Monday, August 20, 2012

Digging Deeper Proverbs 1:1-2

Digging Deeper 29 Proverbs 1:1-2
        Warning! The world is full of temptation and really there is only way to overcome the temptation to follow the world’s plan and that is to be prepared. Wisdom is paramount in our walk with God. As we start this study of Proverbs we are reminded at the very beginning the importance of knowing. The statement “what we don’t know can’t hurt us” is so very wrong. The easy path or maybe I should say the path most taken by Christians is to stay ignorant somehow in the back of our minds thinking that if we don’t know then we are less accountable. Even in church culture today and really for sometime there has been a dumbing down of the Christian walk. Say your prayers, and go to church then all is well. I certainly do not want to take anything away from these things, they are very important to the growth of the believer but there is so much more. How do we know what to do, who to marry, what job to take, how to raise kids, how to be a leader in the church, how should we take care of our physical bodies, what’s important, what is not. How do we react when we have been done wrong, what do we do if we have wronged someone as you can see the list goes on and on. Everything we need to know is found in God’s wisdom, don’t stop learning it! We must keep seeking the wisdom of God. It is a wonderful thing to know that God has saved us from our sin and we have eternal life but there is so much more He has for us that we may enjoy the fullness of His love and live in His peace. Let’s dig a little deeper that we can experience the wisdom that God desperately wants us to have.
        James 1:5 But if any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all men generously and without reproach and it will be given to him.
Proverbs 1:1-2 The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel: To know wisdom and instruction, to discern the sayings of understanding,
        Solomon begins Proverbs with an explanation of the purpose. The purposes of these words are to have wisdom and instruction. Wisdom “chokmah” is a general term meaning intelligence, experience and judgment. Instruction “muwcar” which means correction, discipline and self-control these two words tell us the intent of the Proverbs. The second phrase in verse 2 To discern the sayings of understanding Proverbs 1:2b this phrase reveals the purpose of the wisdom and instruction. God does not only extend to us wisdom and instruction but he does so that we can understand. Without the wisdom that God gives us through His Spirit there can be no understanding. Solomon proclaims that these proverbs, which are inspired by God is that we can receive the wisdom and instruction to understand the precepts of God. In the next few verses Solomon will point out some of the things specifically that we can understand but for now let us simply know that God does intend for us to understand and have direction in our lives. The Bible is not a giant riddle for us to try and figure out. God speaks through His word that we may know His wisdom and it starts when our heart is in position to receive it.
        As we start this journey through Proverbs let’s do it with an open heart of understanding knowing that God does not speak to us in riddles but rather speaks to our heart through His Holy Spirit.
        Which things we also speak, not in the words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words. 1 Corinthians 2:14
What do we believe about God? 
1.   God wants us to understand
2.   God’s wisdom is the only true wisdom.

What do we believe about ourselves? 

1.   We can understand what God reveals to us.
2.   We have God’s Word so that we can understand who God is and who we are.

Covenant Church 210 Station Rd, Wilmington, NC 28405 (910) 395-5800

Friday, August 3, 2012

Digging Deeper 28 Philippians 3:14
Keep going! At least that is what we keep telling ourselves. When is it time to quit, throw in the towel and simply resign ourselves to enough is enough? Well, the answer lies not in what we are doing but the objective that we are working towards. If something is not working it may be time to quit working at it that way but not time to quit trying to reach the objective.

        The objective of the believer is really simple “Live for God” but the path that we take towards that objective may not always be so simple. But Paul, in God’s letter to the Philippians makes it very clear that for the believer there is no place to quit living out our objective to live in the resurrection of Christ.

        I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:14 Let me point out three things in particular in this verse:

        First “I press on toward”  there is resistance and there is direction. There is a great deal of difference in moving forward and pressing forward, if you are pressing then you are moving against resistance. This is usually the place where most of us simply quit, but the resistance does not change the direction or the objective. The prize is still the same, live in the glory of God.

        Second “The goal for the prize of the upward call of God” Circumstances change, people change, attitudes change, our geographic location may even change but the goal does not. We have a call of God that calls us to live in the glory of God. It is a goal that we have not fully obtained: Philippians 3:12 Not that I have already obtained it, or have already become perfect, but I press on in order that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. The prize of the upward call of God is to live fully in His glory and it is worth pressing towards regardless of the resistance. It is so easy in our culture to get distraction by trends and causes but regardless, our mission does not change we must press towards the objective to live in His glory.

        Thirdly “In Christ Jesus” it is in this little phrase that we find strength to keep going. It is so easy to quit when we see ourselves pressing forward in our own strength the task seems and is impossible. In ourselves we are less than weak but in the power of Christ we can and will overcome. Romans 8:35-39 Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Just as it is written, For Your sake we are being put to death all day long; We were considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. There is no excuse to quit, we are in Christ Jesus!
        Does it seem to you that we live in a time where everything is temporary. If things do not go just right we can always quit. If things get difficult I will just and try something else. Don’t! Press toward the goal meet the resistance head on, greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world. There is no place for the believer to quit in the pursuit of experiencing the full glory of God!

What do we believe about God? 
1.   God has called us to His glory.
2.   God is Sovereign!
3.   God is greater than our circumstances.

What do we believe about ourselves? 

1.   God has call us to live in His glory in the power of Christ.
2.   It is impossible to keep going in our own power.
3.   There is no place for the believer to quit in the pursuit of God’s glory.

Covenant Church 210 Station Rd, Wilmington, NC 28405 (910) 395-5800