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listen

My child, if you accept my words and treasure up my commandments within you, making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding; if you indeed cry out for insight, and raise your voice for understanding; if you seek it like silver, and search for it as for hidden treasures—then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God. For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding; he stores up sound wisdom for the upright; he is a shield to those who walk blamelessly, guarding the paths of justice and preserving the way of his faithful ones. (Proverbs 2:1-8, NRSV)

Make your ear attentive to the wisdom of God and incline your heart to follow what you receive.

God is storing up wisdom for those who seek after His commands and hears His direction and follows where He leads.

So listen to God and store His words in your heart and follow where He leads.

 

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worthy life

For this reason, since the day we heard it, we have not ceased praying for you and asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of God’s will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you may lead lives worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, as you bear fruit in every good work and as you grow in the knowledge of God. May you be made strong with all the strength that comes from his glorious power, and may you be prepared to endure everything with patience, while joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has enabled you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the light. He has rescued us from the power of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. (Colossians 1:9-14, NRSV)

Lead lives worthy of the Lord…

Easier said than done. How does one live a life worthy of the Lord?

How does one fully fulfill the calling you received from the Lord?

You live in God’s knowledge, not the worlds.

You follow spiritual wisdom and understanding from God.

You love God and others more than yourself.

So center yourself in Christ and follow after him!

 

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wolf or sheep?

“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thorns, or figs from thistles? In the same way, every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will know them by their fruits. (Matthew 7:15-20, NRSV)

You will be known by your fruits…

Fruits are what you produce, what you do.

You can’t judge a book by its cover or a person by if they go to church. You can go to church and not follow Christ.

Does your life show the example of being a follower of Christ?

Does your life show the love that He showed for humanity?

Don’t be a wolf in sheep’s clothing, be a sheep and follow Christ.

 

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follow after God

If you follow my statutes and keep my commandments and observe them faithfully, I will give you your rains in their season, and the land shall yield its produce, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit. Your threshing shall overtake the vintage, and the vintage shall overtake the sowing; you shall eat your bread to the full, and live securely in your land. And I will grant peace in the land, and you shall lie down, and no one shall make you afraid; I will remove dangerous animals from the land, and no sword shall go through your land. You shall give chase to your enemies, and they shall fall before you by the sword. Five of you shall give chase to a hundred, and a hundred of you shall give chase to ten thousand; your enemies shall fall before you by the sword. I will look with favor upon you and make you fruitful and multiply you; and I will maintain my covenant with you. You shall eat old grain long stored, and you shall have to clear out the old to make way for the new. I will place my dwelling in your midst, and I shall not abhor you. And I will walk among you, and will be your God, and you shall be my people. I am the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, to be their slaves no more; I have broken the bars of your yoke and made you walk erect. But if you will not obey me, and do not observe all these commandments, if you spurn my statutes, and abhor my ordinances, so that you will not observe all my commandments, and you break my covenant, I in turn will do this to you: I will bring terror on you; consumption and fever that waste the eyes and cause life to pine away. You shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it. I will set my face against you, and you shall be struck down by your enemies; your foes shall rule over you, and you shall flee though no one pursues you. And if in spite of this you will not obey me, I will continue to punish you sevenfold for your sins. I will break your proud glory, and I will make your sky like iron and your earth like copper. Your strength shall be spent to no purpose: your land shall not yield its produce, and the trees of the land shall not yield their fruit. (Leviticus 26:3-20, NRSV)

Why do we follow after God?

Is it to get something?

Here we read about those who faithfully keep the commandments and follow you will be blessed, but if you don’t obey and follow you will receive terror.

We are usually hard pressed to do something for long because of a reward, but all parents know that a reward will work. But is that the real reason we should follow, because we get something?

No, but does it hurt?

 

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War inside

I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. Now if I do what I do not want, I agree that the law is good. But in fact it is no longer I that do it, but sin that dwells within me. For I know that nothing good dwells within me, that is, in my flesh. I can will what is right, but I cannot do it. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I do. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I that do it, but sin that dwells within me. So I find it to be a law that when I want to do what is good, evil lies close at hand.For I delight in the law of God in my inmost self, but I see in my members another law at war with the law of my mind, making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with my mind I am a slave to the law of God, but with my flesh I am a slave to the law of sin. (Romans 7:15-25, NRSV)

Do you feel the tension?

This passage always reminds me of the song War Inside by Todd Agnew (you can hear it below).

Paul here tells the Romans that once God comes in we are new creations and the power in our flesh that wants us to do the things we don’t want to do is sin, and the grace of God is more powerful, but there is a war between grace and sin inside of us every day.

But through the power of God, we can succeed. Not on our own, but through His power, we can do what He needs us to do.

 

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wait

Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and strengthens the powerless. Even youths will faint and be weary, and the young will fall exhausted; but those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint. (Isaiah 40:28-31, NRSV)

Those who wait on the Lord will soar on the wind like an eagle!

Have you ever seen an eagle glide across the air? It is the most majestic thing to see and this is how God will move you if you wait on Him.

He will give you power and allow you to soar through life, giving you the wind to fill your wings and move you on.

So wait on the Lord and allow Him to move you.

 

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Great with God

An argument arose among them as to which one of them was the greatest. But Jesus, aware of their inner thoughts, took a little child and put it by his side, and said to them, “Whoever welcomes this child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me; for the least among all of you is the greatest.” (Luke 9:46-48, NRSV)

Who is the greatest?

Don’t we all really want to be?

When you strip everything else away our human desire is to be number 1. But is that what God wants from us?

Jesus knew what they were thinking and arguing about, so He took a child and said welcome this child. Now just that child?

No. Every child. And was it just children? Or was it what children represent in Jesus’ day? Those who are not to be seen or heard? Those who do not belong in the company of the powerful?

Jesus is saying, to be great with God you need to welcome those everyone else doesn’t want to be around.

So go and welcome the outcast, and then you will be great with God.

 

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