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The Devotional Implications of Christian Cosmology

What, what, we’re going to do this morning is going to be, a little bit of, what I’d like to keep on doing, as we get into the New year; to have a quite a bit more discussion. It was pretty intentional on my part to lay a foundation of biblical authority and some of the prologue on the first things of theology and then theology proper. And so the lecture format was pretty, pretty, intentional, on my part.

 And as we get into the new year; now that we’ve got a foundation that we’re standing on, which is the authority of God’s Word. And the authority of God’s person his Being, you know, I think, I think, standing on that foundation, we can move forward with a lot more, I think, interaction and discussion.

 You know, kind of a breaking up into little groups, like we’re going to do today. So, I think we’ve got, let’s see 2,4,6,8,10,12,14,16,18,20,23,23 guys. So, what we’ll do is we’ll break up into groups of five, six, something like that, in a little bit. Okay. But I’d like to, I’d like to, probably do that, a little more, in the new year.

 Last week we talked about the apologetic implications of the Doctrine of Creation and that was, that was, just one of many approaches we could have taken. I, I, want you to understand that you can go in a lot of directions to think. I mean once, once, you lay a foundation of the Doctrine of Creation and see God’s glory manifest in what he has done, what he’s made, man, there’s just so many places you can go.

 This, the wisdom of God in creating the world as we saw, it’s, it’s, not only staggering to the mind, and it provides us, with really, an eternity of study and reflection; which that is, I think one of the great joys of heaven, is to be in God’s presence, to be with Christ, to be with the fellowship of the saints, praising the Lord.

 But there’s an, there’s an eternity of learning, of an infinite God. There is no end to knowing him. So aside from that, the wisdom of God in creation has provided us, as we saw last week, with all the wisdom we need and all the ammunition we need, to destroy arguments in every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.

 For today, though, I think it’s appropriate that we end the year on, in reflection and worship. That we consider how we can use what we have learned about God in our own sanctification, in our own ministry, in our lives, our ministry to our families, other Christians, unbelievers; the responsibility we have to teach and lead others, as men.

 We started this course back in September of 2016. Any hands of who’s been with us since September of 2016. I have. That’s, that’s, awesome. That’s a good group of men in the very beginning. So that’s cool. So as we reflect looking back to 2016 in September, all the way to this point, as we reflect devotionally on the implications and of, of, this theology, and Christian cosmology in particular What God made in Creation Week. I’d like to lay a foundation of what we learned, so far in our study of theology proper.

So here’s just a very short review. We have learned that God is an immortal eternal spirit. That God possesses triune personality and that God is our creator. He’s known to us as our creator. That’s where we, you know, awakened to reality, life. That’s when mankind was created.

As immortal spirit, God is: Number one, we said life-giving. He is, that means he’s self-existent, he’s self-sufficient, immortal, he is one. He’s, we talked about that being singular, one of singularity, one of uniqueness, one of absoluteness, but also one of simplicity, not made-up of parts.

 And then thirdly, we said God is unchanging, that he’s immutable, he’s impassable. As triune personality, we talked about God is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. That there is a inter Trinitarian relationship of persons and this is where our understanding of person and personality comes from, is from our God.

 We see in Scripture that the Father decrees, the Son executes, the Holy Spirit empowers. That’s the pattern we see and we see the, the, three persons in the one essence of God, with, with, personality and that’s the basis of our personality. Not, not, that we’re triune personality. I don’t want to say that. Don’t want him to miscommunicate, but the fact of personality comes from our God.

As our creator, thirdly, God is: We say God is light, that is, talks about energy, power, vitality, all that. God is perfect. We see that coming through in the structure, the order of the beauty of creation. God is limitless. We see that, in talking about God as infinite, and eternal, and immense. We talked about the omni’s, Omni. He’s omnipresent. He’s omnipotent. He’s omniscient. That’s God’s limitlessness.

And then fourthly, God’s wisdom. That’s, that’s, one we’ll get to a little bit more in the coming year; to talk about, just, just, very briefly talk about the decrees of God. As we think about his wisdom and his that, that, is unfolded in the creation and in providence through history. So there’s one more category of God’s greatness, as we’re talking about his absolute and incommunicable attributes.

This, this, is going to help us pivot from the absolute to the relative attributes, and so, the God’s greatness to God’s goodness. So the incommunicable attributes, we’re going to pivot to the communicable attributes, and the hinge of the pivot point is the wisdom of God, because that’s where all this is manifest.

 His wisdom is manifest and starts, as I said, with his decrees. So God made these eternal sovereign decrees, which the decrees themselves are absolute, and he did so by his eternal wisdom. And yet his wisdom becomes, in time and space, something that, we as creatures, created in his image, we can apprehend.

 We can comprehend some of his wisdom and reflect upon it, and so his wisdom becomes something that’s communicable to us. We are then, able to express this wisdom and live out this wisdom, that really is the Christian life; is putting God’s glory on display. We see the wisdom of God in the church. We see the wisdom of God, in us as believers, in how we individually live, but also collectively live together in the church.

God’s eternal, infinite wisdom, it’s manifest inherently in all that he made, which is now apprehended by us. So we look through the lens of his revelation, his Scripture, to interpret our world around us. We see the wisdom of God and the law, the wisdom of God and everything that’s written. And then we look around through that, through that, lens of Scripture and interpret the entire world and see his wisdom on display.

 So on the foundation of God’s absolute attributes, there are a host of relative or communicable attributes that we’re going to get into, as we talk about this next year. Holiness, truth, goodness, love, and all those have transitive qualities that come to us; and righteousness, and goodness, and all that. Okay.

