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Proverbs, living wisely in the things that really matter. The first in a series. Proverbs 17-18 has so much meat, so much content, we’ll work through it in several lessons. This will be broken out into 3 areas: Wise words, attitudes and relationships . Today, wise words. Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat it’s fruit. Proverbs consists of general principles about how we should live, how we should act. There is a lot said about the importance of our words. 4 thoughts this morning:

1. Learn restraint, 17:27. This applies to everyone, from the youngest among us to the oldest. Restraint involves limiting our words to what is needed. If you’re a talker, you’ll have to work at this, at not being dominant. Choose your words carefully. Restraint is a measured response. It is not blurting things out, whatever comes to our mind. This is the opposite of letting emotions drive us. Everything on my mind does not have to come out. When we restrain our words, it allows us to hear better. Slowing down will help, being careful about our reactions.

2. Practice silence, 17:28. It’s okay to be silent. Even a fool looks much smarter when they don’t talk. That’s hard to do sometimes. We want to give our opinion. Sometimes we have to speak up, like dealing with sin, or defiance in our children. But other times, it’s just better not to respond at all. Ask yourself if you’re comfortable with silence. This is a learned behavior and can be really powerful. Sometimes staying out of a conversation is just as powerful as saying something, or even more so.

3. Fashion your words. 18:6-7, 21; 15:1. If you teach or have preached, you know this. A lot of time is spent on the words you will use. If we need to approach someone about something, we need to plan what we are going to say, think it through. We can do a lot of damage by saying the wrong thing, not having given our words proper thought. Think about the things you say publicly, on social media for example, and the negative implications that can have in your life as others read them.

4. Encourage examination. 18:17. Sometimes someone we trust and respect is honestly mistaken. Other times, people are just evil. We need to examine other's words, be careful about the judgments we make about people if we haven’t carefully examined the situation. People mix opinion with facts. If it really matters, than it will really matter to take the time to examine what has been said.

Almost always, when approached by someone who has an issue with something you’ve said, is the reception of that information received well. Typically, people have some issue with how they were approached. So think about that next time you are approached. Practice restraint and silence and measure your response.

The path to confession: ⁃ Sign of the messianic kingdom, 8:1-10 ⁃ Lack of understanding, 8:11-21 ⁃ - Confession: you are the Christ, 8:27-30 ⁃ Lack of understanding, 8:31-38 ⁃ Proclamation of the messianic kingdom, 9:1 The point of what’s happening here is the proclamation of king and kingdom. Jesus is establishing His kingdom and as 9:1 says, some standing there would witness it. Messages: 1. The kingdom is for all, 8:1-11. These people follow Jesus for three days, into desolate country, at great risk, not even having concern for their own nourishment. Psalm 22 is an appropriate OT reference in relation to Mark 6 & 8. The afflicted shall eat and be satisfied, the same terminology. Psalm 107 also a part of this whole context, as is Isa. 25. Restoration, all the nations will feast. Ezekiel. 34 also. His is a highway to holiness as Isaiah says.

2. Don’t refuse to see, 8:1-21. The disciples have been through a lot to this point. They saw a lame man walk, saw a wild sea be calmed by speaking to it... and yet they still struggle to see who He is. He warns them to be aware of the leaven of the world. He reminds them how many baskets were left over the first time they fed a multitude. And now this time, again, plenty of food left over from small beginnings. But they don’t get it. They’re still in a growth process. They think they see, but they don’t. Peter does come to a recognition of who Jesus is, even though immediately after he still demonstrates a lack of perception. One of the things we can learn from this text is we have a second chance. Jesus comes back a second time to heal the blind man, not because He couldn’t do it the first time, but to show everyone gets another chance. He gives the disciples a second chance to realize who he is... once they get rid of the obstacles, once they stop seeing through earthly lens’, then they can see who He really is. This is what humanity is really like. We struggle with ups and downs but Jesus is always there.

3. Confession comes with expectations. Mark 8:34-9:1. There is an expectation that we should be centering our lives around things of God not things of men. There is an expectation that we will give up the things of the world. The disciples are still distracted by the world around them, even with Jesus right in front of them. How much easier, then, is it for us to be distracted by the things of the world, to lose focus? We need to be honest about our lives, be sure our eyes are opened. It’s a daily exercise - what does this mean for me today?

What will you say about Jesus? Who will you say Jesus is in your life? How does that influence the way you live, the decisions you make, the things you do? What will your answer be?

Our hope needs to transcend our circumstances. Our trust in Jesus needs to triumph over anything else. As we seek to influence others, we need to let them see our hope drives our behavior.

The Lord’s invitation. Has it evolved into a trite plea, just a sermon wrap up? It is more than a call for the one time deliverance from sin. Is it just about a series of steps we take to have our sins forgiven? It is the adoption of a whole new lifestyle, a whole different way to live. It is turning to the Lord.

Acts 11:20-26.

Isa. 55:1-5.

We need people to know we are all about Jesus. He IS our life. The Lords invitation is an impassioned plea to grasp life itself.

Wealth, goodness, security and victory are the themes that proceed the invitation in Isa. 55. Jesus repeats the invitation in Matt 5:6. Acts 3:19 - therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord.

Consider:

  1. Ho! Getting your attention. When people sense the lesson is about to end and the invitation is about to be formulated, songbooks come out, or used to, and attention is minimal to what is about to be offered. The offer of the gospel is the richest meal you will ever partake of.

  2. And it’s free, so what is the catch? Well, it will require something from you, it will require all of you. You will have to alter your course.

  3. We have to realize all other offers are unsatisfying, are finite. This offer is eternal, it is forever, it is infinitely better.

So what is your hope built on? What gets your foremost attention, elicits your most zeal? If it is not the Lord, it is sinking sand, whatever it is. God is to be the object, Psalm 42:1.

It is an extraordinary offer. In Romans 12:1 Paul pleads for people to be transformed. God wants your heart.

Rev. 22:14, 15, 17 - the Spirit and the bride say Come!

ABOUT US 

Welcome and thank you for visiting. We hope you can come and be with us as we give praise and honor to the Father above and His Son as we assemble as Christ's church in the Tomball and Magnolia area.

Decker Prairie church of Christ

25903 Hardin Store Rd

Magnolia, TX 77354

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T: 281.259.2797

E: elders@deckerprairiechurch.org

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