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Putting Wisdom to Work
05/19/2013
Scripture: Isaiah 49:14-16; Ecclesiastes 2:24-25; E...
Track 7 of 10 in the Pipe Dream series
Running time: 53 minutes, 13 seconds.
I dont know about you but I find that the older I get, life tends to move faster and it gets more complicated. I find that I am better off dealing with a fast paced life when I return to the basics for extended periods of time. You probably have times when things get too hectic and life is a real fast race. You long to just sit in a room with the lights off and with no sound at all. It is sometimes great to listen to nothing but silence. It is nice to find again the easy things in life. Get back to the basics.



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Mike Nobis Speaker: Mike Nobis
Sunday School Teacher, Former Elder at Madison Park Christian Church. Mike is President of JK Creative Printers & Mailing in Quincy, IL. He is married to Pam and has three children, Tom, Tyler and Jennifer. Mike has three grandchildren: Ryne, Ivy and Alicia.

View all sermons by this speaker.


Putting Wisdom To Work
Ecclesiastes 7:15-8:1

I don’t know about you but I find that the older I get, life tends to move faster and it gets more complicated. I find that I am better off dealing with a fast paced life when I return to the basics for extended periods of time. You probably have times when things get too hectic and life is a real fast race. You long to just sit in a room with the lights off and with no sound at all. It is sometimes great to listen to nothing but silence. It is nice to find again the easy things in life. Get back to the basics.

Do you find yourself asking the question, “Who is in control here on my life?” You have these circumstances hitting you and then you get those circumstances hitting you. You wonder if it is you’re controlling all that is happening or are things out of control? Where is God in all of this?

Do you remember the child song that says, “He’s got the whole world in his hands, He got the whole world in his hands…? Do you remember what else the song says he has in his hands?

But there are times when we find it hard to believe that our circumstances are truly in His hands. We experience minor interruptions as well as major calamites and there can be times when we feel God has left us to fend for ourselves. But we need to remember the prophet Isaiah. He felt the same way. In Isaiah 49, the nation Israel was surrounded by its enemies and it looked as though they are going to be wiped out. They were asking the same question, “Has the Lord forsaken us?” Look at Isaiah 49:14-16:

But Zion said, “The LORD has forsaken me, the Lord has forgotten me. Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me.

The truth is, we may feel God has forgotten us when in reality God see all that goes on and always has us on His mind.

What could be the circumstances that might cause us to think God has forsaken or forgotten us? But notice here in these verses, God says he will never leave us! You need to circle that verse and always remember it.

Look at your hands. Before looking at the palm of your hand, how many of you already know what it looks like? How many times do you see the palm of your hand on a given day? How many of you write important notes on it to help you remember something?

God says, See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me.
How many times do you think God thinks about you and your circumstances? Do you think all the bad and good things that happen to you go unnoticed? God knows your ways. God knows them continually. That includes your responses, your experiences, your reactions, what you call your calamities, your dead ends and your impossible situations.

Think about this a minute, not only does God have yesterday’s failures in His hands, he has today’s challenges. He also has all of tomorrow’s surprises right there in his hands. And not one of them can make God gasp. He is unshockable. He has got the whole world in his hands. And there is more, he has each one of us inscribed on the palm of his hand.

Ecclesiastes 2:24-25 (NIV)
A man can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in his work. This too, I see, is from the hand of God, for without him, who can eat or find enjoyment?

Solomon is going to spend the rest of his journal talking about WISDOM. Wisdom is something man is always striving to have. Yet man needs to know there are different types of wisdom. There is the above–the-sun wisdom and the under-the-sun wisdom.

Above the sun wisdom (Godly Wisdom): The ability to see things and think the way God sees and thinks.

Under the sun wisdom (Worldly wisdom): How the world and those outside of God’s perspective sees things and thinks.

Wisdom is not something you learn in a classroom. It is neither academic nor a theory. It is practical. It is designed to be put to work. This is Solomon’s message in Chapter 7. God speaks in between the lines of this passage of scripture. He says, “Test me. Give it a try. I’ll give you a perspective that is rare.”

