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I. Introduction. A. Orientation. We’ve been considering How important it is to have a heart for God, And what that means – How to be His friend, Someone He will draw near to, Someone He can use.
We’ve seen so far that to be His friend We must love Him With all our heart, mind, soul and strength. The Lord tells us that He searches the earth Looking for someone like this Whose heart is completely devoted to Him (2 Chr. 16:9). Is that what He sees in you?
We’ve seen that we must also love our neighbor as ourselves. Why is He looking for someone like this? Because these are the ones Who will carry His work forward – A work that has to do
2 With reaching others with the Gospel. Do you have a heart That is concerned for the eternal wellbeing of your neighbor?
The kind of person God uses Can’t love the world Or have the image of the world Stamped on his or her heart. How can you point the way to Christ If the world can’t tell you apart from itself – If you’re indistinguishable from the world. God is looking for someone Who is willing to stand apart, To stand out, And stand up for Him. Are you that kind of person?
He’s also looking for someone Who is seeking the honor He has to give Rather than the honor of the world. If your heart is still in the world, And not with God, Then you won’t see the true value of the things above And seek them.
3 Do you see the value of heavenly things And is that what you’re seeking?
If so, then you’re the kind of person God is looking for, You’re the kind of person He can and will use.
B. Preview. What else needs to be true of you If you are to be the kind of person God counts among His friends?
You need to be someone who loves His truth, And who is willing to live according to that truth.
This morning, let’s consider If you are to have a heart for God You must desire His truth; And this evening, we’ll see That you must also be willing to live by it.
We’ll look at two things: 1. Jesus loved His Father’s truth and sought to learn it. 2. The Lord calls you to love it and learn it as well. II. Sermon. A. First, Jesus loved His Father’s truth and sought to learn it. The kind of person we’re talking about here
4 Is the kind that Jesus was and is.
Who loved the Father and his neighbor More than Jesus? Who hated the world and the world’s glory more, And kept Himself unstained by this world That He might seek His Father’s glory And the honor that comes from Him?
When Satan offered Him the world, He turned him down. When the Jews wanted to make Him king, He refused. Instead, He humbled Himself And went to the cross, So that His Father’s honor might be restored And that all who would trust in Him Might be saved.
If you want to be God’s friend, If you want Him to use you, You need to be this kind of person – You need to be like Jesus. He is your perfect example in everything – Which is why I’ve said in past, The right thing to do in any situation, Is what you know Jesus would do
If He was standing in your place, Living your life – Because He would do what honors the Father.
Not surprisingly, Jesus is our example here as well As to how we should love His Father’s truth From the time we’re young, To the time we die.
Sometimes we think That Jesus came into the world Already understanding God’s truth perfectly – That He already knew everything there was to know While He was still in the womb – But that isn’t true.
Jesus, in the incarnation, became fully man. He took to Himself the same limitations we have, Which means among other things That He had to learn like rest of us.
He was raised by parents that loved God. This is one of the reasons, humanly speaking, They were chosen to raise Him. Mary was a godly woman,
And Joseph was a righteous man – by God’s grace. The Father knew they would teach Him. He undoubtedly made sure they did.
They would also have taken Jesus to the synagogue Where He would have been taught God’s truth.
Jesus wanted to learn God’s truth – That’s the kind of heart He had. His desire to learn as a youth Is perhaps nowhere more clearly seen Than when He went to Jerusalem with His family For the Passover when He was twelve years old.
When the Passover was over, And they had traveled a full day’s journey towards home, They realized Jesus wasn’t with them. When they went back to Jerusalem and searched, They found Him in the temple, Sitting with the teachers, “Listening to them and asking them questions” (Luke 2:46). He simply wanted to know His Father’s Word better. His knowledge had already grown so much by that time That “All who heard Him were amazed at His understanding and His answers” (v. 47).
And it didn’t stop there. Luke writes, “And He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and He continued in subjection to them; and His mother treasured all these things in her heart. And Jesus kept increasing in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men” (Luke 2:51-52). His love for God’s truth never weakened Until He mastered it.
B. This is what the Lord wants you to do as well. Jesus did exactly what our passage exhorts Each of us to do this morning: “Acquire wisdom.” You can never hope to live the kind of life that will please God Unless you first know what is pleasing to Him.
