Bruce Goettsche • May 09, 2021
your strength is too small.
We do not know how strong our faith is until a time of crisis. It is in the trials we see if our faith will hold.
In light of this, there are two things to remember. First, trials will come to every life. Generally, they come suddenly. A health issue, an accident, a job loss, a crime committed against you, a fire, or a natural disaster. It can happen in many ways and at any time.
Second, since we know trials will come we must prepare for them now. How? By developing a deeply rooted faith. We do this through attentively doing what the Bible says and by developing a sincere prayer life. Part of growing in the knowledge of Scripture is being involved in small group Bible Study, reading each day on your own, and attending a church that systematically teaches the Word of God.
The best way to meet trials is to be prepared. Deep roots of faith allow you to stand no matter how hard the winds of circumstance blow against you.
Bruce Goettsche • May 08, 2021
Knowledge of the Holy One results in good judgment.
After 19 years of school, I can testify that there are some classes I took that I remember little (if anything) of what I learned. The course material didn't seem to impact my life at all. (I realize there is often a foundational value we just don't see).
Proverbs reminds us that learning about the Lord is always a good investment if you heed that information. In fact, learning to honor and deeply respect the Lord (the fear of the Lord) is the foundation of true wisdom. It is vital and necessary information.
Reading your Bible daily, being involved in Bible Studies, classes, and attending a church that takes you into the Word of God, are all good ways to grow in this knowledge. This is one area of your education that will have the most practical value. Some classes you are eager to see end. This is a class you will sign up for again and again.
Bruce Goettsche • May 07, 2021
Quarrels and insults will disappear.
There is great wisdom in these words. As soon as a conversation becomes bitter, as soon as that "tone" enters and the claws come out, an argument and hurtful words are not far behind. Nothing will be accomplished.
The key to strong relationships (in every area of life) is to watch our tone. We must put a guard over mocking, ridicule, insults, and putting on battle gear if we really want to have a conversation or solve a problem. If we don't want to solve a problem, we would be better off to keep our mouth closed and walk away until we can discuss, rather than mock.
Listen to the tone of much of the dialog today in our society. You'll see why hostilities are rising rather than problems being resolved. We can begin real change by monitoring our own tone.
Bruce Goettsche • May 06, 2021
but the victory belongs to the LORD.
Solomon shows his wisdom here. He understood that you can prepare horses for battle, you can learn all kinds of techniques for ministry, you can share the gospel with everyone you see, you can publish books, you can invest your money, you can build great facilities, BUT the victory . . . the results are because of the work of God.
I appreciate the insight of Dallas Jenkins the writer and director of The Chosen. He points out that when you need to feed the 5000, our job is to bring what we have, (5 loaves and 2 fish) and let God use it to do great things.
This is an important insight! It is the Lord who brings victory. If we give Him the best of what we have, He will use it to accomplish His purpose. Don't trust in human strength, programs from people who have been successful, your experience, religious disciplines, or other people. Trust in the Lord. He is the One who brings the victory.
Bruce Goettsche • May 05, 2021
Wait for the LORD to handle the matter.
"Revenge is sweet," the adage goes. But the truth is, the spirit of revenge is poison. It steals joy from our lives and generally results in actions disproportionate to the offense. At times, revenge provokes a response that leads to a real mess.
Scripture exhorts us to leave such matters in the hands of the Lord. He alone knows both sides of an issue. He knows motives. He will respond appropriately. We can go so far as to say the spirit of revenge is a lack of faith. It is to "play God" in the area of justice. It is a worldly response.
Whatever the offense that has you churning . . . place it in the hands of the Lord and continue on with your life.
Bruce Goettsche • May 04, 2021
Think about a person who gets married. They have a big celebration and wedding. They go on a wonderful honeymoon. They are proud to tell people they are married. However, they return from their honeymoon and then return home and continue living as if they were single. They do things without their spouse, they pretty well live their own lives, and they get together once in a while (maybe once a week) for intimacy.
Do you consider that a healthy and strong marriage? Of course not. A healthy marriage is one you are working on and building all the time. You work to understand each other. You enjoy spending time together. You share life. You keep growing in love. You become best friends.
Paul says it is the same way in the Christian life. When we turn to Christ, that is just the beginning of the joy of faith. We enter into God's Kingdom, and we don't simply sit down and say, "Whew, I made it!" God wants us to experience Kingdom living! He wants us to walk with Him, enjoy Him, and learn from Him. Discipleship, like marriage, is something you keep working on. It is a new life . . . an exciting journey. . . an adventure that never gets stale.
Press on! There is so much more to see and experience. Don't go back to the old life . . . embrace the new life He wants to give you. The adventure is before you. Embrace it. Pursue it.
Bruce Goettsche • May 03, 2021
“Then the Kingdom of Heaven will be like ten bridesmaids who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. The five who were foolish didn’t take enough olive oil for their lamps, but the other five were wise enough to take along extra oil. When the bridegroom was delayed, they all became drowsy and fell asleep. (Mathew 25:1–5).
Jesus, through this story, was illustrating an important truth: you can be part of the church (the bridesmaids) and only serve Him superficially (the bridesmaids who had no oil). The truly saved believer is the one who is prepared for His coming. They live for Him every day.
We could change the story to people who take tests. Some are working hard every day to learn the material. Others try to cram the night before the test. Usually, the people who consistently study get a much better education.
Are you living your life figuring you have lots of time and when you get older you will "get your act together" (i.e. you will cram)? That is a way of living that leads to destruction. Walk with Him every day. Keep your lamps full. Live with anticipation that THIS could be the day He returns to call us to Himself.