Thirteenth Sun. aft. Pentecost B
Our Savior Lutheran Church
Pagosa Springs, Colorado
August 17, 1997
(Ads for the United Negro College Fund tell us rightly that, "A Mind Is A Terrible Thing To Waste." Indeed, we spend our first 18-22 years of life getting the mind ready to function in society. Ignorance, when knowledge is available is really a waist of intelligence YET...so many in this world are ignorant of the most basic spiritual knowledge on which hangs a basic fundamental understanding of God and the world in which we live.)
I. IGNORANCE OF THE WORLD OR OF GOD IS NOT AN ACCEPTABLE STATUS QUO.
A. If we are to successfully understand life in this world, we must understand sin.
1. Since we must live in this world, it is essential to know what sin does here.
a. Sin destroys trust:
1.) Trust between children and parents.
2.) Trust between husbands and wives.
3.) Trust between employees and employers.
4.) Trust between nations.
5.) Trust, even between brothers and sisters in Christ.
b. Sin destroys selflessness:
1.) Instead of serving others, we desire to focus on ourselves.
2.) Dog-eat-dog rules become the rule of the day in business,
politics, and institutional life of all kinds.
c. Sin destroys happiness and contentment:
1.) ILLUS: Declaration of Independence...are we ever in the pursuit of happiness!
2.) Like mice in a maze the pursuit of happiness consumes our lives as we scurry about looking for happiness in all the wrong places.
a.) In the acquiring of wealth and goods...never have enough!
b.) In the satisfaction of sexual desires...a loveless use of people.
c.) In the exercise of person power...finally loose it anyway.
d.) In the gaining of persona fame...a quickly fading flower.
2. Ignorance of sin and its effects leads to an inability to cope with life.
a. People of ignorance must constantly wonder why people behave badly.
b. People of ignorance assume that they too need to be selfish ...that's the way the game is played!
B. Only a spiritual discernment of sin can make sense of life in this world.
1. Know that all people are born with self-interest in their hearts.
a. Since the fall of mankind in the Garden of Eden, the dominion of Satan rules in all lives, without Christ and the forgiveness He brings.
b. Delusions that mankind is basically good have lulled many into a false hope, but an empty-headed ignoring of the obvious evidence to the contrary.
2. Only those familiar with wisdom and understanding of God's Word can understand that only one path leads to true happiness and contentment in the midst of a madly selfish world.
II. THE WISDOM OF GOD IS READY FOR ALL THOSE WHOM CHRIST CALLS.
A. A veritable feast of wisdom has been prepared for those who know Christ.
1. There is no other point of entry into real wisdom except through Christ.
a. No earthly philosopher can know the truth, truth is God's sole possession.
b. No false "savior" will be able to penetrate the wisdom of God without first coming to grips with Christ.
2. While all the world shrugs its shoulders asking, "What Is Truth?", God through His Word grants real understanding. (vv. 5-6)
B. Only in comprehending God through Christ's life, suffering, death and resurrection,can true and lasting wisdom be accessed and learned.
1. There is no understanding, no wisdom which is more important than the knowledge of eternal life through Christ.
a. What other wisdom can compare? E=MC2
b. Without this wisdom, what does it matter what we know?
2. This understanding can only be obtained through faith in the Son of God.
a. It is a free gift of God's grace.
b. It is entirely the work of the Holy Spirit, active through Word and Sacrament.
c. Just because it is a gift, doesn't mean that it comes cheaply...the life of Christ was the price paid for our eternal lives...an incredible, unimaginable price!
C. How can we not drink deeply of this spring of life? How can we possibly choose only to nibble at the feast of God's wisdom?
1. The unwillingness to feed on the wisdom of God has unfortunate results.
a. It creates malnourished Christians...subject to infection of false teachings.
b. It creates an emaciated ministry in a congregation.
c. It creates apathy toward the Word/Sacraments, and the mission of the Church.
2. Conversely, the eager hunger to eat well and drink deeply of Word and Sacrament bring marvelous results!
a. Individuals and as a congregation, we gain a vision for God's ministry, invigorating the total life of the individual and the parish.
b. It is no coincidence that 80 % of our congregational leaders are involved in Sunday morning Adult Bible Class on a regular basis!
c. It brings understanding of ourselves and our possessions as the instruments of God for His good purposes.
d. It brings Christian stewardship into its proper perspective and priority.
e. it motivates people to be eager to do the work of ministry, rather than the attitude of, "What's In it for Me?"
f. It brings the realization that in Godly living and service there is the end to the pursuit of happiness, contentment and joy!
What is your wisdom quotient today? Has your wisdom been truncated at the 13 year old confirmation level? Are you satisfied with spiritual "Pablem" when real Kansas City strip steaks are available? Come, my friends! Come to the banquet of the Wisdom of the Lord! Drink deeply and be refreshed and invigorated for the ministry of the Lord's service! Let the Lord teach you how life can make real sense! Receive the peace and joy of the Lord! Amen.
Copyright © 2003 CrossTies Counseling
All Rights Reserved