We are doing a sermon series on the book of proverbs entitled, “Everyday Wisdom.” This is the sermon for Wednesday, August 27th, 2008.
EVERYDAY WISDOM PART 3
Proverbs 1 – 3.
We are continuing our Wednesday night series into the book of Proverbs. We are not necessarily covering every verse, but we are highlighting some of the wisdom found within its pages.
May I share a dilemma that I sometimes have? There are times that I’m seeking the face of God concerning certain things or certain issues. A few times I do receive what I feel is clear direction. A couple of times I thought I had received clear direction, but when I tried to be obedient to the direction that I felt the Lord wanting me to take, I soon discovered that it wasn’t the Lord’s direction after all. To be honest, more often than not, even after spending much time in prayer, I just don’t receive clear direction on some things. It can be a struggle for me sometimes.
Well, have you been there yourself? You wanted direction from the Lord, but even after all the prayer and council from others, you still wasn’t sure of the road, or direction to take? What can we do in situations like this?
Well this is what we are going to look at this evening. Hopefully tonight will be a time of discovery for all of us.
One reason that the book of Proverbs was written was to provide practical direction and wisdom for all areas of our lives.
It has many of the answers that we often pray and seek God about.
Tonight, we are going to look at three different directions and what the writer of Proverbs has to say concerning them. Before we do, Lets ask the Holy Spirit to give us insight and understanding as we dig into Proverbs tonight.
1. The direction of sinners.
Proverbs 1:10-19 GW – My son, if sinners lure you, do not go along. (11) If they say, “Come with us. Let’s set an ambush to kill someone. Let’s hide to ambush innocent people for fun. (12) We’ll swallow them alive like the grave, like those in good health who go into the pit. (13) We’ll find all kinds of valuable possessions. We’ll fill our homes with stolen goods. (14) Join us. We’ll split the loot equally.” (15) My son, do not follow them in their way. Do not even set foot on their path, (16) because they rush to do evil and hurry to shed blood. (17) It does no good to spread a net within the sight of any bird. (18) But these people set an ambush for their own murder. They go into hiding only to lose their lives. (19) This is what happens to everyone who is greedy for unjust gain. Greed takes away his life.
A. Here we see the first direction that we will look at tonight, and that is the direction of sinners.
B. This passage is a warning not to follow their leadings, and the path that they take.
C. Let’s look at a few of the things mentioned in this direction.
In v. 10 we see that is an alluring path. It is a path that will entice you to follow. It is a path that’s sole purpose is to terrorize and harm others (vv. 11-17). They may be looking to steal and destroy others, but in the end, they themselves will be destroyed by their own greed (vv. 18-19). This is the path that is the most traveled, but it is the one that should also be the most avoided.
D. This is also the path that our society seems to take the most.
There is an allurement toward being successful. People will walk over other people through deception, theft of ideas and items, and outright personal destruction – all in the name of greed. In the end, this greed and lust for the good life will destroy them. Maybe not in this life, but definitely in the life to come.
E. Let’s look at another direction mention in Proverbs.
2. The direction of wisdom.
Proverbs 2:1-15 GW – My son, if you take my words to heart and treasure my commands within you, (2) if you pay close attention to wisdom, and let your mind reach for understanding, (3) if indeed you call out for insight, if you ask aloud for understanding, (4) if you search for wisdom as if it were money and hunt for it as if it were hidden treasure, (5) then you will understand the fear of the LORD and you will find the knowledge of God. (6) The LORD gives wisdom. From his mouth come knowledge and understanding. (7) He has reserved priceless wisdom for decent people. He is a shield for those who walk in integrity (8) in order to guard those on paths of justice and to watch over the way of his godly ones. (9) Then you will understand what is right and just and fair- every good course in life. (10) Wisdom will come into your heart. Knowledge will be pleasant to your soul. (11) Foresight will protect you. Understanding will guard you. (12) Wisdom will save you from the way of evil, from the person who speaks devious things, (13) from those who abandon the paths of righteousness to walk the ways of darkness, (14) from those who enjoy doing evil, from those who find joy in the deviousness of evil. (15) Their paths are crooked. Their ways are devious.
A. This next direction is one that the believer in Christ should be seeking to live by – and it is the direction of wisdom.
B. Here are a few benefits that we receive from walking in wisdom.
C. The Lord is the one who gives wisdom (vv. 1-6).
Wisdom is not authored by any person; it doesn’t originate from the mind of man. It comes from God and God alone. Wisdom should be sought after more than money or riches (v. 4). Wisdom from the Lord is something we should continually ask for (v. 3).
D. When you find wisdom, you find safety and security (vv. 7-9).
He watches over those who are followers of His. He guards and protects their way.
E. Wisdom will save you from evil people (vv. 10-15).
If you are in Christ, you do not have to walk the path of the evildoer. You are free from getting bound up in those things. God will give wisdom to His followers not to seek after the way of evil.
F. Let’s look at one more direction from Proverbs tonight. This one is very similar to the direction of wisdom.
In fact, they go hand in hand. You can’t have one without the other.
3. The direction of God.
Proverbs 3:5-12 GW – Trust the LORD with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding. (6) In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths smooth. (7) Do not consider yourself wise. Fear the LORD, and turn away from evil. (8) Then your body will be healed, and your bones will have nourishment. (9) Honor the LORD with your wealth and with the first and best part of all your income. (10) Then your barns will be full, and your vats will overflow with fresh wine. (11) Do not reject the discipline of the LORD, my son, and do not resent his warning, (12) because the LORD warns the one he loves, even as a father warns a son with whom he is pleased.
A. Let’s look for a few moments at what the direction of the Lord entails.
We must first put our complete trust in the Lord (v. 5a). We must not rely on human reasoning or emotions (v. 5b &7a). We must have an awesome respect for the Lord and His ways (v. 7b). We must turn away from doing evil (v. 7c). We must honor the Lord with our best of our finances (v. 9). In other words, don’t skimp when you give to God. When we receive times of discipline from the Lord, don’t reject it or resent it, but humbly accept His warning (vv. 11-12).
God does not want us to live in the dark when it comes to wisdom. Many of the questions we have and the direction that we seek in prayer can actually be found within the pages of the Proverbs, as well as other books of the Bible. We must discipline ourselves to dig and search for these answers. So church, I challenge each of us to search the word when we need answers. Study it out. Pray, and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal the Word too you. Study the context as you study, this is so vitally important. Then when you see the answer, apply it to your life.
God wants a body of believers that will just more than talk about the Bible, but actually put the wisdom within it’s pages into practice. Let it be our prayer to be that body in our communities.