Proverbs: The Way of Wisdom

Proverbs: The Way of Wisdom

 More than just simple sayings, Proverbs orients us on how to live wisely, with God’s intended flow for the universe.  As Eugene Peterson says, wisdom is the “art of living skillfully in whatever actual conditions we find ourselves in.”  But what is wisdom?  Where do you get it?

For the rest of the summer we’ll be seeking to understand what Proverbs has to say about how living a wise life informs our character, our finances, our work, rest, friendship, sexuality, and how we use our words.  Proverbs aids us in pressing the big truths we believe about God into the day to day lives we live.

"Friendship" Proverbs 17:7; 27:5-6, 9 (Proverbs: The Way of Wisdom)

This week our journey through Proverbs takes us to the topic of friendship.  So, to prepare for the sermon, I just went and checked my Facebook account and Mark Zuckerberg tells me that I have 420 friends.  Now, I am sure that most of you will agree, that Mark’s definition of “friend” leaves a bit to be desired.  In fact, I have Facebook friends, that I’ve never met and don’t really know at all. 
So if Facebook isn’t the last word on friendship, what more do we need to know?  Do we need to have friends?  If so, why? How do we develop them and how can they impact us? 
This week we want to listen to Lady Wisdom as she calls us to pursue friendships that go well below the surface and actually change who we are and how we experience the world.

"The Power of Words" Proverbs 18:21, James 3 (Proverbs: The Way of Wisdom)

This week as we continue on in our series through the book of Proverbs, we are going to look together at the topic of our speech. In particular at the power that our words can have to destroy or to give life, but as much a Proverbs as to say about our words, Proverbs also says that our words are only the surface. There is in fact a power that lies behind the words that we speak, and it is our desire to not only see the effects that our words can have, but even more importantly to see the reason behind the words we choose, to see the motivation of our heart behind the words.  And then lastly to see the power that is greater than our words, to see Him who has come taking our words of death and pain upon himself so that we may now speak words of life.

"Rest" Proverbs 4:23, 4:26, 14:7-8, 14:33, 23:19 (Proverbs: The Way of Wisdom)

The wisdom of the proverbs is an invitation to life because it is a description of the life of Jesus Christ, who is the wisdom of God.  In order for it to enter and transform our hearts, we need to retreat from the competing voices in this world and commune with him in solitude.  Only when we are united with him in the desert will the teaching of this book become like a fountain of life within us. 

"Character" Proverbs 2:7,21; 10:2,9,29; 11:11,18,20; 20:7 (Proverbs: The Way of Wisdom)

A life of integrity gives strength to the wise, builds up important relationships, and brings rewards that last for generations. However, life daily tests our character and tempts us to take short cuts and make compromises. Only Jesus truly passed those tests. Thankfully, through the Gospel we have been given his righteousness and the desire to learn from him. Through submission to the Father, and by the power of the Spirit we humbly walk down this road of wisdom desiring to be men and women of integrity.

"Work" Proverbs 8:29-30, 6:6-8, 13:5, 22:9, 27:18 (Proverbs: The Way of Wisdom)

How do we understand our work?  Why do we overwork?  Why do we under-work?  Do we rightly understand God’s intention for our work? Considering we spend more time in our work/vocation than likely doing anything else, it is imperative that we understand God’s intent for it.

"Sexual Integrity - Protecting That Which is Precious" Proverbs 5:1-23 (Proverbs: The Way of Wisdom)

This week we will identify what Solomon taught his sons is precious, what is worth protecting, and how to do so. He gave them wisdom in the area of sexual temptation and integrity. Wisdom that will protect one’s relational, marital, spiritual, emotional, mental, physical and ministry health. The wisdom given to Solomon’s sons is healthy for men and women (children & adults), singles and marrieds. See what Solomon says is “precious enough to protect” so you can live more wisely where you live, work, serve and play.

What is precious to you, that you would not want to lose? What will you sacrifice to keep that that which is precious, safe?

This week’s message gives wisdom for those who have not fallen sexually (is anyone without sin?), and hope for those who have. But remember, “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” This is not a message of judgment, but of hope. And Jesus has provided a way.