So that, that’s just a bit of review of what we’ve covered so far in this theological survey, and hopefully prompt your memory a bit, or warm you up, just a little bit, to help us reflect, this morning, and worship, and ponder a little bit, the implications for our devotion to Christ. Our devotion to God, as Christians.

 I want you to, if you don’t have burrito all over your hands, just grab a Bible and open up. I want to get some of you guys to read for us. First, let’s start and let’s do this together. Let’s start in Proverbs 8. Go to Proverbs 8. Can I get someone to read that; Good, strong voice, Doug?

Audience: Yeah, you want the whole, the whole chapter.

Travis: I said a strong voice, Doug.

Audience: Okay. Do you want me to go a little deeper. Down here? In that way, that didn’t work.

Travis:  That Didn’t work? No, that sounded actually, junior, higher, crackling a little bit.

Audience: Well, I’m taking a week off, so, you know, I’d have to be a teacher. The whole chapter?

Travis: No, we’re going to just go to the section from verse 22 to verse 31. Read that section.

Audience: There “the Lord possessed me at the beginning of his work, the first of His acts of old.”

Travis: Sorry, let me interrupt. “The Lord possessed me.” Me being wisdom; wisdom is personified in this chapter. But it’s talking about the wisdom of God, manifest in creation. So the Lord possessed wisdom. Me, at the beginning of his work. Go ahead.

Audience: “Ages ago I was set up, at the first,” beginning “before the beginning of the earth.” When there was, “when there were no depths. I was brought forth, when there were no springs abounding with water. Before the mountains had been shaped, before the hills, I was brought forth, before he had made the earth with its fields, or the first of the dust of the world.

“When he established the heavens, I was there; when He drew a circle on the face of the deep, when he made firm the skies above, when he established the fountains of the deep, when he assigned to the sea its limits, so that the waters might not transgress his command, when he marked out the foundations of the earth, then I was beside him, like a master workman, and I was daily his delight, rejoicing before him always, rejoicing in his inhabited world, and delighting in the children of man.

“And now, O sons, listen to me: blessed are those who keep my ways, hear instruction and be wise, and do not neglect it. Blessed is the one who listens to me, watching daily at my gates, waiting beside my doors. Whoever finds me finds life and obtains favor from the LORD, but he who fails to find me injuries himself; all who hate me love death.”

Travis: Okay. Great. Thank you. So starting in verse 22 to 31, we see, we see, this wisdom that God possessed at the very beginning, personified, kind of given a voice. And you know, so it’s a, it’s a, figure of speech, metaphor being used here. But God possessed wisdom at the beginning of his work. So, at the beginning of his work means, implies strongly we weren’t there.

     Yeah. Okay, so there’s this wisdom that God employed in the creation of everything. And then we see, “Now, O sons, listen to me: blessed are those who keep my ways.” So this wisdom that God possessed, that what was in his mind is now made accessible to us. And in fact, we’re commanded, you know, as Solomon commands us, sons, we’re commanded to make use of it. We’re commanded to access it and to put it into practice.

The wisdom of God in creating the world as we saw, it’s not only staggering to the mind, and it provides us, with really, an eternity of study and reflection.

Travis Allen

 In Job 28, I want to have you turn there. But in Job 28, I love that chapter, because, it basically, it’s a poetic way of saying there is no wisdom among men. There’s no wisdom hidden anywhere in the earth. You can go down into the caves, into the mines where they mine things out of the earth, and you can’t find it. Where is it found? It’s only found with God. That’s the answer to the chapter in, in, Job. It’s only found with God and that’s what’s being said here.

 So again, reflecting on rejoicing in the wisdom of God, in create, in the created order and then seeing that it’s, it’s, incumbent upon us to go and find it from God; we must have the fear of the Lord to do that. Go to Psalm 8. Now let me get another reader for Psalm 8. Again, just reflecting on setting our minds on, on, God’s creation; seeing the wisdom of God in creation. Ryan, Psalm 8. Everybody there. All right, go ahead.

Audience: “LORD our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens. Out of the mouth of babies and infants, you have established strength because of your foes, to still the enemy and the avenger. When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?

“Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor. You have given him dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under his feet, all sheep and oxen, and also the beasts of the field, the birds of the heavens, and the fish of the sea, whatever passes along the paths of the seas. O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!”

Travis: That Psalm comes out in the book of Hebrews, other places, as well. But this, “What is man that you’re mindful of him, the son of man, that you care for him, yet you’ve made him little lower than the heavenly beings crowned with glory and honor.”

     The, the, question that’s asked, in the, the, writer to the Hebrews asked, and yet, we don’t see everything lined up that way. Oh, but we do see Christ. We do see Christ, who has fulfilled this mandate and, and, being found in him that, when we fulfill it in him. But this reflection of David, and you can imagine him.

 Anybody who’s been out, you know, camping or if you’ve had a job that’s kept you out in the middle of nowhere, where there are no city lights, where there are, there is no traffic; there isn’t anything distracting you, no cell phone coverage. Out in the middle of the sea, out in the middle of the desert, out in the middle of the mountains, whatever it is you, you know what David’s talking about.

You’ve seen exactly what he has contemplated, as he sat there probably, caring for sheep and thought night after night, Oh Lord, who am I? What am I? Reflecting on his, his, incredible glory, the, the, the, the heavens and the work of your fingers. Just this, if you imagine the fingers of God putting the stars in the heavens, that’s how great he is. Go to Psalm 104 and we’ll get a number of you guys to read.

