Living Well Versed

Lisa in front of barn
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So, something new has happened on Instagram. It’s an opportunity for you to receive daily Scripture with very brief devotional encouragement in applying His Word to your daily life.

If you are on Instagram, I’d like to invite you to my accounts – @lisaann_rippy and @interiorinspirationsforhome  because at both accounts, every morning, I share one or two verses of Scripture and give insights into what the central message is from those scriptures for our life.  Below is what I posted on the first day of encouraging us to our “Living Well Versed” …

Each Week at Growing Spiritually:

Here at “Growing Spiritually,” I will be taking all of the previous verses shared on Instagram and compiling them into a bible study. It will be written so you can dig even more into His Word and take what was just 50 seconds of reading each morning in my stories on Instagram, and now read it all in context, do some cross referencing, and see what additional lessons are there just for you.

But there is a reason why I’ve started sharing in this way and the reason is so very simple:

To share truth and to encourage you in your walk with God.

There is enough in churches today, in social religious groups, among families, and among so many professing preachers and teachers of Scripture that comes packaged with ‘some’ truth, but is not the whole truth. Which makes what is being shared only ‘half truth’ and not the whole holy truth of God.  And if we are not students of Scripture, we can so easily fall for the false doctrines and false theologies that are rampant in this world of what is referred to as, “Christian teaching” but is actually deeply unsound teaching producing unsound churches.

It’s like this … if you are a professional gardener that would mean you are well versed in a host of techniques; a plant expert, who understands the first signs of insect intrusion or dry rot or if the roots aren’t being saturated with enough nutrition. You know the names of a host of plants and even what climate allows them to thrive. You know when to plant and when to uproot. When to feed and when to let nature take its course. You also know the climax of the entire gardening experience which is this, when it’s time to harvest! But as a professional gardener, did you acquire your knowledge and skill by randomly scrolling through social media feeds? Or flipping through reels and stories to grab snippets here and there? No, more than likely your knowledge of gardening came as a result of hours of studying; intentional study that required you to purposefully set aside time to read, read and read some more. You may have even talked with garden gurus who have been “walking among a garden” for many many years, so that you could glean from their experiential wisdom. You purchased all the right materials and tools, even the quality of your seeds needed to meet premium standard. The arrangement of what could grow together sharing a raised bed, and what could be planted directly into the tilled soil of your yard. Then, you also began to ‘experience’ the garden. What worked, what didn’t. You watched, you handled, and you gave loving attention to your garden week after week. Month after month. Year after year. Your knowledge and skill was determined by your investment of three things: genuine desire, enduring dedication and experiential decisions.

Why would we think the root and fruit of our own life of faith in Christ would require any less? If anything, it is THE growth of our entire spiritual existence that matters for all eternity! If we approached knowing and having intimate fellowship with God with the same diligence and duty as we do all the other ambitions we pursue, we would experience what Psalm 92:12-14 says,

The righteous will flourish like a palm tree,
    they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon;
 planted in the house of the Lord,
    they will flourish in the courts of our God.
They will still bear fruit in old age,
    they will stay fresh and green.”

Proverbs even tells us that there is nothing else, nothing else on this earth that we could possibly desire or devote ourselves to, nothing that we could ever crave or cultivate during our lifetime that compares with the WISDOM of God. To know truth is to know the Wisdom of God and Proverbs 8:11 says,

“For wisdom is better than rubies, And all the things one may desire cannot be compared with her.”

Another translation says:

For wisdom is more precious than rubies, and nothing you desire can compare with her.”

Nothing means nothing. There is no ambitious dream or goal, no material possessions, no relationship, and no achievement that can compare with obtaining the Truth of God and then walking in the Truth of God. That is wisdom! Walking in Truth…not only knowing Truth.  Wisdom is not in what you know, but in what you DO with what you know. To only know the truth but not walk in the truth makes a person out to be a liar, according to 1 John 2:4 – “Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person.” 

