Wise and Simple – Romans 16:19

by Pastor John Fredericksen

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In the 1960’s, Art Linkletter had an entertaining show called “Kids Say The Darnedest Things.” He would ask five children different questions about life. The responses were often amazing and hilarious. In childlike innocence, unsoiled by the ways of the world, they would be forthright with their answers. They usually had no idea what their host was talking about, which made them precious and endearing. While listening, it made one wish their innocence would never be lost.

As children of God, the Lord has this same desire for us. The Apostle Paul tells the saints, “…I would have you wise unto that which is good, and simple concerning evil” (Romans 16:19). As sons and daughters of God, we should mature in the content of our prayer, our ability to discern the will of God, effectiveness in sharing our faith, and in all things pertaining to godliness. The Lord desires our growth in discerning bad doctrine and false teachers, so that we might become “…wise as serpents, and harmless as doves” (Matthew 10:16). It pleases a parent when their child is able to grow into a properly functioning adult. Likewise, it pleases the Lord when His children are able to “…grow up into Him in all things…” (Ephesians 4:15), meaning all things that are good and Christ honoring. Yet there is a flip side. The Lord would also have us remain “…simple concerning evil.” We must seek to maintain our innocence and distance from the filth and corruption in our society. We should have no idea what others might mean in dirty jokes, sexual perversions, and sinful trends. God’s standard for us is to “…have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret” (Ephesians 5:11-12). As we draw closer to the Rapture, it seems like the sinful activities once seldom practiced or only done in secret are now paraded in public and aggressively promoted to all. Nonetheless, it must be our goal to remain wise to what is good and simple to what is evil.

How are we to maintain such innocence today? It begins with a purpose to do so. Then we must seek to insulate our family and ourselves in practical ways from exposure to sinfulness. Also, we must make friends and spend time with godly people and saturate ourselves daily with God’s Word. Take positive specific steps to do so today.

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Start each day with short, devotional articles taken from the book Daily Transformation by Pastor John Fredericksen. As Pastor Fredericksen writes in the introduction:

"We welcome you, as you journey with us..., to not only learn information, but to benefit from examples of faith and failure, and seek to apply God’s Word to every day life. Together, let’s transition from only studying theories of doctrine, to applying God’s truths in a practical way every day. May God use these studies to help you find daily transformation."