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Presents a selection of paraphrased Proverbs, chosen for their relevance to the lives of modern teens.
Listen to me and treasure my instructions. Tune your ears wisdom, concentrate on understanding. Cry out for insight and understanding. Search for them as you would for lost money or hidden treasure. Then you will understand what it means to fear the Lord, And you will gain knowledge of God.
Proverbs 2:1-5 NLT
Listen to Him
If you listen to God and hang onto His every word like it's worth more than a winning lottery ticket, then you'll start to figure out and begin to know what's really true-and what's not. And then you will find God! Proverbs 2:1-5
Have you ever heard God speak to you? Can you recognize His voice? Do you know how to listen to His Word?
God speaks to us in a variety of ways. For instance, you can read God's Word for yourself in the Bible. Or you can experience it when someone teaches from Scripture. Or He might speak to you through song lyrics, a friend's wise advice, or a parent's warning. And if you're really tuned in to God, you can even hear Him whisper right into your heart. But do you always listen? For, as everyone knows, hearing and listening aren't really the same thing.
Say you're out snowboarding and you hear someone say, "Better stay off the south side today. There's avalanche danger!"Even though you hear the warning, you decide not to listen, `cause it's a pretty cool ride on the south side. And before you know it, you're heading straight for disaster. All because you didn't listen-you didn't take those words seriously.
The same is true with the Bible. Often we hear His Word, but we choose not to listen-not to take it to heart. We decide to go our own way instead. And where does it get us?
But when we really tune in to God's Word and listen to what He's telling us, and when we really start to grasp how totally valuable it is to our lives, that's when we start to understand what's really good for us and what's not. That's when we start making smart choices. And that's when we really find God and begin to experience an awesome and vital relationship with Him.
Long for Him
If you start to understand with your heart, not just your head, and if you really long to know what God is telling you, and if you want His truth so badly that you're willing to scream out loud: "I'm begging You, God, please tell me what's going on!" then you will find Him. Proverbs 2:2.5
Have you ever wanted something so badly that you were willing to make a total fool of yourself just to get it? Can you imagine yourself running around, just yelling and screaming-with everyone staring at you? Sounds pretty crazy, doesn't it?
But what if it was a matter of life and death? Like what if you were trapped inside a burning building and didn't know how to get out? I bet you'd yell and scream then. 'Cause when the stakes are high, we don't worry much about looking stupid anymore. At that point, we don't care what others think of us.
And yet knowing and understanding God's direction for our lives is about life and death. Because only God can show us the best way to go and the best way to live. Only He has the answers to all of our toughest questions. So maybe we need to get a little radical in our search for His answers. Maybe we need to be willing to look slightly foolish in order to know His ways and understand Him better.
God tells us that if we cry out to Him, He will answer. If we seek Him with all we've got, He will show Himself. So what are we waiting for? Let's really get out there in our search for God. Let's be willing to take risks and ask God those tough questions. Because that's when we'll find Him, and that's when we'll experience a real and vital relationship with Him.
Speak to Him
If you're not afraid to question things and to speak up and if you can say: "I want to know what's really real. I want to know what's really crucial for my life!" and if you want this more than you want the latest DVD player, more than a skateboard or a brand-new Maserati, and if you're willing to search long and hard, you will find Him! Proverbs 2:3-5
Do you really think you can rock God's boat? I mean is there anything you can possibly say or do that will startle or shock or even offend Him? Of course not! He's heard and seen it all. Just read the Old Testament and see for yourself the kind of crazy stuff God has witnessed man do. It's time to accept that there's absolutely nothing we can say or question or suggest that is too much for His ears. He's unshakable.
And the plain fact is that God's just waiting for us to speak up. He desperately wants us to come to Him and tell Him everything. He wants us to ask Him the toughest questions. And He wants us to long for His answers and His truth more than we long for anything else on this entire planet.
So think about it: What would you like more than anything? And be honest. Wouldn't you just love to win a million bucks? Or a really cool car? How about a prepaid credit card with an unlimited balance? Naturally, all those things sound pretty cool. But what if we wanted God more than we wanted those other things? What if knowing Him and really understanding Him were worth more than anything to us?
And what if you put as much time and energy into seeking God as you put into getting whatever object you think you want more than anything right now? Think about it: What if you wanted God more? Because when you do-when you value Him above all else-that's when everything in your life falls into order. And that's when life begins to make sense. Only then can you really find God, and when you do, you realize that He's worth more than anything and everything this world can offer!
For then you'll be ready to see God for who He really is and you'll begin to know and experience Him. And that's when you'll start to understand what He's really all about. Proverbs 2:5
Have you ever actually seen God with your own eyes? Is it even possible? We understand that He's a spiritual being-so wouldn't He be too huge, too awesome, too totally incredible, to be seen with our mere earthly eyes? And besides, wouldn't it just blow our minds to really see Him? I mean, how could we ever see anything again-at least, in the same way?
And yet we can experience God's presence in thousands of ways. Like we see His creativity displayed in nature every day-trees, flowers, animals, newborn babies. And just watch a group of mischievous monkeys-or your friends in the cafeteria-and you'll see God's humor at work. And, of course, we can witness His magnificent glory in a majestic mountain peak, a colorful sunset, or the thundering surf of the sea.
So He does reveal Himself to us in lots of ways-but we only see Him if we're paying attention, if we have eyes that are able to see. And we can experience God's amazing love and mercy when we look to the Cross. For as we envision God's very own Son laying down His life for us, we begin to understand how loved and forgiven we really are-we begin to experience God in a very real and personal way.
So maybe it is possible to see God. And as we see Him, we begin to know Him. And as we know Him, we begin to experience a relationship, relating to Him on a real and personal level. And we start to understand what His awesome love and incredible mercy are really all about. And then we have found Him! But that's just the beginning.
Excerpted from piercing proverbs by melody carlson Copyright © 2002 by Melody Carlson
Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Posted December 30, 2010
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Posted October 27, 2008
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