How to Find Wisdom
By Greg Byman
April 15, 2018
St Joe Community Church
Download: Pastor's notes | Transcript | Slides
What is wisdom, and how to you get it? Over the past couple weeks, Pastor Greg Byman has focused on the fundamental historical facts of the Bible proving that Jesus was who he said he was – the one and only son of God who both saves us from an eternity of condemnation and separation from God, and then empowers us to live for God’s glory during our remaining days on this earth. The key to living for God’s glory instead of our own is found in wisdom. God’s wisdom, however, stands in stark contrast to our mortal wisdom, and today, Pastor Byman digs into the word of God in the book of Job, chapter 28, to explore how God wants us to tap his wisdom for our daily living. Pastor Greg Byman delivered “Get Wisdom” on April 15, 2018 at St. Joe Community Church.
For pastor's notes and sermon transcript, click "read more."
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And this morning I want to talk about how to find wisdom and Job Chapter twenty eight it hit me I usually don't. I usually try to I'm usually somewhere studying and then I'm somewhere else with where the church is and what I'm getting ready to preach on Sunday mornings I it's sort of like I want to make sure that I preserve my personal time with God and then my I don't call it professional time but I I need to I need to hear from God in my own life pattern not just because they have to get ready to talk on Sunday morning OK There you go so I'll say it that way and so but this verse that we're going to read this morning this passage hit me between the eyes and then as I was thinking about some things this weekend as I was at a marriage retreat doing some training or some some teaching there. I just just impressed on me yes that's exactly what I was supposed to be doing and then to start out all of this this morning I actually yesterday was handed in the morning a great some great statistics there are sad statistics to be honest but it reinforced what I knew I was supposed to do this morning so it's just like God brought it all together and here we are this morning but I can't see how many here want wisdom for how to live their life how many here won't listen thank you one hundred percent few of you didn't because you didn't you're ready to say and you don't want to be manipulated in raising your hand that's fine but honestly most people say yeah I want wisdom but what a lot of people are really finding is knowledge not wisdom how many here as soon as you get a fact question you find I mean many of you are Googling it to find out the answer you're so damning it to figure out what that song is and who sings it and one of those lyrics that one part that's always blurry in my mind oh that's the lyric that's what they're saying. We so quickly have information overload we know more than we've ever known in our lifetime. There's been roars and rumors of wars there are there's been atrocities there's been genocide throughout the history of the world but we just hear about it much more frequently there are been natural disasters everywhere in the world at many any time in the world but we're really aware of it because news cycle has to find a way to keep you interested in continuing to watch so that you'll see all the advertisements and buy all the things or call all the lawyers to sue people that that you can know who feel they have to find more things and new things and so this worldwide access to information gives us even more knowledge than where even knowing what to do with were full of knowledge we have more books than we've ever had in our history of the world in America there are more self-help manuals than we've ever had in the history of our nation there are all kinds of psychological testing that you can do on yourself there's self-help tests on on the Internet and yet why is it that it seems we still don't find wisdom common sense why is it it seems like we just keep hitting our heads against the wall we've got the knowledge but we're not sure what to do with that definition of wisdom I googled this the quality of having experience knowledge and good judgment the quality of being wise and there's a experience knowledge and good judgment all put together wisdom the soundness of an action or decision with regard to the application of experience knowledge and good judgment it's a combination of what I know what we've learned experience whether it's yours or somebody else's and having the ability to discern to judge the right thing to do in a given circumstance wisdom takes time. Why is it that in a corporation they never put somebody at the front desk first they always put them somewhere where they're learning the process of the company and they work themselves up to being allowed to talk to customers because they don't have the wisdom to know how to handle the question the customer has about the product that they're selling or giving them time unless it's a Kirby vacuum and anybody can sell that right now I'm just kidding but seriously they'll get anybody to sell that but but the reality is good sound business practice means that you you gain wisdom as you grow in your learning and understanding you get around other people who are wise people who have learned a thing or two mostly because they've made a few mistakes along the way and they've learned from their mistakes you know the best way to learn from mistakes is when you learn from other people's mistakes right now Wisdom is a loose if we're searching the arts music painting all kinds of expressions we are searching for wisdom because all of us in some way or our broken in particular ways we've