"House of Wisdom" 30-Day Devotional | October 1-30, 2014

Thursday, September 25, 2014 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

Proverbs 24:3-4, Through wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; By knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches.

Welcome to the 30-Day “House of Wisdom” devotional based on the book of Proverbs! 

Why Proverbs?

The book of Proverbs is a compilation of wise sayings. a general truth, fundamental principle, or rule of conduct. The Hebrew word translated "proverb" is also translated "oracle" and "parable." Most proverbs are short, compact statements that express truths about human behavior using contrasts or direct comparisons. Many proverbs describe the consequences of a particular action or character trait. (Read full summary on the book of Proverbs: http://www.biblestudytools.com/proverbs/)

The opening chapter of Proverbs explains the purpose of this book written mostly by Solomon:  “Their purpose is to teach people wisdom and discipline, to help them understand the insights of the wise.   Their purpose is to teach people to live disciplined and successful lives, to help them do what is right, just, and fair. These proverbs will give insight to the simple, knowledge and discernment to the young.” (Prov. 1:2-4 NLT)

In a world that has lost sight of principles and unchanging foundations, Proverbs offers a steady view of life, structure for living, and a path to life, prosperity and security....like being in a house. Jesus, through His life and resurrection, has become our wisdom:
But because of Him are you in Christ Jesus, who from God is made unto us wisdom and righteousness, and sanctification and redemption, (1 Corinthians 1:30)

We only need to discover how wisdom works and apply it to our lives. Let’s go into the “House of Wisdom” designed by God!

Before October 1, Pastor Bryan Hudson will provide you a brief "House of Wisdom" commentary to a daily reading from Proverbs and some from the Gospels.

After each lesson, there will be a brief exercise to apply what you've read:

1. Respond to the Reflection Question
2. Write down 1-2 insights gained,
3. Write down key decisions and action items for the day as the Lord leads you.

The "House of Wisdom commentary will be available as a PDF e-booklet for an offering of any amount. You will notified about availability of the resource.


Seven Ways to Know That You are Walking by Faith

Wednesday, September 24, 2014 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

From http://inspirationimages.zenfolio.com

"For we walk by faith, not by sight." (2 Corinthians 5:7)

People casually define faith as trusting God, belief, believing His promises; having expectation of good things to come, and even taking leaps of faith into the unknown. This sounds good, but I think it's a little too casual, too passive. One definition of casual states, "lacking in thoroughness or seriousness."

James said that faith without works, or corresponding actions, is "dead" (James 2:20). I like to think about faith in terms of "walking." Walking by faith sounds like a purposeful, active, "going-somewhere-to-make-something-happen" kind of faith!
Here are seven affirmations on the importance of non-casual faith:
  1. You are walking by faith when you are fully persuaded of a biblical promise or a God-inspired purpose that you have not "seen."
  2. You are walking by faith when you are joyful about things that you have not yet received.
  3. You are walking by faith when difficulties and setbacks do not change your mind about the will of God or the word of God.
  4. You are walking by faith when you receive answers to prayer and begin to see results based on your faith in God. Don't wait for the "full load" before you rejoice! Thank Him now!
  5. You are walking by faith when you continue to diligently follow God and perform those actions consistent with what you believe.
  6. You are walking by faith when you take calculated risks. We are not like the man who receive one talent (a small amount of money), but "played it safe" and buried it, rather than invest it. (Matt. 25:25)
  7. You are walking by faith when you daily do something related to your plans, dreams and expectations.
What can you add to this list?


Need Wisdom? Number Your Days.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

Psalms 90:12  (NKJV) So teach us to number our days, That we may gain a heart of wisdom.

Psalms 90:12  (NLT) Teach us to make the most of our time, so that we may grow in wisdom.

God is an eternal God— “From everlasting to everlasting." (Psa. 90:2) He has no limitations in knowledge, in power, or in presence. He does not live in “time.” However, we have a limited amount of time on this earth to prepare ourselves for victorious, purposeful living in this present age, and to get in position to enter the age to come when Jesus returns

Numbering our days or “making the most of our time” brings greater focus. Using time well also brings wisdom. Time is holy because God ordained it. The gift of time is God’s canvas.

