I began today with an early morning fitness center workout with my trainer. After picking some strawberries, I attended my Rotary meeting in Loveland for my induction ceremony as new member. Today, I responded to the need for someone to conduct a memorial service for a Timberline family. I found out that the family lives about half a block away from my house!
BIBLE VERSE FOR TODAY… “This is what the Lord says: The wise man must not boast in his wisdom; the strong man must not boast in his strength; the wealthy man must not boast in his wealth. But the one who boasts should boast in this, that he understands and knows Me—that I am Yahweh, showing faithful love, justice, and righteousness on the earth, for I delight in these things...” Jeremiah 9:23,24 HCSB
The Lord speaking through Isaiah declares, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways…” (Isaiah 55:8 NIV) I believe this includes the priorities and focus of people compared to the Lord. This is what stands out in the words of the Lord through Jeremiah.
Wisdom, strength and wealth. When you consider what we see and admire in our world those three pretty much can sum up the focus of human endeavor and what is prized. We have game shows that display knowledge, we look to leaders who are able to solve challenging problems. Human strength since Samson’s day, has always caught the attention of the masses. We all find it interesting to read of the “Richest people” in the world, nation or state.
But that which is prized by human’s is not what is prized by the Lord. Jesus said, “…The things that most people think are important are worthless as far as God is concerned.” (Luke 16:15 CEV) Wisdom, strength and wealth are not bad in themselves. They are just not to be the viewed as our highest achievement and that which becomes our identity and a source of pride.
Instead if there is something a person can “boast” about it is, “…that he understands and knows Me…” That is something that we can never be fully confident about, let alone over confident or boastful about. We can have assurance that we have relationship with the Lord and are secure in His love, but we remember this is the God who says, “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways And My thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:9 NIV) This is the God of which Paul declares, “..How impossible it is for us to understand his decisions and his ways!“ (Romans 11:33 HCSB)
We see that instead of wisdom, strength and wealth, the Lord delights in “showing faithful love, justice, and righteousness on the earth…” Who is wiser than God? Who is stronger than the Lord? Who “owns” more than the God of the Universe?” All the achievements of mankind are nothing compared to God. Yet the Lord says, faithful love, justice and righteousness are to characterize our lives and to be that upon which we focus our attention.
In Jeremiah’s day, like ours, there are those who boast of their wisdom, strength and wealth, but judgment was just around the corner. It is God’s priorities that bring true peace and stability and security to nations. When faithful love, justice and righteousness are valued and put into practice, it changes lives and nations.
Prayer for today… Lord, today, help me to value and evaluate my life based on what You say is a priority and what You delight in. It is easy to delight in wisdom, strength and wealth. Those are affirmed and recognized by the world around. But help me to remember that it is You, that I am to please; that it is You that I must allow to align my focus.”