Sunday School Material 9-11-11: Making Right Choices
(Proverbs 4:10-15, 20-27; 9/11/11)
Introduction: A key idea in today’s Sunday School material is that as sons should obey fatherly instruction, we should obey God’s will for our lives. Prayerfully, we will be challenged to hear and obey God’s instructions for our lives.
Read Proverbs 4:10-15
I. Attentive Son. A son is strongly urged to accept his father’s wisdom in this section of the Sunday School material. The son is to follow the path of wisdom and be blessed with a long life. The son is to avoid the wicked path.
- Parental duties. Notice in vs. 10 of the Sunday School material the parents’, especially the fathers’, responsibility to teach their children.
Even though the church could and should do more with young people, the primary duty rests with the father and mother.
Whatever the church does with young people should include equipping and encouraging parents to teach and train their children to be godly adults.
Let’s support the church’s effort to empower parents to teach their children as we model such with our children.
Vss. 13-14 shows that sometimes we have to start with the positive before the negative. Sometimes our teaching doesn’t lead to transformation, because it is too negative and not positive enough.
- Trusting God. Notice in vs. 10 and latter in vs. 22 of the Sunday School material that there are blessings attached to obeying God’s will.
Even though long life is often one of the blessings, many of us know young Christians who were killed or died because of sickness. A good way to process this is to think of the promise as a general statement with exceptions.
We are to also remember that in Christ, we have eternal life and the marvelous promise that, even when we don’t understand, God is working all things out for the good of His people (see Rom. 8:28).
Let’s work on obeying God’s will with the confidence that God will take care of His own.
- Obeying and avoiding. Notice in vs. 12 of the Sunday School material that life is often simpler when we resolve to live by God’s will.
Simple doesn’t mean easy. It means, not complicated. For example, it is simple or not complicated about what to do when tempted to have sex outside of marriage or to steal or to be evil towards those who have been evil to you.
However, sometimes it is challenging to carry out God’s simply instructions. Let’s work on doing the needed work to obey God and avoid wickedness. Prayerful study and obedience with the support of other believers can be very helpful, in this area.
At the core of God’s will is for people to accept Christ as Savior and Lord. The measure our accepting Him as Lord is our loving God, ourselves, and others.
Read Proverbs 4:20-27
II. Healthy Person. The father continues to instruct his son in this section of the the Sunday School material. The son is to pay very close attention to holding on to the father’s teachings.
The teachings are to be the source of life for the son. The son is to avoid perversity and corruption.
- Clean hearts. Notice in vs. 23 of the the Sunday School material the importance of guarding our hearts. The heart is the center of the human personality from which comes our emotions and values. Our character is the product of our hearts.
If our hearts are sinful, wicked, and unaligned with God’s will then our behavior has no chance of pleasing God. Thus, we must work extra hard to keep our hearts right.
This is especially true, when we consider that God knows our hearts, even when people have been fooled by our temporary behavior. Let’s work on clean hearts.
Prayerful study and obedience, serious self examination and adjustments, and the support of other believers can help in this area.
- Self control. Notice in vss. 24-27 of the the Sunday School material the emphasis on controlling our mouths, eyes, and steps. Everyone who reads these notes know the danger of saying the wrong thing, to the wrong person, at the wrong time.
Furthermore, we know that some of the troubles in our lives could have been avoided, if we had not spent so much time looking at the wrong thing (e.g., those who attracted us sexually, the stuff and status that others had, etc.).
And yet further, we know that taking one step at a time in the wrong direction will lead to us walking so far from God in such a short amount of time.
Think about how quickly taking one Sunday a month off from church leads to two Sundays a month, three Sundays a month, and then just Christmas, Mother’s Day, Easter, and times of crisis.
Let’s work on self control.
No matter what we say about the godliness of our hearts and valuing of God’s will, if our behavior is sinful, we have some serious growing to do.
When our mouths, eyes, and steps are not in line with God’s will, we cannot rest with anything less than continued self assessment and adjustment.
Conclusion: Let’s work on hearing and obeying God’s instructions for our lives. God has much for those who obey His will.
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