Pastor’s Desk January 6th

Scripture Passage:  “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.”  Proverbs 1:7

Dear Friends,

     For the past six or seven years I have been writing one article a week and posting it on our church web site under the heading of Pastors Page.  I have written about everything from my childhood to personal struggles I have encountered.  My audience is as varied as the congregation I minister to.  I have occasionally heard from people outside the country commenting on how a particular article spoke to them in their hour of need.  I do not have a lot of comments from people in my church, but the search history reveals there are many who faithfully read the article each week.  Writing the article is not nearly as hard as coming up with something to write about. So I am going to do something different in this New Year of 2020. 
     The book of Proverbs contain a collection of wise maxims that teach us great truths.  Solomon, the wisest man to ever live, collected these sayings and used them to compare common concrete images with some of life’s most profound truths.  The book contains thirty-one chapters covering everything from sexual morality to godly wisdom.  For the next thirty-one weeks, I am going to pick one verse from each chapter and expound upon it in depth. I hope to explain the verse in a very simple, understandable way that makes it relative to us today.  I hope that you will read the entire chapter that week and ask God to speak to you from His Word and teach you truths for living in the twenty-first century.  I hope to finish each article with some type of story that relates to the truth we have learned for the week.  Jesus called these parables and used them extensively in His teaching.  I will try to pattern my teaching after His. 

     Solomon said the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.  The Hebrew word for fear is the word yirah and means reverence.  I like Webster’s definition for reverence.  It means to have profound respect mingled with love and awe.  If we fear the Lord we respect Him.  The respect we show Him is directly proportionate to the degree of love we have and exhibit toward Him.  Fear that is rooted in respect does not cause us to shy away from the person we love, it attracts us to them.  So knowledge begins when the object of our awe and respect is the Lord.  We strive to imitate those we admire.  To have knowledge is to have a clear perception of truth.  If we respect/fear the Lord then our perception of truth will be based upon the truth exhibited by the one we admire and desire to imitate.  The difference between a wise man and a foolish one is what they do with knowledge.  If they take and apply knowledge to their daily living it becomes wisdom and instruction unto them. “A wise man will hear, and will increase in learning, and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels.”  Proverbs 1:5   If they reject it then “They shall eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices.”  Proverbs 1:31   The wisdom of a fool literally slays them and their prosperity destroys them. 

          How have you lived your life?  Would those who know you best consider you to be a wise person filled with knowledge or would your track record be a testimony that you have lived your life foolishly?  Would the way you have lived your life and your church attendance be proof that you live in awe of Christ or would it be an indictment that you love the world and everything in it?  The most important question is what does Christ himself say about you?  Jesus spoke a parable of a wise and a foolish man.  According to Him, the difference between being wise and foolish, is the foundation they built upon.  Wise men and women build their house upon Christ the solid rock.  It is the only thing that will stand the test of time and eternity.

In Christ,

Pastor Johnny