Proverbs 24 6-24-19

Christians live in a divided world. We love our Lord, but we also love this life. Holding tightly to one and loosely to the other is a constant battle.

5 The wise prevail through great power, and those who have knowledge muster their strength. 6 Surely you need guidance to wage war, and victory is won through many advisers.

What power? The power of the Holy Spirit. Whose knowledge? The knowledge of God. Verses 3 and 4 expound His wisdom, understanding and knowledge. Elsewhere in Proverbs:

3:19 By wisdom the LORD laid the earth’s foundations, by understanding he set the heavens in place; by his knowledge the watery depths were divided, and the clouds let drop the dew.

Whose guidance? His guidance. What advisers? There are several directions we can go here. One is the Holy Spirit’s direct input in our minds. Another is the advice of godly people in our lives. Yet another is the wisdom and testimony of those we read in the word of God, people like Noah, Job, Abraham, Moses, David, Peter, John, Paul, etc. We take courage and comfort from their lives and their words, especially Jesus, who shared with us His Plan for us and for the world:

Luke 21:12 …they will seize you and persecute you. They will hand you over to synagogues and put you in prison, and you will be brought before kings and governors, and all on account of my name. 13 And so you will bear testimony to me. 14 But make up your mind not to worry beforehand how you will defend yourselves. 15 For I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict. 16 You will be betrayed even by parents, brothers and sisters, relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death. 17 Everyone will hate you because of me. 18 But not a hair of your head will perish. 19 Stand firm, and you will win life.

It sounds like we must give up this life to gain His life, to use this life to grow the other life. EXACTLY! Matthew and Luke quote Jesus twice with this concept, and Mark and John quote Him, too:

Matthew 10:39 Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it. [See 16:25, Mark 8:35, Luke 9:24, 17:33, and John 12:25]

So, what does Jesus offer that is worth giving up this life? Let’s read and find out!

John 17:24 “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am [as I return to heaven], and to see [and experience] my glory [seated at your right hand], the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.”

WOW! Keep reading:

Ephesians 2:4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions–it is by grace you have been saved. 6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.

Double WOW! But, wait. There’s more:

Jude 24 To him who is able to keep you from falling [or even stumbling] and to present you before his glorious presence without fault [blameless] and with great joy–25 to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.

Christ’s ultimate goal for us is to be with Him at His throne in heaven. From John, we have Christ’s words to us:

Revelation 20:6 Blessed and holy are those who share in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years.

All of a sudden, this life pales in the light of all that Christ as in store for us. Let us cherish all that this life has to offer in relationships, beauty, and love, but be ready to let it go for Christ’s sake when the time comes.

Let’s keep our eyes on Him at all times, staying connected by His Spirit.

“Stand firm, and you will win life.” -Jesus

 

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