A Ripple in Time: The Difference of One Spreading God’s Wisdom

wisdom prayer

 17 The quiet words of the wise are more to be heeded
than the shouts of a ruler of fools.
18 Wisdom is better than weapons of war,
but one sinner destroys much good.(Ecclesiastes 9:17-18)

 13 I also saw under the sun this example of wisdom that greatly impressed me: 14 There was once a small city with only a few people in it. And a powerful king came against it, surrounded it and built huge siege works against it. 15 Now there lived in that city a man poor but wise, and he saved the city by his wisdom. But nobody remembered that poor man. 16 So I said, “Wisdom is better than strength.” But the poor man’s wisdom is despised, and his words are no longer heeded. (Ecclesiastes 9:13-16)

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The difference of one. Those who believe in the Great Man Theory contend that essentially all of mankind’s history can be explained in terms of the particular individuals who bring about a significant change or changes during an era of time. The life of the one affects the lives of the many, leaving an historical impact, which may be one of great positivity or great negativity.

The “sinner who destroys much good” creates a riptide effect through history, causing a violent disturbance. The “quiet words of the wise” result in a ripple effect, seemingly small at first, but extending outward to places and people we can’t even imagine, causing changes that, like small cracks in a dam, can burst forth in ways only God can direct.

Although you and I may not be contenders in the “Great Man” theory of history, we can speak quietly the “words of the wise” from the One who has true wisdom and make an impact on those around and beyond us. Even when it seems that wisdom is “no longer heeded,” we must continue to proclaim it calmly, consistently and without enmity, hostility, antagonism, or animosity. Let us remember the words of the Teacher:

“Words from the mouth of the wise are gracious.” (Ecclesiastes 10:12).

“…calmness can lay great offenses to rest. “(Ecclesiastes 10:4).

 A sinner may try to destroy “much good” in our city, our state, our country, and our world–but when we carry the love of Christ within us and share the wisdom of the Almighty around us, goodness cannot be destroyed.

“Wisdom, and its quest, breed kindness and compassion.” 1

Let us be ripples in time,

Patient with God’s plans,

Calmly speaking His wisdom,

Through our words and deeds,

That goodness may prevail.

 1Author unknown. https://www.psychologytoday.com

(Sharon G. Tate blog 05/15/16) teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word

Mary and her Son: Keeping These Things and Pondering Them in our Hearts

Mary and Jesus and John

 

26 When Jesus saw his mother, and the disciple whom he loved standing near, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” 27 Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home. (John 19:26-27)

On the cross, while enduring the most extreme agony of suffering for our sins and abandonment by His Father, Jesus looked down and saw His mother. He knew she would need to be cared for, and John, his trusted disciple “whom he loved” was near. Jesus made it clear in the wording He used that Mary was to view John as her son and John was to be that son to Mary.  John accepted this great responsibility and took Mary home with him.

In providing for His mother, Our Lord demonstrated His love for this woman who bore Him. Mary was told by the angel that she, a virgin, would bear a child who would be “the Son of God.” (Luke 1:35)  She didn’t understand but humbly accepted this responsibility by verbally stating: “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled” (Luke 1:38).   When the shepherds came to Bethlehem to find THE Child, Christ the Lord in the manger, Luke recorded Mary’s unspoken thoughts and feelings about this birth: “… his mother kept all these things in her heart” (Luke 2:17-19) When Jesus was twelve and told his parents, who were looking for him, that he was about His Father’s business in the temple, they did not understand. Luke, once again, recorded her unspoken thoughts and feelings: “But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart” (Luke 2:48-51). 

