When Dr. Vernon Grounds, former president and chancellor of Denver Seminary, went to be with the Lord at age 96, tributes and remembrances poured in from former students, colleagues, and friends. Almost everyone recalled a time when Dr. Grounds had personally encouraged them through his teaching, his counsel, or simply his warm smile. He believed in the value of training pastors, teachers, and counselors who had a vital relationship with Christ and a willingness to serve others.

A vivid portrait of Vernon Grounds is seen in a selection of verses from Proverbs 15: “A man of understanding walks uprightly” (v.21). “A word spoken in due season, how good it is!” (v.23). “The words of the pure are pleasant” (v.26). “The heart of the righteous studies how to answer” (v.28). “The fear of the Lord is the instruction of wisdom” (v.33).

Dr. Grounds’ counsel grew out of his character, and his wisdom came from God. The warmth of his life was fired by his purity of heart. The result is a model for us from the Word of God and the example of a man who humbly followed his Savior.

Vernon Grounds ran well and finished his race. May his example of wise and compassionate living challenge us as we continue to run.