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A Wise Person Hears!

Proverbs & Parables  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  31:42
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Who, in your life, would you consider wise?

When we think of wisdom we often think of an older person, they have life experience and give sage advice. I remember in the movie Second Hand Lions, Haley Joel Osment’s character pleading with Robert Duvall’s character that he stick around because he needs to hear his wisdom on what it means to grow up to be a man.
Or the wise words of Forest Gump’s mother that he is always quoting, who could forget the “Mama always said...” quotes:
“Mama always said, ‘life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re going to get.’”
Or my personal favorite, “Mama always said, ‘Stupid is as stupid does.’”
In my life I have and have had several people who have spoken wisdom into my life. I think of my grandmother, or Grams as we called her. The first person ever to ask if I’d ever considered going into the ministry. I think I’d been a Christian for 3 weeks at the time. I could name others, teachers, mentors, pastors, friends.

How can we become wise?

Wisdom is grounding. It keeps you on course, it guides you, it holds you fast in the midsts of life’s storms.
Jesus said,
Matthew 7:24–25 ESV
“Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock.
We opened this morning we the words of Psalm 1
Psalm 1:1–2 ESV
Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night.
We’re beginning this morning a series of sermons for the summer in the book of Proverbs.
Proverbs is… “a collection of moral and religious maxims containing instructions concerning right living. also brief discourses on wisdom, justice, temperance, industry, purity, etc. In these pithy sayings a sharp contrast is drawn between wisdom and folly, righteousness and sin.” ~ Thompson Chain Reference Bible.
The author of Proverbs is typically said to have been Solomon with the exception of the final chapters 30 and 31. It was likely written before 931 B.C.
And whenever we look at a book it’s good to know why it was written. Solomon gives us his reasoning in the prologue of the opening verses:
Proverbs 1:2–4 ESV
To know wisdom and instruction, to understand words of insight, to receive instruction in wise dealing, in righteousness, justice, and equity; to give prudence to the simple, knowledge and discretion to the youth—
and gives an admonition in verses 5-6:
Proverbs 1:5–6 ESV
Let the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance, to understand a proverb and a saying, the words of the wise and their riddles.
Where does wisdom come from?
Proverbs 1:7 ESV
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.
Well, we don’t want to be a fool, so it seems like it begins with the fear of the Lord. Now I want to spend a bit of time on that word “Fear”.
I was recently having a discussion about the fear of the Lord in which I commented that it wasn’t so much a fear as it was a “Holy Awe,” a reverence if you will. Though this is true, I was corrected, in saying that I was softening Scripture. Scripture does not describe it that way.
This is the God who spoke Creation into being.
This is the LORD who shut the mouths of lions, caused the sun to stand still, who commands the angel of death and gives life. This is one demanding of more than a Holy Awe, or sense of reverence. This is the ALL POWERFUL, HOLINESS.
Listen to the words of Jesus in speaking to how we worry about what those around us say or do to us, instead of the One that really matters:
Luke 12:4–5 ESV
“I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that have nothing more that they can do. But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him!
This is more than a “holy awe” or reverence.
My personal inclination, and I think that for most Christians is to consider that we are totally right with God. But that’s not what the Bible says. Even Paul, the great teacher and missionary saw in himself the right desire to do what God commanded but at the same time the inability to do so. He wrote:
Romans 7:14–20 ESV
For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am of the flesh, sold under sin. For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.
In his book The Imitation of Christ, Thomas A’Kempis writes:
The Imitation of Christ Imitating Christ and Despising All Vanities on Earth

“HE WHO follows Me, walks not in darkness,” says the Lord.1 By these words of Christ we are advised to imitate His life and habits, if we wish to be truly enlightened and free from all blindness of heart. Let our chief effort, therefore, be to study the life of Jesus Christ.

Where can we find wisdom?
Listen to these words from Proverbs 2
Proverbs 2:1–12 ESV
My son, if you receive my words and treasure up my commandments with you, making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding; yes, if you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding, if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God. For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding; he stores up sound wisdom for the upright; he is a shield to those who walk in integrity, guarding the paths of justice and watching over the way of his saints. Then you will understand righteousness and justice and equity, every good path; for wisdom will come into your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul; discretion will watch over you, understanding will guard you, delivering you from the way of evil, from men of perverted speech,
These are true words for us to learn and understand.
Proverbs 1:5 ESV
Let the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance,
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