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Caught Up part 4
Proverbs 2:1-11 “My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, 2 turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding, 3 and if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, 4 and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, 5 then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God. 6 For the LORD gives wisdom, and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. 7 He holds victory in store for the upright, he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless, 8 for he guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones. 9 Then you will understand what is right and just and fair--every good path. 10 For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul. 11 Discretion will protect you, and understanding will guard you.”
Isn’t that a great portion of scripture?! Don’t you want to understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God? If so, then you must search for it. You must store up the Word of God in your heart, you must turn your ear to wisdom, you must call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding.
Back in early 80’s when I first began to really pray, this was my favorite portion of Scripture. I hung on to this in the prayer closet. I memorized large portions of God’s Word. I would call out for insight while I was praying. Do you know what I found? Spending time memorizing God’s Word is a key to insight into it. As you memorize something you must run it over and over in your mind. That’s very similar to meditation. After a while, not only would I be able to recite the Scriptures – they began to make sense to me. But it didn’t just happen – I had to go after it.
When Gayle and I were in Bible College, I found myself adjusting my work schedule so I could see her and to spend more time with her. I offered her a ride to church every Sunday. I went after her. Probably most of you guys have your wives today because you went after them. You can’t just sit around – you’ve got to show some interest. You’ve got to pursue.
Now compare that to your pursuit of Jesus. Do you have any sense of putting extra effort into going after Him? The book of Proverbs says in essence, “If you would search for the things of God in the same way that you will search for gold – then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God.” Most men will put all kinds of time and effort into the pursuit of silver and gold while they play with their commitment to God. Our jobs can make any demands on us that they want. But Jesus cannot get us to pray or read His Word consistently. You don’t get “caught-up” by chance.
When we come to the parable of the ten virgins and how five of them were “caught-up” while five of them were not we begin to see the significance of this. The five that were not “caught-up” were considered unwise. The wise were “caught-up.” So Paul says in Ephesians 5: "Wake up!" Ephesians 5:15-16 “Be very careful, then, how you live-not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.”
Why is it Important to be “Caught-Up?”
This is easier to answer. Intimacy is the glue of a relationship. When you are “caught-up” you are bonded to Christ. You come into a relationship with Him that has intimacy, secrecy, and power to it. After Paul admitted he was weak he learned how to draw upon the grace of God. Three times he prayed for God to remove the thorn from his life. He wanted to be a strong man.
Medication: A Merry Heart
A passenger jet was suffering through a severe thunderstorm. As the passengers were being bounced around by the turbulence a young woman turned to a minister sitting next to her and with a nervous laugh asks, “Reverend, you’re a man of God, can’t you do something about this storm?”
To which he replies, Young lady, I’m in sales, not management.”
St Mark’s Community Church, Janesville
New Beginnings Church, New Ulm
Verse of the Week: Mark 16:15
Today’s readings: 1 Samuel 15 – 17