The Kitchen Table Devotional: The Game of Life Day 59
And he said to the vineyard-keeper, ‘Behold, for three years I have come looking for fruit on this fig tree without finding any. Cut it down! Why does it even use up the ground?’ Luke 13:7
Wisdom is fruitful, not futile. It doesn’t lay dormant or distant from our lives who have found it. It speaks, it directs, it blesses. A person without fruit is a person without the wisdom of God. Without the wisdom of God, we are left with the worries of man. God says that His fruit is better than gold and yields better than choicest silver. That means that wisdom works in and through those who want it. James writes, But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him (James 1:5)
I love those who love me;
And those who diligently seek me will find me.
18 “Riches and honor are with me,
Enduring wealth and righteousness.
19 “My fruit is better than gold, even pure gold,
And my yield better than choicest silver.
20 “I walk in the way of righteousness,
In the midst of the paths of justice,
21 To endow those who love me with wealth,
That I may fill their treasuries. Proverbs 8:17-21
The Kitchen Table Devotional: The Game of Life Day 58
And He began telling this parable: “A man had a fig tree which had been planted in his vineyard; and he came looking for fruit on it and did not find any Luke 13:6
Just because we’ve planted something doesn’t mean it’s going to grow and produce fruit. We must nurture whatever we plant. We know that about plants, but we don’t think that about life. Life is something to be nurtured, not neglected. The life we’re living right now is the one we’ve chosen. Just because it’s planted doesn’t mean it’s going to produce. The life we’re living, the marriage we have, the family around us, the church we are part of, all these attest to the attention we’ve given them. Wisdom lives in the words of our heart not just in the works of our hands and those words are there because we let the Holy Spirit nurture our spirit daily.
1 My son, give attention to my wisdom,
Incline your ear to my understanding;
2 That you may observe discretion
And your lips may reserve knowledge. Proverbs 5:1-2
The Kitchen Table Devotions: The Game of Life Day 57
Or do you suppose that those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them were worse culprits than all the men who live in Jerusalem? Luke 13:4
I’ve seen it over and over again where man lifts his opinion of the times over God’s observations of the truth to understand and explain the trials and tragedies of life. Wisdom doesn’t come from what we face but what we fear (respect). When we fear or respect and honor the truth, we possess the wisdom for what we face. Wisdom comes from God who is and knows the truth. The preacher writes:
I, wisdom, dwell with prudence,
And I find knowledge and discretion.
13 “The fear of the LORD is to hate evil;
Pride and arrogance and the evil way
And the perverted mouth, I hate.
14 “Counsel is mine and sound wisdom;
I am understanding, power is mine.
15 “By me kings reign,
And rulers decree justice.
16 “By me princes rule, and nobles,
All who judge rightly.
17 “I love those who love me;
And those who diligently seek me will find me. Proverbs 8:12-17
The Kitchen Table Devotions: The Game of Life Day 56
Now on the same occasion there were some present who reported to Him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. 2 And Jesus said to them, “Do you suppose that these Galileans were greater sinners than all other Galileans because they suffered this fate? 3 I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish Luke 13:1-3
Without the wisdom of God, we are left with the worries of man. Speculations and superstitions rule the man who lives by the wisdom of man, rather than the Master. It’s not how we die but how we live. Fear with its’ fibs brings us death before we die. Jesus will say it twice that unless we repent, we will all likewise perish. Until Jesus comes back, we will all die but some people will die before they die because they won’t have the wisdom of God to live free from fear. Speculations and superstitions thrive on fear. The only way out of the worries of man is through “repentance” where we walk away from the worries of man to hold onto the wisdom of God. That takes “repentance” where we recognize and release the failure of what we did think and recognize and receive the fruit of what God thinks. If it doesn’t line up with God’s word, lay it down for what God says. That’s wisdom!
The Kitchen Table Devotions: The Game of Life Day 54
They were saying this, testing Him, so that they might have grounds for accusing Him. But Jesus stooped down and with His finger wrote on the ground. John 8:6
Wisdom works, it doesn’t get worked. Those who love wisdom love and save their own soul. Wickedness sabotages the soul of a man, contaminating his own conscience and ruining his own reputation. When we can’t be honest and honorable, we become hateful and harmful to ourselves and others. The preacher of Proverbs wrote:
He who gets wisdom loves his own soul;
He who keeps understanding will find good.
9 A false witness will not go unpunished,
And he who tells lies will perish.
10 Luxury is not fitting for a fool;
Much less for a slave to rule over princes.
11 A man’s discretion makes him slow to anger,
And it is his glory to overlook a transgression. Proverbs 19:8-11
Jesus, with wisdom, would not be worked by the crowd but rather worked His wisdom on the crowd, saving and building a life. Walk in the wisdom of God, not the ways of man and love your own soul.
The Kitchen Table Devotions: The Game of Life Day 53
Straightening up, Jesus said to her, “Woman, where are they? Did no one condemn you?” 11 She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “I do not condemn you, either. Go. From now on sin no more.”
