We hear by reading what God has written, but the challenge is to read and then accept into our hearts what we have read. Solomon writes (Proverbs 4) “Let your heart hold fast my words”, a vital stage after accepting them. The first verse tells us that these are “a father’s instruction” on what acceptance of his words should lead to – “Keep my commandments and live” (verse 4) “and whatever you get, get insight” (verse 7). We must develop insight to reflect on what we have accepted, comparing scripture with scripture so that our understanding grows.
After saying, “Get insight” Solomon adds, “Prize her highly, and she will exalt you; she will honour you, if you embrace her. She will place on your head a graceful garland; she will bestow on you a beautiful crown” (verses 8,9). This poetic language has substantial literal meaning. In Luke 18, Jesus makes the point that his followers must have the attitude of children, for when his disciples tried to stop adults bringing children to him “that he might touch them”, Jesus said, “Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it” (verses 15-17).
As we read God’s word we must have a childlike attitude to hear and then accept the words we read. Then “we will have treasure in heaven” Jesus told a ruler, adding, “and come, follow me” (verses 18,22). The last chapter in the Bible, the final message of Jesus, tells us that when Jesus returns, this treasure will be revealed, for I will be “bringing my reward (or recompense) with me to repay everyone for what he has done” (Revelation 22:12).
So we start by hearing (through reading), then we accept and then we do what God desires in our lives, using individual abilities and opportunities to serve God and His Son every day. Then comes the wonder of the kingdom, which is getting closer, the time of divine repayment with eternal life, for “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth” (Matthew 5:5). Will you be there?
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