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Wisdom is Good for You Part 2

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Wisdom for the New Year  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  36:06
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Introduction

General: What comes into your mind when you think about God? People see God in different ways: Cosmic Tyrant; Uninvolved Father; Unforgiving Judge; Supernatural Santa Claus; Impersonal Force; All-Powerful Butler… the way we think of God changes the way we relate to God. And nothing is more foundational in our lives as our relationship with God. As A. W. Tozer said, “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.”
Personal: How do you think of and relate to God? My perspective of God has changed a lot over the years…
Personal: People see God in different ways: Cosmic Tyrant; Uninvolved Father; Unforgiving Judge; Supernatural Santa Claus; Impersonal Force; All-Powerful Butler… the way we think of God changes the way we relate to God. But our relationship with God
Biblical: ; read & explain, setup to the lesson and the chapter
Subject

How should we relate to God?

Body

The Setup

I. It’s wise to trust in the LORD because he keeps you on the path of life (vv. 5-6).

Exposition
Instruction: Trust in the LORD (vv. 5-6a)
Three aspects of trusting God (from Jim Newheiser)
Three aspects of trusting God (from Jim Newheiser)
Trust God entirely — “with all your heart”
Trust God exclusively — “lean not on your own understanding”
Trust God extensively — “in all your ways”
Verse 6, “submit” = the Hebrew word for “know”; literally: “In all of your ways, know him...” When you have firsthand knowledge of God—when you know him personally—you know that you can trust him in everything. He has proven himself faithful and true and trustworthy.
Benefit: He keeps you on the path of life (v. 6b); see last week’s message
Verse 6, “submit” = the Hebrew word for “know”; literally: “In all of your ways, know him...” Do you know God in all things? Is he made known in all that you do?
“He will make your paths straight.” He will give you wisdom that will keep you from going down the wrong paths in life (see last week’s message).
Illustration
Abraham Kuyper said, ‘In the total expanse of human life there is not a single square inch of which Christ, who alone is sovereign, does not declare, “That is mine!”’
Application
Do you know God in all things? Is he made known in all that you do?

II. It’s wise to fear the LORD because his way is healthy inside and out (vv. 7-8).

Exposition
Instruction: Fear the LORD (v. 7)
That’s a sermon all by itself (see Life Group questions)! In this particular context, fearing God means being humble enough to admit that God knows more than you do. The opposite of fearing the LORD is being wise in your own eyes. But those who fear God are humble.
What does it mean to “fear the LORD”? That’s a sermon all by itself (see Life Group questions)! In this particular context, fearing God means being humble enough to admit that God knows more than you do.
The opposite of fearing the LORD is being wise in your own eyes. But those who fear God are humble.
What does it mean to “fear the LORD”? That’s a sermon all by itself (see Life Group questions)! In this particular context, fearing God means being humble enough to admit that God knows more than you do. The opposite of fearing the LORD is being wise in your own eyes. But those who fear God are humble.
Benefit: Health inside and out (v. 8)
Benefit: Holistic wellbeing
Verse 8, “nourishment” = the Hebrew word for “drink”
Body and bones = holistic wellbeing; following God’s plan for life brings physical, emotional, mental, social, and spiritual health
A wise person is committed to living God’s way, not just because they fear consequences, but because they genuinely believe that God’s way is the best way.
Illustration
The first step in Alcoholics Anonymous’ 12-step program is acknowledging you have a problem.
I never cease to be amazed at my ability to justify my own sinful behavior…
Application
Application
Proverbs 26:12 NIV
12 Do you see a person wise in their own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for them.
We’re not smarter than God. We need to stop thinking we know what’s best for us better than he does. We need to stop pretending there’s nothing wrong in our hearts, and stop hiding the sin in our lives. What is it in your life that you are not submitting to God?
The first step to solving a problem is admitting there is one.

III. It’s wise to honor the LORD with your money because you can’t out-give God (vv. 9-10).

Exposition
Instruction: Honor the LORD with your money (v. 9)
“Honor” = literally means “heavy” or “to make heavy”; in this context it means making God a heavy priority in how you spend your money
“firstfruits of all your crops” = the first and best of everything; give God your first and best—don’t throw God your scraps and leftovers
of all your crops” = tithing
Benefit: You can’t out-give God (v. 10)
Remember, Proverbs are principles, not promises.
28% of people who tithe are completely debt free (including mortgage)
80% of people who tithe have zero credit debt
You may never be Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, or Warren Buffet, but God will always provide for your needs—not always your wants; not always how you think he might do it; but he will always provide for your needs.
Illustration
God can’t put money into a closed fist…
When I was a teenager looking for a job, my dad wouldn’t allow me to work on Sunday mornings and miss church. He said I had to tell the boss in the job interview that I wasn’t available on Sunday mornings. When I complained that I’d never get a job, he said, “If you will honor God; God will honor you.” And God has… although now I have a job where I work EVERY Sunday!
Application
We give out love and worship for God—not because
For many of us, the greatest test of love for and trust in God is how we spend our money. If we don’t faithfully give to the Lord, we can’t say we really trust him. We give a small amount (a tithe) of our money as an act of worship and honor to the One who gave his all and poured out his blood to purchase our forgiveness and give us eternal life. Jesus paid it all, all to him I owe.
By the way, LakeView Church is giving very generously right now—God is good! Thank you for honoring him with your money!

IV. It’s wise to accept the LORD’s discipline because it’s evidence of his love for you (vv. 11-12).

Exposition
Instruction: Accept the LORD’s discipline (v. 11)
God is our Father and he is parenting us, teaching us how to live, showing us what is right and what is wrong, and that means sometimes he disciplines us in order to train us up into maturity.
Some lessons can only be learned through difficulty and suffering. Jesus himself experienced this. Why should we be any different?
Hebrews 5:8 NLT
8 Even though Jesus was God’s Son, he learned obedience from the things he suffered.
Benefit: It’s evidence of his love for you (v. 12)
As one commentary said: “God is so committed to our good that he is willing to allow suffering into our lives so that we might gain wisdom and good character.” (Opening Up Proverbs)
Illustration
No player likes conditioning, but it makes you stronger and faster, and gives you the endurance to win…
Application: Take heart in your suffering and stand firm.
James 1:2–4 NIV
2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
James 1:2
James 1:12 NIV
12 Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.

Conclusion

It’s wise to trust the LORD because he keeps you on the path of life.
It’s wise to fear the LORD because his way is healthy inside and out.
It’s wise to honor the LORD with your money because you can’t out-give God.
It’s wise to accept the LORD’s discipline because it’s evidence of his love for you.
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