Wisdom and the Fear of the Lord

Mike Miller, Speaker

Proverbs | January 22 - Sunday Evening,

Sunday Evening,
January 22
Wisdom and the Fear of the Lord | Proverbs
Mike Miller, Speaker

Good evening. Tonight we are going to be continuing our little short, one-sermon series on the wisdom books in the Old Testament that we have entitled “Wisdom for the New Year.” It’s my privilege tonight to look at least at a little bit, a very high fly-over, if you will, of the book of Proverbs.

As I was preparing this week, one of the things that I came across was a survey that was done to ask millennials and Gen-Z to describe in their minds the wisest person or people in the world. If you remember, Gen-Z and millennials would be aged basically 18 to 35, roughly, 18 to 35.

So this is what they said. 98% of them said “mom,” 98% of them. Sorry, dads, we did not make the list. I’m not sure why but moms made the list. Then this is what they stated, and it’s telling of our, and I think all the generations, Boomers and others would say similar things, but they said humanitarian, social activists, religious and political leaders. For instance, they came up with Dalai Lama, Mother Teresa, Pope Francis, Dr. Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, and so on.

Secondly, 25% said business leaders and celebrities and authors. People like Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, others. Elders and work influences 22%. These were people that in their minds were elders, a term they extended to parents, grandparents, and anyone who has lived through the war, depression, love, and loss.

Then lastly, “unnamed.” Basically 5% of them said particular characteristics would be who they would trust as wise people. Things like a wide variety of life experiences, a long list of successes and failures, genuine curiosity, and interest in exploring and so on.

Now I bring that up to you because what I find interesting about it is maybe the most glaring absence for me in this list is the wisest person who ever walked the face of the earth, Jesus Christ Himself, who clearly spoke about wisdom. In fact, in His most famous sermon, tells us there’s two kinds of wisdom that everyone is presented with in life. Everyone has to make a choice and follow one or the other.

Now Joel just read this passage, but I’m going to read it again and I want you to think about this, of what Jesus is saying on the Sermon on the Mount in chapter 7, verse 24 through 27.

“Everyone then,” Jesus says, “who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house the rock. The rain fell, the floods came, the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall because it had been founded on the rock, and everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. The rain fell and the floods came and the winds blew and beat against that house and it fell and great was the fall of it.”

Two choices. Either build your life on Jesus’ words or select one or all of the other vast options that are out there. Build upon Jesus, His words, and you are building your life upon a rock, a solid foundation, capable of withstanding the storms of life. If the choice is to neglect Jesus’ words, you’re building your house, your life, on a foundation like shifting sand, sinking, in which the storms of life will bring it crashing down.

Essentially, Jesus is calling on everyone to first come to a decision about Himself because as it is stated in God’s Word, all over in the Bible, in Him are all the riches of wisdom and the knowledge of God.

So to build your life on His words is to build your life on His person. As all of us experience daily, our lives are full of decisions to make and we have the choice, Jesus says, of building our lives on the rock, Jesus Christ, His words, or something else and we’ll live with the consequences, whether a firm foundation or shifting sand.

So here is the all-important question for us tonight, before we even look at Proverbs – Have you determined that your foundation you are building your life upon is Jesus Christ, His person, His Word, or is it something else, someone else, that Jesus says is like shifting sand? Indecision is essentially a no decision to Jesus Christ.

Herein lies the challenge, though, for all of us who are following Christ. We’re actively building our lives upon Christ, upon the rock. How do you discern, how do we discern the plan and make the good and right decision with all the complications and complexities around us? As we all would attest to, decisions are often not just that clear-cut. Every day we make decisions about all kinds of matters, some of which are important and some of which appear to be minor and mundane. What we have for dinner tonight, what we will wear tomorrow, who my spouse will be, what career I’ll pursue, are quite different in their respective impacts and weightiness.

The good news is that God has not left us on our own but He’s told us in James chapter 1, if we lack wisdom we are to ask in faith for it and God will give it to us.

