The Purpose Of Education

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"All things have been made by him and for him" (Colossians 1:16). 
"What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world, yet loses his soul?" (Matthew 16:26). 
"You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind" (Matthew 22:37).
"Man's chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy him forever" (Question 1, Westminster Shorter Catechism). 
Some would say that the Bible has authority only over the sacred things, such as faith (religion) and the practice of that faith. In stark contrast, God is not only sovereign over the sacred things, but also over the secular things (i.e., business, education, family life).

Sadly, some believers today - including whole churches - have been so enamored by the "successful" business world that they have replaced God's Word with "effective habits." While these "habits" may be well-principled, they do not capture the proper perspective of success, nor do they speak to man's true purpose for existing. The Bible, on the other hand, rightly and completely informs my practice in all areas of life, not just in matters regarding faith and practice, strictly speaking. It speaks to my parenting (Prov 22:6); it speaks to my marriage (Eph 5) and also my function in marriage (Gen 1-3; 1 Pet 3:7); it speaks to how I should approach earthly gain (Mat 16:26); it speaks to how I should educate my children (Psa 78); it speaks to even how I should eat my food, drink my water, and tie my shoes (1 Cor 10:31). The Word of God is the only source of Truth in this world (note the capital T - there are many sources of truth, lower case t).

The Big Picture

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 "And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day..." (Genesis 3:8).
"The LORD came from Sinai and dawned from Seir upon us... Yes, he loved his people..." (Deuteronomy 33:2-3).
"And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed.... The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one as we are one, I in them and you in me.... I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them" (John 17:5, 22-26).
"Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb... on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month" (Revelation 22:1-2).
There is a big picture to the history of our world. Literary critics as well as theologians refer to this as the meta-narrative, that is, the overarching story. Of course, in a big picture look at things there are many small details that are glossed over which are still important; yet, all the small details fit into the big picture, the meta-narrative.

In the Bible, we see the meta-narrative clearly. The three main, overarching parts of the story are three-fold: creation, fall, redemption.

Parents Are Teachers

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"Train up a child in the way he should go... [for] folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline drives it far from him" (Proverbs 22:6, 15).
As the school year begins (or, for some, has already begun), we turn our attention to academics: to learning and to teaching.  Some will send their youngsters off to school, while others will give them academic instruction at home.  However a family decides to prepare their children for independence, this much is true in every situation: parents are teachers.

Parents have a crucial role in instructing their children.  Not only should parents teach skills like how to fold clothes, how to get dressed, and how to sit at the table, but parents should also be giving moral instruction in everything they do to their children.

Praying To The Glory Of God

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"Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed by Thy Name.
Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever.  Amen" ("The Lord's Prayer," Matthew 6).
Much can be gleaned from our Lord's teaching on prayer.  Specifically, I want to focus on three areas in the Lord's prayer that are helpful in understanding the purpose of prayer and also practical helps in the area of how to pray.  Jesus, of course, was answering the latter statement directly when his disciples asked him, "Lord, teach us to pray."  As a result, three distinct ideas are taught by Jesus to his disciples on the subject of prayer.

The Source For Having A Positive Outlook On Life

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I have recently spent a couple posts to discuss the fears I have with positive confession theology.  The reason I say I have fears about this type of thinking is because this framework of living almost immediately leads us to a false view of who God is, a false view of who man is, and a false view of what Christ's atonement is.

However, having a positive outlook on life is, most assuredly, a Biblical and godly characteristic.  Christians ought to be hopeful, joyful, and encouraging.  But the primary source of this hope, joy, and encouragement differs dramatically from the source of Joel Osteen's or Jon Gordon's joy, for instance.  (In short, I am not condemning these men or others like them.  I do, however, want to draw attention to their faulty theology and the faulty theology of most - if not all - of those who hold to their teachings.)

Take a look, for example, at two different song lyrics that demonstrate two differing sources of hope, joy, and encouragement.