Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Spirit of wisdom

"Stephen before the Council" 
by Joanes Vicente. 
From Artwork from the Bible 
and Its Story - Volume 10 (1910)

TODAY’S SPECIAL: Acts 6:8-7:8

TO CHEW ON: “And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the Spirit by which he spoke” - Acts 6:10

I never cease to be amazed by modern apologists like Ravi Zacharias. I’ve listened to numerous Q&A sessions, recorded at universities where questioners will pose to him the most difficult (to me) questions or dilemmas. Without skipping a beat, Zacharias answers, often exposing in the questioner and his/her question, the very fault of logic they are implying that he is making in his defense of Christianity.

(Eg. A back-and-forth with Zacharias can go something like:
Q: How can you say there is objective truth [implying such a thing doesn’t exist]?
A: The assumption you make by asking that question is itself based on your belief in the meaningfulness of statements that claim to be true or false [objective truth].)

I imagine Stephen as that kind of orator / apologist. I love how the NKJV with its capitalized pronouns of God draws our attention to the source of this wisdom:
“… they were not able to resist the wisdom and the Spirit by which he spoke” - Acts 6:10.

Isaiah describes the Spirit that would rest on Jesus and was also on Stephen (Acts 6:5):
“The Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon Him,
The Spirit of wisdom and understanding,
The Spirit of counsel and might,
The Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD” - Isaiah 11:2 (emphasis on wisdom words added)

The beautiful thing is that God’s wisdom is available to us. James tells us:
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him” - James 1:5.

What exactly are we asking for, when we ask for this wisdom?
But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality* and without hypocrisy” - James 3:17.

Though I would never aspire to be a Ravi Zacharias, I would love and welcome more of the Spirit of wisdom in my life!

Dear Jesus, thank You for sending Holy Spirit, who supplies wisdom, understanding, counsel, and knowledge. May You, Holy Spirit, find a welcome home in me. Amen. 

*Interesting, isn’t it, that Stephen came to prominence as someone the early church fathers put in place to correct a problem of perceived partiality - Acts 6:1-5.

Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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