Tag Archives: God’s wisdom


“There were some shepherds in that part of the country who were spending the night in the fields, taking care of their flocks.  An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone over them.  They were terribly afraid, but the angel said to them, ‘Don’t be afraid! I am here with good news for you, which will bring great joy to all the people.  This very day in David’s town your Savior was born — Christ the Lord!  And this is what will prove it to you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.’”  (Luke 2:8-12, Good News Translation)

We’ve heard this story, or parts of it, so many times over the years its burrs and sharp angles been worn smooth.  Or maybe Luke’s account of Jesus’ birth doesn’t seem as preposterous as it once did because in our day, shepherds are respectable, stables are antiseptically acceptable, and the thought that the master of the universe would enter our sphere as a member of a small, disenfranchised people with a troubled history doesn’t seem to trouble us.

But it should trouble us, the fact that God would choose to appoint the least trustworthy (shepherds) in ancient Judean society to broadcast word of His Son’s arrival; or that He would use a feeding box for animals (manger) for His cradle; or that He would enter human history as a member of a misrepresented, misunderstood, and mistreated class of people (Jews).  It should trouble us because, unlike God’s selections, our heroes never seem flawed or lacking.

God’s employment of the stable; and His deployment of the shepherds, reminds us that He is always more interested our availability than in our apparent capability.

God can — and does — choose flawed people for his agents.  God can — and does — use crooked sticks in His designs.  This ought to encourage us immensely because it gives each one of us, regardless of our deficiencies, the opportunity to work with God!

As we see in the Christmas story with the Virgin Mary, and Joseph, and the Magi, and the shepherds: There is no limit to what God can accomplish through an obedient heart, and an available life.  – Luther

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“But the wisdom from above is first of all pure.  It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others.  It is full of mercy and good deeds.  It shows no favoritism and is always sincere.”  (James 3:17, New Living Translation)

In today’s scripture selection, James contrasts earthly wisdom with heavenly wisdom.

Earthly wisdom’s perspective is 70 or 80 years — enough only to cover our time on this earth.  If you think you can outrun to the grave the scales of human justice, what is to prevent you from being contentious, rude, and unyielding in your dealings with others?

On the other hand, heavenly wisdom has an eternal perspective.  It recognizes the reality of spiritual things, and of God’s reckoning.

Resist earth’s Siren call to its ways and to its wisdom.  Other people may scoff at your “naivete,” but only for the short span of their lives.  The approval of God is forever!  – Luther

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“Let the one who is wise heed these things and ponder the loving deeds of the Lord.”  (Psalm 107:43, NIV)

The verses preceding today’s scripture are a recollection of the many gracious deeds of the Lord toward His “redeemed” ones.

It is worth noting that the list is both personal and corporate; as recent as today and long ago; both dramatic and mundane.

We need not personally experience every gracious deed of the Lord God in order to add our “amen.”  The testimony of all of the saints of God is also our testimony when we identify with our heavenly Father’s purposes, and affirm in our living our heavenly Father’s will.

Heeding the wisdom of the Lord, and pondering all of His loving deeds will keep your relationship fresh, and your vision clear.  – Luther

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