Posts Tagged ‘Proverbs’

Words For Life

June 8, 2015

The book of Proverbs is filled with short sayings filled with wisdom for godly living.  In today’s message I have selected seven to share with you.

I.  On Alcohol:  Proverbs 20:1

Wine is a mocker,
Strong drink is a brawler,
And whoever is led astray by it is not wise.

We all can think of examples where lives have been destroyed by alcohol: the drunk driver who kills someone, the alcoholic that loses everything important to them,  An individual who makes a mistake while under the influence that has lifelong consequences. No one drinks intending to make life destroying actions.   The best way to avoid these types of problems is to abstain from alcohol.  Perhaps you will have no problem with alcohol, but what about others who seek to follow your example, but who fail to walk the line of moderation?  We are not to set a stumbling block in the path of others.  If we practice abstinence, no one following our example will be led astray by alcohol.

Drinking alcohol is like playing with fire.  Abstinence is the better choice.

II.  Pleasure:  Proverbs 21:17

He who loves pleasure will be a poor man;
He who loves wine and oil will not be rich.

This verse reminds me of the warning in II Timothy 3:4 that talks about people who are “lovers of pleasure, rather than lovers of God”.  God has given us many wonderful gifts, but we need to be careful not to let the gifts take the place of the giver.  God is to be more important to us than material things.  If the things of this world take the place of God in our life, then even if we are rich, we are truly poor.

III.  Overwork:  Proverbs 23:4

Do not overwork to be rich;
Because of your own understanding, cease!

The Bible talks about the importance of hard work.  Here we are warned against overwork.  Some of us have a tendency to be lazy.  Some of us are inclined to overwork.  We should seek to find a healthy balance.  Without the blessing of God, long hours will be in vain.  With the blessing of God, our efforts can bear fruit.  We should be faithful servants, but we do not have to work ourselves to death.

IV.  Repeating Mistakes:  Proverbs 26:11

As a dog returns to his own vomit,
So a fool repeats his folly.

We should learn from our mistakes, not repeat them.  Sadly, I know people who repeat the same mistake over and over again.  I guess that makes them fools.  I don’t like to use such terms for people, but that is what the Bible calls people who repeat their folly.  Let us not be fools.  Let us learn from our mistakes.

V.  The Wounds of a Friend:  Proverbs 27:6

Faithful are the wounds of a friend,
But the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.

Our friends may tell us when we have messed up.  We should receive correction humbly, recognizing that they speak out of love for us, not out of hatred.  It may sting for the moment, but we are made better by godly correction.

VI.  Sudden Destruction:  Proverbs 29:1

He who is often rebuked, and hardens his neck,
Will suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.

A person will only tolerate so much.  If we are in a relationship with someone and they continue in wrong behavior, there may come a time when we cut them out of our lives.  We see this in human relationships.  Is it true with God?  Is it possible that God will cut us off if we consistently refuse correction?  I certainly would not want to take that chance.  One of the scariest things that I have heard people say is “I know it is wrong, but God will forgive me”.  Premeditated sin, counting on God’s forgiveness, is a very dangerous road to travel.

VII.  Build a Life:  Proverbs 24:3-4

Through wisdom a house is built,
And by understanding it is established;
By knowledge the rooms are filled
With all precious and pleasant riches.

If we would live our lives according to God’s wisdom, it would be good.  Our lives here on earth can be filled with the riches that God has for us.  Those riches may look different from person to person, but for the faithful servant of God, life can be good, and the best is yet to come.

These are the sermon notes from 6/7/15.  Any advertisements that might appear are placed by WordPress.  I have no control over them, nor do I receive any money from them. 

 

 

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Friendship

February 27, 2014

Sometimes people are lonely.  It is important to have friends and family to share the challenges and adventures of this life.

I.  Be Friendly:  Proverbs 18:24

A man who has friends must himself be friendly,
But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

In order to have friends, we must be friendly ourselves. I have spoken with many people over the years who have been lonely.  I encourage them to reach out to others.  We are able to form friendships by recognizing things that we have in common.  As Christians, the first thing that we share is a love for Christ, and a focus on the Word.  That alone, can be the basis for friendship.  However, it is also good to find other shared interests as well.

When we do have friends it is necessary to cultivate those relationships.  They require time and attention.  Getting together for coffee, meals, and all kinds of activities are all part of developing our friendships.

In our relationships, we should share the experiences of life with our friends.  We should weep with those who weep.  We should rejoice with those who rejoice.  A happy experience, when shared, becomes even happier.  A sad experience becomes more bearable when it is shared.  Do not downplay the feelings of your friends.  Do not tell them that the thing that they are experiencing, whether by weeping or rejoicing, is no big deal.  Simply share in the experience with them.

II.  Choose Friends Carefully: Proverbs 12:26

The righteous should choose his friends carefully,
For the way of the wicked leads them astray.

We can have many friends.  Our friendships can be on various levels.  Not everyone can be our best friend.  We should be careful to cultivate relationships in such a way that our closest friends are people who will have a godly influence.

We can be friends with unbelievers.  Actually, one of the most effective forms of evangelism is friendship evangelism.  We share the gospel with our friends.  It is important that in our friendships with unbelievers that we do not compromise our beliefs.

The idea of friendships with unbelievers does not extend to dating.  I strongly disapprove of “missionary dating” which is dating someone who is unsaved in order to share the gospel with them.  Far too often, it is the believer who is dragged down in this kind of situation.  Dating is the first step in looking for a spouse, and we should be looking for a spouse who shares our faith.

