December 31

Drawing Near to God 

“Incline your ear, and hear the words of the wise, and apply your heart to my knowledge, for it will be pleasant if you keep them within you, if all of them are ready on your lips. That your trust may be in the Lord, I have made them known to you today, even to you. Have I not written for you thirty sayings of counsel and knowledge, to make you know what is right and true, that you may give a true answer to those who sent you?” (Proverbs 22:17-21)

“Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile a narrative of the things that have been accomplished among us, just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word have delivered them to us, it seemed good to me also, having followed all things closely for some time past, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, that you may have certainty concerning the things you have been taught.” (Luke 1:1-4)

For one calendar year, we have walked in the way of biblical wisdom together. A wise man wrote his proverbs to help us trust in the Lord, to know what is right, and to “give a true answer to those” [seeking] wisdom. Luke wrote to his Christian brother, Theophilus, to give him assurance about his beliefs, having been taught the doctrines of the faith. “To these words, to this knowledge, the ear must be bowed down, and the heart applied by faith and love. To live a life of delight in God and dependence on him is the foundation of all practical religion.” * I have tried to approach this project with humility and faith, knowing that the Lord always blesses His Word and our correct application of it. My opinions or interpretations have been the enemy of my work. Other bloggers and readers have told me that my blog will be successful as “long as I am true to myself.” Perhaps that is what motivates other bloggers and searchers for truth, but they do not understand that I am searching for the truth from God in the Bible, beyond my previous understanding. Even more, I know that God delights in our drawing close to Him. Luke walked with our Lord Jesus for about three years and also wanted his brother in the faith to have an intimate experience with Him. God, in his grace, purposes for us to know him better and to love him more through Scripture. 

Paying attention to God by yielding to the Holy Spirit involves our ears, to hear His Word, our hearts to treasure it, and our most inner recesses to hold onto the truth so we can easily speak of God wisely. Luke’s gospel was intended as an orderly account for Theophilus not chronologically but by the wisdom of God, as events unfolded to confirm Jesus’s identity as the Son of God. The sayings of Proverbs, while having some logical progression, also circle back around to the truth that wisdom is found in the fear of the Lord. (1:7; 1:29:2:5; 3:7; 8:13; 9:10; 14:27; 15:33; 16:6; 19:23; 23:17). We would all profit from a study of “the fear of the Lord,” as we would from other word, topical, or exegetical Bible studies, as long as we do so to draw close to Jesus Christ, our wisdom from above. 

How will you draw closer to the Lord in 2019? What will you need to set aside to yield to God, the Holy Spirit, more intentionally?

* Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible, Proverbs 22:17-21, https://www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/matthew-henry-concise/proverbs/22.html

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