Sunday School Lesson
June 14, 2020
Happy June 14 to everyone. It is good to fellowship with each of you through this medium. At the same time, I am looking forward to our gathering together in God’s house as we worship our Creator, Lord and Savior. I miss the fellowship of being with you.
We are beginning a study of Proverbs, a book which teaches how to attain wisdom, discipline and to live a “down-to-earth” life. God’s words found in this book teach us to do what is right, just and fair.
The mega themes of Proverbs teach us “how” to obtain wisdom, advice on relationships, guarding our speech, working and success. A successful relationship with God counts for eternity; everything else is perishable. All our resources, time and talents come from God. We should use them wisely.
In this age of information, knowledge is plentiful, but wisdom is scarce. Wisdom means far more than simply knowing a lot.
Knowledge is good, but a vast difference stands between knowledge – having the facts, and wisdom – applying those facts to life. We may amass knowledge, but without wisdom, our knowledge is useless. In application, we must learn how to live out what we know. Such is called common sense.
How do we get wisdom?
We ask God to give us wisdom. God gives us wisdom by reading, studying and applying his words, and last but not least, through the Holy Spirit who dwells within every believer.
Proverbs 1:7 sets the basis for attaining knowledge, reading:
“Fear of the Lord is the foundation of true knowledge…”
What does it mean to fear the Lord?
The foundation of knowledge is to fear the Lord; which means that we are to honor and respect God, to live in awe of his power, and to obey his word. It is the basic attitude that affects every aspect of life.
Moreover, the foundation of knowledge goes hand-in-hand with faith. Faith in God is the controlling principle for understanding our world, our attitudes and our actions.
Our actions speak much louder than our words. This is especially true in our home. Children learn values, morals and priorities by observing how their parents act and react everyday. This applies equally to young and older adult children. Further, our actions toward our spouse and friends are equally telling of our values, morals and priorities. If we exhibit a deep reverence for and dependence on God, these characteristics are catching.
How will people know that we are Christians?
They will know that we are Christians by our love.
So, let’s look at an application of knowledge and wisdom to the year 2020 and its perilous times in which we live.
The Holy Scriptures call us, as Christians, to be Holy because God is Holy. Another way to say this is that we should be like Jesus. Every time that I think about Jesus, I think about God. Jesus told us that since we have seen Him, we have seen God (John 14:9).
Accordingly, in being Holy [because God is Holy], we can apply Jesus’ directives for living today and tomorrow by reading His word. Here are some applications.
Forgiving Others Who Dislike or Abuse Us
This one is tough – forgiving. However, Jesus told us to “forgive others as he forgave us.” Jesus set the example; He suffered the ultimate penalty – death on the cross. What did Jesus do? Jesus asked for God to forgive those who were nailing Him to the cross for they knew not what they were doing.
Similarly, Stephen asked God to not hold it against those individuals who were stoning him to death. In like manner, we must forgive others.
Who hasn’t been hurt by the actions or words of another? Perhaps a parent, a sibling or anyone constantly criticized you growing up, a colleague sabotaged a project or your partner had an affair; or you had a traumatic experience. These wounds can leave you with lasting feelings of anger and bitterness – even vengeance.
But, if we don’t practice forgiveness, we are the ones who will pay most dearly. However, when we embrace forgiveness, we experience peace, hope, gratitude and joy – Christ like living. Forgiveness leads to feelings of understanding, empathy and compassion towards the one who hurt you. Read the Sermon on the Mount.
Giving our Lives for Others
Jesus taught His disciples, and I believe He wants to teach us, that there is no “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13). It might not mean you have to die for someone else but it does mean that we die to ourselves and serve one another, and like Jesus, lay down our lives for the brothers and sisters in Christ.
Just as Christ came to serve, we are to serve one another in the name of the Lord.
Praying for our Enemies
Try to find another religion that teaches and practices that we’re to love our enemies and pray for them. Christians are called to a higher standard; a standard set by Jesus Christ, who said,
“Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust” (Matt 5:44-45).
Called as His Witnesses
We are to share the Good News. We must preach what Jesus preached, and that is the need for repentance and faith because such was his message concerning the kingdom of God. It must be our message as well.
Jesus commands His followers to be forgiving of others; to be giving of ourselves to others; to love and pray for our enemies; to share in His sufferings for the gospel’s sake; and to be witnesses for Him in proclaiming the Good News of Jesus Christ.
How will people know we are Christians?
“We are one in the spirit, we are one in the Lord; And, they will know we are Christians by our love.
We will walk with each other, we will walk hand in hand. And together, we will spread the Good News.
We will work with each other, we will work side by side. All praise to the Father, from whom all things come. And, all praise to Christ Jesus who saved us from our sins. And, and all praise to the Spirit who makes us one.
They will know we are Christians by our love.”