TruthInvestigate

“Oh, the unspeakable greatness of that exchange,—the Sinless One is condemned, and he who is guilty goes free; the Blessing bears the curse, and the cursed is brought into blessing; the Life dies, and the dead live; the Glory is whelmed in darkness, and he who knew nothing but confusion of face is clothed with glory.” Trailady

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A person God turned around many times.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Character, the most important thing today

“I’m beginning to realize that character is the most important thing,” my friend confided to me. I’ve been remodeling Maria’s house for some time, getting to know her and her family pretty good. It’s given her and I many opportunities to talk and discuss the direction of life America has taken. She has two sons, one in college and the younger just entering there.

Maria is discovering an independence, rather a growing self-dependence, in her boys that is disturbing her and building an anguish that nothing can heal. And worse, their friends and peers exhibit the most outrageous insolence and disrespect and self-indulgence. This has brought her to tears.

“Character is the most important thing.” Maria has told me that she was brought up to be an atheist, but had faith in God as a child. And she wants to have that again. Faith is a gift of God, and I believe He is growing that tender plant in her through this crisis she is having to face.

She, like so many other westerners, has placed all hope in knowledge. She, like the other atheists, has praised education as the ultimate boon to the world. For the past 60 years modern man has trumpeted this panacea of knowledge as our last hope for world peace and progress, and the continued happiness of the race.

Education would raise the poor out of the slums; it would stop every form of abuse and violence; it would end world tyranny, and safely carry man to the heights of development in his search for truth. Yet, nothing has been more elusive to humanity.

A wonderfully inspired woman once wrote:

In these days much is said concerning the nature and importance of “higher education.” The true “higher education” is that imparted by Him with whom “is wisdom and strength” (Job 12:13), out of whose mouth “cometh knowledge and understanding.” Proverbs 2:6.

In a knowledge of God all true knowledge and real development have their source. Wherever we turn, in the physical, the mental, or the spiritual realm; in whatever we behold, apart from the blight of sin, this knowledge is revealed. Whatever line of investigation we pursue, with a sincere purpose to arrive at truth, we are brought in touch with the unseen, mighty Intelligence that is working in and through all. The mind of man is brought into communion with the mind of God, the finite with the Infinite. The effect of such communion on body and mind and soul is beyond estimate.

In this communion is found the highest education. It is God’s own method of development. “Acquaint now thyself with Him” (Job 22:21), is His message to mankind. The method outlined in these words was the method followed in the education of the father of our race. When in the glory of sinless manhood Adam stood in holy Eden, it was thus that God instructed him….

When Adam came from the Creator’s hand, he bore, in his physical, mental, and spiritual nature, a likeness to his Maker. “God created man in His own image” (Genesis 1:27), and it was His purpose that the longer man lived the more fully he should reveal this image--the more fully reflect the glory of the Creator. All his faculties were capable of development; their capacity and vigor were continually to increase. Vast was the scope offered for their exercise, glorious the field opened to their research. The mysteries of the visible universe--the “wondrous works of Him which is perfect in knowledge” (Job 37:16)--invited man’s study. Face-to-face, heart-to-heart communion with his Maker was his high privilege. Had he remained loyal to God, all this would have been his forever. Throughout eternal ages he would have continued to gain new treasures of knowledge, to discover fresh springs of happiness, and to obtain clearer and yet clearer conceptions of the wisdom, the power, and the love of God. More and more fully would he have fulfilled the object of his creation, more and more fully have reflected the Creator’s glory….

Love, the basis of creation and of redemption, is the basis of true education. This is made plain in the law that God has given as the guide of life. The first and great commandment is, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind.” Luke 10:27. To love Him, the infinite, the omniscient One, with the whole strength, and mind, and heart, means the highest development of every power. It means that in the whole being--the body, the mind, as well as the soul--the image of God is to be restored….

Every human being, created in the image of God, is endowed with a power akin to that of the Creator-- individuality, power to think and to do. The men in whom this power is developed are the men who bear responsibilities, who are leaders in enterprise, and who influence character. It is the work of true education to develop this power, to train the youth to be thinkers, and not mere reflectors of other men’s thought. Instead of confining their study to that which men have said or written, let students be directed to the sources of truth, to the vast fields opened for research in nature and revelation. Let them contemplate the great facts of duty and destiny, and the mind will expand and strengthen.

Instead of educated weaklings, institutions of learning may send forth men strong to think and to act, men who are masters and not slaves of circumstances, men who possess breadth of mind, clearness of thought, and the courage of their convictions.

Such an education provides more than mental discipline; it provides more than physical training. It strengthens the character, so that truth and uprightness are not sacrificed to selfish desire or worldly ambition. It fortifies the mind against evil. Instead of some master passion becoming a power to destroy, every motive and desire are brought into conformity to the great principles of right. As the perfection of His character is dwelt upon, the mind is renewed, and the soul is re-created in the image of God.

What education can be higher than this? What can equal it in value?
“It cannot be gotten for gold,
Neither shall silver be weighed for the price thereof.
It cannot be valued with the gold of Ophir,
With the precious onyx, or the sapphire.
The gold and the crystal cannot equal it
And the exchange of it shall not be for jewels of fine gold.
No mention shall be made of coral, or of pearls:
For the price of wisdom is above rubies.” Job 28:15-18.

Higher than the highest human thought can reach is God’s ideal for His children. Godliness--godlikeness--is the goal to be reached. Before the student there is opened a path of continual progress. He has an object to achieve, a standard to attain, that includes everything good, and pure, and noble. He will advance as fast and as far as possible in every branch of true knowledge. But his efforts will be directed to objects as much higher than mere selfish and temporal interests as the heavens are higher than the earth.

He who co-operates with the divine purpose in imparting to the youth a knowledge of God, and molding the character into harmony with His, does a high and noble work. As he awakens a desire to reach God’s ideal, he presents an education that is as high as heaven and as broad as the universe; an education that cannot be completed in this life, but that will be continued in the life to come; an education that secures to the successful student his passport from the preparatory school of earth to the higher grade, the school above.
Education, E.G. White, pp. 14-19.

If true education had taken hold of the world, no dictator would have ever ruined nations and created wars. If a knowledge of the holy God had truly been disseminated, America would never have become the sink of corruption, to which it is fast bending its steps toward its own ruin.

“The fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.” (Job 28:28).

Give me the Bible, star of gladness gleaming,
To cheer the wand’rer lone and tempest tossed;
No storm can hide that radiance peaceful beaming,
Since Jesus came to seek and save the lost.

Give me the Bible, when my heart is broken,
When sin and grief have filled my soul with fear;
Give me the precious words by Jesus spoken,
Hold up faith’s lamp to show my Savior near.

Give me the Bible, all my steps enlighten,
Teach me the danger of these realms below;
That lamp of safety o’er the gloom shall brighten,
That light alone the path of peace can show.

Give me the Bible, lamp of life immortal,
Hold up that splendor by the open grave;
Show me the light from Heaven’s shining portal,
Show me the glory gilding Jordan’s wave.

Give me the Bible, holy message shining;
Thy light shall guide me in the narrow way;
Precept and promise, law and love combining,
Till night shall vanish in eternal day.

3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Its true David,
our characters are important and determinant for our destination

Daniel Nsubuga

8/11/2008 10:18 AM  
Blogger David said...

The character we cooperate in developing is the only thing we'll take to heaven. Thanks, Daniel.

8/11/2008 4:40 PM  
Blogger Leuanna said...

Thanks for your article.
Keep us all in prayer that we do the work necessary to surrender self to Christ so He can create in us clean hearts and renew a right spirit within us.

8/13/2008 12:06 PM  

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