Walk with the wise

Good morning everyone,
Our theme for this month: “Christian community”
Our Bible verse for today: “The one who walks with the wise will become wise …” Proverbs 13:20 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “Walk with the wise”
Dallas Willard is the smartest and most spiritually deep person I have ever not known. I say that I have not known him because I never actually met him, although I have read pretty much everything he has written. Dallas is in heaven now but in his lifetime, he was a professor of religious philosophy at the University of Southern California and one of the most influential Christian thinkers of the last one hundred years.
I never knew Dallas in the sense of having spent time with him, but I did come to know him through his writings, and in that way, he had a profound impact on me. He opened my mind and my heart to knowing God in a much deeper way. His two best books were “The Divine Conspiracy” and “Hearing God: Developing a conversational relationship with God.” Henry Blackaby is also in this category of great Christian thinkers who helped to form my understanding of God. It is not an exaggeration to say that his Bible study “Experiencing God: Knowing and Doing the Will of God” altered the course of my life. The writings of Eugene Peterson and Philip Yancy fall into this category as well.
Fortunately, in addition to those mentioned above who I did not know personally but who had an impact on me just the same, there have been others who I did know well and who I did spend much time with, and who also profoundly influenced me for good. My pastor and mentor Oren Teel would be the primary one. My friend Dick DeGrow (a former pastor) also played a key role in my early years as a pastor. And then there have been dozens of very wise men and women, in four churches over more than thirty years, whose wisdom and spiritual insight blessed me and helped me along the road of my own spiritual growth.
I tell you all of this just to provide a little personal commentary regarding the important Biblical principle given to us by Solomon in Proverbs 13:20 that if you want to become wise, spend time with those who are wise. Now, let me be clear that I’m not even close to being as wise and insightful as the men and women I’ve mentioned above, but hopefully I’m getting closer day-by-day and my association with them, through their writing or in-person, has been of great benefit to me.
The value of being around wiser more mature Christians is that some of their wisdom and insight will rub off on you. Sherwood Wirt (the brother-in-law of Billy Graham) once said, “I surround myself with the thoughts of those who have thought much about God.”
This is a vitally important principle when it comes to our spiritual growth, and so we will come back to it tomorrow. For today, I encourage you to seek out and spend time with someone who is wiser than you.
God bless,
Pastor Jim
(Join us at Oak Hill Baptist Church every Sunday at 10:00. Join us in-person if you are nearby or, if you are geographically distant or if you are a shut-in, join us online at www.YouTube.com/oakhillbaptistcrossville)
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