got issues that are going on in our life so low in Greenwich is a fighter pilot who crashed his plane and just about a little lower than the ceiling he had checked it from the plane before it crashed into the ground but even as he was he jacked and he saw his passenger friend fly out of the plane and he lost his life he obviously wasn't far enough in the air for his suit to deploy well enough to save his life completely he did save his life but he broke his back P.T.S.D. absolute chaos in his life he found Christ he's a follower of Christ and he goes around and speaks around the nation about how to recover from P.T.S.D. and how firefighters and police officers and and military people can get over it can move through their past experiences that are destroying their marriages their relationships and he talked about statistics that twenty five percent of adults had a mental illness in the previous year. It's one in four in this room one two three four one two three four one two three four lifetime prevalence of a mental illness is fifty percent up to one in eleven people are clinically depressed at any given moment eleven percent of Americans twelve or older take prescribed self antidepressants thirty eight percent of Americans were prescribed painkillers in one year thirty eight percent of Americans are on painkillers or some kind there's stuff going on one in four girls and one in six boys are sexually assaulted before the age of eighteen one in five women will be raped in their lifetime fifteen to twenty percent of veterans from all areas have P.T.S.D. in any given year six point eight percent of people will have P.T.S.D. in their lifetime ten point four percent of women and five percent of men there is a suicide every thirteen minutes I don't know if that's absolutely the right number but forty thousand people a year take their life twenty two veterans a day commit suicide seventy percent of people hate their job or completely disengaged at work of it that one hits seventy percent of Americans have financial problems so if any of the others didn't hit you we we get up and we go to work we don't like work what are we going to do about pay bills got to do what we do now that may or may not be true for this room but if any of those statistics are even close to being true half of us have gone through some stuff or are currently going through some stuff we need wisdom and by the way I can find myself on that list a couple of places and if we were to go around the room and ask your story has someone let you down or have you had a traumatic experience in your life. Every one of us somewhere can talk about a family member who is let us down and or our traumatic experience that has altered our view of the world has skewed us a little bit spiritually mentally emotionally physically we're all in some ways coming out of in the middle of or getting ready to head into a storm that is almost insurmountable if we don't have wisdom to know how to deal with it you always hear me say this everybody is normal to get to Nome we're searching and I want to congratulate you that this morning not because you get a pat on the back because I think you do but you're one of the few people in Fort Wayne that decided to get up and to be a part of a group of people that are trying to get at this answer of where is wisdom and as I said before some of you don't know or believe exactly that God as we understand God in the Bible and Jesus Christ who died first and you may not be there particularly yet but you are still searching and you're here and I want to thank you for letting us be a part of your journey to figure that out this morning because I believe in we are convinced and I have found in my own spiritual journey of going through some depressive to depressive moments some dramatic moments in our own family history and I've discovered that when you're sitting in an armchair in the middle of your living room at night when everybody else is in bed you've got to have an answer for why am I here and what's the purpose of what I'm doing or you're going to go nuts we're searching and job couldn't be a better example of someone who is searching for this answer of why in the world am I going through what I'm going through completely wiped out his children had been killed he lost all of his wealth and he's sitting there with sores all over his body his wife said besides that your breath stinks and she's SUCH The encourage or why she just curse God and die maybe she was looking and moving on in her life she was tired of this dead weight that had sores all over his body I don't know. And then he had three guys that were attacking him for his attitude that said Surely you've done something really stupid that's caused you and you're just not admitting it Job Job Come on now Come on you can be truthful with us there's something deep inside of you and I let you read the book of Job to see what that's all about but the reality was Job didn't know why his life was a mess and there are many times when you're in the middle of something and you don't know why your life is a mess now you made a point to some markers where you made some stupid decisions I can point to markers where I made stupid decisions but sometimes life just hits you a downsized doesn't mean you are stupid it means that that company got into a point financially where they couldn't have you there anymore and that's not your fault it is what it is and then if your self-worth is back wrapped up in that job now suddenly my identity is being crushed because the world is saying I'm not valuable anymore there's a crisis and we're going why in the world God Would you allow this to happen to me most people when