As I know that many of you have done, I too chose a “life focus word” (my term) for 2020. A “life focus word” is one which is intended to impress upon us a practice that we commit to making an active and deliberate part of our day-to-day life (my definition). The intent is to bring greater awareness to the things we do; the words we use, the decisions we make, the ways we relate to others.
With a lot of thought and prayer, I chose the word “wisdom”. I came to realize that the saying “older and wiser” is not necessarily true, at least not for me. Oh, maybe by the worlds standards it is but those aren’t the standards I want to live by, do you? As you can see from the definition below, secular thinking considers wisdom to be based on experience and knowledge.
According to Collins Dictionary “Wisdom is the ability to use your experience and knowledge in order to make sensible decisions or judgments.”
At 70 plus years I definitely have some life experience and over those years I have acquired a good bit of knowledge. But wise?
With my “life focus word” decided, I realized that I needed to know what (Godly) wisdom means and so I turned to the most famous and accurate book of wisdom – The Bible; more specifically, the book of Proverbs. Early in the year I began to study Proverbs as a key part of my daily devotion time. I am thankful to have learned a bit about wisdom, as God defines it, however I have just scratched the surface. There is so much more to learn.
Before we start digging into Proverbs, let’s fast forward a few thousand years and look at what a New Testament writer had to say about wisdom. His counsel will be a good launching pad for our study.
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. (James 1:5)
- We learn from this verse in James that wisdom is a gift from God
- That it is ours for the asking
- It is given liberally
- There are no strings attached
- God wants us to have it
Over the past couple months I have discovered so much from my study that I felt compelled to invite you to join me on this “wisdom quest journey”. Each week we will take a passage from the book of Proverbs to study using a four-fold method.
- Read it – Read the through passage – often.
- Pray/Meditate on it – Ask the Holy Spirit to give you insight and understanding, then listen for Him to speak to your spirit. (John 14:16-17, 16:13)
- Examine it – Study resources: Biblical cross references, other trusted translations, bible dictionary, trusted commentary.
- Apply it – Remember there is only ONE interpretation of scripture but there can be numerous applications. Make note of specific ways you can put what you have learned into practice.
The first lesson of the study will post on the morning of March 17th, one week from today, and each Tuesday morning thereafter. I look forward to our sharing from this amazing book.
Study Assignment for Next week: Proverbs 1:1-6