 So, I won’t assign it, but what we’re going to do is, need someone for verses 1 to 4. Got it? 5 to 9, 10 to 13, 14 and 15, 16 to 18, 19 to 23, 24 to 26, 27 to 30, 31 to 32, and 33 to 35. So maybe just start reading and I’ll say, okay next.  

Audience: Alright I got the first ones, “Bless Yahweh, O my soul! O Yahweh, my God, You are very great; You clothe yourself with splendor and majesty; You who cover yourself with light as with a garment, who stretch out the heavens like a tent curtain. The one who sets beams in the waters for his upper chambers; who makes clouds his chariot; who rides on the wings of the wind; who makes his messengers the winds, his attendance a flame of fire.”

Travis: OK, next, go to verse 9.

Audience: “He established the earth upon its foundation, so that it will not totter forever and ever. You covered it with light as with the garment; the waters were standing above the mountains at your,” at your, “rebuke they fled. At the sound of your thunder, they hurried away. Mountains rose, the valleys sank down to the place which you established for them.”

Travis: Go ahead.

Audience: All the way to nine. “You set a boundary that they may not pass over, so that they will not return to cover the earth.”

Travis: Okay, thanks. And then 10 to 13.

Audience: “You make springs gush forth in the valleys; they flow between the hills; they give drink to every beast of the field; the wild donkeys quench their thirst. Beside them the birds of the heavens dwell; they sing among the branches. From your lofty abode you water the mountains; the earth is satisfied with the fruit of your work.”

Travis: Okay. So, we transitioned from, right? You see the transition we started with, well, just the, the, call out of God’s greatness in verse 1 and then laying the beams of his chambers verse 5, setting the earth on foundations, so that we see this, this, foundations laying, and setting, and structure, and order. But then coming out of that, is God’s care, his provision, his providential provision, and care for the earth; making springs gush forth and it continues in verses 14. Someone read verses 14 and 15.

Audience: “He causes the grass to grow for the cattle and vegetation for the labor of man, so that he may bring forth food from the earth and wine which makes man’s heart glad,” so that, “so that he may make his face glisten with oil and food which sustains man’s heart.”

Travis: Okay, so, so, the, the, water gives drink to every beast of the earth, birds of the heavens, the grass grows, feeds all of the, you know, the livestock and, and, even us: wine, oil, bread. Verses 16 to 18; someone read that.

Audience: “The trees of the LORD are watered abundantly, the cedars of Lebanon that he planted. In them the birds build their nests; the stork has their home in the fir trees. The high mountains are for the wild goats; the rocks are a refuge for the rock Badgers.”

Travis: Okay, good. Taking care of all the creatures, the trees, and all these other creatures. Verses 19 to 23, please.

Audience: “He made the moon for the seasons; the sun knows the place of the sun. You employ darkness and it becomes night, in which all the beasts of the forest prowled up. The young Lions roar after,” roar after, “their prey and seek for their food from God. When the sun rises, they withdraw and lie down in their dens.”

Travis: Yeah, yeah. Go to verse 23. Go ahead.

Audience: “Man goes forth to his work and to,” and to, “his labor until evening.”

Travis: Good. Thank you. So, so, again the, the, the sun and the moon, marking times and seasons. We talked about that before, how there’s an order to life on the planet and man goes out to his work and his labor until the evening. You know, the evening when the sun goes down and man can’t see, until we invented electric lights. But man can’t see. And there is that, that’s good for us. That’s good for us to stay in a pattern of living. That’s, that’s, all implied here.

Look at, I’ll read verses 24-26. I just want to jump in here. “Oh LORD, how manifold are your works! In wisdom you’ve made them all; the earth is full of your creatures. Here is the sea, great and wide, which teems with creatures innumerable, living things both small and great. There go the ships and Leviathan, which you form to play in it.” Go to verse 27 to 30. Someone read that.

Audience: “They all wait for You, To give them their food in due season. You give to them, they gather it up; You open Your hand, they are satisfied with good. You hide your face, they are dismayed; You take away their spirit, they expire, And return to their dust. You send forth Your Spirit, they are created; And you renew the face of the ground.”

Travis: Okay. So when you see that, you know, give them their food and then their breath, take, withhold their food and withhold their breath, what do you see there in that section?

Audience: Are you asking me specifically.

Travis: Yeah, yeah. I ask and it’s not rhetorical.

Audience:  So you know, we’re, we’re, told…

Travis: Just in, just in, the fact of his giving and withholding food, or giving and withholding breath.

Audience: It’s, it’s, the same concept of, we exist moment by moment in him, right? He, he, not only provides for us physically, but the spiritual aspect of ourselves to continue to exist.

Travis: Okay, so, and we see his sovereignty over that. His decision making, his, his, care, and then bringing it to an end, and saying, okay, your life’s over. It’s time for you to pass off the scene.

Audience: Yeah, he determines the cycles. And the cycles are necessary. The death, the renewal, and all that. Without, without death, there’s no renewal.

Travis: Yeah. Without death, there’s no reincarnation. Just kidding.

Audience: Joke. Wasn’t going there. I’ve seen several times throughout 104, the argument against Deism, that God is a God who intimately is associated, on a moment by moment basis, with his creation.

Travis: Yeah, that’s right.

Audience: But also, I see a reminder to man, you, you’re limited. Your limits are set. And, and, reconcile yourself to that and act wisely.

Travis: Yeah, that’s right. Live within your limits. Yeah. I think, you know, when I was a young man, I had no limits. You know, when I was a young guy, I had no limits. And so it’s, it’s, part of the, the, mark of wisdom. When men accept their creatureliness. We come, when we get older, and we realize, well, I can’t do everything. I can’t be everywhere. I can’t know everything. I can’t. I don’t have energy for everything.

