Worldly Wisdom & Godly Wisdom

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1 N o t e s J1Y3BK4 JUNE, JULY, AUGUST L e s s o n 9 Worldly Wisdom & Godly Wisdom O v e r v i e w Bible Text Jas 3:13-18; Is 55:8.9; 1 Cor 1:18-25; Prov 1;7, 9:10; Ps 111:10 Bible Truth To understand that much of the conventional wisdom honored by the world is not godly wisdom. The wisdom of and the wisdom from God are often not seen as wisdom by the world. Lesson Aim 1) To recognize that there are two types of wisdom: godly and worldly wisdom. 2) To recognize the fact that there are some things which are absolute and not all relative, as the world says. 3) To be able to identify some of the worldly advice as well as godly advice and hence, be able to differentiate between them. Memory Verse "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding." (Prov 9:10) B i b l e B a c k g r o u n d "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts higher than your thoughts" (Is 55:8, 9). These are the words of God from long ago. Today, this remains an absolute truth. As much as mankind has imagined that we have superseded our primitive ancestors in every way, the truth remains that human wisdom is nowhere near the ultimate wisdom of God. Whatever things about the universe that man is discovering more and more, they are but a minute portion of what God has long ago created and established. Looking around at the societies today, we see the damage that human wisdom has wrought. Broken families, depressed souls, warped mentalities these are the results of many a human wisdom. As children of God, we must have the spiritual eyesight to look pass the glamour of the world to see that this is a crooked and perverse generation that we are living in (Phil 2:15). We should not follow the ways of the world but instead, look to the spiritual wisdom which comes from above, from God

2 S p i r i t u a l F o o d F o r T h o u g h t Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good life, let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. (Jas 3:13) A b o u t Y o u r S t u d e n t s The world that we live in today talks a lot about efficiency, methodology or the like. In our work in the secular world, we are conditioned to show the best of our capabilities. It is highly possible that we may also be bringing that part of ourselves into areas of divine work. Subconsciously, we fail to truly rely on God s power. Instead, we go about church work using our human efforts. In our work as RE teachers, this phenomenon is even more prone to happening. We spend a lot of effort trying to improve our teaching skills, invent novel activities for the lessons or plan a lot of strategies about how to deal with problems. While this is certainly intrinsically good, we must be wary of the fact that our reliance on God s power may be slowly replaced by our reliance on human wisdom. RE is a form of divine work. Our students are sheep that God has entrusted to us. They are ultimately His sheep. We must be careful not to forget that we are merely doing the work of watering, and it is God who gives the growth. We should always rely on God s powers rather than concern ourselves too much with what we can do. "Wisdom" is probably an issue that our students have never given serious thought to. Being an abstract idea, it may be hard if we try to define or explain it. It would be easier if we could "concretize" it by presenting it in terms of situations that they can relate to. The world that we live in today may not necessarily use the term "wisdom". But in the many ways of dealing with things, our students are exposed to all sorts of input. Unfortunately, it is inevitable that what they are faced with are often ideas that conflict with the teachings of the Bible. This is where we need to make them see the difference between Biblical teachings and worldly wisdom. We need to inculcate in them the desire to obey the teachings of the Bible over what the world tells them to do. P r e p a r i n g Y o u r H e a r t s B i b l e S t u d y Worksheet #1 Pose this question to your students: What is the most important thing that we should obtain in this life? (Students are going to come up with all kinds of answers but be sure to explain to them that salvation is the most important thing.) We have to secure salvation for ourselves, and also for people whom we love. The world we live in poses so many threats to our salvation. There are so many decisions and choices in life that if not made correctly, can directly or indirectly affect our walk with God. We definitely need to have wisdom from God to lead a life that is pleasing in His sight. Today, we will study the topic of "wisdom" what it is, why it is important, how it is useful to us. Say this to your students: What is wisdom? Do you think there is a difference in worldly wisdom and godly wisdom? (React to the students responses as appropriate) Today, the people of the world have all sorts of different definitions of what wisdom is. But these perceptions of wisdom may not necessarily be wisdom that comes from God, wisdom that can lead us to salvation. Let us now look into the Bible to see what it says about "wisdom" Wisdom is... The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. (Prov. 9:10) What is the meaning of "fear of the Lord"? Does it mean that we are afraid of God? (No, to fear the Lord means to worship Him and keep His commandments) The Bible says that "the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom". What do you think people who do not know God would say about wisdom? (Wisdom is doing well in school and society, being able to earn a lot of money, being seen by many people as being "smart".) 94 95

