Saturday, September 30, 2006

Wisdom and Ecclesiastes...

Wisdom is not seeing all the reasoning and mechanics of God's sovereign world, but doing the right thing in the actual situation that presents itself. It's not looking at the station platforms from the bird's eye view of the signal box, but facing obstacle after obstacle behind the wheel on the road itself.

That is Packer's explanation of Wisdom and Ecclesiastes in particular: all our work is to be judged 'vanity and a striving after wind' if we expect to find the divine purpose in everything. Murder and car-crash, cancer and tsunami; is a Sovereign God running this world? The prodigy dies young, the criminal gets the lucky lottery ticket. This is life. This is the real world - realise it, or "you will have no true wisdom till you do".

I should not claim to understand the dealings of the world. Can I really see at once the reason for anything that may happen? I do not know all the ways of God in providence (11.5).

But I can be sure that God does all things well - that he knows what he is doing. I can trust him, and rejoice in him, even when the path is hidden by weeds. Wisdom is being able to confess he is wise; humbly, joyfully. The fruit of wisdom is Christlikeness, and the root of it is faith in Christ, the wisdom of God (1 Cor 1.24, 30).

Wisdom... humbly trusting; not neglecting faithfulness in searching for a kind of knowledge which is not available this side of the Great Day.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Words from Miletus...

Having Acts 20, Paul's final words to the guys in Ephesus, opened up to us this afternoon was thoroughly defining in thinking about gospel ministry.

Paul's work amongst the Ephesians was serving the Lord and this meant humility, tears and trials. What mattered, however, was whether he testified to the gospel of the grace of God. It is more blessed to give than to recieve. That's a big shout. It's other-person centred, it's laying myself down, it's not my need first. I cannot do that on my own!

Serving the Lord is serving his people - testifying of repentance towards God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ - for the church of God has been obtained with his blood. That is their price, that is how much they're worth. Nothing could be more exciting, and nothing could make you feel so helpless.

Thursday, September 28, 2006


After meandering round Sedburgh, and some afternoon tea in Kirkby Stephen, I'm back once again in Durham. Excited by what God has in store for this next year, for this final year as a undergrad.