Negatives and Positives
In a previous message we dealt with the negative instructions of Proverbs 3:1-12
There is a time and place for confronting our children as parents and our congregation as pastors with negatives And there’s a time and place for preaching “Thou shalt not!” and dealing with sin. So far in our study of Proverbs 3 we have noted the following negative warnings.
My son, forget not my law. 3:1
Don’t forsake the values of mercy and truth 3:3
Trust in God with all your heart; lean not to your own understanding. 3:5
Be not wise in your own eyes. 3:7
We continue now with further negatives from God’s Word.
DON’T WITHOLD FROM GOD Proverbs 3:9-10
Instead, honor God with the first and the best of your increase. Use all your resources to honor God; including your time, talents, energy, money; your very life.
Here’s the Biblical principle concerning prosperity. It’s found in Proverbs 11:24-25. Let me paraphrase and amplify. Those who scatter and generously share their wealth in the Lord’s work of spreading the Gospel worldwide and doing what they can to meet the physical needs of the poor, suffering and oppressed eventually discover increased prosperity.
Listen to what Jesus said about this in Luke 6:38. “Give and it shall be given unto you, good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give to you. For with the same rule of measure with which you give shall it be measured back to you.”
Isn’t that interesting? God dares you to take Him at His Word. Are you willing to take Him up on it? Check out these others dares God presents to you II Corinthians 9:6-8 and Malachi 3:8-12. The fact is, you can’t out-give God!
DON’T DESPISE GOD’S CHASTENING Proverbs 3:11-12
I am learning to accept God’s chastening with joy and gratitude. As Hebrews 12:5-11 reminds us, it is just another proof that we are sons of God through faith in Christ. Never despise nor grow weary of God’s chastening, no matter how long it drags on. God loves us and delights in us. He is working to bring us to maturity. Perfection won’t come until Heaven.
Take comfort, chastened soul, we are encouraged in Hebrews12:12-15
1. Be encouraged 12:12
2. Watch your steps. Others are following you.12:13
3. Stay in fellowship with God and with His family.12:14
4. Seek holiness. 1:14
5. Watch out for bitterness. 12:15
To summarize this passage in Proverbs 3, we are to think, plan and act in total dependence on God. In every decision of life, large or small; let us sense the peace and smile of God’s approval on how we spend our time and money, plan our vacations and other free time, our financial planning, our education, our marriage our life work and everything
Now we continue in Proverbs with more instruction on the Wisdom of God and the promises that come with it. 3:13-36
Let’s review the value of the wisdom from God. Going back to Proverbs 2.
1. He gives protection 2:7-8
2. gives us understanding. 2:9
3. gives discretion. 2:10-11
4. gives deliverance 2:12-22
5. gives long life 3:16
6. gives prosperity and honor. 3:1
7. and Paths of pleasantness and peace 3:17
8. Wisdom is a Tree of Life. 3:18 This relates to our salvation.
Can you think of anything wiser than settling your eternal destiny?
THE SOURCE OF WISDOM Proverbs 3:19-20
Christ, our Creator and Saviour is that source of wisdom. See Colossians 1:12-19, 2:3. Proverbs 3:19 and Hebrews 1:2 Christ used His wisdom to create the universe, including this earth and everything on it. Job 26:7 says that He hangs the earth on nothing. What wisdom and power at our disposal!
GUARD THIS WISDOM FROM GOD!
Stay in the Bible
It protects your life. Proverbs 3:22
Gives grace to you. 3:22
Keeps you from stumbling.3:23
Gives sweet sleep with no fear 3:24
Don’t worry about anything. 3:25-26
including, violence, war, acts of God, stock market crash,
political turmoil in the world and in our nation.
We may be called to go through these.
But HE is our confidence. Psalm 27:1-6 23:4
Withhold not good to whom it is due. 3:27-28
Pay your bills and debts on time.
Be thoughtful of others. Keep appointments.
If you can do good to others, do it now.
Tomorrow may be too late.
Devise not evil against anyone. 3:29-30
Including family or neighbor or fellow church member. Romans 12:18
Envy not oppressors. 3:31, Psalm 73:2-19
Finally, note the:
Rewards of the wicked 3:32-35
Abomination to God. 3:32
Cursed by God 3:33
Scorned by God.3:34
Shame and everlasting contempt.3:35
The blessings of the righteous
Blessed of God 3:33
Given grace 3:34
Inherit glory.3:35 Matt. 5:3-5
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