Hear counsel, and receive instruction, that thou mayest be wise in thy latter end.
Are you wiser today than last year? Than ten years ago? These are important questions to answer. How wise will you be later in life? A godly man has great desire to grow in wisdom. And the way to increase wisdom is easy – you need to hear the counsel of wise men and accept their teaching. You need to appreciate and apply instruction from others.
Today is your opportunity to change your latter end. Will you be an older wise man, sought by family and others for sage advice? Or will you be an old fool, more a burden than a blessing? What you do today determines what you are tomorrow. You are not too young, and you are not too old. Consider your latter end, and receive instruction today.
The children of God were adopted by grace. But they were not adopted to squander their lives in folly. They were adopted to grow up and live as the sons of God in a crooked and perverse world (Matt 5:43-48; Rom 8:29; Eph 5:1-2; Phil 2:14-16). You can waste the grace of God, or you can use it to be great for Him (I Cor 15:10; II Cor 6:1; II Pet 3:18).
How much do you love the private counsel of holy and sober saints? How much do you crave the public preaching of God’s word? Noble men and women receive it with a ready mind (Acts 17:11). A eunuch, a centurion, a businesswoman, and a preacher were all very thankful for teaching they received (Acts 8:26-40; 10:33-48; 16:14-15; 18:24-28).
Examine yourself! Are you truly wiser than last year or ten years ago? Have you grown in graciousness, so that you have more godly friends? Are you in better financial condition by learning and applying the rules of Bible economics? Do you know Jesus Christ and His doctrine better? Are you sought out by more saints to obtain your counsel?
Examine yourself! Does your spouse rejoice at the changes in recent years? Is your employer thankful for many work improvements? Do you handle adversity better than in times past? Can you answer the words of truth to those that ask? Do your parents and children esteem you more? Are you able to give God’s answers for modern dilemmas? Is your pastor thankful for the visible progress? Could you run for office and win?
Life is short. What can you do? “So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom” (Ps 90:12). When? “I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me” (Pr 8:17). Why? “Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding” (Pr 4:7). How? “Through desire a man, having separated himself, seeketh and intermeddleth with all wisdom” (Pr 18:1).
What do you think of preaching? Paul knew that Christians would stop enduring it (II Tim 4:3-4). Churches today prefer rock and roll music with lyrics about an effeminate hippie guru – they call it contemporary Christian music. If you want a wise latter end, then you will reject fables and demand intense preaching of God’s word (II Tim 4:1-2). God sends preachers to teach knowledge and understanding (Jer 3:15). Listen to them!
What do you do with preaching? Peter told his readers to desire the sincere milk of the word to grow by it (I Pet 2:1-3). He exhorted them to grow in grace and in the knowledge of Jesus Christ (II Pet 3:18). And Paul rebuked the Hebrew Christians for not developing into teachers (Heb 5:12-14). Make sure you pray, prepare, pay attention, and apply what you hear (Luke 8:4-18; Jas 1:21-25). Hear and receive teaching so you might be wise.