Maxims For Maximum Living

Take my instruction and not silver, and knowledge rather than choicest gold. For wisdom is better than jewels; and all desirable things cannot compare with her.

–Proverbs 8:10-11

One of the greatest misconceptions about Christianity is that it only benefits a person on the other side of the grave. Most people think you have to die to experience the benefits of being saved. But God is just as interested in our living life successfully on this side of the grave.

You see, eternal life is not just a quantity of life; it is a quality of life God desires for each of us. Jesus said in John 10:10, “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” The abundant quality of life God wants for you begins right now and extends through eternity.

What is the key to experiencing that abundant life, to living life successfully? In a word: wisdom. In Hebrew, the word for “wisdom” is “chokmah.” It referred to a skill. So we can think of wisdom as the skill to live according to God’s pattern for our lives. And that is Solomon’s focus in Ecclesiastes 10. This chapter is an interlude before the final section of the book, and in it we find some pithy sayings, similar to the ones he wrote in Proverbs, about how to live life successfully–I call them “maxims for maximum living.”

Remember, Solomon was the wealthiest man of his day, yet he said even greater than having material wealth is having wisdom, knowing these principles by which to live. He said in Proverbs 4:7, “Get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding” (NIV). And in Proverbs 8:11, he said, “Wisdom is better than jewels; and all desirable things cannot compare with her.”

I remember watching a news report about the great diamond repository underneath the streets of Moscow. The Russian host took the television reporter to these large, underground vaults filled with diamonds. At one point the Russian guide took out a satchel of diamonds and spilled them out onto a display case. The television reporter grabbed some of the diamonds and joked, “Do you mind if I keep these as a souvenir?” The Russian guide was not amused by that.

I want you to think of Ecclesiastes 10 as a repository filled with diamonds. And guess what? Solomon said we can grab and keep as many of those diamonds as we want. In fact, the tidbits of wisdom in this chapter are more valuable than any material possession. They are keys to abundant living.

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Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Maxims for Maximum Living” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2009.

Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org; Scripture quotation marked (NIV) taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide. www.zondervan.com

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