Last week was all about what we might call "start-up wisdom." In other words wisdom about how to go about getting wisdom. Our prayer responses from last week (which follow) seem to capture this for us and help to prepare us as we began this week:
Lord, as we explore the book of Proverbs in the weeks ahead, it is my prayer that I will be able to give you the center place in my life more than ever before. I pray that through the book of Proverbs all the many facets of my life will be touched by practical wisdom and become beautifully aligned with you and your desires for my life. Amen!
Lord, with as much of my heart, soul, and mind as I know how, I express these words to you now, "I shall give thanks to You with uprightness of heart, when I learn Your righteous judgments." I look forward to saying them to you over and over again in the coming weeks in response to all that you bring to me of yourself and your intentions for my life. Amen!
Lord, help me to hunger for you and the wisdom you have to offer. Teach me what it means to put you at the center of everything. Please continue your work of grace in my life that infuses me with a genuine humility of mind, heart, and spirit. I love you, I worship you, and I depend on you, Lord. Amen!
Lord, I do pray that I will be more willing than ever to be instructed, to admit where I am wrong, and to accept where I need to change. Truly prepare my heart for the work you want to do in my heart and life through the book of Proverbs over the next several weeks. Amen!
Lord, forgive me for all the times I wouldn't come and didn't pay attention. Continue your work of transforming my heart, soul, and mind, so that, more and more, you have the center place. Help me to see you in the midst of everything. Speak your wisdom into every aspect of my life and grant that I become more and more aligned with the practical and spiritual intentions you have for my life. Amen!
Lord, thank you for the "start-up wisdom." Please continue to put all these things in place in my life and prepare me in every way for all that you want to accomplish in my life through the book of Proverbs as it speaks to key areas of my life. In the words of the Psalmist from earlier in the week, I say to you, Lord, "I shall give thanks to You with uprightness of heart, when I learn Your righteous judgments." Amen!
So, here we are ready and prepared to let God use the book of Proverbs in our lives. The area of life to be addressed by the book of Proverbs this week is our relationships with others. Pastor Ben covered four aspects of relationships in his message this past Sunday. We will consider each of these further on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and then wrap everything up on Saturday.
We are going to let Proverbs 12 help us begin to consider the practical wisdom God has for us in our relationships with other people. A good portion of Proverbs 12 follows. Please read it through and then read it through again. But the second time, in all the places it uses the words wicked and good/godly or foolish and wise, substitute this instead: "those who get it" and "those who don't get it." Throughout the week we will use portions of this passage alone with other verses from the book of Proverbs and Scriptures from elsewhere in the Bible as well.
To learn, you must love discipline; it is stupid to hate correction. The Lord approves of those who are good, but he condemns those who plan wickedness. Wickedness never brings stability, but the godly have deep roots .... The words of the wicked are like a murderous ambush, but the words of the godly save lives .... the godly are well rooted and bear their own fruit. The wicked are trapped by their own words, but the godly escape such trouble. Wise words bring many benefits, and hard work brings rewards. Fools think their own way is right, but the wise listen to others. A fool is quick-tempered, but a wise person stays calm when insulted. An honest witness tells the truth; a false witness tells lies. Some people make cutting remarks, but the words of the wise bring healing. Truthful words stand the test of time, but lies are soon exposed. Deceit fills hearts that are plotting evil; joy fills hearts that are planning peace! No harm comes to the godly, but the wicked have their fill of trouble. The Lord detests lying lips, but he delights in those who tell the truth. The wise don’t make a show of their knowledge, but fools broadcast their foolishness .... Worry weighs a person down; an encouraging word cheers a person up. The godly give good advice to their friends; the wicked lead them astray .... The way of the godly leads to life; that path does not lead to death. Proverbs 12:1-3, 6, 12B-23, 25-26, 28 (NLT)
This is enough for one day. Please identify a few things that can form the basis of a prayer response that you put together for yourself. God Bless you today and as you go forward in our adventure with the book of Proverbs.
Posted on Mon, September 14, 2015
by Alan Porter