Weekly Devotion                           

December 14, 2010

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2010-2011 series

Psalm of the Week

Extended Reading:

Psalm 146



What Do the Experts Know?


"Don't put your life in the hands of experts who know nothing of life, of salvation life. Mere humans don't have what it takes; when they die, their projects die with them. Instead, get help from the God of Jacob, put your hope in God and know real blessing!" (Psalm 146:3–5 MSG). And see these variations:

  • Put not your trust in princes, in a son of man, in whom there is no salvation… (ESV)

  • Don’t put your confidence in powerful people; there is no help for you there… (NLT)

  • Do not trust influential people, mortals who cannot help you… (GW)

  • You can't depend on anyone, not even a great leader… (CEV)

There are experts, and then there are experts.

Experts in the first category are plentiful. It may be a neighbor who knows exactly what to do about that smell of gasoline coming from your car, thereby saving you a mechanic’s bill with personal expertise gained from his pioneering work on a 1951 Dodge. Then there is the faith-development expert whose philosophy about kids is to avoid Christian training and influence and to let them decide what they want to believe about God. (They will do this anyway. Don’t wait to influence them!)

The expert may be the parent who can help you cure her child’s slothfulness and misbehavior. Just take her advice on making no demands on the child, and he will surely meet the standards!. Maybe the expert is that self-righteous Christian whose solution to every difficulty is simply to pray about it, stand back, and wait for the action. And if nothing happens, you didn’t pray hard enough.

You’re not that kind of expert. Any expertise you have is a gift from God. It’s likely that your expertise has neither crowned you a prince or princess nor has it made you powerful in any sense other than you command a pretty good sixth grade kingdom. However, you probably are influential—in ways that you or even others have yet to perceive. As for a great leader, well what else would you call a kindergarten teacher who can mold a troop of 5-year-olds into a line that, at very worst, resembles the path of the lower Mississippi? And when you die, well, you won’t stay that way, and your "projects" will, by the power of the Spirit, live on. With you. (Stop shaking, please. Life gets a whole lot better after we pass the first phase!)

You are expert, influencer, and leader to the degree that you teach and model the faith. Therefore, you are expert enough to know that the absolute Expert has passed on to you the power of His Word.

None of this makes life easy.

Many people don’t like experts. They do not believe in authority. They deny the existence of absolute authority and claim that everyone is his or her own expert—his or her own sovereign authority. Satan has assumed and usurped a deceitful, deadly "expertise."

You are an expert.

Genuine experts strive for more expertise. In your case, this means lifelong Bible study, worship, prayer, and mediation. Then it means putting your expertise to work, patiently and powerfully, for the kids and families that you serve.

As they say, "Take it from the experts." Take it away from them, and give it to God. He will make you an expert too.


Written by Edward Grube, LL.D.

Director of Publications & Communications

2010 Lutheran Education Association


Scripture quotations identified as ESV are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Scripture quotations identified as MSG are taken from The Message. Copyright 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group.

Scriptures marked as "(CEV)" are taken from the Contemporary English Version Copyright 1995 by American Bible Society. Used by permission.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996, 2004. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.

GOD'S WORD is a copyrighted work of God's Word to the Nations. Copyright 1995 by God's Word to the Nations. All rights reserved.
Used by permission.





About the theme:

LEA’s weekly devotionals for 2010-2011will use Psalm of the Week as its theme. Each devotion is based on the lectionary's appointed psalm for the Sunday previous to the date on the devotion.



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