Boy to Man Book, Chapter 2: Wearing My Wisdom Like a Necklace

leadership wisdom of a father to his son
(Note: these chapters are designed for a father to read to his son.)

Hear my son, your father’s instruction, and forsake not your mother’s teaching,

for they are a graceful garland for your head and pendants for your neck.

~ Proverbs 1:8-9

As you grow toward manhood over the next few years, you will run into more and more people who will try to convince you that your father doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

They will try to get you to believe that the values I am trying to instill in you are old-fashioned and out-of-date. You will run across a lot of people – friends, teachers, professors, voices on television – who will have nothing but contempt for the values we are talking about here together.

If you listen to them, they just might persuade you to dump these values and adopt theirs, values which just might destroy your life.

Do not let them do this to you.

I love you far more than they do. I love you more than I love my own life. I would lay down my life for you in a heartbeat without even having to think about it because I love you so much.

The folks who will try to get you to reject my values don’t love you like that.

The values I am trying to teach you are a protection for you. They point to a pathway that will lead to life, happiness, and prosperity. It’s a path I want you to walk because I want only the best for you.

Don’t let yourself be tricked into rejecting these values by somebody who tries to impress you with how much smarter they are than your father. If they try to get you to throw the values we are talking about into the trash, they are the ones who do not know what they are talking about.

It’s because these values are not just my values. They come from the heart and mind of God himself. To reject these values is not just to reject my wisdom, it is to reject the wisdom of God. Don’t make this mistake.

Solomon urged his son to wear the words of wisdom he heard from his father around his neck like a necklace which he never takes off but wears all the time. The wisdom that is found on the end of that necklace lies over your heart. It’s Solomon’s way of telling you to take these values and store them up in your heart and never forget them.

Here’s a quote attributed to Mark Twain:

When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years.

By which of course he meant that he had come to understand as a man how right his father’s counsel had been all along and how foolish he had been to reject it in his teenage years.

Let me finish this conversation with the words of the Scripture:

My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments,

for length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you.

~ Proverbs 2:1-2

Father, I pray that my son and daughter will embrace the values of your Word and never forget them as long as they live. I claim your promise that you will grant them life and peace as a reward for following you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

by Bryan Fischer

http://barbwire.com/2015/02/09/1100-boy-man-book-chapter-2-wearing-wisdom-like-necklace/
Previous
https://stopandpraytv.wordpress.com/2015/02/04/the-boy-to-man-book-chapter-1-the-fear-of-the-lord/

Accepting God’s Gift of Love

1 John 4:7-12

Many people simply can’t believe that the Lord loves them. Others believe that He loves them, but only when they are pleasing Him in some way. Why is it so hard for us to accept His unconditional love?

One reason is that we have a hard time loving others without condition. We might say the words “I love you” to our spouse, children, friends, or fellow believers but all too often are calculating in our mind whether or not they’ve lived up to our standard. We sometimes excuse ourselves from loving certain people because their behavior upsets or annoys us. The fact that we place restrictions on extending favor causes us to wrongly assume that the Lord does likewise.

Another reason is a poor self-image. Considering ourselves unworthy, we refuse to accept God’s love. You know what? None of us are worthy of the heavenly Father’s goodness and mercy—so you can let go of that excuse once and for all. We’re not coming to Him based on our worth. Rather, we’re coming to Him based on His grace, and our position is secure in Christ. To put yourself down as “beneath His grace” is to trample on His loving, generous gift. God arranged an awesome way for us to be reconciled to Him, and His greatest desire is for relationship with each of us.

If you feel unloved or struggle to accept yourself, ask the Holy Spirit to reveal the truth of our heavenly Father’s love for you—and to sink it deep into your heart. Receive the truth He reveals. You’ll find it’s a refreshingly different story about your value as an individual.

Daniel the President

“It pleased Darius to set over the kingdom an hundred and twenty princes, which should be over the whole kingdom; And over these three presidents; of whom Daniel was first: that the princes might give accounts unto them, and the king should have no damage.” (Daniel 6:1-2)

Not many people realize that the godly prophet Daniel was the first president of the great Medo-Persian-Babylonian empire!