they throw a pretty party nobody likes to come by the way misery loves company actually misery likes miserable company I mean misery a miserable person does not like happy people around them right don't be chipper around me I like being mad right now thank you very much there had some may try to cheer you up I'm not ready for that that's where job is now a job in verse chapter twenty nine he's trying to defend himself but we're in twenty eight where he is dealing with the idea of where it is true wisdom for figuring things out come from and in the first part of Job Chapter twenty eight which we're not going to read he does a very good job of explaining how people physically look for precious metals and the earth and this is an ancient time perience but you can see the mining principles of putting scaffolding up on the Hill and digging deep into the mountainside to look for the vein of gold or silver or precious metal that they're looking for and he with great. Description shows us how people look for things that the animals all around not quite yet all around are looking for. Are looking for things that animals don't see that humans don't necessarily see and then he compares that with the idea of looking for wisdom so in verse one through eleven he describes how we search for precious metals and then he goes on to say how do you find wisdom and that's what I want to read and let's stand one more time as I read starting in verses twelve and following but where can wisdom be found where is understanding located no man can know its value since it cannot be found in the land of the living the ocean depths a it's not in me while the Ocean sea declares I don't have it God cannot be exchanged for it and gold cannot be exchanged board and silver cannot be weighed out for its price wisdom cannot be valued in the gold of her in the precious onyx or Sapphire gold and glass Do not compare with it in articles of Feingold cannot be exchanged for it Hurrell and courts are not worth mentioning the price of wisdom is beyond pearls topass from you cannot compare with it and it cannot be valued in pure gold where then does was this wisdom come from where is understanding located it is hidden from the eyes of every living thing in concealed from the birds of the sky Abaddon and death say we have heard news of it with our ears but God understands the way to wisdom and he knows its location for he looks to the ends of the earth and sees everything under the heavens when God fixed the weight of the wind and limited the water by measure when he established a limit for the rain and a path for the lightning. He considered wisdom it evaluated it he established it and examined it he said to mankind look the fear of the Lord that is wisdom and to turn from evil is understanding maybe seeded where do we find wisdom Well it's not found in the earth you can look all over this earth and look for it and find try to find it you're not going to find wisdom in worshipping the earth there are even shops in the mall there are places here in this town the city of churches that will give you crystals and all kinds of different artifacts and trinkets and in that same news of April that was brought up to you of a great fifteenth anniversary celebration of some church that started in the movie theater you know they started in a school building and then went to a movie theater later that same newspaper gives you a horoscope so that you can figure out the stars in the sky and figure out if you're a what or this I'm an Aries and I have no idea what an Aries is supposed to look like today but this is way looks like OK And and they going to give you the future because they think that by worshipping nature you're going to figure it out it's not in the earth in fact we can't we know that there is it seems like the more I had a friend who was they were pagans so I know if you pagans I mean these guys were practicing pagans and they did some very interesting things in the woods I won't talk about I didn't know about after they told me and they were just they were practicing the worship of nature and it was a little bit mixed in with witchcraft and were locks and all kinds of weird stuff and it was it was really off the wall but in their minds it made perfect sense that that's how they found wisdom for how to live life in Romans chapter one it says For though they knew God they did not glorify Him as God or show him gratitude instead they're thinking became nonsense in their senseless minds were Darton claiming to be wise they became fools in exchange the glory of the immortal god for images resembling mortal man birds for food animals and reptiles. How can somebody take a block of wood fashion it into an idol and bow down to it and then take another piece of wood that was from the same tree and throw in the fire to cook food Isaiah What's the difference between the two you know that some religious systems that call themselves Christianity are doing the same thing you know if they were to assemble all of the wood that they purportedly sold from the cross of Jesus Christ we'd have a cross that reached the moon people have this idea there's a bone fragment of I believe it's St Thomas but they took and put in a church somewhere and they get it out every once in a while and they worship the bone of the Apostle more than they talk about the Savior who saved the Apostle proclaiming the good news about Jesus Christ the Apostle the savior you know I think we don't have pictures of Jesus because if we knew what Jesus looked like we'd all be having plastic surgery so we look like him because I want to be more like Jesus but by the way the Bible says he wasn't a very attractive man so