John Alan Turner

Speaker, Author, Mentor, Coach, Facilitator

Advent Reader -- Day 9

"The days are coming," declares the Lord, "when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, a King who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land." (Jeremiah 23:5) Blessed are those who find wisdom, those who gain understanding, for she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns that gold. She is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her. Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor. Her ways are pleasant ways, and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her; those who hold her fast will be blessed. Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you. Cherish her, and she will exalt you; embrace her, and she will honor you. (Proverbs 3:13-18; 4:6, 8)

You are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God -- that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. (1 Corinthians 1:30)

I want you to know how hard I am contending for you and for those at Laodicea, and for all who have not met me personally. 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, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. (Colossians 2:1-4)

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)

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. Out of his fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known. (John 1:14, 16-18)

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When the Bible speaks of wisdom, it does so in a very practical sense. Biblical wisdom is not some esoteric thing; it is the skill required to live a well-ordered life. Because it is a skill, it is not something any of us is born with. Wisdom as a skill must be cultivated.

There is, however, one notable exception, and Scripture is clear on this subject: Jesus Christ, the baby born in Bethlehem, is the wisdom of God personified. He is the skill of God at creation; he is the wise king promised by the prophets. He is that wisdom which comes down from heaven, embodying peace and mercy and good fruit. He is the perfect revelation of the mysteries of God, pushing us beyond the limits of our own intelligence, crashing into the ceiling of our own comprehension.

The infant son of Mary and Joseph is the Son of God himself. That alone is mystery enough. But as he grows, and as we get to know him better, we learn more. We see how he lives, never wavering from his intention of doing his father's will, never allowing his emotions to lead him into impulsiveness.

To become wise and live on solid ground, we must hear his words and put them into practice. All knowledge, all wisdom, everything we need to grow in life and godliness can be found when we learn to abide in him. We become his disciples and then his body. We proclaim the foolishness of God to those who do not know him, and we live as wise, just like Jesus.

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Jesus, I freely admit that I am often tempted to question your ways. But I also admit that I simply do not have your knowledge or perspective. May I learn to take your yoke upon me, to follow you wherever you lead me and to learn from you. Although you have said many things that I do not fully grasp, I submit to your authority and desire to trust you when I do not understand. Your words bring life -- your message is unique and authoritative, and your wisdom surpasses anything the world has ever heard. You have not only revealed the way to go; you have provided me with the resources that will empower me to travel along that way. I give things for the power of your indwelling Spirit, for your life-giving teaching, and for the new quality of life to which you have called me.