I feel challenged this year to become a student once again. I want to study and learn and grow. My own students dare me to new heights.
One of my greatest joys as a teacher has been to watch the “bulb” over my students’ heads light up when they say, with a smile, “I get it!” The next affirmation comes as I watch them grown in wisdom and understanding and confidence. I am pretty sure that knowledge and understanding, put into practice, lead to confidence. I know from my own experiences, a little bit of confidence goes a long way.
Let’s just think of the positive accomplishments we can experience if we have confidence:
-Step into strange places without fear
-Take on overwhelming assignments
-Converse and communicate eloquently
-Navigate life with dignity
-Confront issues boldly
These are but a few of the goals I long to achieve. I am sure you can add to these and I would love to hear about your additions to this list.
So… what does God’s Rubric have to do with these thoughts? Jesus, like any good teacher, wants us – his students, to “get it,” to understand and put into practice, his teachings. He knows, if we observe and study His guidelines and follow His example, we’ll “get it.” We will be able to live without fear and deal with overwhelming circumstances all the while operating in a dignified manner and confronting complicated issues with a godly boldness.
Let’s get started.
Jesus’ visit to the temple as a young boy was our first rubric. The story in Luke 2 ended with a summary of Jesus’ early life before we become privy to the details of his ministry, “Jesus grew in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and all the people.” (vs 52)
Right now I want to stop and look at my own growth. What am I doing to grow in wisdom, in stature and in favor?
Over the next several days let’s simply consider “growing in wisdom.”
Wisdom, according to the Encarta Dictionary, is:
1 good sense, the ability to make sensible decisions and judgments based on personal knowledge and experience
2 wise decision, good sense shown in a way of thinking, judgment or action
3 accumulated learning, accumulated knowledge of life or of a sphere of activity that has been gained through experience
Eaton’s Bible dictionary lifts out the following, when I perform a thorough search through scriptures:
Wisdom: a moral rather than an intellectual quality.
“Wisdom” in Proverbs 1:20; 8:1; 9:1-5 may be regarded not as a mere personification of the attribute of wisdom, but as a divine person, “Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God” (1 Corinthians. 1:24).
In Matthew 11:19 it is the personified principle of wisdom that is meant.
Again we see Jesus as the example, the rubric.
Wisdom. If Jesus grew in wisdom, I want to consider my own growth pattern.
What am I doing to grow in wisdom?
Am I practicing good sense? Am I making good decisions? Am I allowing my life’s experience to teach me, or do I continually make the same foolish choices?
I’m afraid I continue to make the same foolish choices, time after time, after time.
I want to change that habitual course. There is no better guideline to change than to look to the leadership of Jesus, His life, the Word.
Often when I am studying my Bible, I go to the concordance, find the word I want to understand. Then I look up each of the verses listed. I did this with the word, “wisdom.” At Deuteronomy I stopped for a deeper study:
Deuteronomy 4 is the first place in the Bible I found a definite reference to answer my question- “How do I grow in wisdom?”
“…Israel, listen carefully to these decrees and regulations that I (Moses) am about to teach you. Obey them so that you may live, so you may enter and occupy the land that the Lord, the God of your ancestors, is giving you. 2 Do not add to or subtract from these commands I am giving you. Just obey the commands of the Lord your God that I am giving you.
5 “Look, I (Moses) now teach you these decrees and regulations just as the Lord my God commanded me, so that you may obey them in the land you are about to enter and occupy. 6 Obey them completely, and you will display your wisdom and intelligence among the surrounding nations. When they hear all these decrees, they will exclaim, ‘How wise and prudent are the people of this great nation!’ 7 For what great nation has a god as near to them as the Lord our God is near to us whenever we call on him? 8 And what great nation has decrees and regulations as righteous and fair as this body of instructions that I am giving you today?
Within these seven verses I noticed:
1- Obey is repeated 4 times.
2- Wisdom, or versions of the word, is mentioned twice.
3- The land is mentioned twice also
“Obey.” It’s a simple command. We all know obedience is the key to success. I want to practice obedience this year. This is my new motto: When in doubt-obey.
We can approach 2013 as “the land” that God is giving us. Specifically, what land does He want me, you, to occupy this year? And as we take “the land” ordained by God, we are encouraged to practice wisdom so, others may get a glimpse of God’s glory. (review vs. 6,7,8)
What “land” is God calling you to occupy this year?
Mend a relationship
Begin new job
Let’s stop here for today. I’m asking God to guide me into 2013. I’m asking Him to show me the direction He would have me take. Which one area of my life needs to be conquered? As I listen for Him to speak, I will read this rich chapter in Deuteronomy and study the wise counsel it gives me concerning how to grow in wisdom. Won’t you join me?
Jesus is our rubric for life. His life shows us how to live. Checkpoint number 1 is wisdom.
Jesus grew in wisdom. Are we being wise with our everyday decisions?
Join me Saturday for more insight into God’s Rubric.