 Therefore, I must live within limits. I must set priorities. I must not just do everything. But not just do what’s good or better, but at best, spend my time on those things. Got to delegate and get other people involved. So that means I got to train people and give them wisdom, so that they can do. So, it forces you, you know. We always talk about this. What, you know, youth is wasted on the young, right? Because you, as an older man, you wish you could have that. But no, that’s not the way God designed it. God designed us to get older, and wiser, and realize our limitations. And so.

Audience: He created limits.

Travis: He did.

Audience: From day one.

Travis: From day one. That’s right.

 Audience: Set the boundaries.

Travis: He sure did. So, we’ve read verses. Yeah. Thank you, Wayne. Verses 27 to 30. Let’s, let’s wrap it up. And someone just read the rest of that 31 to 35.

Audience: “May the glory of the LORD endure forever; May the LORD rejoice in his works, who looks on the earth and it trembles, who touches the mountains and they smoke! I will sing to the LORD as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have being. May my meditation be pleasing to him, for I rejoice in the LORD. Let sinners be consumed from the earth, and let the wicked be no more! Bless the LORD, O my soul! Praise the LORD.”

Travis: Okay. So once again, we see, just like in Proverbs 8, where we read verses 22 to 31, there is this wisdom that, that is personified. There is existing with God, at the very beginning, involved in all of his works, and then verses 32 and following, in Proverbs 8, that has implications for us. We must make use of that wisdom.

 We are commanded then to go and make use of it. Same thing here, just, it’s one thing to just sit and reflect, and worship, and let our hearts be rejoicing over what we read in verses 104, or verses 1 to 30. But then, as Gary just read in verses 31 to 35, it’s his implications for us. “May the glory of the Lord endure forever.” And then I will sing. I must sing, which is proclaim, and not just proclaim in a haphazard lazy, foolish manner. But no, sing, which implies excellence of speech, poetic speech, even the way the Psalm is written is in poetry.

 So, he says, “I will sing to the Lord as long as I live.” Sing praise by meditation, so not only what comes out, but what’s inside, it governs my meditation. And then sinners and wicked take warning. So, watch your wait. Repent. Turn to this, the glory of this Lord. “Bless the LORD, O my soul! Praise the LORD.” It has implications for us.

 So this is what we want to talk about today. As we’ve read in Psalm 8, Proverbs 8, Psalm 104, there are a number of passages through Scripture that make the same point. There, there is what God has done and who he is. It’s not just enough to have our daily devotions, and privately hold that in, and contain it, and walk through our day just be dawdling it.

 No, it must govern the way we meditate, the way we think inside of us, the way we then speak on the outside of us. It governs the way we live our life, the way we think, speak, behave, everything else. And so that’s what we want to talk about. Okay. So divine creation, as we have been saying; just a little bit more, and then we’re going to break up into groups. Okay?

Divine creation then becomes, as we said, the prism through which the absolute attributes of God are manifest to us. It started with God’s hidden and eternal decree, and then revealed his wisdom, of his purpose and his design. And that divine wisdom, then burst forth in the beginning; day one, in light, revealed order, and structure, and then formed, and filled, with creativity and wonder.

 And as we, creatures on the other side of all that, breaking forth of his, his, attributes through the prism of creation. As we look back through that prism, as Paul said, we are able to discern God’s invisible attributes, his eternal power and divine nature, Romans 1. So, what we want to do is, as I said, break up into four groups and kind of look back through that prism and look at God’s attributes and think then about how this must change our lives, how we got to do something about this.

 Each group, we may have four groups. Each group is going to have a group leader, facilitator, and each group is going to discuss a different aspect of God revealed in creation. Okay? So we’ll, we’ll, have one group meet here, another over here, another in the back, and another in the back. Okay. That way we kind of keep to our corners and then we’ll come back.

 So I’m going to talk about God is light, and we’ll all just come over here. Mark Alexander right back there. So he’ll stay back there. Go in that corner, if you want to talk about God is perfection or the perfection of God. Lee Barton is going to talk about God is limitless, limitless. So why don’t Lee, why don’t you come up here, and then Josh go in the back and you lead, God is wisdom.

Okay. So God is light, God is perfection, God is limitless, and God is wisdom. So, we’re going to discuss here, the devotional aspects and implication or the implications, I should say, of Christian cosmology: The, the, Doctrine of Creation. God is light. God is perfect. God is limitless. God is wisdom.

 How does what we have learned about God as Creator, which again brings in everything we’ve learned so far about God’s absolute attributes, you know, everything we’ve talked about in the, in the, past year. How does that theology shape our lives? And so here are the questions that you’re going to be discussing in each of your groups, basically, and there are going to be some other questions, that guys will throw in.

 But basically, these three questions: How does this aspect of God, whether it’s light, perfection, limitless, or wisdom. How does this aspect of God help us to grow in devotion to Christ, in personal holiness? So, we’re talking about ourselves. How does this aspect of God, then, secondly, help us to lead and teach our families, whether it’s our, our, kids, our grandkids, our wives? Thirdly, how does this aspect of God help us to teach and lead others; whether in discipleship and counseling, which we’re talking about fellow Christians, or outside the church, as we think about evangelism?

 Okay, so let’s talk about those things. We’ll discuss each of those questions, those as a group, in your own category, each group with its own topic. And then, we’re going to come back together and share the best of the best. Okay. And with the other groups. All right. So ready break.

Let’s start with the God is light group. Not, not because, not because, I’m up here, but, but, because God first created light. So, we’ll start with you guys. Just tell us quickly.

We asked about what are some, what are some, passages that kind of use that imagery, that help us to think about the implications of light. So, Chuck, give us.