if you're ugly you're close no. You didn't laugh at Jesus you laughed at you OK seriously why did God not bring what's that guy that sells butter I don't you know it's Fabio Why wasn't I mean you think of Jesus being Fabio with blonde hair blue wavy hair in all the pictures you know he was a swarthy Jewish kind of guy that nobody said wow I want to look like that he was just you know why people were attracted to him because of who he was not what he was that's what I'm saying we would idolize anything we knew about Jesus physical appearance if we had known what it was thank God he didn't tell us what Jesus exactly look like pretty sure he did look like an Anglo-Saxon blue haired with wavy hair by the way that I pretty sure that won the case but it's OK So OK it's not on the earth that we're going to find these things he cannot be purchased. No amount of earthly resources can buy what we need verses fifteen through nineteen you can't have enough gold in the world to find wisdom you know a lot of rich people that are stupid never met him by like these are how they get their money now there's a lot of rich people that are wise wise in the world's way of developing wealth but but you can't buy wisdom that's why that's why when you when you're getting ready to get into a great company the C.E.O. does not become a C.E.O. until long after that person becomes wise and to know how to run a company it takes a while it takes some experience it takes some knowledge it takes some making mistakes and judgment calls it takes getting a a bunch of people around you so that you can learn what to do and what to say you can learn from other people and if that's true in business that's true in life that true wisdom comes from from not from just buying wisdom buying an internet access so that I can google everything I want to google so I can figure it out and I can figure it out on the fly what to tell people what I mean you can even Google what to say to somebody when they ask me this question yeah you can do that but is that really wisdom that's knowledge we're going to have a fifteenth anniversary celebration I'm excited you know that most churches that are planted don't make it past their fifth year and we St Joe we've never presumed upon the Lord we never assumed that God would use us in the way that he has we'd see hundreds of people come to faith in Christ to be baptized and we've launched people out into ministry that we've been able to help plant churches we never we didn't presume upon God that he would let us do this but we did have a confidence that God was working in us and through us and I I couldn't imagine us not being where we are today I don't want to say that arrogantly or to say that I had some sort of inside track on what God was up to but I'm humbled that we have the opportunity to celebrate fifteen years of life now there's churches in our town that have been one hundred hundred years old so we're just getting started but I'm telling you what guys when we when we talk to people this this coming Saturday on the on the property here and I'm praying for good weather. Pointing out there are so pray for good weather I'm hoping it's a neighborhood party that people come and walk on to the property maybe with their dogs hopefully with kids too and and all kinds of people of all all types of people in there that live in our community you're not going to have you know somebody or some people in our community that are a little hostile to Christianity I've talked to they're good they're they're friendly they're not very interested in anything I had to say about spiritual things and what I shared this morning in the basement with the group of people that wanted to learn how to do better job of reaching out to people when they visit our church I said you know it's not your argument that it's going to get them to want to come back it's your true compassion and care this gentleman that I was talking about that shared those statistics yesterday morning during the marriage retreat who is the Marine he had a problem he was diagnosed that within ninety days he would probably commit suicide if somebody didn't get a hold of his life and help him he was supposed to read it but he had the file he raises me that's not me although he was sleeping every night with a gun to his head just as it felt better he was a mess and he was hearing all his Marine buddies say suck it up suck it up suck it up and sucking it up wasn't working he was holding everything so tight and they assigned him to go to an Air Force psychiatry asst and when he got there she was out of shape or uniform wasn't even put together right and he just felt total disrespect in disgust when he saw or says how is this woman. Going to say it who's add a shape who can't even get her uniform right who's not even in my branch of the military going to tell me how to fix my life he had no hope for what she was going to tell him but he said you know what brought me back was her eyes told me she cared you know why I started listening tour because she genuinely cared about who I was as a purse. There are going to be people on this property next week there might be someone in this room who have tried to worship the earth who have tried to purchase wisdom you have tried to purchase all kinds of counseling sessions and you've gotten a lot of knowledge in your mind but you've not got it figured out yet and I want you to know that we're not here to argue you into a decision to follow Christ we're here to say we really care about you and that we're still on a journey to figure it out ourselves but we have found a source and we are we are beggars who found the source of bread and we want to show you