This is the sermon for Wednesday night, September 17th, 2008.
EVERYDAY WISDOM PART 6
When wisdom has you
We are continuing our Wednesday night series in the book of Proverbs, “Everyday Wisdom.”
There is a reality that takes place when you become engaged and especially when you become married; and that is that you give one another your hearts, dreams, and plans and you begin to truly as the Bible says become one and now you have one heart, one dream, and one plan. Laura had to teach me that lesson. When we first got married, I still thought it was all about me. But one day, she decided she didn’t have to take that attitude anymore, and she told me that now we must share things. I didn’t like that. You see, I lived by myself for a while and made decisions for myself, so I was quite selfish when we got married. But you see, not only did I have my life, but now, Laura had my life as well. We were a married couple.
That is the way it should be for the Christian and wisdom. We receive wisdom from Christ and His Word, but there is another truth: Wisdom now has us; in Christ, we now belong to way of wisdom.
I’m sure you never really thought about that concept before. I know that I hadn’t before studying for tonight’s teaching. Think about that concept for just a moment. You belong to God, and therefore God wants to teach you wisdom, if the path of wisdom is through Christ, then you belong to the path of wisdom because you belong to Christ.
Tonight we are going to learn this truth: When wisdom has us, then it can influence our lives and the lives of others that we may touch.
Now before we begin our Study into Proverbs chapter 4, let’s pray and ask for the Holy Spirit’s anointing and blessing on the sermon.
Solomon is writing wise instructions to his son. He longs for His son to receive and understand that wisdom is the principle thing in life to seek after. Notice what Solomon says in the first two verses.
Proverbs 4:1-2 ESV – 1 Hear, O sons, a father’s instruction, and be attentive, that you may gain insight, 2 for I give you good precepts; do not forsake my teaching.
View Solomon’s words to his children as God’s words to us, His children. He has good precepts to give to us. We need to pay attention when reading His Word, or it is preached or taught upon. There is insight to be gained and we shouldn’t forsake its teaching.
Let’s look at a few ways that wisdom will influence our lives if it has us, or we belong to it.
1. Wisdom’s first influence is to protect us.
Proverbs 4:5-6 ESV – 5 Get wisdom; get insight; do not forget, and do not turn away from the words of my mouth. 6 Do not forsake her, and she will keep you; love her, and she will guard you.
A. I’m not sure the timeline of the writing of Proverbs.
I don’t know if Solomon wrote this portion before or after his turning his back on God. I do know this much; had he wrote this after he turned his back on God and returned, then Solomon would have known the importance of seeking after wisdom and not forsaking her. In Ecclesiastes, he states that all other things and pursuits of men are meaningless.
B. Notice some of the things listed that will happen when you get wisdom and not turn away from her.
She will keep you. In Hebrew this means, “ Keep, preserve, watch over, mark, regard, to be in charge of, etc.. It has the idea of being placed in charge of someone to make sure that they are alright. This would be like the Secret Service with the President. They are always watching, making sure that no danger may befall them. This is how wisdom is. You see, Jesus is the personification of wisdom. He watches, keeps, and preserves those that belong to Him. He makes Himself responsible for us. This is wonderful news.
She will guard you. In Hebrew, the idea is to build a blockade or monument of protection around. It would be like the medieval castles that would have a mote, water surrounding the castle, making it hard to the enemy to come in and enter. Jesus, being perfect wisdom, not only preserves and keeps, but he has built a monument of protection around us. I believe that monument of protection is the Word of God itself. That is why it is important to hide His Word in your heart and study it and know it for it protects us from danger and harm.
C. Let’s look at another influence wisdom has over our lives.
2. Wisdom influences our promotion.
Proverbs 4:7-9 ESV – 7 The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom, and whatever you get, get insight. 8 Prize her highly, and she will exalt you; she will honor you if you embrace her. 9 She will place on your head a graceful garland; she will bestow on you a beautiful crown.”
A. The first thing that wisdom declares to us is this: Get wisdom! It is the beginning of wisdom itself to get it.
B. Notice a few things that we are to do with wisdom in this passage.
We are to prize her highly. We are to treat wisdom as if it is treasure.
We are to embrace her. We are to love and show wisdom love as we would our own spouse or our own children.
If Jesus is the perfect embodiment of wisdom, then we must treat Him the same way.
Prize Him highly. His love, grace, and mercy toward us are like a treasure that we did not deserve to receive.
Embrace Him. We must worship Him out of a heart of love.
C. Notice what happens as we do these things.
We are exalted and honored. Because we gave wisdom her rightful place in our lives and have prized her and embraced her, she will in turn exalt us and honor us. You see, God is not in the business of us practicing self-promotion. He longs to promote us, if we humble ourselves before Him and receive His instruction.
We will receive a garland for a crown. This crown is not a royal crown as it were, but a wreath of garland that was given to runners who won the race. If you live the principle of wisdom found in God’s Word, you will receive this victor’s crown, or garland.
D. Let’s look at the next influence of wisdom.
3. Wisdom influences our progress.
Proverbs 4:11-12 ESV – 11 I have taught you the way of wisdom; I have led you in the paths of uprightness. 12 When you walk, your step will not be hampered, and if you run, you will not stumble.
A. How will wisdom influence our progress?
Well, it will reveal the danger and the objects that might make us stumble so that we can avoid them and continue in our progression in serving the Lord.
B. What other way does wisdom influence us?
4. Wisdom’s influence will brighten our path.
Proverbs 4:18 ESV – But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, which shines brighter and brighter until full day.
A. In a dark world where darkness seems to be around every corner, wisdom lights the way of those who have been made righteous through the blood of Jesus Christ.
B. This light is not to be kept under a bushel, but it is to be exposed to the unwise of the world so that they can see that true wisdom is found in Jesus Christ.
We could go on, but tonight, let’s stop here.
What have we learned tonight? To prize wisdom and embrace her. She will protect us, promote us, progress us, and brighten our path. Jesus is perfect wisdom, and he is revealed throughout the Proverbs as the personification of wisdom. Seek Christ with all your heart, not self-promotion, or the wisdom of the world. There are benefits in seeking the face of Christ and digging into the book of proverbs.
What would happen if we did those two things. Well, this church would start to become wiser because the people who attend it are becoming wiser in the Lord. This world needs his wisdom, and it is going to take us seeking His face and studying His Word so that we can share the wisdom of Christ with those in darkness.