Weekly Wisdoms for the week of August 23, 2004
Jesus said to his followers, "If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free" (John 8:31-32). If we hold to his teaching, meaning live in it, abide in it, and follow it, then we will know the truth. That's exactly the way hearing from God works. When we abide in his word, we will know his voice, which is truth.
All of scripture is God talking to his people. So, in order to hear from God, you must know scripture.
God has given us scripture, and he calls it his word. It is the word of God. And we refer to it as God's word. So, how do you know when God's talking to you? Because he talks through his word.
In order to hear God talking to you, you must know his word. The more you know his word, the better you'll hear his voice.
"He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose." Jim Elliot wrote that in his journal shortly before giving his life on the mission field. He knew that the cost of the cause of Christ is everything you have.
However, the things you give up to Christ (e.g. control of your own life) are things you couldn't keep anyway, but the things you gain as a result of faith in Christ (e.g. eternal life) are things you cannot lose.
Jesus said, in Matthew 6:19-21, "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." Everything you have here on Earth will decay and rust away -- you'll lose it all. However, what you store up in heaven you cannot lose.
The author of Ecclesiastes, who was probably King Solomon, recalled, in Ecclesiastes 2:1-11, how he had done great things and accumulated much wealth. Yet, he realized that accumulation here on Earth is useless: I undertook great projects ... I became greater by far than anyone in Jerusalem before me. ... I denied myself nothing my eyes desired; I refused my heart no pleasure. ... Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun (Ecclesiastes 2:4,9-11). Even though he had everything he wanted, it was all pointless, because it didn't satisfy and couldn't last.
Take some advice from these passages. Trade the things you can't keep (your life, your money, your possessions) for the things you can't lose (eternal life, righteousness, a relationship with God).
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