Hope everything is going well for you this week. I love you and I am praying you. I am blessed to be your pastor.
I wanted to give you something to think about today: C.S. Lewis said,
When you come to knowing God, the initiative lies on His side. If He does not show Himself, nothing you can do will enable you to find Him. And in fact, He shows much more of Himself to some people than to others – not because He has favourites, but because it is impossible for Him to show Himself to a man whose whole mind and character are in the wrong condition.
FaithPoint Men, I look forward to seeing you tomorrow for our time of book discussion. We will be discussing the third leadership challenge in our book. See you at 6:30 tomorrow evening.
Here are the notes from our first sermon in the Proverbs series:
The text for this sermon comes from Proverbs 1. The title of this sermon is: Wisdom Begins with the Fear of the Lord. This is the first sermon in our Proverbs series.
If you regularly read the Bible, you might be familiar with the Book of Proverbs. Proverbs is written for the most part by Solomon. Solomon is considered to be the wisest man who has ever walked the planet. The only person wiser than Solomon is Jesus. Proverbs is one of my favorite books in the Bible. It is in-your-face application. There is no principles and there is nothing to figure out. It is just direct application. Do this: You are wise. Don’t do this: You are a fool.
The Proverbs – those specifically written by Solomon – are written by a dad to his son. If you are familiar with Solomon’s son, he became king after Solomon. His life and his kingdom is marked by his rebellion. He was an idiot. He had access to wise counsel and he refused to listen to them. He is the ultimate example of a person who rebels against wisdom. If you rebel against wisdom, you rebel against God. How can that be possible? John 1 says, “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God.”
John 17 says, that you are sanctified by the truth. It also says that God’s word is truth. Jesus is the Word in John 1 making Jesus truth. You are sanctified by the Word and you become more like Jesus the more you are obedient to His Word.
Proverbs is not just a book of life application. It introduces us to the Father heart of God. Proverbs is one of those heavy conversations that a parent has to have with their child. So, climb up in your Heavenly Father’s lap and listen to Him as He speaks to you.
Proverbs 1:1-6 Solomon introduces us to the purpose of this book.
Vs 2 So that you will know wisdom and instruction and so that you will understand words of insight.
Vs 3 So that you will receive instruction in wise dealing, righteousness, justice, and equity
This is offered but you will have to accept it. You cannot receive something if you do not accept it. You have to take it upon yourself to accept what is given or taught. You show that you have received what is offered or taught when your life shows that you live out what you have learned or you are becoming more obedient to the Scriptures. Obedience shows that you are becoming more like Jesus and you are becoming wiser because wisdom is birthed out of obedience.
Vs 4 You will receive prudence – care, caution, calculation, good judgment, discipline. If you are young, you will also get knowledge and discretion. Prudence helps you to avoid taking unnecessary risks. It keeps you from digging your own hole. It keeps you from making bad decisions.
Vs 5-6 The wise will increase in their learning. They will become a lifelong student. The wise know that there is always something new to learn. When you stop learning, you start dying.
When you understand, the Holy Spirit provides guidance. You do not receive wisdom so that you can do whatever you want, you receive guidance so that you have help in how to handle such wisdom. The Holy Spirit’s guidance will help you understand not just Proverbs but the whole of the Bible. You can pray like David did in the Psalms and pray that God would make you understand.
Vs 7 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.
Here is the foundation of wisdom – the fear of the Lord. Proverbs is laid out in such a way that it is going to separate the wise from the fools. You cannot be both. You are either increasing in wisdom or you are increasing in stupidity. Knowledge in Proverbs is associated with wisdom in this way:
Your Heavenly Father wants you to grow in knowledge in all spheres of life. This type of knowledge comes from moral knowledge or knowing right from wrong. This knowledge also comes from observable facts as well as that which is gained by learning from teachers, books, podcasts, conferences etc. A teacher imparts knowledge to students. It was the responsibility of the priests to impart knowledge to the people of Israel; just like today a pastor instructs the church in the way of the Bible.
God gives us knowledge of Himself through His revelation. This comes from visions, obedience to His Word and the Holy Spirit teaching us.
God is the only One who has all knowledge. False teachers, pastors, prophets, apostles, claim to give knowledge and to teach you about the things of the Bible but they teach crap and nonsense. Which leads us to…..
The word fool means exactly what you think – stupid people.
The word only refers to humans. It doesn’t refer to anything else in all of creation.
There is no such thing as a stupid turtle, dog, tree, flower, star, bird, planet.
Wise people know that they are wise and they don’t toot their own horn.
Stupid people don’t know that they are stupid and they make it evident that they are stupid.
Stupid people hate knowledge and wisdom. They display a defective moral character.
Stupid people crave stupidity – Proverbs 15:14
The heart of him who has understanding seeks knowledge,
but the mouths of fools feed on folly.
The heart of stupid people proclaim their stupidity – Proverbs 12:23
A prudent man conceals knowledge, but the heart of fools proclaims folly.
Their mouths spout out more evidence of their stupidity – Proverbs 15:2
The tongue of the wise commends knowledge, but the mouths of fools pour out folly.
for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.
A fool makes the same mistakes over and over and over. Proverbs 26:11
Like a dog that returns to his vomit is a fool who repeats his folly.
Have you ever seen a dog puke its’ guts out, sniff it, and then eat it? This is the image that is portrayed when a stupid person keeps going back and making the same mistakes over and over again. It is an endless cycle of stupidity.
A stupid person is a slave to their own stupidity and they are destroyed by it. Proverbs 18:7
A fool’s mouth is his ruin, and his lips are a snare to his soul.
A stupid person wants their circumstances to change but does not want to change anything about themselves.
A wise person knows that for outside things to change, changes have to begin on the inside of them. The Holy Spirit has to begin cleaning house and remodeling. The inside has to be renewed before the outside. Otherwise, all you are going to get is fresh paint and a new roof on a broken down shack.
Where are you?
Only you and God know the answer to that question.
I LOVE OUR CHURCH!!!
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