Audience: Passage from 1 John, and talks about, I think it’s chapter 1. Wasn’t it? That talks about God.

Travis:  God is light.

Audience: God is light and, and, in the reverse of that is, “in him is no darkness at all.” So, we’re talking about the infiniteness of God’s pure light and the pure darkness. There’s no really in between. And we, also, well what, what, occurred to me was that there are so many different expressions of light in, in, the Bible. Some of us we were discussing in Ephesians 5. Was it 5, Joe? Yep. Ephesians 5 and, and, and, also Ephesians 2, I think you brought up. John 1.

Travis: John 1.

Audience: Yeah. John 1 is a big, is a big passage about light. I was thinking about how, you know, from a physical standpoint, you know thing, that we’ve never seen light like Ezekiel saw light, in Ezekiel chapter 1, “The light of God’s glories.” And then Paul on the road to Damascus. Those same images of light are extremely powerful.

 We talked a little bit about how light, it has its illuminating effect on the world around us. Not just manufactured light here, but how it illuminates and how it illuminates everything, all of God’s creation. This is the reason why he created light first, so he gave us that ability to see him, see his creation and glorify him.

Travis:  So where’s, good thank you. So, and one other, 2 Corinthians 4. We talked about, also, Wayne started us out with Matthew chapter 6 verses 22-23. The, “the, eye is the lamp of the body. If your eye is full of light. If your eye is full of darkness; those…” So, Doug, give us some of the, some of the, what, what is, what is, implied by light. Some of the things… Imagery.

Audience: Some of the implications we’ve discussed was information, at all and, and, truth. All truth comes from light and that is God. And so just the implication for our lives about, about, living in truth, and living in light, and the difference between, living that and living in darkness. We really like the image in Matthew 6, where it says, “if you’re living in dark, if your [light] eye is bad, then you’re the darkness, the light that is within you is dark, which is just totally impossible.

 And that, it’s just one way or the other. And just how your reality, I mean our, our, whole idea of reality comes from light, because you wouldn’t have any idea of reality. Sanity comes from light.

Travis: Sanity, reality, vitality, life giving.

Audience: I mean, even if you’re blind, you can tell light is here, because of the heat on you.

Travis: Joe, you were saying.

Audience: good. light is almost synonymous with good. What is good. What is truthful.

Travis: Purity.

Audience: What?

Travis: Purity, no sin, holiness, all those things. So all those things are conveyed as

Audience: Light is either light or it’s not.

Travis: It’s either light or it’s not. There is no in between.

Audience: It’s, it’s, sort of, back when I was a kid, you’d watch a cowboy show. The good guy always had a white hat.

Travis: White hats and black hats.

Audience: You could tell the bad guy because he always wore a dark hat.

Yeah, that’s right. That’s right. Good. So I’m looking around, I’m seeing a lot of white hats. That’s good.

Audience: We’re bald heads.

Travis: Okay. So let me ask three, the three questions. How does in, in just in quick succession, guys, real quick comments. How does this imagery of light, how does the fact of God is light, how does it have implications for us personally? How does it have implications for how we then teach, instruct our families, and then how we counsel and disciple one another believers, and then evangelize? Come on guys.

Audience: Okay, one big thing was living in light, purity, the way we live is going to make a difference on what people see, especially our kids. They catch more than they, than we teach.

Travis: Okay, good, good.

Audience: If you’re not seeing the reflection of light in your life, right, that, that, should be a real sign to you, to kind of do some self-examination, right? If, if other people aren’t talking to you about the gospel, if you’re not seeing, you know, what, what, we call in other contexts, the fruit. It really is, a reflection of that light in your life, right? Should be a strong marker.

Travis:  Good. All right, excellent.

Audience: You need to get it right, because light is the truth, and the word of God is truth. So we want to make sure we get it right. Also, light is confrontational. We talked a little bit about that. The light brings offense, offense to those living in darkness.

Travis: Okay, good, good. You used the word, back to your first part of that, you used the word precision. So we want to be as precise as possible, because light gives us precision vision. You know, we’re able to see more precisely, when the light’s there. And that precision can also bring offense. Can be, you know, we talk about, like, you know, as a doctor, surgeon, putting someone on this, on the table. You don’t go in there and have nice, nice, soft light, when he’s doing surgery. You have harsh, bright lights, so you can see absolutely everything with precision. And that harsh light can sometimes be offensive to us, when it’s confronting our sin, exposing ours.

Audience: We’re living in darkness, and we see light; all of a sudden it’s like, whoa, that hurts.

Travis: That hurts. Ouch, Ouch. But, but, true believers be drawn eventually by the light, right? They’ll come to the light and unbelievers. So for our families, light lays a foundation. You know the, the, all this lays a foundation for our families. And it also puts forth an example to them, our wives, our kids, our grandkids, and then, with believers and unbelievers.

It’s that a lot of times the light speaking and thinking about light as to with moral purity and truth. And so there is that offense that can be caused. But we need to just, we need to overcome that comfort barrier, reach out to others. Okay good. Thanks, you guys. Any, any, final must says? Yes, Joel.

Audience: If there’s no offense of the cross, there’s no need for Christ.

Travis: Okay, good. Yeah, we were talking about the offense of the cross. What makes it offensive and, and good? The imagery itself, but also the fact of what it represents, is how offensive our sin is to a holy God. Thank you. All right. So let’s go on to Mark Alexander, your group. God is perfect.

Audience: So we have 5 things that kind of went through those questions. So the first one we had was, when we talked about the attributes of God that, that, they don’t contradict to each other. About how God was essentially simple, one being, that his love and his wrath actually aren’t separate, separate attributes. They’re actually one in God.

