August 20, 2015 | TFA Communications |
Written By: Dr. Steve Whitaker, Head of School
The book of Proverbs tells us, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” True wisdom is simply understanding who God is and showing Him the reverence He deserves. We do this by living according to His teaching.
Our school year theme is Grow in Wisdom. It’s a great concept to discuss at home with our families or ponder in our personal Bible study. I’m convinced the best way for our students and children to understand wisdom is for you and I to model it. Remember, the beginning of wisdom is understanding who God is (Proverbs 9:10).
From time to time this year, we will look at the various characteristics of wisdom and talk about how we live those out in front of our students and children. But for today, I want to focus on three characteristics of our Heavenly Father that I think every one of us needs to understand and emulate.
1. God Loves Us Personally
The Bible says that God so loved the world that He gave His Son so that you and I can have eternal life (John 3:16). He died on the cross so we can experience the forgiveness of sin and the joy of heaven.
He not only died for our sins, but He wants to walk with us through the trials of life. Psalm 68:5 says, “The Lord is a father to the fatherless, defender of widows. He places the lonely in families; he sets the prisoners free and gives them joy.”
Your children and mine will grow in wisdom as they see the miracle of salvation at work in our lives. If you’ve never asked Jesus to be the Lord of your life, you can do it right now. First, admit to God that you are a sinner (Romans 3:23). Second, believe in Jesus and receive forgiveness of sin (John 3:16). Third, confess and tell someone about the decision you’ve made (Romans 10:9-10).
2. God Extends Grace Lavishly
Ephesians 2:8 says that we are “saved by grace through faith.” Our good works and our family heritage are not enough to pay for the penalty of sin.
Grace is simply God giving us something (forgiveness) that we didn’t deserve and couldn’t earn. God’s grace is more than sufficient to pay for our past, present, and future sin. His grace is perfect.
Understanding grace makes all the difference. As parents and teachers, we have the wonderful opportunity to model this amazing grace our children and students in the way we treat them. In doing so, they will grow in wisdom and understanding.
3. God Deals With Us Patiently
When I look at who God is, I see my own human frailty more clearly. Without understanding that God loves me personally, He wants to extend grace lavishly, and He promises to deal with me patiently, I could easily become discouraged.
The Psalmist must have understood this as well when he wrote,
“God makes everything come out right; He puts victims back on their feet.
God is sheer mercy and grace; not easily angered, He’s rich in love.
He doesn’t endlessly nag and scold, nor hold grudges forever.
He doesn’t treat us as our sins deserve, nor pay us back in full for our wrongs.
As high as heaven is over the earth, so strong is His love to those who fear Him.
And as far as sunrise is from sunset, He has separated us from our sins.
As parents feel for their children, God feels for those who fear Him.
God’s love is forever and always, eternally present to all who fear him,
Making everything right for them and their children as they follow Him.”
So, how do we grow in wisdom? We do so by simply understanding who God is (loving, gracious, patient) and showing Him the reverence He deserves by living our lives according to His teaching. As we model His love, grace, and patience in front of our children and students, their lives will be powerfully impacted in more ways than we could imagine. Let’s grow in wisdom this year and allow our lives to be a living testimony to those who are watching at home, at school, and at the office.
Steve D. Whitaker, Ph.D.
Head of School