From the Pastor's Desktop

The ear that listens to life-giving reproof will dwell among the wise.  Whoever ignores instruction despises himself, but he who listens to reproof gains intelligence.  The fear of the LORD is instruction in wisdom, and humility comes before honor.“ 

Proverbs 15:31-33 ESV

I really enjoy reading in Proverbs, as there is so much wisdom to be found there. There are times when I have to smile at the wit of the writer, times when I think of others, and times when the hammer falls distinctly on my own feet. It is good to be “checked up” or rebuked like that from Scripture from time to time. As a preacher, I find myself often in need of being preached to, and with the advances of technology today, you can pull up a sermon on your phone, either audio only, or with video, and be impacted by messages from well-respected preachers. I find myself doing that frequently when I’m walking indoors for exercise.

This passage from Proverbs is a helpful reminder to us that we all, if we permit ourselves, still have much to learn. I remember hearing a man who was perhaps 40 or more years my senior stating that life-long learning was something he considered a helpful practice. I remember thinking at the time, if this man who is so much older than me still believes that he should be actively learning, how much more should I invest in learning and growing throughout my life.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 reminds us, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” When we find ourselves being reproofed by Scripture, whether from the mouth of a preacher we’re listening to, or from our own study of the Scriptures, keep in mind that God has gifted us His Holy Spirit to help us become mature in our faith, and rooted and established in our walk of faith as Christians.

Prov. 3: 11-12 tells us, “My son, do not despise the LORD’s discipline or be weary of his reproof, for the LORD reproves him whom he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights. So when we feel the hand or the word of the Lord heavy upon us, chiding us for something, we should not understand it as God being necessarily angry with us, but that in His great love for us, He wants us to be improved, to walk closer with Him in more perfect obedience to Him. It’s because He loves you and wants the best for you.

I take some comfort in His reproofs of me because it tells me that He does love me, and care enough about me not to just leave me alone to drift further and further away from Him. He wants me close, and that’s what I want too. Some days, just realizing that He is thinking about me is a comforting thought, even if it comes with a bit of a rebuke. Again, it shows He cares, and I’m glad that He cares about me. And if He cares about me like that, I know that He cares about you too. Take the occasion, in that moment, to express your love for Him, and your joy in knowing that He cares about you enough to grind the rough edges off of your life. Just like we love to hear the words, “I love you”, I’m sure He does too.

By His Grace Alone,
Pastor Bruce Jacobsen