 And that perfection, in God, this is shown, it just shows his wisdom, because and it explains the world that you can’t just pick one of God’s attributes and hold it up higher than the other ones, because they all work together, like love. God’s not just love. He’s love and he’s, also, has wrath, and he also has justice, and he, also, has all these other attributes that work perfectly together.

Travis: Nothing’s held in like in tension, inside of God. His, his, mercy isn’t kind of holding back his justice, you know? Yeah, good.

Audience: The next thing, that this kind of has to do with our apologetics evangelism to class, too; that what he says comports with the reality that we live in perfectly. And it’s the only system that does that. That the order of God in creation, of how he created things in order, in a reasonable way, comports with the reality that we live in, that things happen in a reasonable way, and we can predict what’s going to happen next.

 And we can do science, and we can have reason, and we can have all those things in our worldview, because it’s perfect, because the beginning explains why we can do what we can do now. So it’s, it’s, perfect in it’s consistency of the thing that explains the world. A way that applies to our family and our work is that and like that we can explain the events of our world, and we can speak to the tragedies and things that happen in other people’s personal.

 Like Devin was saying, if someone at his work, his mom died of cancer, like hit, the way that we speak to him should be a way that reflects the perfection of God and, and, and, explains why, I guess, so we should be, in one way, just kind of being there for that person, mourning with that person. But, also, it also gives an explanation of why those things happen.

It’s not that, that, was a meaningless event, you know. God does have purpose for that; an internal purpose that, he knew that was going to happen, before he created the world. He knows that stuff.

Travis: Excellent, excellent, good.

Audience: Two other things quick. Trinity solves the problem of the one in the many, like you said at the end of the last one. So it’s, it perfectly, kind of, solves that problem of, where did the many come from; within the one God is Trinity, three in one. And the last thing, I kind of talked about, what you were talking about, with the light, that we have to be precise in the way that we teach Sunday School, and our families, and whenever we’re teaching, that if God is perfect, then it demands us to be more precise and more intentional about how we say things, and yeah. And if we had one more second back there, what would have said, the perfection of God allows us then to have confidence in the inerrancy, sufficiency, and authority of Scripture.

Travis: I love it. I love it. That rolls off your tongue. So beautifully.

Audience: He said that before.

Travis: He said it a couple times before. I love how it comes out.

Audience: Yeah, just, just, a real quick thing. Precision and accuracy. Precision means you hit the same mark every time. Accuracy means you’re actually hitting the correct mark. So I think we should be more accurate than precise. We need precision too, but we need to be hitting the correct mark, which is accuracy.

Travis: Very well said. Thank you. That’s, that’s, very helpful. Good clarification. Good. Yeah. We need to be a little bit more accurate about what we say, not just precise. Yeah, you’d be precisely wrong.

Audience: Yeah, you can be precisely wrong.

Travis: Yeah, it’s precise, at least. So back to teaching Sunday school. You know how some Sunday school teachers it’s all about just how, how, how, God is kind, kind, kind, kind. Yeah, that Sunday school teacher that teach us that or, or, God is. You got the one teacher, who’s he’s an angry old man. He’s just teaching how God is angry, and wrathful, and, you know, do you always want to run to the ladies who are telling you about how nice God is? And you’re saying, in God’s perfection you can’t, you can’t separate God’s attributes and just favor one over the other and just strum that one. You know, that one string on your banjo. You must be both accurate, precise and accurate. Yeah. In what you teach about God. In the inerrancy, sufficiency, and authority in Scripture. Good. Okay. Thank you, guys. That’s great comments. Awesome. Lee, your group in the limitlessness.

I think one of the great joys of heaven, is to be in God’s presence, to be with Christ, to be with the fellowship of the saints, praising the Lord.

Travis Allen

Audience: Jesse. So yeah, Jesse was going to speak for us, but he had to head out to work. So. But limitless, limitlessness. We, we, talked about a number of different things, but one of those being, you talked about God’s attributes. So limitless in the scope of his omniscience, his omnipresence, all the omnis, or love, or just all these different aspects of God, in ranges and scopes, that, that really, our minds can’t even really grasp.

 And so more specifically, we talked then, about God’s will. And so, God’s wisdom and his understanding of, of, all things and his limitlessness in terms of all these different trials and temptations, or different, different, things that we go through in life. How God has even the, the, the, finest detail of understanding about those trials and what we’re going through; that, that is yet, still the very best place that we should be, because we’re, if that, that is, if we’re in God’s will.

 And so the trustworthiness of what is the best plan is, is, is, God’s plan is always best. Everything that he works out is for good. And so, our, our, humility to basically come into the fold of God’s will, to submit ourselves to God, with God’s will, is, is, basically the best thing that we can do, in terms of being trustworthy of, of, his all-encompassing knowledge of, of, a trial that we’re in and to, to, come into that and, and, really align our will with his.

Travis: Okay, so, the fact of God’s limitlessness and all that he knows, understands his wisdom should give us a real confidence then in him and rest in him, so that we, as you said, align our will with his. Because he knows all things and he planned it all for our good. Excellent, good.

Audience: We talked that it should lead us to two aspects; and one would be rest, which is what you’re talking about there. Just the ability to, at the end of the day, to rest in his, and all of his design, is taking place. And to, to, see that, as the best possible place for us to be, but also should lead us to worship and exaltation, which so we often worship God and praise him for avoiding an accident.

 We seldom praise Him for getting us in an accident, but it’s, it’s, one and the same. It’s, it might not seem good, but we’re trusting and resting that this is good and this is the best plan.

