Introduction: A key idea in today’s Sunday School material is that God wants His people to be righteous. Prayerfully, we will be challenged to work on being righteous in not only our minds but also in our behavior.
Read Proverbs 15:21
I. Preamble. The writer notes in this section of the Sunday School material that folly is delightful to a person who lacks judgment. However, the person of understanding keeps a straight path or righteousness.
- People of understanding. Notice in vs. 21 of the Sunday School mateiral that folly or that which is worthless gives delight and pleasure to the one without judgment.
However, the person of understanding keeps a straight course or walks and does those things that are right. What we delight in and the way we walk or live says more about us than what we say.
Let’s work on being people of understanding. The measure of our success in this area is our living by righteous principles and our not taking pleasure in that which is folly or senseless.
Read Proverbs 15:22-32
II. Good Counsel. In this section of the Sunday School material ten proverbs are given. Among them are to seek wise counsel; give good advice at the right time; and live wisely.
Some of the latter proverbs are to be cheerful; be teachable; and to learn to accept discipline.
- Seeking wise counsel, giving good advice, and following the right path. Notice in vss. 22-24 of the Sunday School material the emphasis on seeking wise counsel, giving a right response, and following the right path.
First, we should find and seek the advice of wise people (not all people are wise, especially in the area that you need advice). Making especially large decisions, without wise advice, can lead to major problems.
Second, we should work on being wise people willing to share wise advice with others. In so doing, we find great joy, when our hearts are right.
Third, when we walk in the path of life – according to God’s will – we often discover that it leads us forward and upward, instead of backwards and downwards.
We should make sure that we are following the path, instead of simply looking up the path or studying path. Let’s work on seeking wise counsel, giving good advice, and following the right path.
- Pride, wicked thoughts, and greed. Notice in vss. 25-27 of the Sunday School material the emphasis on not being proud, having wicked thoughts, or being greedy.
First, it is a terrible thing when God promises to tear down what we work so hard to build up. Therefore, we should pay careful attention to God’s opposition to the proud and His advocacy for the less fortunate.
The wisdom of working on humility and helping the less fortunate should be obvious. Second, since God detests or hates the thoughts of the wicked but takes pleasure in the thoughts of the pure, we should work on being pure.
The best way to be pure is to make sure you are saved and strive to live a life that is in line with God’s word (i.e., loving God and others as we love ourselves).
Third, since greed leads to trouble for our families, but life is for those who hate bribes, we should work on guarding against greediness.
Where as greed opens the door for us to accept bribes, as a means of getting more money (or whatever we are greedy for), being content in the Lord’s provision leads us in the path of life and not being a source of trouble for our families.
Time will not allow me to talk about how we should be profitable and generous stewards of God, which is far different than simply being greedy for our own good.
Let’s work on humbling helping the less fortunate, being pure, and being content with what God has given us.
- Righteous talk and positive influence. Notice in vss. 28-30 of the Sunday School material the emphasis on how the righteous are careful in what they say and God’s hearing their prayers as well as the importance of cheerful looks and good news.
First, as previously noted, what we do says more about who we are than what we say about ourselves. The control of our tongues is so important. There is power to kill and give life, in what we say.
We should work on controlling our tongues, especially since the devil enjoys hearing us say the wrong things. This point is crucial, in light of its impact on God’s hearing our prayers.
Second, we should work on being people who look cheerful and bring good news. Too many are known for frowning and always complaining about something.
Let’s work on being righteous enough to control our tongues and being a positive influence to those around us.
- Accepting rebuke and adjusting. Notice in vss. 31-32 of the Sunday School material the emphasis on listening to godly rebuke and making needed corrections.
First, there are too many who will not receive rebuke from anyone. No matter how wise the person is who has rule over them or how wise their peer may be, they are not open to being told that they are wrong.
This is so sad because all of us are wrong about something. This is the confession of those who say that I am not perfect. Second, we need to make sure that we heed the corrections or make proper adjustments in our lives.
To know right but fail to do right shows a certain amount of self despise-ment or hatred (i.e., think about those who chose to keep killing themselves with smoking, over drinking, and over eating).
But with our making proper adjustments in our lives to the truth, we gain understanding. Let’s work on being open to godly rebuke and making the proper adjustments in our lives.
Read Proverbs 15:33
III. The Fear of the Lord. Our Sunday School material ends with the note that fearing the Lord teaches a person wisdom. And humility comes before one is rightly honored.
- Humbly fearing the Lord. Notice in vs. 33 the emphasis on fearing the Lord and humility. To fear the Lord is to have such a deep reverence and respect for Him that we obey His will for our lives. It is much more than lip service.
A proper understanding of God and ourselves cannot help but lead to our humility. As we work on fearing the Lord and humility, we can expect wisdom and honor to be bestowed upon us.
Let’s strive to fear the Lord with humility and use whatever we get for His glory. The wisdom and honor that is promised should be used to further God’s agenda for our lives, not simply our own agendas.
Conclusion: Let’s work on being righteous in not only our minds but also in our behavior. God has much for those who obey His will.
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