Wisdom rules over wickedness by judging the person as valuable. When we judge the person as worthless rather than the perspective, practices and passions of that person, wickedness wins. We find wisdom in valuing the people, perspectives, practices, and passions God values. The wise professor of Proverbs wrote:
Then he taught me and said to me,
“Let your heart hold fast my words;
Keep my commandments and live;
5 Acquire wisdom! Acquire understanding!
Do not forget nor turn away from the words of my mouth.
6 “Do not forsake her, and she will guard you;
Love her, and she will watch over you.
7 “The beginning of wisdom is: Acquire wisdom;
And with all your acquiring, get understanding.
8 “Prize her, and she will exalt you;
She will honor you if you embrace her. Proverbs 4:4-8
Wisdom is found in what we value and lost in what we violate.
The Kitchen Table Devotions: The Game of Life Day 52
“He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” John 8:7
The Proverbs say…
The LORD by wisdom founded the earth,
By understanding He established the heavens.
20 By His knowledge the deeps were broken up
And the skies drip with dew.
21 My son, let them not vanish from your sight;
Keep sound wisdom and discretion,
22 So they will be life to your soul
And adornment to your neck.
23 Then you will walk in your way securely
And your foot will not stumble.
24 When you lie down, you will not be afraid;
When you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.
25 Do not be afraid of sudden fear
Nor of the onslaught of the wicked when it comes;
26 For the LORD will be your confidence
And will keep your foot from being caught.
Wisdom uncovers and understands wickedness, a perversion of the truth. The pretense of the Pharisees that day was the law, but the truth was they were lying about their true motives. They wanted to trap Jesus. Wickedness works that way to warp our vision and wreck our values. Get the wisdom of God. The more we understand who God is, the more we will understand who man is not.
The Kitchen Table Devotions: The Game of Life Day 51
Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.” John 8:12
Something else we need as we travel through this life is wisdom. The preacher of Proverbs writes:
1 My son, if you will receive my words
And treasure my commandments within you,
2 Make your ear attentive to wisdom,
Incline your heart to understanding; Proverbs 2:1-2
And then he says…
For the LORD gives wisdom;
From His mouth come knowledge and understanding. Proverbs 2:6
To travel through this life, we all need light, and wisdom becomes the light we need for the journey we’re on. Wisdom is the result of knowledge and understanding, of education and experience. Those things are found in Jesus who lived constantly in the light of God. In the dark, we hurt ourselves and others but in the light, we help ourselves and others. Walk in the wisdom, the light of the world, Jesus. Don’t just know what, know why; then you’ll know the when and where. Find Jesus and follow Him!
The Kitchen Table Devotions: The Game of Life Day 50
Then the LORD said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” And he said, “I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?” 10 He said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood is crying to Me from the ground Genesis 4:9-10
Something that is sacred to the family is forgiveness. Forgiveness is sacred to any relationship, but especially to marriage and family. And it’s not just a matter of releasing forgiveness, it is also a matter of receiving forgiveness. Forgiveness isn’t just something we say, it’s something we surrender to.
God came to Cain asking, “Where is Abel your brother?” To forgive we need to know what we are forgiving. To receive forgiveness, we need to know why we need forgiveness. It’s at this point that Cain decides to live in frustration and failure rather than forgiveness. Refusing to take responsibility and react in rebellion, Cain misses the opportunity to find forgiveness. Left in his guilt, Cain finds himself with a life that is difficult and one that can’t produce to it’s potential. Cain is left wandering in life and builds the city of Nod or the city/life of wandering.
Forgiveness is key to every aspect of life and God comes to us with forgiveness if only we will surrender to it. Forgiveness is sacred to the marriage, the family and the community. Without it we are all left with a hole in our hearts. Keep forgiveness sacred. Do what it takes to find it for yourself or for others. With forgiveness we can all move on in a life that has the potential of God to satisfy.
The Kitchen Table Devotions: The Game of Life Day 49
“Sacred: The Spirit”
Then the LORD said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” And he said, “I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?” 10 He said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood is crying to Me from the ground. Genesis 4:9-10
Take care of your heart, your spirit, it is the heartbeat of your life. Your spirit is the one thing that comes directly from God, to be with God and live for God. (Zech 12:1) It is sacred and if we don’t handle it with honor, we will hurtle it with hurt. Our spirit is to be the motivation of our lives. If we don’t take care of the inside, we won’t be able to care for the outside
God came to Cain and asked, “Where is your brother?” Dealing with the spirit of a man involves asking good questions, not making bad statements. God comes caring for Cain, but Cain must care too. Defiant and defensive Cain rejects responsibility and chooses to remain in resentment and rebellion. That becomes Cain’s choice, but it also becomes Cain’s curse. Cursed because he wouldn’t repent before God and yet God still acts in kindness toward Cain. Cain brought it on himself, and so do we when we refuse to take responsibility for our lives and reject God’s great love. We end up cursing the very things we want and need.
God created the family to nurture the spirit and God shows us how to do that sort of thing. Approaching and asking in love we address the spirit, not the skin. If we are willing to address the inside, we will be able to act on the outside. Keep your spirit sacred.