So what does that exactly mean? Some, I think, have mistakenly assumed that that means God hands down a ready-made solution for all of our decisions. As one commentator asked – Is wisdom really a hotline to heaven? Does God steer our lives like that? I suggest that he doesn’t, but he gives us principles and has given us minds he expects us to use.

The Bible says that these minds of ours are changed when they believe the Gospel. Growing as a Christian involves learning to apply the fact of the Gospel to every aspect of our thinking and our doing. It is Jesus Christ who is God’s wisdom and reveals it to us. The Old Testament writers, including those who wrote the wisdom books, wrote of His future coming and He being the very center of that godly wisdom.

So what I’m saying is this, and we need to understand this more and more, the Gospel changes the way we make decisions because it connects us to a renewed and right relationship with God who promises to give us wisdom and to give us His Word to interpret the world we live in. This makes biblical wisdom radically different from the way the world looks at wisdom. Old Testament wisdom does not mean that we have an above-average IQ. It is not only in the possession of some elite class. No, wisdom belongs to all who believe the Gospel.

Graeme Goldsworthy writes, “The person and work of Jesus provides us with the only reliable basis for understanding ourselves, our experiences, and the world that we live in.”

So in our concern to build our house aright, the house of our life, we need to remind ourselves and to each other that that foundation, the stable rock, the word of Christ. If it is built on the right foundation the house will endure.

So the Bible says, in essence, that the wise man or woman is the one who first has a restored relationship with God through the wisest person who ever lived, Jesus Christ. We grow from that position in wisdom as we apply the Gospel and the full scope of the Bible to daily life. That means that wisdom then is characteristic of the person who is in right relationship with God.

Now I’m not saying that every Christian makes only the wisest decisions every time or that an unbeliever, someone who has not come to faith in Christ, never makes a good or a wise decision. I am saying, though, that wisdom begins with a decision of trusting Christ as Savior and Lord through that restored relationship with God. He or she will have access to the riches of His understanding and wisdom for He is wisdom incarnate. We have His Word given to us, to lead us in our daily decision making.

So hear me. Following Him is the wisest thing we can do.

Yet to some, sadly, that will seem utterly foolish. And it was that way as well in Jesus’s day.

Turn with me, if you will, before we look at Proverbs, to Matthew chapter 12, verse 38. Here Jesus rebukes the Jews of His day because they look for signs to attest to the validity of His authority.

Matthew 12:38 through 42: “Then some of the scribes and Pharisees answered him, saying, “Teacher, we wish to see a sign from you.” But He answered them, “An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign, but no one will be given to it except the sign of Jonah the prophet. For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. The men of Nineveh will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and behold, something greater than Jonah is here.”

And here it is. We introduce Solomon, the writer of most of the Proverbs: “The queen of the South will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and behold, something greater than Solomon is here.”

He brought to their remembrance that even Solomon, the great giant of Old Testament wisdom, was commended for his great wisdom by a pagan Queen of Sheba, and yet Jesus is greater than Solomon.

Paul, in 1 Corinthians, likewise meets the challenge head on. Just listen to this passage, chapter 1, verse 18: “For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing but to us who are being saved, it is the power of God.”

So the wisdom of God is revealed in the Gospel. It saves and therefore the power and simplicity of it confounds the wisdom of the world. In Christ we are sufficiently wise because He is our wisdom before God. Yet we believers still suffer from often looking to and trusting the foolishness of the world, so we must constantly guard ourselves from buying into the wisdom of the world.

I say this to myself and to us here tonight – Why do we do this when Paul writes, in Romans 11, “Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom of God. How unsearchable are His judgments, inscrutable His ways, for who has known the mind of the Lord? Who has become His counselor? Or who has given a gift to Him that it might be repaid? For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen.”

All the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hidden in Christ. Do we really believe that tonight? Will we really believe that next year? And the year after? And the year after?

Goldsworthy again rightly says if it means nothing else, it means that all of man’s search for knowledge is defective in some critical way when it is not pursued in the light of Jesus Christ.

So with those introductory comments, let’s turn our attention just for a little bit to the Proverbs. As we approach this wisdom book, it’s going to be instructive for us to understand a little bit of the life of Solomon as a wise man and the prominent author of Proverbs.

