Won’t Get Fooled Again!

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    Proverbs: Life as Wisdom

    Day 1 | WISDOM CALLS OUT TO YOU

    Out in the open wisdom calls aloud, she raises her voice in the public square. Proverbs 1:20

    Proverbs is an amazing book of the Bible that has insight and guidance for every area of your life. It serves as the foundational book of wisdom for the Old Testament and encourages all who read it to become wise.

    There are a few times in the book where we see wisdom personified as a woman. She is described as shouting loudly in public places, pleading with everyone to listen. This tells us that wisdom is readily available and that anyone who is willing to listen and obey can grow in wisdom and maturity.

    CHALLENGE:

    In this Life Series, we want you to immerse yourself in this ancient wisdom. You will read longer amounts of text, to discover what is there.

    The book of Proverbs is broken into three parts: Chapters 1-9, 10-29, and 30-31.

    Chapters 1-9 are written very conversationally and set the foundation for the rest of the book. Solomon is passing on wisdom to his son (that is also for all of us).

    I read these nine chapters earlier this week and it took me 17 minutes. Set aside 10 to 25 minutes and grab a highlighter or pen. Read these nine chapters and highlight or take notes on what jumps out at you.

    What are one or two favorite verses in these chapters?

    Day 2 | THE FEAR OF THE LORD

    The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction. Proverbs 15:33

    The fear of the Lord is a recurring theme throughout the book of Proverbs. In fact, it occurs in various forms about 14 times.

    This can be confusing for us, living with our modern understanding of the word fear, because we usually associate it only with terror or being frightened.

    The Hebrew understanding of fearing God has a much deeper meaning that includes loving God, obeying his commands, and walking in his ways. It includes a deep reverence and respect for God.

    When fearing God is described in other places throughout the Old Testament, it’s set in the context of God as both lawgiver and redeemer. He is the One who rules, but also the One who saves. And he is always the God who loves.

    This gives us the picture of God as a loving parent who has laid down the house rules for his children to follow, but will also jump into the deep end of a pool to save the child that’s sinking. God’s good guidance is always so you will flourish, that you would explore, discover, and enjoy the LIFE he has for you.

    CHALLENGE:

    Read these five chapters from the book of Proverbs that mention the fear of the Lord. Each section should only take you 5 to 6 minutes.

    Read these two in the morning: Proverbs 10 & 14

    Read these two at lunch: Proverbs 15 & 16

    Read these two at dinner or before bed: Proverbs 19 & 22

    Each time, look for a favorite (challenging, intriguing, illumining) verse. Always expect Jesus to speak to you through his Word. When something stirs, resonates, or grabs your attention, assume that it is the Holy Spirit bringing an important word to your mind and heart (see John 16:12-14 for how this works).

    If you completed Days 1 and 2, you’ve read half of the book of Proverbs. Way to go! You are diving into God’s Word.

    Day 3 | THE HEART IS WHERE GOD IS AT WORK

    Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. Proverbs 4:23

    All of life happens at the heart level and overflows from our lives into the lives of others and the spaces we occupy.

    The teachings of Jesus throughout the Gospels highlight his interest in what’s going on in our hearts. In Luke 6:45 Jesus says, “A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of."

    God is concerned with us keeping watch over our hearts because all of the areas of our lives are impacted by it. One area in particular is our speech--what we say and how we say it. The book of Proverbs gives an incredible amount of attention to this topic.

    CHALLENGE:

    Read the following chapters from Proverbs and highlight or underline every verse that has to do with speech in some way. Again, what is most helpful for your life situations right now?

    Morning: Proverbs 11, 12, & 13 Afternoon: Proverbs 17 & 18 Evening: Proverbs 25 & 26

    Day 4 | GROWING WISDOM IN COMMUNITY

    As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another. Proverbs 27:17

    Reading, reflecting, and putting into practice the ancient wisdom in Proverbs help you grow in wisdom and maturity. However, that is not God’s only plan for growth. God designed life to be done in community, and Proverbs is full of relational examples where knowledge can be applied and wisdom can start to grow.

    As you continue reading through the book of Proverbs, think about the relationships you need for growth.

    Who are the friends that challenge you and hold you accountable? Who are the mentors you need to seek out for wisdom? Also, think about the people you need to invest in, those you should share your experience and knowledge with.

    CHALLENGE:

    Up to this point, you have read two-thirds of Proverbs. You only have nine more chapters to go: Proverbs 20-21, 23-24, and 27-31. I would encourage you to read the rest of these this week!

    Your challenge today is to read Proverbs 20 and 21 and pay attention to one or two verses that really apply to a situation you are currently in. Spend time in prayer using those verses, asking God to give you wisdom for your current situation.

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