what that source is not just give you the bread if you're hungry for truth and knowledge and put that together so that you have understanding and wisdom and we want to invite you want to journey with us as we continue to seek the wisdom from the very one who gave it to us so how do we find wisdom number one it's in the fear of the Lord we find it by finding wisdom by fearing the Lord now what you mean by that fear the LORD Well let me just tell you that there's no good Anglish word that really a pen in my eyes is what this Hebrew word means in Proverbs Proverbs is written in Hebrew and we have an English translation and in English any translation from one language to the next it's hard sometimes to convey words that are meant to be really special to that language but here's the best stab at it if you have a home and Christian Standard Bible like I have there's a little dot next to that fear of the Lord in verse twenty eight and that DOT says go back to the back and get a definition that we've kind of come up with that about about three or four does two or three dozen words that we've kind of defined so that you can kind of know the Bible more carefully because the Hebrew word we don't know Hebrew so you gotta know what the English derivative is and there phrase is the fear of God or a fear of the Lord which is represented several times in the Bible means to include worship full submission reverential all and obedient respect for the covenant keeping God of Israel so so this isn't I fear you like you're going to beat me up I fear you like I'm I revere you. As the all knowing all of Thor Tade of God of the universe my creator I have a reverence and respect for you you know so many times we have a you say so well I fear the police well if you're doing something wrong yeah yada but but but I healthy fear of police means I have a healthy respect for their authority to do their job more so than I'm expecting them to clobber me although there is a some segment of our society that's afraid of police because of police brutality and things that have gone on and even the perception of that in other places in the reality of that in other places but that we're not talking about a fear as in I'm I cower in fear and this this this this unhealthy fear it's this fear I revere you as my Savior my God my Creator you are awesome God I am not you are God I am a human you're my Creator I'm the created my feet are made of clay you're eternal You're a spirit you came in the form of a man but that didn't hold you and when that man was killed you brought yourself back to life you are Hossam God there is something about you that is so other than I am I fear you I devote my time to you I worship you this morning by the way the same God that he described verse twenty five when God fixed the way to the wind and limited the water by measure he also considered wisdom and evaluated it later on in this two verses later that word when God fixed the weight of the wind we did not know or discover that wind had a weight to it until much later after job in that interesting when the by the Bible is not a science book but when it scientific it's dead on wind has a weight to it that you know that if you get your physics class and that was discovered and written down in textbooks for us to learn and for our kids to learn in school much later than job was ever written. Before we even knew that God told us that was true oh just thought I'd throw that in there fear the Lord and turn from evil turn from evil repent you're going one way my way the way I want to go the way I've always done it before the way that isn't really working but I do it anyway because well that's the way I've always done it I don't want to take a different path let me ask you a question if you're already at the bottom of the barrel and you already know that you're hopeless and you already know that really life isn't worth living life already stinks if you already are kind of at that spot in your life heaven forbid anybody is but if there's someone here today that is thinking life is really stinking the way I'm doing it what doesn't hurt to try something different what does it hurt to at least try a different approach than what you're doing it's already bad it can't get any worse so try it if your marriage is about to fall apart was it hurt to at least try something different than what you've been doing that doesn't work what does it hurt if you've already made a decision that you're going to get out of here and in so many weeks or months why don't you decide that you know why since I'm already going to want to just try something different you didn't get here overnight and God wants to take you in a moment in a new way where you've never been before but you've got to turn you've got to identify the things that you know are wrong you see it isn't hard to find it's not hard to get someone to admit that they are wrong about something now if you're married to him that might be hard OK but seriously it is not hard for people to admit that they are sinners are you a center I have never had someone say I'm perfect they've always said Yeah I'm a sinner and they still like me they're still a little still talk to me. Because everybody's a center so identify the things that you're doing wrong and say God I'm willing to change my pattern I'm willing to not do that anymore and I can't do it because you haven't I need the help to do it and I'm addicted or I'm and trouble and I like that more than I like you but you're willing you're willing you're saying God I'm going to turn from that I obey I want to worship you and I want to turn from that and the Bible says that look the fear of the Lord that is wisdom and