Then I want to spend most of our time on an all-important phrase that bookends Proverbs, “the fear of the Lord.” Then I want to speak about a warning of improperly applying the Proverbs, and then some application that comes mostly from our understanding of the fear of the Lord.

So that’s where we’re going to go.

First of all, Solomon. We learn about him from the Kings. So turn to 1 Kings chapter 3, if you would. I want to read through some ways that we, that Solomon is described by the writer of 1 Kings. 1 Kings, chapter 3. So chapters 3 through 11 of 1 Kings we are given a truthful and transparent picture of Solomon. First of all, we’d have to say in examining his life, from beginning to end, that he is a complex man.

As one commentator even writes, a contradictory man. For example, on the one hand as the newly-established king, he makes marriage alliances with the king of Egypt, which is clearly forbidden by God from Deuteronomy chapter 7.

Look at verses 1 and 2 of 1 Kings 3 – “Solomon made a marriage alliance with Pharaoh king of Egypt. He took Pharaoh’s daughter and brought her into the city of David until he had finished building his own house and the house of the Lord and the wall around Jerusalem. The people were sacrificing at the high places, however, because no house had yet been built for the name of the Lord.”

Yet, on the other hand, notice verse 3, right after this – “Solomon loved the Lord, walking in the statutes of David his father, only he sacrificed and made offerings at the high places.”

Do you see the contradiction? Even in the same sentence. To prove my point, listen to the next several verses, starting in verse 4.

“And the king went to Gibeon to sacrifice there, for that was the great high place. Solomon used to offer a thousand burnt offerings on that altar. At Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream at night, and God said, “Ask what I shall give you.” And Solomon said, “You have shown great and steadfast love to your servant David my father, because he walked before you in faithfulness, in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart toward you. And you have kept for him this great and steadfast love and have given him a son to sit on his throne this day. And now, O Lord my God, you have made your servant king in place of David my father, although I am but a little child. I do not know how to go out or come in. And your servant is in the midst of your people whom You have chosen, a great people, too many to be numbered or counted for multitude. Give your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern your people, that I may discern between good and evil, for who is able to govern this your great people?” It pleased the Lord that Solomon had asked this. And God said to him, “Because you have asked this, and have not asked for yourself long life or riches or the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to discern what is right, behold, I now do according to your word. Behold, I give you a wise and discerning mind, so that none like you has been before you and none like you shall arise after you. I give you also what you have not asked, both riches and honor, so that no other king shall compare with you, all your days. And if you will walk in my ways, keeping my statutes and my commandments, as your father David walked, then I will lengthen your days.””

The writer doesn’t try to reconcile these contradictory behaviors of Solomon. It’s not just in chapter 3 but it’s for the next nine or eight or seven chapters, all the way to ten, it is this way. It is not until chapter 11 there’s an explanation offered. Turn to chapter 11, verse 4. Here’s the dark side of Solomon’s glory, for all that stuff that he asked for, Solomon, “when he was old, his wives turned away his heart after other gods, and his heart was not wholly true to the Lord His God, as was the heart of David his father.” What a sad chapter in the life of Solomon.

Why is it helpful for us to study Solomon for studying Proverbs? Solomon is and was a walking proverb of his own, for there is a profound lesson in tracing his life. Truly, listen to me, the wise man or woman, even the wisest man or woman, can fall.

As Goldsworthy writes a perceptive comment concerning Solomon – The seeds of his destruction may be very close to those regions where wisdom means responsibility and risk.

Let me say that again – The seeds of his destruction may be very close those regions where wisdom means responsibility and risk.

The wisest of people stumble, sometimes badly, and dishonor the Lord, especially when responsibility and risk are intertwined with life and wisdom needed to make decisions.

So here’s a man who has, like all of us, a checkered life, one who humbly asked God for wisdom, was given it by God, grew and led with great wisdom, wrote most of Proverbs from which we learn a great deal of wisdom, yet in the latter days of his life did what was evil in the sight of the Lord because his heart was not wholly true to the Lord. It is a lesson for us all. The greatest of wisdom collected over a life of learning from experience, observation, God’s word, doesn’t necessarily protect our hearts from turning away from the Lord.

