Who do you know that is wise? How do you think they got that way?
Proverbs 1:7. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.
Often when we think about people who are wise we think of someone who is also old(er). Do you have a wise grandpa or grandma? Maybe a wise old neighbor that you get advice from? When we choose people to lead our country we try to choose someone who is wise, which usually means they are not very young.
But the Bible doesn’t say that you have to be old to be wise. According to the Bible anyone can be wise. God’s wisdom is for everyone, young and old. What does Solomon say is the beginning of wisdom? The fear of the Lord. And anyone can fear God. In fact, there are lots of older people who seem wise, but they don’t fear the Lord God, and so they are actually fools.
Remember, fearing God does not mean that we are afraid of God. Fearing God means loving and honoring God and caring about what he cares about. Some people only become Christians because they are afraid of going to Hell. Some people only obey Jesus because they don’t want to get in trouble. But this is not the fear of the Lord that brings wisdom. Trusting God because he is good, and smart, and perfect is the fear of God. Obeying God because he is always loving and always right is wisdom.
Do you hate being bad because it gets you into trouble, or do you hate being bad because it makes God sad? Are you good because it gets you rewards, or are you good because it makes God happy?
Jesus is the only person who ever lived who did everything without any fear of being punished. He alone did everything good just because he loved God. And then, because he loves us, he was punished in our place on the cross, knowing that the only reward he needed was you and me to be with him in Heaven forever.
Because of Jesus we don’t have to be afraid of God.
With Jesus we can obey God out of love.
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What rewards and punishments do you get at home? At school? Imagine together what it would be like if there were no punishments anymore. Could you be good just because it is the right thing to do? Why or why not?
Jesus, you obeyed God perfectly in my place because you love me. Help me to obey you because I love and trust you. Amen.
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