Solomon wrote the book of Proverbs: Specifically to teach his children – As well as all the children of God – All of us – God’s wisdom.
And who better to teach this subject Than the wisest man who ever lived, Apart from Jesus Christ Himself?
Now it’s true that Solomon Talks more about how we are to live in this book,
8 Than what we are to believe about God – It’s not a systematic theology, But an explanation and application Of the Ten Commandments.
But I believe his exhortations Equally apply to all of God’s truth.
In these nine verses, He commands us no less than sixteen times To learn the wisdom that comes from God. Here are a few examples: “Hear . . . the instruction of a father” (v. 1). “Give attention that you may gain understanding” (v. 1). “Do not abandon my instruction” (v. 2). “Acquire wisdom! Acquire understanding!” “Do not forget nor turn away from the words of my mouth” (v. 5).
Solomon, as a parent, Wanted to teach his children to honor God Because he knew how important it was that they do. Perhaps you had/have parents that taught you. Did you listen to them? Why should you?
9 Because, Solomon says, His teaching/truth is sound (v. 2). Unlike what the world holds to, This teaching lays the best foundation – It comes from God Himself, So it will be the strongest on which to build your life.
Learning and obeying this truth Will lead you to eternal life: “Keep my commandments and live” (v. 4). Can you think of anything more important than this?
We’re not saved by keeping God’s Law, But we can’t be saved without keeping it. We don’t earn our salvation through our obedience, But unless we obey these commandments We won’t see heaven – Obedience/sanctification is the evidence That we are saved, That God’s Law is written on our hearts As He promised in the New Covenant (Heb. 8:10). If you don’t obey God, You’re not saved.
Truth is also a safeguard in life (v. 6) – It shows you the safe paths to travel – Those that are good and right –
So you can avoid those roads the world often takes That will end up destroying you (v. 7).
And it is a means of exaltation – Of gaining the honor that comes from God (vv. 8-9). If you learn and follow His truth He will use you and honor you.
His teaching lays a firm foundation for your life; It leads to eternal life; It keeps you safe in this world and in the world to come; And it leads to honor. What could be more important than this?
And so the Lord says to you, “Acquire wisdom; And with all your acquiring, Get understanding” (v. 7). Follow the example I’ve given you in My Son.
We all know how important knowledge is When it comes to the medical field. If someone is going to operate On one of our vital organs, We want to make sure
They know what they’re doing So that they’ll have the greatest chance of success. If you want to live, You’ll get the most competent surgeon you can find.
But how often Do we take the same care with our souls? So many today Are satisfied if they merely Get the gist of what God says, Rather than fully understanding Him, Even though the eternal wellbeing of their souls depends on it.
Now it’s true that though every truth is important, Not all are equally important.
If you’re wrong about what the Millennium is Or when it will take place, You’ll still go to heaven, If you’re trusting Jesus.
But if you’re wrong about who Jesus is, Who God is, Or how God saves: If you believe you can be saved by your own works
Rather than Jesus’ work, received by faith, Or that you can be saved without repenting of your sins, You’re wrong enough to miss heaven.
But even the less vital teachings, Such as the Millennium, Will still influence the way you live to some degree. The further off you are, The further off you will go.
And so study God’s truth. Study first to know the way of salvation. Make sure you understand the Gospel And are trusting Jesus Christ alone to save you Before you do seek to know anything else.
Second, study His commandments Until you know them And how to apply them. It does matter to God how you live. If you want to please Him, You must frame your life by these commands. We’ll consider this further this evening.
And then learn the rest of it
As best as you can, And apply it to your life, As thoroughly as you can.
If you do, you will be the kind of person The Lord is looking for.
One final thing: Don’t forget the Lord’s exhortation To love one another as Jesus loved you (John 13:34; 15:12). In your studying and learning You’re going to arrive at conclusions That may not agree with others. Though it will make a difference in the way you live Don’t let it make a difference in the way you love.
If anyone loves and trusts in Jesus And is trying to live a life that pleases Him According to His commandments, Then they are a brother or sister in Christ And so should be the object of your love, Not your disdain. In your learning, Don’t forget the second greatest commandment,
14 You shall love your neighbor as you love yourself. Amen.
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