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I am reading through Proverbs in my quiet-times (slight tangent today!)...

As I read, I am constantly struck by its wisdom - I know, it probably shouldn't be such a surprise. I suspect that this is because I have been prompted recently not just to read but to listen, as well - to think on hearing the original speaker.

The framework of Proverbs - a father talking to his boy about the way of woman wisdom against the lure of woman folly - strikes home for me (as a father and as a son!). And the foundation of that framework is the 'fear of the Lord' - a right knowledge of who we are before God because of the revelation of his word.

All of this is really to say, 'get into the Word, and listen to it, hearing the author'. Places like Proverbs and the Gospels are easy, and wise, places to start!

Prayer:

Father, please drill open my ears, excavate them, as they are so full of guff and rubbish. Please clean them out so that your Word may pour in, and fill my mind, heart and soul, transforming me to reflect you to this broken world! Amen.
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Matthew 13:54-58
If we are going to take Jesus, we must take the proclamation and practice of Jesus. I suspect that this is one of the disconnects that many of us can be blind to - we love the person of Jesus (perhaps even the stereotype, or ideal!), but we struggle to accept, even understand, the proclamation and practice of Jesus.

But, it is a package deal! And I think that this is where Matthew 13:52 is very helpful. Although used in a different discussion, it describes the followers of Jesus as 'students of Scripture instructed in the kingdom of heaven'.

To be a student of Scripture is to be someone who studies - knows, listens to, and applies - the whole of God's revelation. To be such a student instructed in the kingdom of heaven is to be a student who knows that Jesus is the key - and applies that truth. This means we must take all of him, and not just the bits we like. And we must not allow our familiarity with him blind us to the razor sharp mercy of his proclamation and practice.

Prayer:

Father, please work in me so that I love all of Jesus, and submit all of me to him. Amen.
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