 Cor 16:13-14, Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love.

Be on the alert: Pay attention to what is going on
Stand firm in the faith: Feed your faith. Starve your doubts
Act like men: Follow Jesus' example
Be strong: Don't quit
Let all that you do be done in love: The best motivation

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Listen to my Father's Day Message "Act Like Men: Mandate, Malady, and Motivation"
Subscribe to the Firm Foundation Podcast or my mobile app, BryanHudson

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Firm Foundation Conversation #105 | Dr. Mark Eckel

Friday, June 03, 2016 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments




Very pleased to announce our latest Firm Foundation conversation with Dr. Mark Eckel. Our topic is "Comenius, Warp & Woof." 

Check out the conversation at the FirmFoundationTV website: http://www.firmfoundationtv.net

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