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The fool says in his heart, "There is no God."

—Psalm 14:1

The Bible gives us plenty of characteristics of the fool. The word ‘fool”, is found in 62 verses of scripture; The word "fools" plural, is found 42 times; the word "foolish" 52 times; and "foolishness" 20 times. So the bible doesn’t just give a cursory glance at the subject, but has a lot to say about fools or foolishness. Scriptures references them 176 times… over and over again.

Why?

Not so that we are able to spot a fool when we cross paths with one, but that we might spot these characteristics in our own hearts and lives.

Now, to be fair, all of us do foolish things from time to time.

It was Aristotle who said, “There is a foolish corner in the brain of even the wisest person.”

I know I have had my moments…but doing foolish things doesn’t make you a fool, its those who make foolishness a lifestyle, a Routine, their standard for living. Then you can go out and buy yourself the Tee shirt!

So what does the bible say, constitutes a FOOL?

The word “fool” comes from a Greek word which get out English word MORON. It means EMPTY OR USELESS.
Here are just a few verses that determine God's definition of a fool:
  1. Psalm 14:1… The fool says in his heart, "There is no God." So a fool is someone who goes about life not believing in God! Acting and living as though He doesn’t exist.
  2. Proverbs 1:7 says; The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction. So a fool is someone who rejects the wisdom and instruction that comes from Gods word. Instruction that tells them.
  3. Proverbs 1:22,32… “How long will you who are simple love your simple ways? How long will mockers delight in mockery and fools hate knowledge? So a fool is someone who also cares little to aquiring spiritual knowledge and understanding –They hate anything to do with church or bible study.
  4. Proverbs 10:14,18…The wise store up knowledge, but the mouth of a fool invites ruin. ( punches ) One translation says, the mouth of a fool invites punches. A fool is always talking and the things they say invite chaos. Proverbs 10: 18…says “Whoever conceals hatred with lying lips and spreads slander… is a fool.” a fools heart is filled with hatred….and they reveal this by lying and slandering people. * To slander someone is to make accusation against them without verifying that it’s true…
  5. Proverbs 10:23, A fool finds pleasure in wicked schemes, but a person of understanding delights in wisdom. Fools find pleasure in mischief – and wicked schemes. * Mischief in the Bible is anything that is harmful to another person. * We think of mischief as something that is funny, but in the Bible it’s a serious sin. * Mischief is one of the seven abominations that God warns us about in Prov. 6:18.
  6. Proverbs 12:15-16… The way of fools seems right to them, but the wise listen to advice. 16 Fools show their annoyance at once, but the prudent overlook an insult. So a fool will not listen to advice…or receive sound instruction… they reveal their annoyance with are hot tempered…quick to fly off the handle–
  7. Proverbs 15:5… A fool spurns a parent's discipline, but whoever heeds correction shows prudence. A fool is disrespectful to parents and despises discipline.
  8. And last but not least…. Proverbs 21:20 There is desirable treasure, And oil in the dwelling of the wise, But a foolish man squanders it. Wise people plan ahead, they think about the future…but a Fool only lives for the moment.
Now you like me may have found some areas of your life that you need to work on…the good news is…God grants us the ability to alter our story…by changing what we think and believe and how we choose to live.

"I ask that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you may know the hope of Hiscalling, the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints, and the surpassing greatness of His power to us who believe. He displayed this power in the working of His mighty strength"

—Ephesians 1: 18-19

There was a very wealthy man who had a passion for collecting art. He and his Son traveled the world extensively, in pursuit of the finest art pieces available. He had Priceless works by Picasso, Van Gogh, Monet and many others that adorned the walls of His family estate. The widowed father looked on with satisfaction as his only child became an experienced art collector himself. It Looked like he was going to follow in his father's footsteps.

Well when his son had come of age, the nation became engulfed in war, and the man's Son was called to serve his country. It seemed like only a few short weeks, before his father received word his beloved son was killed in action…trying to save a friend. The father was heartbroken.

The following Christmas, there was a knock at the door, and as the father opened the door, he was greeted by a soldier with a large package in his hand. He introduced himself saying, “I was a friend of your son. I was the one he was rescuing when he was killed. May I come in for a few moments? I have something to show you. "Your son told me that you loved art, well, I’m a bit of an artist myself” said the soldier, “and I want to give you this.” As the old man unwrapped the package, he found a portrait the young man had rendered of his son. He was able to capture in great detail His sons features and personality. It was a beautiful work. It became the fathers most treasured piece.

The following spring, the Father became ill and passed away. The art world was eager with anticipation about the day his art collection would come to auction.

The day soon arrived, and art collectors from around the world gathered to bid on the father's art collection.

The auction began with a painting that was not on the bidding list. It was the painting of the man’s son. The auctioneer asked, what do I hear for an opening bid. The room was silent. “Who will open the bidding at $100?” he asked. Minutes passed with not a sound from those who stood in the audience.. From the back of the room someone callously called out, “Who cares about that painting? Let’s forget it and move on to more important paintings.” There were other voices which echoed in agreement. But the auctioneer replied, “No, according to the Will….we have to sell this painting first. Now, who will take the son?” Finally, a friend of the father spoke. “I knew the boy, so I’d like to have it. I will give you a $100.” “I have a bid for $100,” called the auctioneer. “Will anyone go higher?” After a long silence, the auctioneer said, “Going once. Going twice… SOLD.” The gavel fell. Cheers filled the room and someone was heard to say, “Now we can get on with it!” it was just Then, the auctioneer looked at the audience and announced the auction was over! Everyone in the room was stunned. Someone spoke up and asked, “What do you mean it’s over? We didn’t come here to purchase a picture of the mans son, we came here for the other paintings? The auctioneer replied, “It’s very simple. According to the will of the father, whoever takes the son... gets it ALL.”

