This is the sermon for Wednesday November 5th, 2008.

Steps that lead to wise living
Proverbs 13

We live in times that many people either did not grow up with a father, or have a father that was not a good example of what a father should be.

And because of these two things, people often have wrong misconceptions of the Heavenly Father. The may think, “Well since my father abandoned my family, if I’m not perfect, my Heavenly Father will abandon me as well.” Others, because of abuse, may at times wonder if the Heavenly Father is being abusive toward them.

Tonight I want everyone to understand that as believers we have a Heavenly Father who loves us. And while you may not have had a father who stayed with the family, or you might have had a father that was abusive; God is not that way toward His children. He has revealed His love toward us, and that love is a perfect, unconditional love. And part of the way He shows us His love is He offers advice for wise living. There are many ways He offers advice: Through His Word, the Holy Spirit, other precious believers in the faith.

Tonight we are going to look at steps that lead to wise living that are found in Proverbs 13.

1. The first step is for the children to listen to the wise instructions of the parents.

Proverbs 13:1a TNIV – A wise child heeds a parent’s instruction.

In the natural state of things the parent s of children have a great responsibility. They are responsible for the feeding, clothing, loving, and caring of that child. This responsibility also requires that a good parent teaches them wise lessons that they can apply to everyday living. There is a startling truth that we must see though.

Many children, and even people who are now adults, did not have this wise, upbringing that God has established. Are we to just give up on them, and say, well maybe the next generation can learn from their mistakes? No, for though while they may not have had a godly parent to teach them wise ways, God Himself has provided wise counsel now.

We can approach our Heavenly Father and ask Him specifically for wisdom.

We also have had spiritual mentors, (fathers and mothers in the faith) who can provide us with counsel and wisdom.

A couple of New Testament examples.

1Timothy 1:2 TNIV – To Timothy my true son in the faith: Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.

Titus 2:3-5 TNIV – 3 Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. 4 Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, 5 to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.

2. Learn to take advice.

Proverbs 13:10 TNIV – Where there is strife, there is pride, but wisdom is found in those who take advice.

This is more than just listening to advice, but actually applying the advice to one’s life. Taking advice is opposite of pride, which the beginning of this verse talks about. You see you have to humble yourself to listen and take the advice of others. You humble yourself before them by letting them know that you respect the advice they are offering you. It is important that you have a group of people that you can trust that can offer you advice. After they offer it, pray about it, and if there is no disagreement with Scripture, then perhaps it is good advice. If it is good advice, put it into practice.

3. Learn from wise teaching.

Proverbs 13:14 TNIV – The teaching of the wise is a fountain of life, turning a person from the snares of death.

We live in a time in history that we have more teachings available to us than any other time. Books, CD’s, DVD’s , internet, etc… Find some good teaching that will be like a fountain of living water too you.

One thing I like to do yearly as I read through the Scriptures, I cap off my daily readings with a yearly devotional. For me, it really helps and sometimes just says the right thing at the right time.

4. Guard your tongue from evil.

Proverbs 13:3 TNIV – Those who guard their lips preserve their lives, but those who speak rashly will come to ruin.

Watch what you say about others and watch what you say too others. Don’t speak rashly about something or someone. Know all the facts before you act or react. Plus make sure that nothing unwholesome comes out of your mouth either, that can cause someone to stumble.

Some New Testament examples.

James 1:19 TNIV – My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.

Ephesians 4:29 TNIV – Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

There is much more we can cover, but we are going to stop there.

I believe that God longs for His children to be wise, not only in deed, but in actions as well. We are His children, and as a good Heavenly Father He has given us wise advice and counsel from Proverbs 13, as well as other passages of Scripture. Let’s listen to the advice of our Heavenly Father, listen to the advice of those who are spiritual in the faith that we trust, listen to good wise teaching, and of course be sure and watch our tongue, that you don’t speak rashly to harm a person nor speak with unwholesome talk.

I believe that if we as individuals would begin to take this message to heart and apply the wisdom found within Proverbs 13, we would see that others will recognize God’s wisdom as it is revealed through our lives.