Wednesday, 15 April 2020

Words to live by

Words to Live By | Epic Church
I am not sure if you have a favourite saying, verse or even a 'motto' that you like to live your life by? At various times in my life, I have found myself being drawn to particular mission or purpose, but over the past 15 years I feel that I could sum up my 'life-motto' with three words: Living in Grace. Those of you who are reading this today, would have some idea as to this journey of mine - Living in the immense grace of God is a goal and a passion of mine. However, I want to draw our attention to some powerful words written in the book of Proverbs.

"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge,    but fools despise wisdom and instruction." - Proverbs 1:7

Knowledge, in this verse implies the words 'to know' (yadha). We can pursue all kinds of things in life, trying to gain academic degrees, big bank accounts, fancy vehicles and flashy gadgets, but the writer of Proverbs suggests that these are all worthless compared with having a relationship with God first.

Having a healthy respect for our Creator and Redeemer is the best place to begin to build any life from. Once we have this set as our foundation, then the rest will fall into place. Of course many people would disagree with this and these people are referred to as 'fools' in verse 7. 

If one compares this verse with a parable in the Gospels, the best example would be where Jesus speaks about two people - the wise person and the foolish one. The wise person builds their house on the rock - the sure foundation of God.

Matthew 7:24 - "“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.

As always Eugene Peterson adds a masterly stroke to these words (Proverbs 1:7) and brings them front and centre. He suggests these words could be paraphrased as:

"Start with God—the first step in learning is bowing down to God;
    only fools thumb their noses at such wisdom and learning."

Joan of Arc once said: "One life is all we have and we live it as we believe in living it. But to sacrifice what you are and to live without belief, that is a fate more terrible than dying."

Living in Grace

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