Travis: Excellent. Excellent. When we think about how that’s then conveyed in our discipleship and evangelism or our teaching of our family that, we can convey through our own example: do we really trust, rest in God, and all that? I remember a, a, story about, well, this is when Patricia MacArthur, John’s wife, was in an accident and turned her car over or something like that. And had a, she had a big contraption on her neck to keep her in some pretty severe, severe, deal.

 And his youngest daughter, Melinda, was just freaking out and, and, he kind of grabbed her little face and said, Melinda, God is in control. And he, just that, just that quiet confidence in that moment, just settled her little mind. Do we do that with our families or when we’re hit with things, do we run around the house going, oh, I can’t believe this, or we’re losing our minds? Are we getting angry? Are we fretting about things and we snap at everybody, because something’s troubling us?

 Or do we have a quiet confidence, that then, settles the mind of everybody around us, everybody in the household? When our wife is, you know, jittery and fretting and things like that: How do we love her and help her to come back to a quiet confidence, because God is limitless?

Audience: We talk about the tension between us looking, and setting objectives, and striving toward them, and yet falling back and resting, that as we move toward that objective, or even if we are deflected away from it; that that is all part of what God wants to do.

 We continue to strive, but we continue to rest. And this balance between an eternal perspective and living in the moment, so that in a person coming into your life is not an interruption, it’s a divine appointment. And trying to live in the, in the, tension of all that.

 Travis: Yeah, yeah, good.

Audience: And on that note too, just the fact that we struggle with that long term versus short term, continually, and trying to balance that well, and God never struggles with that. He does it all the time, perfectly. And he does it to a scope and an extent that we could never do, because he’s doing it. He’s, he’s, got eternally long term goals and he’s, and he’s, also got worldwide long term goals, for all of history.

Travis: Do you mean it’s not just about us American Christians?

Audience: Primarily. I didn’t say that.

Travis: Well said; well spoken, Sir. That’s precise. It’s precisely American, but not accurate. Thank you. Thanks guys. Great, great comments. Okay. Josh  and your group on God is wisdom.

Audience:  Yeah, my whole group took off before anyone would volunteer to talk. Completely unappreciative of their Burritos. Such a wise thing to say. Very accurate though. So, we talked about we, we, the Job 28 passage. We spent some time talking about that. Showing God how, how, wisdom, the origin of wisdom is in God and how that passage also describes it, to work as being beyond anything else.

We talked about Isaiah 40 and Psalm 147, talking about, kind of dove-tailing off what you guys said, his wisdom being limitless and infinite, and in a couple of passages in Job and Daniel, that talk about it being, since it’s his possession, since he’s the one who possesses it. And then, quickly, into James 1, it’s, it’s, him, we can give it. James 1:5-8, we ask him for wisdom, he, he, he gives it. So we have to go to him to get, to get, the wisdom.

 Again, just more verses on, on, his death, how unfathomable it is. We did a little bit in, in, 1 Corinthians 1, talking about Christ, as the personification of wisdom. What, what wisdom in person should look like. Anyway, to kind of answer some of the questions, which we really barely got to, because we were talking about the Scripture for a long time.

The, the fact that, the fact that, the illustration we kind of played off the most is, is, the idea of, of, of your child, your three-year old child, compared to you. And the, the, gap in wisdom there is, is, really large. So that when you see your, see your, kid throw a fit over something that doesn’t make sense. And you know in, in, your head that all they need is, like, a few more years of experience, and you, you, know that; that fit you’re throwing is stupid and, and, you just need a little more, a little more wisdom to have that.

 And then, then, take that and apply it to the passages that talk about the gap between our wisdom and God; who is the source of wisdom. Who is wisdom. Who’s infinite in wisdom. And how that’s, it’s just not even close. And so, that helps us when we’re, when we’re, talking about how we grow in, in, our devotion to Christ and holiness.

 We, we, can clearly trust him with, with, anything he asks of us, anything he says in here, anything he brings into our life. Like you guys were talking about any trial that doesn’t make sense to us at all; it’s, it’s, it’s, the gap of, the gap in the wisdom that, that, keeps up that from there. And then it also, in our, in our leadership, when it comes to our family. It should cause us to be, too bit, cause us to be both very humble, knowing that in so, so, we’re not going to be domineering heads of households or anything like that.

 We will rule with the kind of my ways. It’s, it’s, a humble; nothing that, anything good I can offer, could only come from the wisdom of God; to cause us to be humble, but then also in our, in our, relationships and discipleship, counseling, evangelism. It should also cause us to be confident and bold, as long as we’re using God’s revealed wisdom.

Travis: Good. Good. So let me ask the, this question. What is the difference between wisdom and knowledge? Is there a difference? And what is it?

Audience: Great deal of difference. Knowledge is what the society has mistaken for wisdom? A man who has several degrees after his name must be wise, because after all he’s educated. In the way our society cures the problem, and society recognizes there’s a problem, that people are fools and they need wisdom, but they cure that with knowledge; they don’t cure it with wisdom. But they’re asking all the wrong questions. All society doesn’t seek after God and seek after wisdom.

Travis: So let, let me, let me, so yeah that, that’s absolutely true. And let me press it just one step further, about, let’s just take the, the, society’s approach to wisdom and knowledge and all that, out of it, for a second, and just talk about: if God has knowledge, right? And God has wisdom. So, let’s just take knowledge and wisdom in that sense and say, what is the difference between wisdom and knowledge there? Yes.

Audience: Was it fair to say that wisdom is biblical and knowledge could either be biblical or not?