We can only imagine what Mary really pondered all those years. “Mary, did you know?” are the lyrics written by Mark Lowry to a well-known Christmas song. Mary had been “pondering” all these years, and she seemed to know that Jesus had the power to perform a miracle at Cana and provide more wine for the wedding occasion. : When the wine gave out, the mother of Jesus said to him, ‘They have no wine.’ And Jesus said to her, ‘O woman, what have you to do with me? My hour has not yet come.’  5His mother said to the servants, ‘Do whatever he tells you’ (John 2:1-5). And He, then, turned water into wine, performing His first recorded miracle. “This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested his glory; and his disciples believed in him” (John 2:11). His mother had already believed in Him.

Mary was with Jesus, her son, throughout his life, and she was at the foot of the cross when He was sacrificing Himself for all mankind. She was a mother who loved her son and gave him up for us.  “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” (Luke 1:38) Her words could be heard, not only at the beginning, but also at the end of her son’s life on this earth.

Mother has the word “other” in it. A mother has a special bond with her child from conception until she dies. She looks outside herself to her child and gives to that child first above her own self. The “M” in a loving mother is never the completed word “me” for it defers, instead, to the full word “other.” Her “other” is the child she bears, the child who grows inside her, the child who continues to grow outside her body but never outside her heart.  Mary was this mother.

 **To those of us who are mothers or future mothers, let us strive to be the woman and mother Mary was: “The angel went to her and said, ‘Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you’ ” (Luke 1:28).

**Let us all be as caring toward our parents as Jesus was to His mother. In spite of all that He was going through on the cross, He remembered her and provided for her.

 Our mother is our deliverer into this life. Jesus is our Deliverer through this life.

May we keep all these things and ponder them in our hearts.

 (Sharon G. Tate blog 05/08/16) teacherforjesus.com Meditations on God’s Word

GO YE! “WITH GOD, ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE”

With God all things possible

              “But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, ‘With men this is impossible,                             but with God all things are possible.’ ” (Matthew 19:26)

 “Go, Sharon. Go, Mary. Go, Gary. Go, Joe.”

The last words of Jesus to His disciples, as recorded in the books of Matthew and Mark, include the word “GO.” A comparison of various translations of the passage in the Bible where the Great Commission is given in Mark 16:15 and Matthew 28:19 also include another word–either “Go ye” or “Go you.” Even if the pronoun is not included, there is the understood “you” in the directive “GO” –Go (you).

Jesus did not say: “Go one. Go someone. Go somebody. Go anybody. Go others. Go no one. Go nobody.” The pronoun was not indefinite but personal, and yet, it was also not these forms: “Go she or Go he or Go they or Go we…” Instead, the chosen words by Jesus were “Go you.” My name can be substituted for “you” and so can yours: “Go, Sharon. Go, Mary. Go, Gary. Go, Joe.”

 ” God made you different so you can make a difference.” 1

The God-created differences in each one of us make us uniquely able to effect change around us and within others we personally come in contact with through our work, school, social relationships, and other connections.

 “If you desire to make a difference in the world, you must be different from the world.” 2

In Luke’s account, the disciples do not immediately “go” forth. Instead, Jesus tells them to wait until they receive the Holy Spirit to help them go forward in this cause to spread the gospel to all the world:

 44 He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.” 45 Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. 46 He told them, “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, 47 and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things. 49 I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.” (Luke 24:44-49)

They had to be different from the world–their minds opened to understand the scriptures, their appearance altered when “clothed with power” from God, their hearts changed by their witness of the life, death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  Through God, it was possible to reach out to the nations and change the world. Man alone could not “go” forth and complete this important work.

That powerful helper, the Holy Spirit, is still here. That understanding of scripture is made available in the full Word of God. That heart change is possible from belief in the testimonies of those who witnessed Christ on this earth. The world is in desperate need of Jesus and His message of hope, forgiveness, and salvation. That “world” starts in the family home, the neighborhood, the workplace, and the community. It’s where difference begins and goes forward in ways we can never imagine, for “with God, all things are possible.”

 “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” 3

                                                            GO YE!                                                                             

1Author unknown. wisesayings.com

²Elaine S. Dalton. wisesayings.com

³Mahatma Gandhi. brainyquote.com

 (Sharon G. Tate blog 04/03/16) teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word

JESUS CHRIST: “I am the way, the truth, and the life.”