Of course, Daniel’s office did not correlate directly with that of an American president, being appointive rather than elective, and being subject to the emperor, but he nevertheless had great authority. Many translations use the word “governor” instead of “president”—the original language was Aramaic in this case rather than Hebrew.

In any case, Daniel was a God-fearing Hebrew, rather than a Persian or Babylonian, and so soon drew the envy and resentment of the other “presidents” and “princes” of the empire. But the only charge they could make against him (there was no hint of scandal or corruption in his character or activities, unlike certain nominally Christian presidents in our own country) was that he was too “religious,” worshipping openly the true God of creation instead of the nature-gods of the pagans. “They could find none occasion nor fault; forasmuch as he was faithful, neither was there any error or fault found in him” (Daniel 6:4).

It is sadly true that such a testimony could never have been given concerning any American president, not even Washington or Lincoln, as great and praiseworthy as they were. Nevertheless, God would remind us “that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty” (I Timothy 2:1-2). HMM

The Daunting Task

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. —Romans 1:16

The greatest event in history was the coming of Jesus Christ into the world to live and to die for mankind. The next greatest event was the going forth of the Church to embody the life of Christ and to spread the knowledge of His salvation throughout the earth.

It was not an easy task which the Church faced when she came down from that upper room…. Left to herself the Church must have perished as a thousand abortive sects had done before her, and have left nothing for a future generation to remember.

That the Church did not so perish was due entirely to the miraculous element within her. That element was supplied by the Holy Spirit who came at Pentecost to empower her for her task. For the Church was not an organization merely, not a movement, but a walking incarnation of spiritual energy. And she accomplished within a few brief years such prodigies of moral conquest as to leave us wholly without an explanation—apart from God.

Empower us for our work, Holy Spirit, even as You empowered the early Church. Amen.

Secular Men Confuse Truths with “Truth”

The Lord by wisdom hath founded the earth; by understanding hath he established the heavens. Proverbs 3:19

The celebrated prayer of the great German astronomer, Kepler, has been a benediction to many: “O God, I thank Thee that Thou has permitted me to think Thy thoughts after Thee!”

This prayer is theologically sound because it acknowledges the priority of God in the universe. Whatever new thing anyone discovers is already old, for it is but the present expression of a previous thought of God. The idea of the thing precedes the thing itself; and when things raise thoughts in the thinker’s mind these are the ancient thoughts of God, however imperfectly understood.

Should an athiest, for instance, state that two times two equals four, he would be stating a truth and thinking God’s thoughts after Him, even though he might deny that God exists.

In their search for facts, men have confused truths with truth. The words of Christ, “Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free,” have been wrenched from their context and used to stir people to the expectation of being made “free” by knowledge. Certainly this is not what Christ had in mind when He uttered the words.

It is the Son who is the Truth that makes men free. Not facts, not scientific knowledge, but eternal Truth delivers men, and that eternal Truth became flesh to dwell among us!

We See God’s Purpose

That… he might gather together in one all things in Christ… in heaven, and… on earth. EPHESIANS 1:10

We trust the Word of God—and the inspired revelation makes it plain to the believing Christian that all things in the universe have derived their form from Christ, the eternal Son!

We are assured that even as an architect builder gathers the necessary materials needed to fashion the structure he has designed, so God will ultimately gather all things together under one head, even Christ (see Ephesians 1:9-10).

Everything in the universe has received its meaning by the power of His Word; each has maintained its place and order through Him.

Jesus Christ is God creating!

Jesus Christ is God redeeming!

Jesus Christ is God completing and harmonizing!

Jesus Christ is God bringing together all things after the counsel of His own will!

I can only hope that as we grow and mature and delight in our faith, we are beginning to gain a new appreciation of God’s great eternal purpose!

Your master design of the universe is perfect even though mankind has neglected Your creation and Your desire for fellowship. I pray that by Your Spirit our churches will become “like a mighty army” and help lead many people in the world to faith in Christ.