(Bible quotations are from the NIV unless otherwise stated)
Pay attention to what I say
20th April 2006
Proverbs 4:20-22 says this:
My son, pay attention to what I say; listen closely to my words. Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and health to a manís whole body.
Like all parents, the writer (probably Solomon) wishes his children would listen. He says later in Proverbs:
But God is speaking through Solomon to every one of God's people, ďMy son, pay attention to what I say; listen closely to my words. Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart.Ē
Godís precepts should be always before our eyes Ė both in the sense that we should regularly study the Bible, and in the sense that we should have His word always in our mindís eye. Paul wrote:
Proverbs 4:22 then says:
for they [God's words] are life to those who find them and health to a manís whole body.
God's wisdom is good for us. To know and obey Godís word is the way to life and health.
In this, as in all things, Godís work in His people follows the pattern:
definitive - progressive - ultimate
Definitively , obedience to the gospel Ė coming to a saving faith in Jesus Christ and His atoning sacrifice for us on the cross Ė brings us into newness of life Ė we are born again and become children of God.
Ultimately , Godís people will enter heaven and find perfect health and perfect peace.
But, progressively, in the period between our new birth and our entry into glory, the period in which we live as Christians on Earth, obedience to Godís ways is also good for us, good for our health Ė body, soul and spirit.
Jesus wants us to be healthy - full of life Ė body, soul and spirit Ė in this life.
Remember what Jesus taught us about the relationship betwen obedience to God's word and well-being in this life:
Later in Proverbs, we are told:
Godís word is the greatest diagnostic tool ever discovered:
Allow God's word to judge the thoughts and attitudes of your heart. Submit yourself to the Bible's judgement of your life. Choose to come into agreement with what God says about you. And enjoy His rich blessing both now and for ever.