So with that lesson before us, let’s consider some of Solomon’s good points, a good season, when the writer of 1 Kings presents his prayer of dedication in the temple in chapter 8. Turn to chapter 8 of 1 Kings. Let me start reading in verse 22 and I want you to hear Solomon’s prayer. This is the good point of Solomon, the good season for him.

“Then Solomon stood before the altar of the Lord in the presence of all the assembly of Israel and spread out his hands toward heaven, and said, “O Lord, God of Israel, there is no God like you, in heaven above or on earth beneath, keeping covenant and showing steadfast love to your servants who walk before You with all their heart; You have kept with your servant David my father what You declared to him. You spoke with your mouth, and with your hand have fulfilled it this day. Now therefore, O Lord, God of Israel, keep for your servant David my father what You have promised him, saying, ‘You shall not lack a man to sit before Me on the throne of Israel, if only your sons pay close attention to their way, to walk before Me as You have walked before me.’ Now therefore, O God of Israel, let your word be confirmed, which You have spoken to your servant David my father.”

Now stop there. His prayer goes on to ask for God’s blessing on His people in numerous ways. Why? Why? Skip to verse 40: “That they may fear You all the days that they live in the land that You gave to our fathers.”

Verse 41: ““Likewise, when a foreigner, who is not of your people Israel, comes from a far country for your name’s sake (for they shall hear of your great name and your mighty hand, and of your outstretched arm), when he comes and prays toward this house, hear in heaven your dwelling place and do according to all for which the foreigner calls to You, in order that all the peoples of the earth may know your name and fear You, as do your people Israel, and that they may know that this house that I have built is called by your name.””

So within Solomon’s prayer of dedication are these praises to God, many reminders of the promises that God has been faithful to, many pleasing requests. Why? Ultimately that the people of God and those outside of the covenant family, the covenant community, would fear God. This concept, the fear of the Lord, developed here and further in Proverbs, this I believe is the key to open the door to understand Proverbs. We will see this when you read the Proverbs as a constant and central theme, the fear of the Lord and its link to wisdom and knowledge.

As I have stated, Solomon, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, authors much of the proverbs, so as you read the proverbs this fear of the Lord is his guiding principle. It colors much of the landscape of Proverbs. We could say it’s the operating principle for us to grow in wisdom and knowledge. So we need to understand what it means. What does fear of the Lord mean in this context and how is it connected to wisdom and to the Proverbs?

Let’s think about what it does not mean first. First, I would say we have a tendency to think of fear as terror. Right? Terror. Afraid. But the Hebrew word for terror is a completely different word than what we have in Solomon’s prayer in 1 Kings or the wisdom books of the Old Testament, including the Proverbs. Fear in the context of his prayer and in the wisdom books means reverential awe, reverential awe.

We can see the same sense of the word “fear” when Moses writes this in Exodus 14, after God’s great works for Israel – Israel saw the great power of the Lord and what He used against the Egyptians so that the people feared the Lord. They believed in the Lord and in His servant Moses.

It is a sense of awe at the greatness of God, and it is expressed in the people trusting in the Lord’s faithfulness and His saving acts.

Again, Deuteronomy 10 – And now Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways, to love Him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.

So this concept of fear of God is tied to God’s acts of salvation and to His Word. Israel was to respond in reverential awe of God’s faithfulness and action on their behalf.

Our English word “awe” catches some of the idea. It is a sense of wonder, of admiration, a profound respect for someone.

Proverbs 1:7 – The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge. Fools despise wisdom and instruction.

From beginning to the end of Proverbs and throughout the whole book, the fear of the Lord is a constant message.

Listen to chapter 1, verse 30 – Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.

We could go to Proverbs 9:10, Psalms 111:10, Proverbs 15:33, Job 28:28, and nine more times in Proverbs alone, it is mentioned, the fear of the Lord is a hatred of evil, it prolongs life, it is a refuge, it is a fountain of life.

So how does the fear of the Lord, if that’s what it means, connect to wisdom?