This is a great story that illustrates the truth of what Paul is saying in Ephesians 1.. It is the will of the God the Father, that whoever takes the Son… gets it all!

"The Spirit is God's guarantee that he will give us the inheritance he promised and that he has purchased us to be his own people. He did this so we would praise and glorify him."

—Ephesians 1:14

When looking for a home to purchase and you find the one that you want....you will need to write up an offer.  And along with the offer the Realtor will ask you to present a deposit....which is called "Earnest Money."  There is no set amount that you must present....but the deposit is to reflect how serious you are about purchasing the home and shows the seller that you are highly motivated to carry this through to the end.  

In a similar way, the Holy Spirit is evidence that God is in earnest about our salvation, He is not going to back out on His Promises. God gives us the Holy Spirit to dwell in our hearts and it's His guarantee that He will indeed full all His promises to us.  In fact, the Holy Spirit that lives in us with give us the strength, the power do so....we have the LORD's guarantee!

 
Now after this amazing revelation to the church, Paul tells them how he prays for them. Paul says, Therefore, after I have heard of your faith (Verse 15) and your Love for all the saints. I do not cease to thank God for you and I also make mention of you in my prayer.  Now remember, Paul was in prison while he wrote this letter, so he couldn’t visit these new believers. But he made good use of his time by writing to them and praying for them.  One of the reasons why Paul was so thankful to God for them was because he heard about their love for All the saints. Note the Emphasis on “ALL”
 
Most people find it easy to love some of the saints. But it is not easy to love ALL THE SAINTS. We allow hatred, un-forgiveness, prejudices and petty bickering and jealousies to divide us. We fail to love each other As Christ taught us …and our witness in the world is hampered.  How do we love those who disagree with us?  Who are mean to us, who rub us the wrong way?  Philippians 4:13  tells us:  "….we can do all things thru Christ who strengthens us."  As we draw close to God daily and are filled with His Holy spirit, He gives us the power and ability to love the un-loveable…to love even our enemies.
 
The Church in Ephesus was doing just that.  1 John 3:14 tells us, We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love his brother abides in death.
 
Love for all of Gods people is one of the acid tests of a Genuine Conversion.

 

Paul said, I do not cease to thank God for you and make mention of you in my prayers.

—Ephesians 1:16

The Apostle Paul demonstrated his love for God and for people by continually praying for them. He said, "he doesn’t cease to thank God for them or to pray for them." It sure is comforting to know that people are continually praying for you.  But how in the world does Paul pray without ceasing?

Paul was a busy guy, very active in the faith, traveling hundreds of miles town to town, preaching, teaching, planting churches, making disciples, raising up church leaders, sowing tents together to make a living. Where did he find time to pray without ceasing?  Well its quite simple really... Imagine for a moment that prayer is like being on a phone conversation with God. When your done with your conversation, rather than hang up the phone, you leave it off the hook.  That leaves the line of communication continually open.  And when the Holy Spirit brings people or needs to mind, you can immediately offer these needs up to God in prayer because you never broke the line of comminication.
Paul walked hundreds of miles and while he did, he prayed and talked with God. He was also a tent maker and making tents is repetitious work. It didn’t take a lot of mental activity….so he would pray for the people God brought to his attention. When Paul wasn’t doing something that a lot of concentration, he prayed. 

This is how we can train ourselves to Pray without ceasing. Everytime the Holy Spirit brings people or needs to our remembrance, whether we at at a stop light, or waiting in a grocery line, traveling along the highway...we can make a pointed effort to pray for people. This way we too will be able to Pray as Paul rpayed and lift a great many needs to the Lord.

 







 

Paul prayed that believers might know....WHAT ARE THE RICHES OF THE GLORY OF GODS INHERITANCE IN THE SAINTS… Ephesians 1:18


Read that again! Did you hear what Paul is saying to the church?  When i read this verse recently, i was awe struck by what Paul prayed for.  He prayed that believers might understand, even comprehend that they are viewed by God as His rich and glorious inheritance. Not only are we given a glorious inheritance when we get to heaven, because of our relationship to Christ, But God also gets something rich and wonderful... US!   Its difficult to understand… But this is what Paul wants believers in Ephesus to grasp. Kind of makes you feel good doesnt it?   What we get defies description, but what God gets defies comprehension.
Oh that we might understand the way God looks at us, how He loves us and looks forward to having us with Him in heaven.

Kent Hughes said…His Redeemed ones are worth more than the Universe. We ought to be delirious with this truth. Think of it….God owns all the worlds in all the Universe, Yet He sees us as His rich inheritance!

We inherit Him, He inherits us. This heavenly Union will be only the beginning of the glory to be revealed in eternity!  Something to think about!

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