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24 April 2014 Written by  Rev. Manson B. Johnson II

Lesson 5: The Strength of Understanding

7 STRENGTHS OF CHRISTIAN BELIEVERS

Bible Fact: God uses a combination of spiritual characteristics to bring Christians to the point to glorify God.

The Big Idea: Growing Christians exhibit more positive spiritual qualities on the inside that cause them to get more personal blessings from God; while at the same time, they also become increasingly more effective and highly attractive to sinners in the world.

The first section was studying the time-space relationship later formulated by Einstein as his Theory of Relativity. The text was complex and, being unable to comprehend it, I committed the pages to memory. When I was called upon to recite, I solemnly reeled off almost word for word what the book said. Our instructor, Colonel Fieberger, looked at me somewhat quizzically and asked, "Do you understand this theory?"  

It was a bad moment for me, but I did not hesitate in replying, "No, sir." You could have heard a pin drop. I braced myself and waited. 

And then the slow words of the professor: "Neither do I, Mr. MacArthur. Section dismissed."  ---Gen. Douglas MacArthur in Reminiscences recalling a strategy he carried out while at West Point.

The gift of memory and recall may be impressive but they are millions of miles away from "understanding". To memorized knowledge is simply to put hard cold facts into a room alone with intelligence. Very often there is no light in the room of intelligence or at the least no mirror to see if the garments fit. In many cases intelligence simply is a garment that covers a person and makes a person appear to be smart because he/she is gifted to recite or rehearse information they have reviewed or studied. While on the other hand, understanding makes information or intelligence agreeable to the mind/heart with a reasonable amount of clarity that provides sufficient implementation by the person that possesses it. People that do not understand a matter should always seek out people who have understanding. People who are armed with sufficient understanding of a matter can work wonders in the midst of people who do not have it. The ability to understand is a gift from God along with hard work.

I. How does understanding act or what does it look like?

A. UNDERSTANDING: The mental process of a person to comprehend information about a matter and make proper and appropriate conclusions; sufficient personal interpretation or judgment to excellently implement the handling of a matter or situation.

B. Adam and Eve made inappropriate conclusions in understanding the will of God for them; Genesis 3:1-7

C. Evil understanding interfered with Cain’s thinking and caused him to kill Abel his brother; Genesis 4:3-8

D. With understanding Abraham made an appropriate decision to separate from Lot, his nephew, and concerning who gets what out of the deal; Genesis 2,5-12

II. Where does understanding come from?

A. Understanding grows with life in trained children; Proverbs 4:4-11; 22:7

B. Understanding is born out of the family of wisdom, prudence and respect; Proverbs 7:4; 9:9-12

C. Understanding comes from laboring with a matter or source continuously until knowledge reveals an appropriate solution that is now beneficial for as a solution; Joshua 1:8; Psalm 1:2;

III. What is the outcome or reward for having understanding?

A. Good understanding makes one happy; Proverbs 3:13; 13:15

B. Understanding gives the advantage to be blessed with abundant favor above those with no understanding; 8:14-20