For those of us in the United States, we are probably just getting back to normal after having a break for Christmas and the New Year. However, do we really want to merely get back to normal? I am certain that each of you, like me, desire to see God do something that only He will get the glory for in our lives and our ministries. If that is going to happen, I believe we must get back to understanding the ultimate purpose for education. For the past 2-3 weeks I have been striving to re-look at education through a biblical worldview lens. It has been an invigorating time with the Lord in prayer and His Word. Here is what God has taught me through this time of re-focusing on my purpose.
The real purpose of education must be seen in relation to God’s highest purpose for man. There are several passages of Scripture that have gripped me afresh over the past few weeks.
For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen. Romans 11:36 (KJV)
For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. Colossians 1:16-17 (KJV)
What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (KJV)
Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. I Corinthians 10:31 (KJV)
I know that these are probably very familiar passages to you and I have written about them in the past. However, I believe we need to meditate on them and seize hold of them in a greater way as we enter 2019. Everything was created by and for God. The fact that everything was created “for” God means that everything exists for His glory alone. Isaiah 42:8 reads, I am the Lord: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another. God will only work for His glory.
When you think on these passages and others, one finds that God’s highest purpose for man is what is stated in the Westminster Shorter Catechism.
Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy Him forever.
This means that the main purpose for education must be to equip children and youth with the ability to better glorify God and enjoy Him throughout all of life. Education must guide them to develop the knowledge, skills and attitudes (character) that will enable them to glorify God in whatever they think, say, and/or do. As I contemplated this truth, I was led to re-visit what it means to glorify God. Again, I found some Scriptures that gripped my heart and mind about this subject.
I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do. John 17:4 (KJV)
Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person… Hebrews 1:3 (KJV)
Jesus glorified God perfectly while He was here on earth. The writer of Hebrews explains how Jesus did this by stating that He was the “express image of God’s person.” Another translation puts it this way. Jesus was the radiance of His (God’s) glory and the exact representation of His nature. This means that one must be just like Jesus if he/she is going to glorify God in everything. Dr. Gary Inrig makes this point when he wrote,
One’s glory is one’s reputation…God’s glory is not just His reputation but His revealed character, the display of His attributes. To glorify someone therefore is to increase his reputation by revealing his true nature…to glorify God is to live in such a way that His character is revealed and His praise is increased! (emphasis mine)
Of course, understanding what it really means to glorify God requires us to get to know Him more each and every day we have here on earth. This means it is imperative that we spend time with Him each day through prayer and reading His Word. This is how He reveals Himself to us. We cannot re-present Him if He doesn’t reveal Himself to us.
As I continued looking at education through a biblical worldview lens, I wrote down several goals that I found must be pursued if the main purpose of education is to be achieved. When these goals are fully realized, our children and youth will be able to fulfill their purpose of glorifying God and enjoying Him forever. I will only share these goals with you in this blog. Perhaps I can elaborate on them in future posts.
- Education must lead people to true worship of God
- Education must lead to transformed lives
- Education must equip people for war
- Education must equip people to live wisely
- Education must lead people to advance God’s kingdom
As you consider these goals, I encourage you to not think of them merely as “religious” matters. Most people who have subscribed to my blog are educators and/or parents. It is easy to read about the main purpose of education and these five goals as being great for church and Sunday School. However, you are involved in “schooling” and schooling is all about “academics.” This is what happens when we divide life into two separate compartments — the secular and the sacred. I want to challenge you to apply the main purpose of education and these five goals to the area of education that you are involved in as an administrator, a board member, a teacher and/or a parent. What implications does this have for you?
I pray that 2019 will be a year like none other. May God use you to accomplish His purpose to see future generations develop the knowledge, skills and attitudes (character) that will enable them to glorify God in whatever they think, say, and/or do.