Bruce Collins, Evangelist

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Who is Wise?

Meditation for the week of December 13, 2009

Hosea 14:9 Who is wise? Let him understand these things. Who is prudent? Let him know them. For the ways of the LORD are right; The righteous walk in them, But transgressors stumble in them.

Who is wise?  Is it the scientist?  Is it the philosopher?  Is it the person who knows how to make a billion bucks?  Is it the person with the most friends?  Or is it the person who not only believes that God exists, but who believes what He says and worships Him?

In this book the northern ten tribes of Israel had turned away from God.  As a result, God was judging them as a nation.  Instead of turning back to Him, they were looking for human help from other nations to deliver them.  Hosea was calling the northern ten tribes to repentance that their blessings might be restored.  In addition, he was pleading with the two southern tribes to be faithful and not to follow in the footsteps of the northern ten tribes.  Today, since the kingdom is a spiritual kingdom and not an earthly one, I would apply these warnings to the church which is the society where God’s authority is honored.  In the world, we have a society where Satan is in charge (Ephesians 2:2).  In the church, we are supposed to be a society where the Lord Jesus is in charge.  But does the visible religious professing church consist of those who are wise today?

So who is wise?  He is the person who “builds his house on the Rock (Matthew 7:21-29).”  We do that by doing what the Lord asks.  Verses 22 and 23 indicate that when we do the right things for the wrong reason, we do not please or even know God.  But when we do the right things for the right reason, that pleases God.  The first thing that the wise do is “repent and believe the Gospel (Mark 1:15).”  Then we who have believed in the Lord Jesus will have a desire to live to please Him.  When we do the good things mentioned in Matthew 7:22 to honor God rather expecting those things to earn us a place in His kingdom, God is pleased and we are wise. 

I remember that shortly after I was saved, I began to wonder if I had believed right and if I had believed in the way others had believed.  Whenever I would ask myself if I believed, I would lose my confidence.  When I asked myself if Christ had died for me, I would say, “Of course” and regain my joy.  Before I was saved, I had never really trusted in the fact that the work of salvation was finished completely when Christ died and rose again.  I kept waiting for God to do something to “save me”.  I realized one Sunday afternoon in my room that God had done everything that He was going to do to save me.  I got peace about my sins and my relationship with God.  But then I began to ask myself if I had repented enough and if I had really believed.  When I ran across this section in Matthew 7, I realized that when I had trusted in the truth that the work that saves is finished, I had trusted in bedrock truth.  And it was that truth that gave me peace, not my repenting and believing.  We must believe the truth to be saved, but I found out that we can’t depend on our believing.  We need to depend on the Truth.

I was getting an education back in those days and thought I was a pretty good student.   Yet the first wise thing I ever did was to trust the Lord Jesus.  

The longer I live the more confused I get when I talk to people about the Gospel.  People say they are believers and yet they have organized churches in ways that are totally opposed to the principles of Scripture.  They say they are saved but never preach the Gospel of God’s grace from the pulpit.  They say they are saved but never talk about their love for the Lord Jesus.  These were all things that I thought were part of our devotion to the Lord after we come to know Him and trust Him as our Savior.  Sometimes I wonder if the professing church is like Israel in the book of Hosea.  Are we really wise?

I feel like the blind man in John 9 who had his eyes opened by the Lord.  He didn’t know very much but he could honestly say this, “ One thing I know: that though I was blind, now I see (John 9:25)”  The one thing I know is that the Lord Jesus Christ died for my sins.  God calls the one who believes that truth wise.  That person will never be overcome by the storms of life.

“Who is wise?” is a good question.  A better question might be, “Am I wise?”

Bruce Collins

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