Solomon is saying, whether we like it or not, we cannot rightly understand the world in which we liv apart from the revelation of the God who created it. True wisdom that is to be pursued likely would seek for costly treasure is found when our posture is one of awe toward the God who created this world.

Or said in the negative, we cannot possibly understand or interpret the world and find ultimate meaning in the world apart from our recognition of and worship of the God who has revealed Himself to us. We cannot find understanding or interpret the world and ultimate meaning apart from the recognition of and the worship of the God who has revealed Himself to us.

So I want to consider aspects of this fear of the Lord that we need to understand. It helps us to understand Proverbs and other places where it talks about the fear of the Lord.

Let’s compare two verses that both mention this fear of the Lord. Turn to Proverbs 9:10 and once you get there keep your finger there and turn over to Psalms 111. So 9:10, Proverbs 9:10, Psalms 111:10.

We are helped here by specific Hebrew words and by some commentators who brought this to our attention. When our Bibles say “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,” there are two ways which we are to understand the word “beginning.” Two ways.

Proverbs 9:10 – The fear of the Lord is a the beginning of wisdom and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.

The first way is the most obvious way for us, a starting point. Beginning means a starting point. Solomon is saying the starting point of wisdom is a new mindset tied to our awe-struck posture towards God. God gives us this mindset when we are saved and our hearts are turned to trust and believe in Jesus Christ. Christians often will say, think about it if you’re a believer tonight, Christians will often say that when they first trusted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, their world suddenly looked different. It felt different. It became different. It’s like taking off one pair of glasses and putting on another, only now with these new glasses are they able to know the world as it really is.

In this first sense, the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom meaning a starting point. Or as one commentator says helpfully, a foundation to build the rest of one’s life upon. When one becomes a new creature in Christ, a new start occurs. A new foundation has begun of wisdom. Your awestruck posture before the Lord starts a foundation planted by God to grow in wisdom and true understanding of the meaning of life. That’s the first sense of beginning, the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.

The second sense of the word “beginning.” Psalm 111:10 – “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all those who practice it have good understanding. His praise endures forever!”

Here “beginning” is a different word, meaning a chief principle. Or we might say this, listen to this, the end goal. The end goal of wisdom, that is the beginning, what beginning means. The end goal.

So we put these two ideas together. The fear of the Lord is both a foundation, a starting point, for wisdom, something to build upon over a lifetime. But it is also in the second sense the ultimate goal of wisdom. The fear of the Lord is the ultimate goal of wisdom. As wisdom is growing in our lifetime, the end of it is not just to make good and right decisions but it is to grow in greater and greater reverential awe of the God who has saved us and gifts us with wisdom to interpret the world as it really is. That’s the end goal.

You say, well, “Okay, Mike, that is interesting and I could have read that, too, but so what?” Well, it means in our journey, our pilgrimage as a believer in Christ, God expects us to use our brains that He gave us, to learn His ways, that He has shown us in His Word, to learn from the experiences of life, to seek Him for wisdom as James tells us, and with the ultimate goal of growing in our awe, our fear of Him, this is the starting point and the end point of wisdom, the fear of the Lord.

So as you approach the Proverbs, whether you read it daily like many of us do, which is a great habit, or study it for a lifetime, keep that background in your mind. The beginning of wisdom is the fear of the Lord. It is a foundation, a starting point for wisdom, something built upon over a lifetime, and it is also in the ultimate sense the goal of wisdom.

The Proverbs has an appeal to us because it has such a practical approach to life. it is as one author commented an optimistic book even though in it there are many warnings. As I said, it’s authored by Solomon, Lemuel and Agar contributing two chapters. Proverbs addresses a variety of issues through a variety of ways – observations of the animal kingdom, everyday fallen humanity, warts and all, living in the context of daily life.

Here’s the caution I want us to think about as we drive toward a conclusion. One caution I would offer as we read the Proverbs. We need to understand the challenges in applying them to life. As one commentator said, “We must be careful not to use the Proverbs as ready-made rules for living.” Are they the inspired Word of God? Absolutely. Are they true? Completely. But we must be careful not to lay them over as a template to all of life’s circumstances with the thought that it will happen exactly the same way the author said it would. So we can say at the same time that it is fully the inspired Word of God, to be learned, memorized, studied, applied, but the outcome may be surprising to us, maybe even confounding at times, and we will find ourselves having to apply Proverbs 3, 4, 5, and 6 – trust the Lord with all your heart, do not lean on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge Him, He’ll keep your paths straight.

