Blessed Listeners

Proverbs 8:33-34 

33Listen to my instruction and be wise; do not disregard it. 34Blessed are those who listen to me, watching daily at my doors, waiting at my doorway.

No man is an island!

You heard someone said, “No man is an island!” Well, we are social being.

If you were to choose the age group of people you are comfortable with, what age level would that be? But, if you have no choices of the age level of group you should hang around, do you feel at ease and relax while seating or eating next to younger generation or previous generation or you prefer your contemporaries?

A young person hung around his contemporaries, and they explored anything that excited them. He lost his focused and disregarded his studies. While exploring what the world may offer him, he hung around older people and listened to their stories—their ups and downs, how they overcome difficulties.

When he grew old and advance in years, he concluded that to hang around and learn from older people are far beneficial than to hang around contemporaries. How much can you learn from your contemporaries anyway? How about hanging around younger generation? It could be moments to share personal knowledge.

After Jesus Christ spent about three years with his disciples, he instructed them and also the next generation of disciples in Matthew 28:19-20,  19Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.

Of all the many instructions that Christ gave, his last command to disciples was “Going and making disciples, baptizing them and teaching them to obey.” Why? Did he imply that to make disciples as his final instruction is the ultimate practical proof of obedient disciple? Who will obey it? Obedient disciples only!

Not all believers of Christ have grown spiritually mature as disciples. Like the crucified thief, anyone may believe in Christ at the brink of death and had no chance to go and make disciples. Only obedient disciples go and make disciples.

Making disciple is obedience to Christ’s command; it exhibits also that his Holy Spirit inspired disciples to disciples others. Surely, it requires godly wisdom to appreciate and obey commands from the Lord. Obeying Christ is being wise.

1.  Be Wise

33Listen to my instruction and be wise; do not disregard it.

The term “listen” is interpreted as “pay attention” with intention to obey.

To pay attention with intention to obey the instruction of the Lord exhibits that listeners are wise, in contrast to disregard obedience. The wise obedient disciples obey the Lord, why? The Holy Spirit inspires disciples to visualize and hope for blessing included in his command. Blessing is always included in the Lord’s commands.

We are instructed, “Listen to my instruction and be wise; do not disregard it.” Is it proper to interpret it as, “Disregard my instruction and be foolish?”

It is natural instinct of humanity to disregard the Lord’s command and that includes his command to go and make disciples. Others may pretend to listen just to respond, argue or suggest their personal opinion or view.

Parents’ Gladness

Students graduated from school. What’s next? Well, parents are very glad for the achievements of their children. There are stories of parents who have not completed their studies but have children who excelled in school. There are parents who have great attainments and achievements but their children have struggled completing their studies. Should diploma decide career success for graduates? Not necessarily! Diploma is useful, but it cannot decide success.

Some individuals have graduated with honors from prestigious institutions but have financial difficulties. Some individuals have not completed their studies but they are successful in their chosen career. How do you know if graduates have become wiser or foolish?

Let’s reflect what the Lord declares in Proverbs 12:15: 15The way of fools seems right to them, but the wise listen to advice.

Students who have academic success could become very proud and do not want to listen to advice of their parents who have no academic accomplishment. Pray that God give them wisdom so that they listen attentively and be blessed.

2.  Be Blessed

34Blessed are those who listen to me, watching daily at my doors, waiting at my doorway.

We need godly wisdom to appreciate godly instructions. There’re blessings inclusive to godly instructions. We pay attention and obey godly instruction only when the Holy Spirit inspires us. So, when we sense some kind of hesitation, we have to ask the Lord to increase our faith in him. The Lord is active in us when we hear instructions from God and our immediate reaction is enthusiasm to obey.

It is common reaction to challenge an invitation to join the Lord in his work. Human standard of intellect argues: “Is that more important than my job? Does it benefit me in the long run? How about my plans, my agenda? Will I fulfill my dreams?” Those are familiar arguments of human standard of intellectuality.

In comparison, some believers may respond like: “How can I be effective when I am not trained? How can I participate when I am very shy? How can I contribute when I do not know where to start?” Can you sense the difference?

            Human standard of intellect presumes that personal agenda is favorable choice while believers may hesitate because of adequacies and limitations. Both have potentials to excel only when submissive to the Lord. Unfortunately, there are also believers who may assume that they need to save the Savior!

It narrated in Matthew 16:21-23, 21Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life. 22Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. “Never, Lord!” he said. “This shall never happen to you!” 23Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.”

How do we become stumbling block to the Lord? Christ was telling them what will happen, but Peter may have interpreted that Christ was soliciting for help. Similarly, when giving is preached, the human intellect interprets that they need to save the church. In comparison, with godly wisdom, we believe that giving the tithes of God and our offering is prescribed by God to bless us. God does not need our help; he prescribed obedience to bless believers impartially.

How do you identify godly wisdom? Reflect what it declares in James 3:17: 17The wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.

When there are confusions about biblical practices, it is not impossible that intellectuals would voice out what they understand or practice. But the safest way to deal with confusion is to seek first godly wisdom before making any decision.

Pray for increase of faith, godly wisdom and inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

May the Lord empower us to completely listen to him very attentively!

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