Lead Students On The Path of Wisdom
The third step to Teaching Wisdom To Our Children is to lead them along the path of wisdom. Let me share some insights from the world of martial arts. Martial artists speak often about following the path or way (Dao or Do). The ancient pursuit of martial arts was to learn the way and walk in it. Martial Arts was a “way” of life. It is the same today. Students search out teachers who can show them the way to live as a martial artist. Christian teachers have the unique opportunity to teach students about Christ as the True Way even as they demonstrate the proper way to block, punch, kick and escape from holds.
” Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way? Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” John 14:5-6
Martial Arts is about becoming a better person; about controlling one’s passions and desires. It’s about becoming a better citizen of the world and protecting those who are weak and in danger. Christian Martial Arts is about becoming a child of God, serving Him with passion and obeying the desires God has for His children. Worldly Martial Arts is about “me” and “bettering” others. Christian Martial Arts is about “God” and helping others become “better.” It’s about becoming a Citizen of Heaven and leading the weak to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ so more people will glorify Christ as King of Kings, Lord of Lords, God of the Ages!
The word “way” is used more than a thousand times in the Bible; the word “path” more than 80.
The first mention of the “way” in the Bible is Genesis 3:24. God steps in to protect the human race.
“So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.”
Eternal life is our “way,” but it would have been disastrous if Adam and Eve had eaten the fruit of the Tree of Life in their sinful condition.
“And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever.” Genesis 3:22
That’s why God moved the first humans outside the Garden of Eden and placed angels and a flaming sword to keep the way of the Tree of Life. It was a constant reminder to Adam, Eve and their children about what they lost and what they could someday receive. It was both protection and hope.
God has His Way in Heaven and on earth. That’s an important part of how Jesus taught His disciples to pray (“Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.”) Christ is the Great and Almighty Teacher. He is the Way. He created the way for His followers to travel. The foundation of our Faith is His. He traveled on the Way and showed us how to live and how to give. He sacrificed His Life for us and shows us how to sacrifice ourselves for His Sake.
God taught the Way to Adam and Eve and their children and their children’s children. Doing what was right in God’s Eyes was not a mystery to the human race. They knew what God had done and what He demanded of them. The people of earth chose to disobey God’s Way because their sinful hearts liked their way better.
“And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.” Genesis 6:5-7
Notice what the human race had done to the Way of God.
“And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth.” Genesis 6:12
Humans had “corrupted” God’s Way upon the earth. That’s what people still do today. The “way” of humanity is corruptive and destructive. God’s Way is creative and life building.
God was deadly serious. He was ready to destroy everyone and every living thing He had created. Fortunately, for all of us, God is a God of Love and Grace.
“But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.” Genesis 6:8
God had Grace on Noah and thus on all of us. The human race owes its existence to God’s Grace and to Noah. The Bible says Noah was a special man during his generation.
“Noah was a just man and perfect in his generation, and Noah walked with God.” Genesis 6:9
Noah walked in the “way” God wanted him to walk and that pleased God. Because of God’s Grace, Noah and his family and representative members of living species were saved from the destruction of the Flood.
It seems from what we read in Genesis 6 that Noah was the only human to find favor with God, but we see that Noah’s family was also blessed. The Bible doesn’t say Noah’s wife, sons and their wives were the reason God did not destroy humanity from the face of the earth, but it does say they received the blessing of God’s salvation because of Noah.
“And, behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven; and every thing that is in the earth shall die. But with thee will I establish my covenant; and thou shalt come into the ark, thou, and thy sons, and thy wife, and thy sons’ wives with thee.” Genesis 6:1-18
God established a covenant, a Grace-Agreement, with Noah and his family received the benefits of the agreement. The covenant God made with Noah had nothing to do with Noah’s abilities or skills or obedience. It was strictly a Grace Covenant because Noah found favor with God.
That’s just how it is with the Way Christ deals with us. We are saved by Grace through Faith and none of that is of, from or through ourselves. It is the Gracious Gift of Almighty God. It’s not of human works, so no one can boast of themselves. Our boast is only in Christ and His Great Sacrifice for our sins.
The concept of the “way” and the “path” is presented clearly for all to see in Scripture. John the Baptist went ahead of Christ and preached to everyone who would listen: “Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.” Our spiritual journey is both a “way” and a “path.” As people who teach children, it’s important to remember that we’ve been on the way and the path longer than our students. They look to us to show them the way and lead them on the path. Our job is to tell our students to prepare the Way of the Lord and make His Paths straight. The Message of God’s Grace is ageless and timeless. It is an eternal Message of Hope!