to turn from evil is understanding Proverbs nine ten says the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom James one five through eight says this now if any of you lacks wisdom he should ask God who gives to all generously and without criticizing it it will be given to him but let him ask and face without doubting for the doubter is like the surging sea driven and tossed by the wind and that person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord and here is verse eight and indecisive man is unstable in all his ways you know why you may be struggling with finding wisdom you know why you're making decisions that are not wise that you don't have understanding in your circumstance you've got a lot of knowledge you've stacked up a lot of research on a situation that you're in the middle of you've googled a lot of things you've gone to textbooks you've listened to counsellors maybe you know why it's not computing for you but you keep doubting that God has the answer for your life Christians we do this a lot I'm a put me in the category on Sunday morning we put our best on we put our face on and we say God is the answer God is the answer God is the answer God is the answer and then we get home we take our Bible and we set it on the counter and we go live life with everything except for that knowledge for how to live that life. And the only spiritual answers we get are the spiritual snippets that people put on Facebook but half of them aren't even true and we think we're living the Christian life if you're only consulting the Word of God on Sunday morning is that really someone who is consulting God enough to call themselves a follower of God If my children said I'm I'm not going to let you lead me as a parent six days out of the seven one day of the week I'll be I'll be obedient as a pet as a son or daughter how many of you will be calling somebody to keep you from hurting them yeah thank you Greg I see that hand I don't want to be the only one that just doesn't work I don't work at school that's called being expelled suspended juvie I'm just going to check out from letting the government run my life I'm not going to pay my taxes by the way it's the seventeenth you want to do it today don't feel bad today I got two more days to save up for whatever you owe them here I'm just not going to pay it maybe in three or four years I'll pay my taxes I don't work does it now I'm not going to pay my property taxes I own this home it's mine stop paying your property taxes I'm not trying to be political here but you and I do a lot of things to keep things rolling by obeying certain things to make things work better for us financially mentally relationally and the very thing that we need the most is wisdom from on high and God says if you'll just let me in I'll show you what you need know how unlock the mysteries for you I'll give you wisdom you know how many times I can tell you that I don't have a clue how to be a dad I don't have a clue how to be a dad and I'm in the middle of a situation where I don't know how to communicate with this child that God gave me. You know you can pick your you pick your spouse hopefully but you don't pick your kids God does and he laughs every time he throws one in your family. Time for you to grow those poor kids those poor kids and it takes wisdom from God to figure out how to do it right because I don't have the they know I don't have the answers but I mean I don't I don't know how to deal with this situation God and the times when I say God I am bankrupt I worship unit day I'm coming to you for help I'm mining your scriptures like someone mines for gold and I'm drilling down to find the real answers and I'm getting around godly people who are following you they have gone through this path before God I trust that only you're going to give the answer and you gave me these kids to live with and to take care of until they gave me to be their parent as long as I'm alive and they are and God help me to be the parent I'm supposed to be whatever season you're in if you're a parent that's now only adviser because they're out of your house or you're a parent because you're their authority because you're so they're still minors it doesn't matter you're still their parents God help me know what to do and if you're a blended family Heaven help you even more I don't even understand what that means for you to take care of a step son or step daughter that you don't call step because they're just as yours as others but you don't want to replace the other how do you do that only God can show you how to be that kind of person and I pray and hope that this morning you'll not start looking to the earth in the crystals and the horoscopes you'll stop trying to by God's wisdom through all kinds of self-help books although there's a lot of good books out there but you'll say God I believe you exist and I believe you sent your son Jesus and I believe that what you did is true and if you made this world we've made a mess of it and God I just pray that you show me how in my corner of the world. How to do the right thing the right way and be around the right people God help me so are you searching for wisdom this morning are you looking for what God wants for your life maybe this morning you need to take this yellow card for first time visitor I pray that you'll put it on there your name some way for us to we send a note everybody who comes put it in the offering box and we'll send a note thanking you for being here and please if you're brand new here go get a mug and cookies we have a gift for you that we'd love for you to get on your way out the door just do that.
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