Think about the difference between these two statements:
1. "One of these days I’m going to reach out to youth in my neighborhood."
2. "Seven days from now I’m going to reach out to youth in my neighborhood."

Which statement would call you to prayer, action, or place a demand on wisdom and focus?

Here's one definition of wisdom: "...Wisdom, among other things, is the ability to devise perfect ends and to achieve those ends by the most perfect means. It sees the end from the beginning, so there can be no need to guess or conjecture. Wisdom sees everything in focus, each in proper relation to all, and is thus able to work toward predestined goals with flawless precision." 

When we “number our days”, we recognize that time is a small slice between the eternities. It is our opportunity to change, to grow, to help others know Jesus. We don’t have forever to get important things done. We should not be in the habit of putting things off until another time, for "another time" may never come.

Jesus said, "I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work." (John 9:4)

When Jesus turned 30 years old, he had only 3 1/2 years to do Father's work before being offered up. What if you had only 3 ½ years? What would you do differently? How would you re-prioritize your life?

Wisdom comes when we live on purpose and number our days. God's wisdom helps us make better decisions and choices.

Ecclesiastes 3:1, To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven.
Ephesians 5:15-17, See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.

We need to rescue time from the idle and evil uses of this world. It seems that failing to “number our days” and foolishness living go hand-in-hand. Redeeming the time (or "Making the most of opportunity") and numbering days is a mark of wisdom and understanding the will of the Lord.

Luke 9:51, Now it came to pass, when the time had come for Him to be received up, that He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem.

Like Jesus, "set your face." Live on purpose, everyday.


Reflections on Happiness: A Personal Testimony

Monday, September 08, 2014 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

I've been reflecting on "happiness." It's been said that our happiness is God's greatest objective. It's been said that our being happy makes God happy. It's been said that we worship and obey God to benefit ourselves, not God.

I've also reflected on this reality: Most churches and Christians are not consistently involved in outreach, evangelism, consistent Christian service, and missions work. Why is this? Could it be those things don't make people happy?

I then considered some of the things I've done in obedience to God that did not make me happy, or become a factor in "go" or "no go" decision points before committing to action:

I've been to Africa (Nigeria and Kenya) four times for (light duty) missions work. On prison yards and cell blocks doing crusades (locked in with so-called "crazies" all day!), taken food to people in places some call "ghettos," sat with people at the hospital who were sick or injured, been called to crime and death scenes to comfort families, intervened late nights to get brothers out of trouble, such as a crack house or preventing violence, etc.

I share these few instances to emphasize this point: Not many people who may read this enjoy life more, do a greater variety of activities, get more things done, or have more fun, than me…..and I'm not even happy all the time!  God has asked me to do a great number of things that did not make me happy or bring personal benefit, but have helped a lot of people and honored Christ.

We need to realize that happiness is a temporary and mostly emotional/psychological state…like getting high. However, joy always endures, like good character.

Remember, God does not follow us, we follow Him. Don't worry about, or obsess over, being blessed.

"The joy of the Lord is your strength." Nehemiah 8:10
"Happiness is your lemonade." Hudson 1:1

Yes, it's all about Jesus...all the time...and not about us…even when we receive a benefit. We don't NEED to be popular, wonderful, or happy. We need to be faithful to God and His Word and teach others to do the same (Matt. 28:19). Jesus keeps His promises and calls us to responsibility, "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you." Matthew 6:33,

Remember this: One of the biggest deceptions in life is looking for (or paying for) something you already have.

Please don't run around chasing happiness or trying to be wonderful, and end up only getting more full of yourself. Read and understand your Bible which is God's Word. Give yourself away. Love and serve God…for God and for others.

Hebrews 12:2, Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God…14 Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord.

Colossians 1:16b, Everything was created through him and for him. 17 He existed before anything else, and he holds all creation together.