In the text for last month's lesson we introduced following God's leading to stay on the straight path and avoid worldly temptations. Today's scripture enforces those principles. Following the guidance of the Holy Spirit in our lives leads to good choices which in turn lead to a long, healthy life. As Christians, our lives extend beyond earth to an eternity in God's presence.
Break It Down
Teaching And Guidance
Proverbs 4:10,11Hear, O my son, and receive my sayings; and the years of thy life shall be many. I have taught thee in the way of wisdom; I have led thee in right paths.
In verse 10 we are advised to listen and receive. Is it possible to receive something if we don't listen? Not likely. You could hear this week's sermon and quote verbatim what was said and what you are supposed to learn from it. When asked about it you give a "ho-hum" statement and the impression is that nothing was received from that sermon given by God to your pastor possibly for your direct benefit. On the flip side of that coin, you could brighten the lives of many if you excitedly respond that you have learned something and now are going forward to apply that lesson.
How does learning a proper method of listening prolong our lives? For that explanation let's explore the opposite. What will shorten life? Since these will vary greatly from one person to the next, you can come up with your own specific answers to this question. It is likely that you have heard advice to stay away from drugs, alcohol, tobacco, and other destructive elements, whether from your parents, a public service announcement in the local media, or even from your conscience (fed by the leading of the Holy Spirit). Listening to these messages and learning from them results in a tendency to try our best to avoid these temptations.
Do you hear from friends, "Oh man, that is some old fashioned thinking" or "Don't be bunk!"? When do you generally hear this? When you are attempting to avoid something that your conscience is indicating as a bad thing, most likely. You have heard the term "peer pressure." There is also positive peer pressure which can be created by a group of Christian friends. It is peer pressure to steer clear of those things that can corrupt your mind and body. Make a pact with your Christian friends to exhibit positive peer pressure on others.