Alistair Begg wrote:

“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.”
James 1:5

“Wisdom” has fallen rather out of fashion. Did you encounter the word with any frequency over the past week or so? Most likely, you didn’t read it in any articles or hear about it from schoolteachers. Wisdom has become almost an old-fashioned word, neglected in favor of terms like insight, information, and intelligence. But none of these words, individually or combined, still do not add up to wisdom.

Wisdom is not mental; it is moral. It is knowing how to live God’s way in God’s world and acting on that. Jesus memorably talked about wisdom in terms of the wise and the foolish builders (Luke 6:46-49). The wise man built his house upon the rock, and the waves came tumbling round, and the house stood firm. The foolish man built his house upon the sand, and it collapsed. The difference between the two types of people this story represents is that while both hear Jesus’ words, only the wise put them into practice, building their lives upon them, allowing their decisions to be directed and their desires to be shaped by what He says.

By nature, we lack such wisdom. But the invitation to wisdom in this verse from James is gracious and inclusive. To accept it, we first must recognize our need of wisdom; humility is always wisdom’s precursor (Proverbs 1:7). Once we acknowledge that need, James then encourages us to simply ask God, who abides in faithfulness and provides “every good gift and every perfect gift” (James 1:17). Jesus has likewise told us, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened” (Matthew 7:7-8).

If we come to God sincerely, He promises to give His wisdom generously without making us feel guilty or foolish. We often repeat our requests and concerns because the trials are real and the hills are steep, but God is not annoyed or dismissive. He is eager to help!

James understood that through life’s joys and sorrows we may be tempted to think differently than from God’s perspective. With wisdom, though, we are able to act in the light of God’s revelation of Himself, walking through life with sure footsteps as we seek to obey His commands and trust that He will be guiding our steps. Through His wisdom, you can act simply and properly, with thankfulness that God is so generous and gracious. All you need do is to accept that you need it and to ask for it—and then get on with your day, secure in the knowledge that, once you’ve asked, “it will be given” to you.

Living Well Versed means that the direction and progression of our whole life, (our heart, soul, mind and strength), is submitted to first knowing the Word (Wisdom of God), and then doing (obeying) the Word of God.  We could spend years upon years being enthralled with the study of Scripture and even know, in scholastic fashion, volumes of Scripture. We could teach the Scriptures, memorize the Scriptures, quote the Scriptures and never know (have a personal relationship with) the One True God of the Scripture. “How can this happen?”  It happens when we fail to humble ourselves in total submission to the Spirit of the Living Word through confession of sin, repentance, and obedience.

But here at Growing Spiritually, we will read and study the Bible. Just that. And as explains:

We should read and study the Bible because there is so much false teaching. The Bible gives us the measuring stick by which we can distinguish truth from error. It tells us what God is like. To have a wrong impression of God is to worship an idol or false god. We are worshiping something that He is not. The Bible tells us how one truly gets to heaven, and it is not by being good or by being baptized or by anything else we do (John 14:6Ephesians 2:1-10Isaiah 53:6Romans 3:10-185:86:2310:9-13). Along this line, God’s Word shows us just how much God loves us (Romans 5:6-8John 3:16). And it is in learning this that we are drawn to love Him in return (1 John 4:19).

So, as we move forward into this exciting category of the website, “Growing Spiritually” I will also share with you messages, other reputable blog posts, commentaries from some of my favorite theologians, study supplements from some of the Christian classics such as Spurgeon, AW Pink, John Calvin, John Wesley and more recent, Dr. Martin Lloyd Jones, RC Sproul and so many others. I will also share videos that I have tucked away as praise in my journals simply because of how they were perfectly timed and by the Holy Spirit to help me examine my own faith.

Until our next post, read all of Psalm 37. Read it several times and next week, I will have a bible study for us that will help us to grow in our wisdom of that one powerful Psalm.


In HIs Grace and Peace,


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lisa rippy

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