Have you ever seen this in life? A man who has been very careful about what he eats, exercises regularly, and gets all the required rest he needs dies at an early age while a man who did all the wrong things in life lives to be 106? Why is that?

What are some of the phrase we use that communicates a frustration that is hard to accept. It is a phrase that lets others know we have experienced something that just doesn't make sense. “Now I have seen everything”. Isn't that what Solomon is saying in verse 15?

But a man who has godly wisdom sees these situations differently than a man who has a worldly understanding. Solomon is going to tell us there are three great benefits that godly wisdom affords us as it works its way out:

• First of all, wisdom gives us balance
• Second, it gives us strength
• Thirdly, it gives us insight

Wisdom Gives Us Balance (16-18)

Have you looked at yourself lately in the mirror? What do you see? I am not talking about your physical looks. I am talking about your spiritual looks. What do others see when they look at you?

In this set of verses, you can hear Solomon emphasizing BALANCE in life. Are you a super-pious, over zealous persons who find it important to impress others with your spirituality? Do you have the pious look? As we work to do our ministries, as we tell others about Jesus, the lost will be able to distinguish between the fake Christian and the authentic stuff.

Balance is a virtue. It is balance to grasp one thing and also not let go of the other. What two extremes are we to balance our lives between? How are we to look? We are to fear God but we are not to lose our perspective about humanity. When presenting the Gospel to the world, we are to be sensitive to the balance God wants us to display. God wants us to have the balanced look.

Wisdom Gives Us Strength (19-22)

Look at verse 19, what truth is Solomon telling us? Do you believe it? One who has wisdom posses an inner strength that cannot be matched by 10 influential city leaders. Those who are wise have the strength to accept the painful tensions in life.

There are those whose greatest struggle is accepting life’s questions and living with life’s tensions. How many of you would be considered a perfectionist?

Definition: A perfectionist is one who takes great pain…and gives them to others.

Perfectionists want everything in life to fit into neat four by four squares. Things must be black and white. Gray drives us crazy.

Solomon mentions some painful tensions in life that require wisdom. Wisdom gives us strength in these difficult times. Look at verses 20-22, what is Solomon talking about and how does wisdom help us to deal with them?

What does it mean to be gullible? How does wisdom help in this area? It filters out the verbiage and helps us not believe the things that are not reality.

Be honest, how many of us accept criticism well? To be honest, criticism hurts. How does wisdom help in dealing with criticism?

Notice here Solomon uses the servant as the one who is doing the criticizing. What about the servant that makes the criticism hard to take? He is close to you. He knows you very well. He is someone you work with. Perhaps he is an employee or a close friend.

There is an old saying, “When a mule kicks you, just consider the source.” How is that wisdom?

Wisdom Gives Us Insight (23-24)

True or False: We cannot understand ourselves, nor can we make ourselves wise.

How many of you can truthfully say that you really understand yourself? Aren’t there times when you ask yourself, “Why did you do that?”

And how many times have you determined it that you were going to be smarter in life so not to have all the problems you cause yourself? And before the day is over, you have already failed? Why is that?

The first insight wisdom gives us: We cannot understand ourselves, nor can we make ourselves wise. A person cannot manufacture wisdom. Wisdom is something given to him by God.

The second insight wisdom offers is, Intimate relationships are compelling, but often unsatisfying.

How is Solomon the poster child for this bit of insight? He had 300 wives and 700 concubines. How many women does it take to satisfy a man? 1 woman.

The third insight wisdom offers is, Our basic problems are not above us, they are within us.

Everything about man and woman in the beginning was good and right. Adam and Eve were perfect and in the perfect setting. Man and woman were made upright and perfect. But it was man that screwed the whole thing up. Many want to blame Satan. But it was not his fault. It was mans fault.

How many problems do you have today that are results of the stupid things you have done in life? How many problems are self inflicted?

Sin in the life of a Christian is a serious issue. How can Satan have such power over us while the Holy Spirit lives in us? The problem is not Satan. The problem is us.