III.  Speaks Like a Sword:  Proverbs 12:18

There is one who speaks like the piercings of a sword,
But the tongue of the wise promotes health.

“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.”  This is a saying that our parents taught us as children to deal with the hurtful words of others.  Sadly, it isn’t true.  Words can hurt.  They can hurt a lot.  We should be careful in our relationships to speak words that promote health, that encourage and strengthen, rather than words that cut, and tear down.

IV.  Stop Striving:  Proverbs 20:3

It is honorable for a man to stop striving,
Since any fool can start a quarrel.

God can give us the wisdom to end an argument.  There are times when we must simply agree to disagree, but we do not have to be disagreeable.  We do not need to get angry when people do not agree with us.  Anyone can start a fight, it takes wisdom to know how to avoid them, or to work through them.

V.  Life is Better With Friends:  Proverbs 15:16-17

Better is a little with the fear of the Lord,
Than great treasure with trouble.
17 Better is a dinner of herbs where love is,
Than a fatted calf with hatred.

Life is better when we have the love of family and friends.  If we had tremendous wealth, but did not have love in our lives, that would be tragic indeed.  The person who has love, has what is truly important.

These are the sermon notes from 2/23/14.  Any advertisement that accompanies this blog is placed by WordPress.  I have no control over them, nor do I receive any money from them.

The Way of Life

November 29, 2012

I.  The Way of Life: Proverbs 15:24

The way of life winds upward for the wise,
That he may turn away from hell below.

I think that this verse provides a simple, yet wonderful, description of the Christian life.  Christianity begins with repentance, which is to turn around.  We were lost, but now we have been found.  We were separated from God, but now our fellowship has been restored through the blood of Jesus Christ.  As a new creation, a child of God, we must now learn what it means to walk with God.  Even as the song goes “Just a closer walk with thee, grant it Jesus is my plea.”

II.  Trust in the Lord:  Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall directyour paths.

We can trust God.  If we put our trust in Him, and not in ourselves, He will direct our paths.  He will help us to make the right decisions.  Our lives will unfold the way that God intends for them to unfold.

III.  The Wrong Way: Proverbs 6:16-19

These six things the Lord hates,
Yes, seven are an abomination to Him:
17 A proud look,
A lying tongue,
Hands that shed innocent blood,
18 A heart that devises wicked plans,
Feet that are swift in running to evil,
19 A false witness who speaks lies,
And one who sows discord among brethren.

It is obviously not simply looking proud, it is being proud that is the problem.  One way that many of us may struggle with in the area of pride is the sense that we are always right.  We should at least be willing to listen to what others say, and recognize that perhaps there is room in our lives for correction.

Lying is so prevalent in society today.  The art of telling the truth in a tactful manner needs to be reemphasized and restored to common practice.

Regarding the shedding of blood, perhaps we are not given to physical violence, but have we hurt people with our words?  Physical wounds may heal rather quickly, but the wounds to our heart that words may cause can last a lifetime.  We should not hurt innocent people, either physically, or with our words.

Perhaps we do not actually carry out evil schemes, but are they something that we daydream about?  It is wrong to allow our minds to wander down the paths of wickedness.

When confronted with an opportunity to sin, do we stand fast and do the right thing?  Or do we quickly cave in, and do the wrong thing?  Do we try to claim that “I’m only human.”?  Have we forgotten that we have the Spirit of God within our hearts?  We are not “only human”  God is with us.  We can do the right thing.

Lying has already been mentioned, but it is mentioned again.  It is one thing to lie about your own exploits, it is even more wrong when you lie about other people.

Finally, in this list of things that God hates, is the act of sowing discord.  How many churches have been hampered in their mission to spread the gospel because of the people of God tearing apart with their words their brothers and sisters in Christ?  This is clearly wrong, yet commonly practiced.

IV.  The Right Way:  Proverbs 11:24-25

There is one who scatters, yet increases more;
And there is one who withholds more than is right,
But it leads to poverty.
25 The generous soul will be made rich,
And he who waters will also be watered himself.

This verse reminds me of Acts 20:35 where we are told “It is more blessed to give, than to receive.”

We are to be unselfish people.  We should give of our time, our talents, our finances to God, to family, to others who are in need.  As God has blessed us, we should be a blessing to others.

God has shown us the way of life in His Word.  We should walk in the way of life.

 

 

Sticks and Stones

January 12, 2011

Remember when, as children,  if other children were saying mean or hurtful things our mothers would tell us  “Sticks and stones may break our bones, but words will never hurt us.”

It is a good saying.

It is not exactly true.  Hurtful words can have a lasting impact.  Hurtful words can inspire hurtful actions.

The Bible tells us in Proverbs 18:21 that “Death and life are in the power of the tongue.”

What we say to people has an impact on their lives.  It would be good to ask ourselves if our words are bringing life or death to the people who hear us.

Think before you speak.

This goes for politicians, celebrities, and everybody else.

The First Step

November 26, 2010

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.”  (Proverbs 9:10)

“But without faith it is impossible to please Him, foe he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”  (Hebrews 11:6)

Faith is the initial premise to achieve true understanding.  Faith is not the conclusion to an argument.  When we interact with others we offer to them a relationship with Jesus, who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.  This offer is made through the Word of God, and is confirmed by the Spirit of God.  It is not achieved by logic, reason, or empirical proof; but by the Word, and the Spirit.  God has ordained that we must come to Him in faith, and then He will bring understanding as we grow in Him.

Faith is the first step that we take towards understanding.