John 8:12 When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (Context: Feast of Tabernacles where there were great lamps placed high in the temple courts tall enough to rise above the temple walls and illuminate the entire area. This was a Fall feast commemorating the 40 years of wandering in the dessert and God’s provision and leading them out, so the festival focused on the blessings of the year. Like with many celebrations there would be dancing and other activities into the night for which there would be light.)
Wisdom is the ability to apply knowledge and understanding. We desire wisdom, because, the better choices that are made, the better outcomes that are realized – in more cases than not. Proverbs 12:2 A good man will get favor from the Lord, but He will punish a man who makes sinful plans. Good fortune and favor is definitely better than the alternative!
Let’s see what the Bible tells us about wisdom….
Job 28:28 And he said to the human race, “The fear of the Lord—that is wisdom,
and to shun evil is understanding.”
Ps 111:10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding. To him belongs eternal praise.
Prov 9:10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
So, it would seem that wisdom cannot be obtained through human effort, but only in the respect and reverence of God such that we are accepting of direction in His Word (Bible). Knowledge and understanding then comes with our knowing the Word and being willing to follow His desires for us.
Proverbs 8:10-11 10 Choose my instruction instead of silver, knowledge rather than choice gold,
11 for wisdom is more precious than rubies, and nothing you desire can compare with her.
Ecc 2:13 I saw that wisdom is better than folly, just as light is better than darkness.
Luke 21:15 For I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict.
Choosing wisdom – the fear of the Lord – is in our best interest! Wisdom is available to us for the asking!
James 1:5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.
When we sense a lack of purpose in life, we tend to get dissatisfied or even depressed. Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy has long taught (Albert Ellis) that human being generally do better when we are vitally absorbed in something outside of ourselves. As a social worker, I often recommend that people try to do for others as a way to bring greater meaning and satisfaction into one’s own life experience.
Many times, maybe most times, we want very specific guidance and may elect to sit back doing virtually nothing until that is revealed. All of us have purpose in Christ. Some easily identifiable purposes are evident in the Word. Examples are as follows:
Eph 2:10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. (As long as He leaves us here on earth, He has something for us to do.)
Matt 25:40 The King will reply, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” (Purpose: to do for others.)
Eph 4:32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. (Purpose: to be kind and compassionate and forgiving.)
1 John 4:11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. (Purpose: Love our neighbor as ourselves.)
Matt 28:19-20a 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.
2 Tim 1:8a So do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord... (Purpose: to talk about the Lord in whom we have our hope.)
Prov 12:22 The Lord hates lying lips, but those who speak the truth are His joy. (Purpose: to speak the truth.)
James 5:16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. (Purpose: allow others to see our vulnerabilities and pray for one another such that we can be positive support to each other.)
Summary of purposes can be found in this next scripture selection.
Col 3:12-17 12 God has chosen you. You are holy and loved by Him. Because of this, your new life should be full of loving-pity. You should be kind to others and have no pride. Be gentle and be willing to wait for others. 13 Try to understand other people. Forgive each other. If you have something against someone, forgive him. That is the way the Lord forgave you. 14 And to all these things, you must add love. Love holds everything and everybody together and makes all these good things perfect. 15 Let the peace of Christ have power over your hearts. You were chosen as a part of His body. Always be thankful.
16 Let the teaching of Christ and His words keep on living in you. These make your lives rich and full of wisdom. Keep on teaching and helping each other. Sing the Songs of David and the church songs and the songs of heaven with hearts full of thanks to God. 17 Whatever you say or do, do it in the name of the Lord Jesus. Give thanks to God the Father through the Lord Jesus.
For those of us who are children, spouses and/ or parents, here is some guidance. (Please do not get hung up on “obey”. The generally accepted meaning here is that wives and husbands alike are to love and respect each other. If wives and husbands were both doing this, the relationship would be such that it would be beneficial to both individuals and too the children.)
Col 3:18-21 18 Wives, obey your husbands. This is what the Lord wants you to do. 19 Husbands, love your wives. Do not hold hard feelings against them. 20 Children, obey your parents in everything. The Lord is pleased when you do. 21 Fathers, do not be so hard on your children that they will give up trying to do what is right.
So, let’s pray for wisdom and set our minds to following the light Jesus has given us through the Bible and allow his Holy Spirit to teach as we go and continually illuminate as He sees fit – maybe like the flashlight (a little at a time) and maybe like the football stadium (a bigger picture is revealed at once). In any case, we have enough light to realize purpose. More will be revealed as we live out and fulfill what has already been revealed!