READ: Proverbs 1:1-7 (NIV)
1 The proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel:
2 for gaining wisdom and instruction;
for understanding words of insight;
3 for receiving instruction in prudent behavior,
doing what is right and just and fair;
4 for giving prudence to those who are simple,
knowledge and discretion to the young—
5 let the wise listen and add to their learning,
and let the discerning get guidance—
6 for understanding proverbs and parables,
the sayings and riddles of the wise.
7 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge,
but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
Today many of you started school, but some of you may have already started last week or 2 weeks ago. Either way, you're already looking forward to Summer 2017, am I right? But let's take a second to think about school - I know. I know. It's the last thing you want, but stick with me for a second.
What's the purpose of school? Why do we go to school? To build relationships with people. To learn social skills and different activities. To grow.
We go to school to gain wisdom and knowledge in a variety of areas. Wisdom is a words that literally means "The condition or state of being wise." So we go to school to "be wise".
Wisdom is also huge in the Bible. Solomon, the son of David, is regarded as one of the wisest guys in the Bible. In fact, he wrote a book all about wisdom - Proverbs. As you read through the passage above, it's an intro to Solomon's wisdom. Proverbs is probably one of the easier books to read in the Bible. There are 31 chapters and so if you read a chapter a day, you can read the whole book in one month. I would encourage you to make it part of your reading plan.
But Solomon writes Proverbs with the goal of sharing knowledge. There are proverbs for all kinds of situations. But what Solomon says in verse 7 is KEY - "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction."
The key to gaining knowledge is the fear of the Lord. The Message puts it like this:
Start with God—the first step in learning is bowing down to God;
only fools thumb their noses at such wisdom and learning.
So to start growing in wisdom, we have to bow down to God. The first step to growing in knowledge is to bow down before God. I mean, after all, who is smarter than God? We're talking about the God who created things that stump scientists.
Does this apply to school? For sure. The first step in school is to bow down before God - not necessarily walking in, dropping to your hands and knees and praying. But it can mean starting your day that way. OR maybe it's just walking in to school with the right attitude and seeing it as an opportunity to grow. Rather than seeing it as, "Man 7 hours stuck up in this place and nothing good happening," see it as, "Wow. 7 hours in this place with my squad and people I can tell about Jesus. AND it's an opportunity for me to understand more about the world." I think science is interesting, and especially Biology, because you're studying creation without totally realizing it.
Remember, your perspective determines your outlook. Start your day by humbling yourself and praying to God for patience, energy, and boldness to share the Gospel. Remember, you have something that not all of your friends may not have and it's our job to share that. AND if all of your friends do have a relationship with Jesus, it's time to make even more friends.
• What is your perspective on school? Do you dread it or look forward to it?
• Do you start your day in the Bible?
• Do you want to grow in wisdom and knowledge?
• Did you have an opportunity today to tell someone about Jesus or invite someone to church?
• Who can you start praying for NOW?