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Tag Archives: graduate school

Walking in the Fear of the Lord

If you attend college or graduate school, you are bound to cross paths with intelligent professors.  Unfortunately, some of these teachers are so obsessed with their field, that understanding this courses is like taking a foreign language.  When I first opened the Bible in high school, I had similar concerns, overwhelmed by phrases, terms and words beyond my comprehension.  A priest once proclaimed in his homily, “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom”, quoting the passage below.  When the context was added, a father teaching his son about the importance of listening to God, a light went on in my head.

To understand a proverb and a figure [of speech] or an enigma with its interpretation, and the words of the wise and their riddles [that require reflection]. The [reverent] fear of the Lord [that is, worshiping Him and regarding Him as truly awesome] is the beginning and the preeminent part of knowledge [its starting point and its essence]; But arrogant fools despise [skillful and godly] wisdom and instruction and self-discipline, Proverbs 1:6-7.

Three decades later, a new term caught me off guard, “walking in the fear of the Lord.”  Perhaps, Luke is referring to the events of Acts 5:1-13.  A couple named Ananias and Sapphira attempted to emulate the generosity of Barnabas, the son of encouragement.  However, Ananias had impure motives, seeking attention and fame.  When confronted by Peter, both lied resulting in cardiac arrests, dying within hours of one another.  At the end of this story, Luke highlights the fact that great fear gripped the church and that non-believers were afraid to associate with the apostles.  Only genuine believers gathered at Solomon’s portico for worship.  The context of this story shines light on what it means to walk in the fear of the Lord.

So the church throughout Judea and Galilee and Samaria enjoyed peace [without persecution], being built up [in wisdom, virtue, and faith]; and walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort and encouragement of the Holy Spirit, it continued to grow [in numbers], Acts 9:31.

When I was a teenager, death was the last thought on my mind until a boating accident placed me in the shipping channel of the Chesapeake Bay as a freighter headed for me and my neighbor Richie.  This near death experience set the stage for me to begin to draw near to God.  Like any prodigal, I didn’t always take the straightest path or quickest route.  Nonetheless, reverent fear of God put life on earth in perspective for me.  While sitting in my bed the summer before my senior year of college with a broken ankle, I was forced to consider God’s plan for my life.  This is where I truly decided to follow Jesus and haven’t turned back.  Sure, I have taken earthly pitstops, backsliding every now and then, but walking in the fear of the Lord has straightened me out over time.

by Jay Mankus

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Culture Wars: The Sifting of the Human Mind

According to government experts, every child should graduate from high school.  Once complete, pursuing higher education in the form of college, graduate school or a doctorate is the next logical step toward achieving the American Dream.  Despite this notion, entrepreneurs are like a piece of a puzzle that doesn’t fit, opting to create a business, develop an app or find their way by working up the corporate ladder.  Whatever path you choose, you will find a culture at war, battling to win the hearts and minds of the next generation.

But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way. – Daniel 1:8

In recent years as displayed in the film God is Not Dead, more and more institutions are sifting through minds to indoctrinate students to embrace a secular worldview.  This process commences by isolating individuals from their home, attempting to strip each of the values in which they were raised.  Staking their claim, often on the first day of class, Atheists, Marxists and Socialist professors make bold pronouncements, challenging pupils to defend their faith.  This re-education process threatens those who deviate, lowering grades if necessary to prove a point.  Finally, entertainment is used as a distraction to help young minds feel good about what they are learning.

“Please test your servants for ten days: Give us nothing but vegetables to eat and water to drink.  Then compare our appearance with that of the young men who eat the royal food, and treat your servants in accordance with what you see.” – Daniel 1:12-13

The Old Testament book of Daniel provides a blue print for students who are enduring a similar fate.  When forced to submit to new standards, Daniel refused to go beyond outside the boundaries set by God.  This act of faith led to the Lord’s favor, making a positive impression on the chief official, opening the door for a middle ground.  Keeping in step with the Holy Spirit, Galatians 5:25, Daniel devises a plan, a ten day test.  By taking a stand, demonstrating their faith, Daniel and his 3 Jewish friends pass with flying colors, Daniel 1:15-16.  May the example of these young men serve as a standard for modern believers to follow as they enter the Lion’s Den known as college.

by Jay Mankus

 

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