Hendrik Ferreira - Visiting Worker, Maroota - 2012

Hymn 215, "Give Me a Heart"


James 3:13, “Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you?  Let him show out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.”

Sometimes when we want to know something and are not sure, what is the wisest thing to do?  I am glad that we know what is the wise thing to do. But the question is: where can we find this wisdom?  Colossians 2:2, “That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ; In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” That is where we find all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge, hidden in Christ.

How can we get hold of this hidden treasure?  James 1:5, “If any man lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.”  We read in the Bible of people who went to God and asked for advice as to what to do.  Sometimes they didn’t ask God’s advice and they suffered.  When they spent time in prayer to God, He gave them the right answer and it was wisdom that came from above.

Luke 22:27, “I am among you as He that serveth.” The Lord Jesus told the disciples who would be the greatest.  Last year, the son of some of our friends had to go to school dressed up as a Very Important Person.  This little boy wanted to dress up as a garbage man.  His mother thought it would cause trouble at school and she said, “Are you sure?”  He said, “Yes, he is a Very Important Person.  If you don’t collect the garbage and don’t clean the streets, diseases will grow and people will get sick.  It is very important to keep the city clean.”  That is what he chose to do because it was a Very Important Person to him.  That is what wisdom is.  The wisdom of the world looks for honour and glory, but how many people know the name of the man who keeps the city clean?  Anyway, this little boy went to school and the children started to laugh at him and he shed a few tears. When I asked him, “How did you go at school?” he didn’t tell me how they mocked him; he forgot about the past.  What an example.

God asked King Solomon what he wanted.  1 Kings 3:7, “I am but a little child . . Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people?”  He asked for wisdom and understanding, and it pleased God that he hadn’t asked for riches or for the lives of his enemies.  God gave Solomon wisdom and it is wonderful how he used that wisdom.

Verse 16, two women came to him and one claimed to be the mother of the other woman’s child but Solomon knew who was the right mother. Verse 27, “Give her the living child, and in no wise slay it: she is the mother thereof.”  It was wisdom from God, and it is nice when people can see that in our lives.

Proverbs 8:17, “I love them that love Me; and those that seek Me early shall find Me.”  Verse 36, “But he that sinneth against Me wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate Me love death.” If we love the Lord Jesus, God will love us.  The wisdom that is from above is hidden in the Lord Jesus and we have to spend time at that secret place to find it.  Job 28:12, “But where shall wisdom be found?  And where is the place of understanding?”  It is found in the Lord Jesus.

Colossians 4:5, “Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time.”  Time is something that is so easily wasted. Time is something that you cannot save.  You use it or you lose it. Today is my 42nd day at conventions here and in New Zealand.  When I started this visit in Western Australia, the end of conventions looked so far away, but now it is almost here.  When we think of spending time seeking God in prayer, how much time do we spend?  I know I spend far too little time finding that precious gold.  This wisdom from above is pure.  If you want to preserve something, you won’t put it into a dirty jar.  You will clean that jar thoroughly and then put in the thing you want to preserve.  God wants to clean us before He can put the purity of His Son into our lives.  There was no blemish in Him.

We have a hymn in our Dutch hymn book, “I long to be like Jesus, He hated iniquity and loved righteousness; Alas, I am not like Jesus, but I want to be like Him.”  Jesus showed the example when He washed the disciples’ feet. There was no partiality in that.  Peter said, “You will never wash my feet,” but then he realized that he needed the cleansing of the Lord Jesus.  The pure and spotless Son of God stooped down and washed the feet of His disciples.  It is not the easiest thing to bow before someone who would betray you, but I am sure Jesus also washed the feet of Judas, showing mercy to this man because wisdom is full of mercy.