3 Bible Study, continued Bible Study, continued Before you start the Bible Study, please ask the students to refer to the Student Worksheet. Some of the information given here may not be available to the students. Prov 8:11 For wisdom is better than rubies, and all the things one may desire cannot be compared with her. Why do you think godly wisdom is more precious than rubies, and nothing else can be compared to her? (Because godly wisdom will help us to find favor in the eyes of God and help us to walk the path of salvation.) Prov 2:6 For the Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth comes knowledge and understanding. From this verse, what do you think are the best ways to attain wisdom? (reading the Bible) Other than reading the Bible, what other ways can we receive the word of God? (listening to sermons, going for Bible studies, church seminars and also interacting and sharing with brothers and sisters in Christ) "A man s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps." (Prov 16:9) Worksheet #2 Let s turn to 2 Timothy 3:16, 17. What does it say about the role of the word of God in our lives? (for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for good work) The Bible is the best guide to the way to lead a life of godliness. Let s look at some words of wisdom from the Bible regarding the way to conduct our lives. Refer to the Bible and write out those verses. About our speech/word Prov 10:19 "In a multitude of words, sin is not lacking, but he who restrains his lips is wise. About planning for our future Prov 16:9 "A man s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps." About working hard Prov 20:4 "The lazy man will not plow because of winter; He will beg during harvest and have nothing. About making friends Prov 18:24 "A man who has friends must himself be friendly, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother." The verses we have looked at are taken from the Book of Proverbs, one of the books of wisdom in the Bible. The other three books of wisdom are Job, Psalms and Ecclesiastes. Now, think of at least one Bible verse that you know which gives good advice about how to conduct our lives. Write it down in the space provided and share it with the rest of the class

4 L i f e Life Application, continued A p p l i c a t i o n Worksheet #3 "A man who has The lazy man will not A lot of things that the world tells us seem to make a lot of sense. However, if we compare what is regarded as true or common sense by the world with what the Bible says, we ll find a lot of discrepancies. Hence, we must be diligent to know the word of God well, so that we are not misled by the ways of the world. The world says:"you need all the time in the world to work on your studies. Weekend is the best time to catch up on your work, so make good use of Saturdays and Sundays for your studies!" The Bible says: Isaiah 58:13,14 friends must himself be friendly, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother." (Prov 18:24) plow because of winter; He will beg during harvest and have nothing. (Prov 20:4) The world says: "What does the older generation know? Our parents views are really too old-fashioned. We think the newest trends and ideas are cool. Forget about what mom and dad have to say!" The Bible says: Ephesians 6:1,2; Colossians 3:20 The world says: "What do you mean offer money to God? Does God even receive the money? As it is, what I have is barely enough, why should I give offerings in monetary terms?" The Bible says: Haggai 3:10 The world says: "Why do you spend so much time on religious activities? Why go to church for more than 1 service a week? Don t you have a lot of schoolwork? Don t you need some fun activities? Go hang out more with friends not from church; they can give you more fun!" The Bible says: Hebrews 10:25; 2 Timothy 2:22 A c t i v i t y Skit Dilemma to be solved: Biblical wisdom versus worldly advice Procedures 1) Depending on the class size, divide students into groups of 3 or more. 2) Have the students write out a short script of a teenager facing some kind of dilemma (of any nature). In this skit, include a character who will offer some worldly advice, and another who will offer godly advice from the Bible. 3) Have the students perform the skit to the rest of the class. (The skit should be short, not more than 5 minutes.) 98 99

5 C o n c l u s i o n E v a l u a t i o n Reading Assignment for this week: Deut 9-11 As a conclusion, let us read 3 verses from Ecclesiastes, another book of wisdom in the Bible. Turn to Eccl 12:1, 13, 14. Remember now your creator in your youth, before the difficult days come and the years draw near when you say I have no pleasure in them. Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is man s all. For God will bring every work into judgment, including every secret thing, whether good or evil. 100

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