Do you want to be wise?



From James 3:13 comes the Verse of the Day for September 16, 2016 in the Message Bible:

[Live Well, Live Wisely] Do you want to be counted wise, to build a reputation for wisdom? Here’s what you do: Live well, live wisely, live humbly. It’s the way you live, not the way you talk, that counts. Mean-spirited ambition isn’t wisdom. Boasting that you are wise isn’t wisdom. Twisting the truth to make yourselves sound wise isn’t wisdom. It’s the furthest thing from wisdom—it’s animal cunning, devilish conniving. Whenever you’re trying to look better than others or get the better of others, things fall apart and everyone ends up at the others’ throats.

The King James Version of this verse also begins with a question, followed by this answer:

James 3:13

Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? Let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.

In light of the topic of wisdom, this verse brings to mind a series of teachings posted as blog entries entitled “Words of Wisdom”—a daily dose of “words to the wise.” Here is one of the entries modified and re-posted below:                                                              

Despite the sweet savor of past victories that we desire to linger forever or the bitter aftertaste of former times of seeming defeat that we seek to forget, each day unfolds as a new beginning, an opportunity to make a fresh start. How do we begin? We go back to the beginning.  As we reflect upon wisdom, so brilliantly displayed in the Book of Proverbs, we find that “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,” poetically expressed in this manner:


The Beginning of Wisdom

The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever. 

Psalm 19:9

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom:

 and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.

Proverbs 9:10


We begin and stand in absolute awe of You,

Thoroughly washed in the fountain of holiness.

The old has passed away—Behold, You make all things new:

Redeemed and justified by Christ, our righteousness.

As You search the earth, may we find grace in Your sight.

We seek to be wise but never in our own eyes.

Here we stand perfected, those destined to walk upright,

As beloved ones, whose hearts Your Word purifies.

We are filled with knowledge and wisdom from above

And bound by a covenant no one can sever,

For nothing can separate us from God’s love:

The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever.

We are renewed in strength and upheld by God’s Word,

As we pursue wisdom, growing in the fear of the Lord.

A perfect accompaniment of this blog entry is the worship song by Tommy Walker: “The Fear of the Lord.”

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