John 1:17, “For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.”  We are glad to have received God’s mercy and we should show mercy to one another.  If we don’t show mercy to one another, we will not receive mercy. Luke 18, that is what the publican said when he went to the temple to pray, “God be merciful to me a sinner.” The Pharisee felt he was clean; that was his own wisdom. Maybe he learned wisdom at the feet of Gamaliel.  Paul learned wisdom there too, but Paul showed no mercy to the people of God until he experienced the wisdom from above that is full of mercy.

Matthew 5:9, “Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.”  Wisdom is a peacemaker.  The Prince of Peace brought peace to our hearts when we were in turmoil and didn’t know where to go.  It is a different kind of peace.  People try to make peace, but how do they do it? They fight, and lives are lost.  When the war was going on in South Africa, terrorists planted a bomb and 200 people lost their lives.  That was on a Friday, and on Monday morning the jets went over and bombed the terrorist places.  It was a case of, “You hit me and I will hit you.”  The Lord Jesus gave His own life to bring peace; He didn’t give the lives of other people.  How much do we value this peace?  We can go to the secret place and find peace.  There was a time when there was strife among the shepherds of Abraham and Lot, and Abraham said, “You choose; I will take second place.” That is what peace is, giving others first place so we will have true peace in our hearts.

The Lord Jesus was the Prince of Peace and He had the authority to speak about peace.  When we go to the house of our friends, just bring peace.  When the Lord Jesus came to His disciples after His resurrection, three times He said, “Peace be unto you.” We know that the enemy of our souls wants to take away that peace, but if we can just look on our Master, we will find great peace.  We were given good advice so far at this convention and we can follow the advice He gives us. Jesus came to this earth not to do His own will, but the will of His Father.  That is the advice we get from God.  When God gives us advice, we need the willingness to do it.

This wisdom from above is within our reach in the secret place, and it is hidden to people outside the way of God.  People cannot understand why we live a separated life; they ask why we don’t enjoy all the things of the world.  The devil offered it all to Jesus, the temptation was there, but the Lord Jesus never partook of it.  He didn’t want to lose the love of His Father.  Luke 12, Jesus spoke of the man who said, “Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.” He didn’t have enough room so he built bigger barns.  We would think he was a wise man according to human reasoning.  Verse 20, “But God said unto him, 'Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?'”  There is only one thing that can feed the soul and that is the bread of life, the Lord Jesus.  It doesn’t profit if you lose your soul and that was the mistake this man made.

1 Corinthians 1:19, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.  Where is the wise?  Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of the world?  Hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?”  Verse 26, “For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called.”  The angel came to Mary, a virgin, with the message of Jesus.  That would seem a foolish thing in the eyes of the world.  Why didn’t God choose a mother who already had a family and knew how to raise children?  That is human reasoning, but God’s wisdom is so different.  God was able to use a pure life; that is the wisdom that is from above.

When the Lord Jesus chose His disciples, did He go to the men who knew every letter of the law?  No, He went to the sea and called humble fishermen.  They were men who were despised but God knew He could use them.  Those men knew how it was to go fishing and face storms; how to go out and catch nothing and not get discouraged, because they would go out again the next day.  That is God’s wisdom. The first time, it may be a failure but the next time there could be success, so don’t give up.  When God called His children, where did He go?  To the sinners, to the publicans, to those who were despised by others. God’s wisdom calls people who are in need, people who love Him.  I am glad for the wisdom that comes from above and that we know where to find it.

 

Namibia is a dry country.  The people of the country and the animals can dig in the dry river bed and just under sand they will find water.  Most of the rivers flow under the surface of the sand, so there is hidden water.  If people don’t know about it, they will never find it.  We need the Lord Jesus and we know where to find the wisdom that comes from God, so that we will be called amongst the wise people.

Matthew 25, the five wise and five foolish virgins were all waiting and outwardly there was no difference.  But the difference was that the five foolish never spent time to go and buy the extra oil, and when time was no more, they came back and found that the door was closed.  Redeem the time.  So much time is spent on things that are really worthless and useless, but time spent in the presence of God is not wasted time.