We may have to do that for our own life in processing, “What just happened? I thought if I applied this to my life as it says right here in the Proverbs that would happen and it didn’t.”

Toombs writes a very helpful perspective about this – Perhaps we can begin to modify our thinking by considering the possibility that Proverbs functions not so much as a multitude of individual directions for right living as to instead show us the way to go about learning wisdom. Wisdom is presented both as a human task to be sought after like you would silver or gold, and a divine gift that’s been given, a combination which always causes, he says, a few hiccups in our thinking.

Here’s an example that may help. Proverbs 22:6. It’s a familiar passage to every parent serious about bringing their children up in the fear of the Lord to love the Lord. Listen to what it says – Train up a child in the way he should go. Even when he is old he will not depart from it.

How many parents do you know that have sought to do this and yet their children seemingly nothing to do with the Lord in adult years, sadly. Does this make God’s Word and character questionable at best? Or perhaps untrustworthy at worst? No. Because we must read this as a general statement to be followed, trusted, and even expected. So yes, by all means, train up your child in the fear of the Lord, but we can’t use this as a hard and fast rule that every parent that does this has a lock-tight guarantee that their children will not depart from following the Lord. We do all that we can, yet ultimately our children are in His hands.

So what does this mean for us? First and foremost, I want to end where I began. Are you building your life today on the solid foundation Jesus Christ? Have you trusted Him, believed in Him, sought Him as your treasure, or are you building your life on the many options before you that represent what Jesus called shifting sands, or as the Proverbs would call it, folly and foolishness?

For those of us building upon this solid rock, we need to remember that the end goal is not to gain all the wisdom in the world. Wisdom is not an end in itself but rather wisdom leads to be awestruck by the beauty and majesty of a redeeming God who created all the world and us and wants to be in relationship with us. The worship of our God is the proper end and not the acquisition of all the wisdom in the world.

There is also an outward direction to wisdom as well. You recall Solomon’s prayer that we read at the dedication of the temple that he constructed, when he said in order that all peoples of the earth may know Your name and fear You. When God’s people demonstrates a reverential awe of the God they love, that leads to a wise and good life they live, then people outside the church will take notice. Some will be drawn, some will be repulsed, some will be indifferent.

I’m reminded what Paul tells us in Colossians – Conduct yourselves towards outsiders with wisdom. Literally, walk in wisdom before outsiders.

It should be our desire that our wisdom given to us by God and grown over time to be characteristic of our relationships with those who have yet to trust in Christ. May the fruit of the fear of the Lord and our growing wisdom be attractive to people outside of this church and perhaps, perhaps, they will be compelled to ask why are you different in the way you make decisions and in your everyday life, and they will come to see and trust in this mighty God for the sake of His name.

May that be true of us as we focus on this starting point of the fear of the Lord as the beginning, the starting point of wisdom, that we build for a lifetime. As we study God’s Word, the wisdom books, as we read the Proverbs, and then with the picture in the future that we would go to the end of the fear of the Lord and the beginning of that is that’s the end goal ultimately. Not to be wise, but to worship God even more and to be awestruck more about Him. May that be so of us in our walk with Christ.

Let’s pray. Father, we thank You for the example of Solomon. It is a checkered man at best, as one commentator said, a contradictory man. Yet it helps us because we see grace at work in his life. We need that in our lives. We need to believe the Gospel, and as we do may we see that ultimately we desire for You to be lifted up in our lives and also we desire to be awestruck by You, O Christ, for You have paid for our sins and given us wisdom. As we build upon it, as we seek to observe the world around that You have given us new glasses to see with, may we understand it truthfully as it really is, and sufficiently, so that we make good decision, we live lives that draw others to the Savior. Father, help us to do that for the sake of Christ and His kingdom. We pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.