Travis: It’s true, but I’m, I’m I’m, already putting it into the context of this sphere, of what is biblical, because I’m talking about God’s, you know, knowledge and wisdom in God.

Audience: My mind goes to the fact that wisd, knowledge is facts or information; wisdom’s application of those things. And that, that’s where the world’s lacking a lot of times.

Travis: Okay, good. Yeah.

Audience: So, I would just add, add it to the right application of knowledge.

Travis: Okay. The right application of knowledge. Right. And you go ahead.

Audience: Just the, the, idea that, the Scripture tells to know God and we can know God. So, knowledge has to be there before we can decide or act in wise; wise reaction, you know? I mean, you can’t be wise without knowledge.

Travis: Yeah, yeah. Okay, good. You must have knowledge. It’s a prerequisite for wisdom. But wisdom is not knowledge, in and of, itself. Knowing the facts. Yeah, Rod.

Audience: When you think in terms of knowledge, knowledge puffs up. But wisdom comes from God and as we sit humbly before him, defines the knowledge that we have of his light.

Travis: Okay, good. Yeah. So, it’s all defined by God and, and, comes from him. Knowledge comes from him, too though. True knowledge comes from God. That’s, you were talking about the world. They’re making up facts, you know, they’re making up a reality, and they’re, they’re, moving on from there, and they call that knowledge. And that’s not even, not only is it not wisdom, but it’s not even, not even, knowledge, truth, or real fact. I saw, just want to hurry up, but just one more.

Audience: He’s talking about knowing God, and knowing of God would be like the knowledge and knowing God would be the wisdom; where you have a deeper relationship.

Travis: All right. So, knowing there’s, there’s, a difference between knowing about God, and then knowing God. And knowing God involves the practice of wisdom. I like to, when I think, when I talk about wisdom; I like to use the word skillful. I used to, I like to throw the word skillful in there. It’s the skillful, accurate, precise, but right application of knowledge. And I like to use, the skillful application of knowledge.

 So that’s what you see in creation. Wa, that’s why you see, God had knowledge before anything was, but when he created, that’s when his skill, in applying knowledge, was manifest. So we see, you know, David saying, “When I see the heaven and the work of your fingers,” like this incredible skill that, you put into this universe. He’s just, he’s just amazed, right. And that’s, that’s us. So, Josh.

Audience: We, we, talked about that in, in, regard to Gary’s Sunday school class. There’s a, learn just take the cell and you’re learning about the cell and, and, then you can see the craft, and how it all works, and we can, that’s God’s knowledge that made the cell and put it all together and how it works just perfectly. But wisdom then glorifies God and praises and worships God, when they see it. Rather than just: Oh, look that’s pretty cool.

Travis: Okay, good. So, so every single one of you guys are in, some kind of a profession, some career, and you know the difference in your own profession between someone who knows things and someone who’s wise in what they do. They’re skillful. They’re pers, they’re people who come in with a great resume, but you get him to work and you’re like, ‘Get rid of this guy, now,’ you know. Let’s get a, let’s get a, guy who, maybe, his resume doesn’t look great, but man, he’s, or doesn’t look as good, but he is.

He, he, is skillful in doing his job. His heart is in it. He has practiced this and he can really bring things to completion. So, when we think about that in our families, it’s one thing to just tell your kids stuff, it’s another thing to wisely live it out and show them, not just in what you say, but in walking through life with them and saying, here, join me in this and let’s walk through it together, and I’ll show you why I do what I do.

 It’s the difference between a church that, just proclaims truth, just disseminates information, and then skillfully puts it into practice in how church life functions, and how we, you know, relate and how it’s governed, all that kind of stuff. So same thing in, in, dealing with unbelievers. You can hear in some of the presentations we’ve, we’ve, given, how people can sometimes, be, have knowledge and hammer people with knowledge, but then you can hear skill in how they deal with an unbeliever, in a wise way.

 So that’s, that’s, that’s, excellent. So thank you. Thank you very much, you guys. Thank you for, you guys enjoy doing the groups and that kind of discussion. You want to do that again. All right we’ll think about that in 2018. Let’s, let’s, close. If Chuck is getting up and walking away, we know it’s done.

Audience: I have music team practice.

Travis: No, I know, I’m just, I’m just, goofing you.  

Father thank you for the time we’ve had together. We thank you for the great year we’ve enjoyed, in, in, studying about you, in, in, knowing you better and learning more accurately about the truth. We pray, Lord, that you would help us to put this into practice in our life. And you know our own personal devotion, our pursuit of holiness, in the way we lead, in teaching our families and then in the Church and our work life everywhere else.

 We pray that you would bring good fruit out of the knowledge of the truth, that you’ve put into us and help us to be skillful in our application of that knowledge, to pattern our lives after you in wisdom. We love you and thank you again for giving us the truth. We thank you for opening our eyes to it by, by, giving us regeneration and saving faith and helping us to put our faith in Christ and forgiving us of all of our sin and covering us with his perfect, spotless righteousness.

We thank you that we’ve been reconciled to you, the true and living God, and that we now proclaim the excellencies of you who called us out of darkness and into your, into your, wonderful light; and pray that you would cause us to rejoice. And especially as we think about Thanksgiving week, ahead of us, and tomorrow night as we get to come together and, and, sing, and read Scripture, and pray.

 We just pray that our hearts would be filled to overflowing with great joy and gratitude toward you. Help us to lead our families throughout this week and whoever we’re with on Thanksgiving Day, that we would take time to pause and reflect and give thanks to you. And we pray that you help us to be leaders and teachers in those different environments and settings. We love you, again, and thank you for the time together and how you’ve answered prayer, in Jesus’ name.