Sunday, October 6, 2013

Proverbs 4 and 5

Reminded today how very important this thing of acquiring wisdom from God's Word is.  This is vital.  Because it doesn't matter what we matters what His Word says!!!  That is where we find our answers to life!  His Word is a lamp to guide our feet and a light to guide our path! I am so thankful for God's Word!  We all need wisdom to navigate through this life.  I am grateful God loved us enough to leave us His wisdom.

Lessons from Proverbs 4 and 5...

Don't reject wisdom, for there is great protection in it.

Proverbs 4:6 "Don't turn your back on wisdom for she will protect you.  Love her, and she will guard you."

We were talking about this in Sunday School this morning - over and over in Proverbs it is clear that there is protection in wisdom.  We have to be on guard that pride or self-reliance don't take over and let us believe the lie that we don't need to live under the authority of God's Word. This verse is clear that we have a choice to make.  We can either turn our backs on wisdom, or love wisdom.

God's wisdom is the key to successful living.

Proverbs 4:13 "Take hold of my instructions; don't let them go.  Guard them, for they are the key to life."

Again, it's not our opinion or what we think that is the key to successful living - it is what God says, what God thinks!!  I want to take on the mind of Christ.  I want to live and act according to His instruction.

When it comes to the wicked and bad influences, don't go there.

Proverbs 4:14-15 "Don't do as the wicked do, and don't follow the path of evildoers. Don't even think about it; don't go that way.  Turn away and keep moving."

This is such important advice to heed.  It is so easy to slip into a pit or be thrown into a pit when we surround ourselves with ungodly influences.  We need to love people and share Christ with everyone, but the people that become our close friends and influencers need to be bringing us closer to God, not away from Him.  The Bible is clear - if it is evil, don't go that way.  Turn away and keep moving.

Righteousness helps us shine Jesus.

Proverbs 4:18 "The way of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, which shines ever brighter until the full light of day."

One of the best ways to influence others and shine for Jesus is to live like Him!  I love the early morning sunlight.  Often when we leave for school, the morning sky is stunning over the orange groves.  You can't help but notice its beauty.  In the same way, if we live like Jesus, others can't help but notice His beauty.  It's not living more like the world that will draw the world to Jesus; it's living like Jesus that will help draw others to Him.  His beauty is undeniable!

Guard your heart.

Proverbs 4:23 "Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life."

The enemy of our souls would love to destroy us.  The Bible describes him as a roaring lion, on the prowl for those he can devour.  I truly don't think a lot of believers understand this.  Believer, listen carefully - Satan wants to destroy you.  What better way than through your heart, the innermost part of your being.  Guard your heart; let your heart be hidden in Christ and the things of Christ.

Immorality seems appealing, but it ends in destruction.

Proverbs 5:3-5, 8 "For the lips of an immoral woman are as sweet as honey, and her mouth is smoother than oil.  But in the end she is as bitter as poison, as dangerous as a double-edged sword.  Her feet go down to death; her steps lead straight to the grave...Stay away from her! Don't go near the door of her house!"

Another issue Proverbs addresses over and over is the destructive consequences of immorality.  It may seem appealing, but it ends in destruction.  Don't go there!!  When you feel tempted, get as far away from the temptation as possible and get in God's Word!  There is power and victory there!

Sexual sin can bring devastating consequences.

Proverbs 5:11-14 "In the end you will groan in anguish when disease consumes your body.  You will say, 'How I hated discipline!  If only I had not ignored all the warnings! Oh, why didn't I listen to my teachers?  Why didn't I pay attention to my instructors?  I have come to the brink of utter ruin, and now I must face public disgrace.'"

We warn the teenagers in our youth group of this all the time, but it's important for all of us to remember that sexual sin can have very specific and devastating physical and emotional consequences, some that last a lifetime.  The final pain is not worth the temporary pleasure.

And enduring, lifelong marriage is God's design for intimacy, and brings tremendous satisfaction.

Proverbs 5:15, 18 "Drink water from your own well - share your love only with your wife... Let your wife be a fountain of blessing for you.  Rejoice in the wife of your youth."

What a blessing God's design for sex and intimacy is!  It is our distortion of it that brings harm and heartache.  But His ways are higher!  His ways work!!  They are for our benefit, to give us the best life possible.

God sees what we do.

Proverbs 5:21 "For the Lord sees clearly what a man does, examining every path he takes."

He sees where we go, what we do, what we think, our thoughts, our motives.  He sees it all.  Knowing that should change things.  Knowing that should motivate me to act and think and do according to what would honor Him.  Why?  Because I love Him.

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