November 8 | Proverbs 4:10-27
The Gift of Guidance in the Family of God
by Dan Kidd
One week ago, last Tuesday, was All Saint's Day. We celebrated this past Sunday by remembering together our friends and family members who have passed away before us, and how their lives were a witness to Christ's faithful, redeeming, loving work. We heard together from Hebrews 12 that we are now surrounded by that great cloud of witnesses to the joy set before Jesus, that we would not lose heart but run the race marked out for us with Spirit-empowered endurance.
In today's passage we encounter the instructions of a father to his son, imploring him to hear his father's words, that he may walk in the way of Wisdom--the path of the Lord. Our passage describes the nature of the lives of the wicked (who walk in the ways of evil), the nature of the path of the righteous (like the waking sun, brightening increasingly towards the light of full day), and then instructs the son on how to walk in this righteous, wise way.
This passage showcases for us the gift we have in the great cloud of witnesses, who surround us in championing support; who have fixed their eyes on the hope of the world, fulfilled in the person of Jesus; and who have lovingly, carefully guided and instructed us in finding and remaining on the way of Wisdom (the way of Jesus). How tempting it can be to under-appreciate the value of those who have so deeply formed our faith--those who have taught us--in word and deed--who Jesus is and how the Lord loves. One of the most precious gifts about being one family, united by Christ, is the gift of our spiritual fathers, mothers, daughters, and sons. As truth and love are poured into us, we too pour into each other.
I am so very grateful to be part of God's family, and for all of those who have, and continue to, teach me in the ways of Wisdom, shepherd me back onto the path as often as I wander, and point my gaze ever forward--towards our pioneer and fatih-perfector, Jesus.
A Prayer of Gratitude: Heavenly Father, as I remember today those who have taught me and loved me in your will and way, I thank you for them. Thank you for creating them with all the purposes you've used them for that have brought you glory. I am grateful, Lord, for those you will use me to instruct, love, and bless. Open my eyes, even today, that I might see who you would lead me to care for and to shepherd. Thank you for this family you have made of us. Amen.