November 19, 2012

Proverbs 2:1 My son, if you accept my words
and store up my commands within you,

It’s a bit difficult to pull one verse out of this section, because the first five verses are all one sentence! However, this first verse quite naturally gives the starting point for gaining all the good things that are talked about further on. That starting point is simply receiving, not rejecting, God’s word and storing it up in your heart. Psalm 119:11 famously says much the same thing. As adults, we’ve all seen – and been – rebellious teenagers who don’t really hear what their parents say to them. That’s bad enough on that level, but it’s worse, and even more common, for people not to hear what their heavenly Father says to them. If we want the knowledge, understanding, and victory mentioned in the following verses, we have to start with listening to God. Many people would protest that God doesn’t talk to them, but they ignore the fact that He’s written them a letter! Frankly, many people don’t read the Bible precisely because they don’t want to hear what God is saying to them. They know they’re in the wrong, and they don’t want to be corrected. How foolish! God’s rules are never to restrict us, but rather to protect us from the consequences of dangerous activities. The problem is, those dangerous activities can be fun, at least at the start, and we don’t want to hear about the danger. It is totally illogical that someone would take methamphetamines, for example, because of the disastrous consequences, but sadly, many do. To receive the blessed, fulfilling life that God intends for us, we have to start by listening to Him.

I grew up with a great deal of head knowledge of God and the Bible, but that doesn’t mean I was consistent in applying it. I have tasted the bitter fruit of bad choices, and that helps put things into perspective. I have also tasted the rich fruit of obedience, and that is far better! There’s no such thing as “easy street” in this life, but walking in obedience rather than rebellion makes it possible to have peace and joy whatever else is going on. (John 16:33) I deal with people all the time in various stages of ignorance of and/or rebellion against God. The simply ignorant are much easier to deal with than the rebellious! However, people don’t like being told they are ignorant, and many resist the good news of God’s love. That’s never easy for me to deal with, but I am not to give up. Rather, I am to pray that they will stop, turn round (repent), and believe, for their salvation and for the glory of God.

Father, You know the people who came to mind as I wrote that. You love them even more than I do. I ask Your grace and mercy for them, that they will let go of the lying excuses the devil has fed them and open their hearts to receive all that You have provided for them in Christ, for their salvation and Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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