Who are the people in your life that want you to do well? To persevere? To succeed? Who cheers you on and stands in your corner? A parent? A coach? A spouse? A friend? A sibling? Strangers on the Strava app? Proverbs 5-8 and Matthew 7 are overflowing with counsel, encouragement, wisdom, guidance, love.
My son, pay attention to my wisdom;Proverbs 5:1-2, NLT
listen carefully to my wise counsel.
2 Then you will show discernment,
and your lips will express what you’ve learned.
So now, my sons, listen to me.Proverbs 5:7a, NLT
Never stray from what I am about to say
My son, obey your father’s commands,Proverbs 6:20-23, NLT
and don’t neglect your mother’s instruction.
21 Keep their words always in your heart.
Tie them around your neck.
22 When you walk, their counsel will lead you.
When you sleep, they will protect you.
When you wake up, they will advise you.
23 For their command is a lamp
and their instruction a light;
their corrective discipline
is the way to life.
Follow my advice, my son;
always treasure my commands.
2 Obey my commands and live!
Guard my instructions as you guard your own eyes.
3 Tie them on your fingers as a reminder.
Write them deep within your heart.
4 Love wisdom like a sister;Proverbs 7:1-4, NLT
make insight a beloved member of your family.
“I call to you, to all of you!Proverbs 8:4-9, NLT
I raise my voice to all people.
5 You simple people, use good judgment.
You foolish people, show some understanding.
6 Listen to me! For I have important things to tell you.
Everything I say is right,
7 for I speak the truth
and detest every kind of deception.
8 My advice is wholesome.
There is nothing devious or crooked in it.
9 My words are plain to anyone with understanding,
clear to those with knowledge.
I notice it in abundance, poured out and over me, and I’m grateful.
6 “Don’t waste what is holy on people who are unholy. Don’t throw your pearls to pigs! They will trample the pearls, then turn and attack you.
7 “Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.
9 “You parents—if your children ask for a loaf of bread, do you give them a stone instead? 10 Or if they ask for a fish, do you give them a snake? Of course not! 11 So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him.Matthew 7:6-11, NLT
13 “You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. 14 But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it.Matthew 7:13, NLT
24 “Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock.Matthew 7:24, NLT
The Lord is for me. He loves me. He values me. He wants me to succeed because it brings him delight, pleasure, and glory. He wants me to follow him and model him. He is working to change me into his image. He loves me so much, he doesn’t want to leave me as he found me, but wants to bring me into life, abundant life because he is so good. And I am so grateful.