Wise with spiritual wisdom

Wise with spiritual wisdom

“We ask God to give you a complete understanding of what he wants to do in your lives, and we ask him to make you wise with spiritual wisdom.

Colossians 1:9 NLT

Discerning cultural trends

C. S. Lewis was born on this day in 1898, and 40-plus years after his death it is startlingly clear that he was not only a keen apologist but also a true prophet for our postmodern age.

Lewis wrote his book Miracles in 1947, before most Christians were aware of the emerging philosophy of naturalism, which says that there is a naturalistic explanation for everything in the universe.

Naturalism undercuts any objective morality, opening a door to tyranny. In The Abolition of Man, Lewis warned that naturalism turns human beings into objects to be controlled and turns values into “mere natural phenomena” that can be selected and inculcated into a passive population by powerful Conditioners. He predicted a time when those who want to remold human nature “will be armed with the powers of an omnicompetent state and an irresistible scientific technique.”

Why was Lewis so uncannily prophetic?

One reason is that Lewis was a professor with a specialty in medieval literature. This gave him a mental framework shaped by the whole scope of intellectual history and Christian thought.

We Christians need to liberate ourselves from the prison of our own narrow worldview and immerse ourselves in Christian ideas “down the ages.” The best way to celebrate Lewis’ birthday is to be at our posts, as he liked to say, with renewed spirits and with probing and informed minds.

Adapted from How Now Shall We Live? Devotional by Charles Colson (Tyndale) pp 665-66

Content is derived from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation and other publications of Tyndale Publishing House

The strength of a horse does not impress him; how puny in his sight is the strength of man. Rather, the Lord's delight is in those who honor him, those who put their hope in his unfailing love.  Psalm 147:10-11

The strength of a horse does not impress him; how puny in his sight is the strength of man. Rather, the Lord’s delight is in those who honor him, those who put their hope in his unfailing love.
Psalm 147:10-11

 

GAL. 5:25

 

 

God’s barriers against man’s sin

“Fear ye not me? saith the Lord: will ye not tremble at my presence, which have placed the sand for the bound of the sea by a perpetual decree, that it cannot pass it: and though the waves thereof toss themselves, yet can they not prevail; though they roar, yet can they not pass over it? But this people hath a revolting and rebellious heart; they are revolted and gone.” Jeremiah 5:22-23

Suggested Further Reading: Isaiah 1:1-4

God here contrasts the obedience of the strong, the mighty, the untamed sea, with the rebellious character of his own people. “The sea,” saith he, “obeys me; it never breaks its boundary; it never leaps from its channel; it obeys me in all its movements. But man, poor puny man, the little creature whom I could crush as the moth, will not be obedient to me. The sea obeys me from shore to shore, without reluctance, and its ebbing floods, as they retire from its bed, each of them says to me, in the voices of the pebbles, ‘O Lord, we are obedient to thee, for thou art our master.’ But my people”, says God, “are a revolting and a rebellious people; they go astray from me.” And is it not, my brethren, a marvellous thing, that the whole earth is obedient to God, save man? Even the mighty leviathan, who maketh the deep to be hoary, sinneth not against God, but his course is ordered according to his Almighty Master’s decree. Stars, those wondrous masses of light, are easily directed by the very wish of God; clouds, though they seem erratic in their movement, have God for their pilot; “he maketh the clouds his chariot;” and the winds, though they seem restive beyond control, yet do they blow, or cease to blow just as God wills. In heaven, on earth, even in the lower regions, we could scarcely find such a disobedience as that which is practised by man; at least, in heaven, there is a cheerful obedience; and in hell there is constrained submission to God, while on earth man makes the base exception, he is continually revolting and rebelling against his Maker.

For meditation: Jonah, a great wind, a great fish, a plant, a worm, an east wind (Jonah 1:3,4,17; 2:10;4:6-8)—which is the odd one out?

Answer: God’s servant Jonah—the rest obeyed God at once. This should humble us!

Sermon no. 220
16 November (1856)

 

 

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