“The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel: To know wisdom and instruction, To discern the sayings of understanding, To receive instruction in wise behavior, Righteousness, justice and equity; To give prudence to the naive, To the youth knowledge and discretion, A wise man will hear and increase in learning, And a man of understanding will acquire wise counsel, To understand a proverb and a figure, The words of the wise and their riddles. The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; Fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Proverbs 1:1-7
Early in our Sunday services, I’ve been sharing a highlight or two from our daily chronological Bible readings. The purpose is to help us to connect what we’re reading with our own lives, our family, and those around us in church or the world. It’s good for us to be “on the same page” with that priority for learning and applying the Word of God.
Amid us today, the culture is dictating what the individual, the family, and even the church should be. We at Cornerstone believe it is our duty to discover and live the Culture of Christ. This will often find us with opposite views and values from what this culture champions. Much of the division could well be traced to one overriding question: “What is the source of your ‘Truth’?”
For an unbelieving world, the source of truth is mankind. This results in a worship of man’s philosophies, “inerrant” science, self-enlightenment, and the resultant mélange of worldviews. In this “truth,” man is the sole authority, and truth must necessarily shift as man continuously evolves upward; ever more wise, informed, and assured.
For one who has new life through Christ Jesus, the Word of God made flesh is not just the source of Truth, but is Truth. There can be no melding of “some” of Jesus’ teachings with a culture’s “more accurate” truth. The Bible – the very Word of God – is received as Truth. It is not received as an opinion to weigh, or of “some” light value, or (worst) simply a collection of sayings and legends to draw from allegorically. No, this is bedrock, unchanging Truth; the assayer’s scale for testing all thoughts and reasoning that issue from the heart of man.
So here we are, looking through Proverbs in our chronological reading. This is a book full of practical instruction for all, but particularly for youth. The introduction to Proverbs (above) is a treasure in its clarity and statement of purpose. In effect, God says, “I am your source. I give you the True definitions of righteousness, justice, and equity. Drink deeply of Truth. Let me form your character, shape your thoughts, create in you the True culture of mankind made in the image of Me.”
I’ve shared the importance of slowing down with your kids and chewing on select proverbs with them. Put these proverbs in your own words. Illustrate them from life all around us. Show the sharp contrasts between the culture of this world, and the culture of Christ. Talk about practical ways of living out these precepts, then do that.
You will be letting God’s Spirit teach you more and more about meditating on His Word, thinking on profitable things, and putting real-time evidences of faith into practice. Be clear with motivations, both for you and your children. Practicing these truths are not to “earn” salvation, but to live out our salvation before an Awesome God, letting our lights shine in a world that needs some pure illumination!
Blessings on your continual journey in God’s Word. I am sure you will reflexively visit the book of Proverbs, again and again. It is a well of refreshing, continuously providing us with living water.