I-am-the-Way-

 Pilate said to Him, “What is truth?” (John 18:38)
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“TRUTH”–as defined by the dictionary, a book accepted by “most people.”
1)“Truth: a fact or principle that is thought to be true by most people.” (dictionarycambridge.org)
One must ask, “Who or what defines the ‘most people’ who think this is truth?”
2) “Truth: the real facts about a situation, event, or person.” (dictionarycambridge.org)
One must ask, “What is real? Is it only ‘real’ if ‘most people’ think so?”
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“TRUTH” –as defined by two writers not in the “most people” norm.
1) “Truth– is as old as God” –Emily Dickinson¹
One must ask, “How can we explain the meaning of ‘truth’ using today’s terms when its origin is from God who is not defined by age as we know it?”
2)“Truth is impossible to be soiled by any outward touch as the sunbeam” —John Milton ²
One must ask: “Does truth, then, reside within?”
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Pilate said to Him, “So you are a king?”
Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this I was born, and for this I have come into the world, to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears my voice.”
Pilate said to him, “What is truth?” (John 18:38)

Pilate did not recognize the embodiment of the Truth standing before him. He later washed his hands of Jesus and allowed the mob’s cries to “crucify him” happen. Pilate did not hear the voice of Jesus and did not accept the living Truth of Christ: “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” (John 14:6) Only Christ can define truth. Only Christ can be the truth we follow and believe. “Most people” cannot hear His voice as they are only hearing their own “truth” or one proclaimed by “most people.”

(24) So the Jews gathered round him and said to him, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.” (25) Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father’s name, they bear witness to me; (26) but you do not believe, because you do not belong to my sheep. (27) My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me; (28) and I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish, and no one shall snatch them out of my hand. (29) My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. (30) I and the Father are one.” (John 22:24-30)

In a time when it is difficult to discern what is real, we need to look toward the hill and three crosses. We must focus our view toward the man in the center and not lose sight of the Truth, which He bore witness to and sacrificed His life for that we might live and be saved. This Truth must reside within each one of us if we hope to be with Christ eternally. His voice must be the One we hear within to guide us, advise us, direct us, shepherd us, and save us.

Truth—is as old as God—
His Twin identity
And will endure as long as He
A Co-Eternity— ¹

¹www.americanpoems.com/poets/emilydickinson
² www.bartleby.com

(Sharon G. Tate blog 03/20/16) teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word

I KNOW I CAN—WITH GOD’S HELP

I can through Christ

      “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”              (2 Timothy 4:7)

In the children’s story “The Little Engine That Could,” the Little Blue Engine used positive self-talk to achieve the seemingly impossible task of pulling the train full of toys to the top of the mountain and down the grade to the city below. Merely thinking about the possibility of success was not quite enough as she huffed and puffed: “I think I can. I think I can. I think I can.” ¹ It was only when those spoken words were truly believed that the little engine chugged “faster and faster,” reaching the top of the mountain. The belief was uttered in a new phrase on the decline down the mountain to the city: “I thought I could. I thought I could. I thought I could.” ¹

Sometimes, our life circumstances make our daily walk a difficult uphill climb, “chugging” and “puffing” as we struggle to keep ourselves going. Our self-talk during these times is critical. These internal words can defeat us, delay us, or inspire us. This self-talk is also God-talk as He hears everything we think. There is no alone time. God is ever-present.

If we change our self-talk to “I think I can- with God’s help,” then we are closer to reaching the top of the mountain we need to climb– to reach a goal, endure a crisis, survive the work week, pay the bills, overcome a loss, see a way to keep going. To truly attain these things, however, our self-wording must be one of firm belief and action based on that faith: “I know I can-with God’s help” and “I thought I could-with God’s help.”

“Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and He will establish your plans.”                           (Proverbs 16:3)
(6) “But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. (7) That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. (8) Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.” (James 1:6-8)

With God as our Engineer, steering the course of our lives, we can know and believe with assurance that we will be able to “finish the race” and reach the “prize” waiting for us over the mountain in the City below: (13) Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, (14) I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:13-14)

Let us press onward like Paul, trust fully in the Lord, and commit to the ultimate goal of heaven.

“I didn’t come this far, to come this far.” ²
There is a view on the other side of the mountain
To behold— the City where I will reside.

¹Watty Piper’s 1930 “The Little Engine that Could.” http://www.printmag.com
²Anonymous. thinkinghumanity.com

(Sharon G. Tate blog 02/21/16) teacherforjesus.com Meditations on God’s Word

God’s Valentine to Faithful Christians

Love of God cross and tomb

V ictory through Jesus
A bsolution from our sins
L ove that never fails
E mpty tomb of Risen hope
N ew body incorruptible
T omorrow-eternal promised
I nheritance of adoption
N ever-ending Light
E ternity with God our Father

1 John 3:1 – See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know Him.

Romans 5:8 – But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

1 John 4:10 – This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.

John 3:16 – For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.

1 John 4:9 – This is how God showed His love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through Him.

1 John 4:8 – Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is LOVE.
(1 Corinthians 13:13)

(Sharon G. Tate blog 02/14/16) teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word

GOD IS the Source of All Wisdom

Wisdom depths of God

“The doorstep to the temple of wisdom is a knowledge of our own ignorance.” ¹

Twitter, Facebook, and other social media or “news” sites offer those with access a platform to express personal “knowledge” and share or declare personal “wisdom” on many subjects and issues. Sometimes, however, these public sites become a stage for expounding untruths that reflect human pride—and human ignorance–not wisdom. As we approach “the doorstep to the temple of wisdom,” we need to fall prostrate before the One waiting at the door, Who holds the only key to enter. We cannot approach Him with our own agendas, opinions, and limited knowledge with the objective to instruct our Lord on what is wise, for He will ask us: (4) “Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me, if you understand. (5) Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it? (Job 38:4-5)

What our society desperately needs today is wisdom, which can only come from the ONE true source: GOD. When we seek His wisdom, we will have the knowledge we need to overcome the struggles, fears, and temptations of this world. We will have the Truth to guide us on the right path.

If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all
without finding fault, and it will be given to you. (James 1:5)
For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness
of God is stronger than human strength. (1 Corinthians 1:25)

When we ask God for wisdom, we will have His support to make the right choices and decisions that honor Him. He, in turn, will bless us: “ To the person who pleases him, God gives wisdom, knowledge and happiness, but to the sinner he gives the task of gathering and storing up wealth to hand it over to the one who pleases God. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind. “(Ecclesiastes 2:26)

Paul tells us, through the Corinthian letter, that Christ is the way to find the treasures of wisdom and knowledge:
(2) My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, (3) in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. (Colossians 2:2-3)

As Christ is without sin, the wisdom from God is 100% pure and true, freeing us from greed, covetousness, power-driven desires, arrogance, pride, and self. How different the world would be if we all sought the wisdom of God and practiced what we learned from the Master Teacher: “But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.”  (James 3:17)

Oh, the riches we gain from the asking, the receiving, and the gifting of wisdom from God:

(13) Blessed are those who find wisdom,
those who gain understanding,
(14) for she is more profitable than silver
and yields better returns than gold.
(15) She is more precious than rubies;
nothing you desire can compare with her.
(Proverbs 3:13-15)

In a world of folly and foolishness, greed and avarice, pride and selfishness, let us remember our Father, who will bequeath His legacy of a pure, true wisdom to us, His children, when we seek Him and call upon Him to help us through this life in order that we may enter His holy temple.

¹ Benjamin Franklin. brainyquote.com

(Sharon G. Tate blog 02/07/16) teacherforjesus.com Meditations on God’s Word