Sunday School Material 9-4-11: Pursuing Righteous

(Proverbs 3; 9/4/11)

Introduction: A key idea in today’s Sunday School material is that God (i.e., our Father) has many blessed principles for us to live by.

Prayerfully, we will be challenged to live by the principles of God, so we can experience the attached blessings.

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Body:
Read Proverbs 3:1-4
I. and II. Key to Successful Living and Good Reputation.
In this section of the Sunday School material the writer urges his son to keep the commands that have been shared with the son.

Keeping the commands will lead to prolonged life and prosperity. The son is urged to focus on love and faithfulness, so he can experience a good reputation with God and people.

Applications –
- Teaching and learning how to be blessed.
Notice in vss. 1-2 of the Sunday School material that parents should teach their children that obeying the Lord leads to a blessed life.

First, parents, especially fathers, should be actively teaching their children how to live godly lives. Second, we ought to make sure we are open to learning the will of God, so we can have something to remember (i.e., not forget).

Third, the promises of prolonged life and prosperity seem to fall short from time to time. When a young person is killed in an accident or senseless violence, we wonder what happened to this promise.

And some seem to have lived godlier lives than us but don’t have as much prosperity as we have. In these cases, we may find it comforting to know that every believer has eternal life with God.

Especially after our basic needs have been met, the immaterial blessings of peace of mind and joy can be more valuable than silver and gold. Let’s work on being good teachers and students of God’s word, so we can experience His blessings.

- Being faithfully loving. Notice in vss. 3-4 of the Sunday School material that love and faithfulness lead to good reputations with God and people.

First, love means to be loyal or faithful in a relationship. To be faithful means to be reliable. Faithful love is reliably doing what we have made covenant or agreed to do in our relationships.

Think about marital, friendship, church, and job agreements that we make. We should be reliable in doing our parts. Second, a good reputation with God and people is more precious than may meet the eye.

To have a good reputation with God leads to all kinds of blessings from He who blesses reliable obedience to His will. To have a good reputation with people often leads to people trusting and cooperating with you in doing God’s will.

Let’s work on reliably doing our part in our relationships, so we can experience the blessings attached with having a good reputation with God and people.

Read Proverbs 3:5-8
III. and IV. Key to Right Path and Healthy Life.
In this section of the Sunday School material the writer urges his son to trust in and acknowledge the Lord, as opposed to leaning on his own understanding.

The Lord can be expected to make the son’s paths straight. The son is urged to fear the Lord and shun evil. Following this principle promises health.

Applications –
- Obediently trusting God.
Notice in vss. 5-6 of the Sunday School material that trusting in and acknowledging the Lord in all of our ways leads to straight paths.

First, our level of trust and faith is demonstrated by our obedience. Our trust/faith is not pleasing to God, if it doesn’t move us to do such simply things as study, serve, and give with love towards others and submission to His leadership.

God has instructions for every area of our lives; therefore, we should acknowledge and obey His will, in every area of our lives.

Second, a straight path is simpler to navigate and is often safer to travel than a twisting road with many places for bandits to hide.

As we obey God, God has a way of making things simpler and safer in our lives. Let’s work on obediently trusting God, so we can experience the straight paths that He has for us.

- Fearing God enough to shun evil. Notice in vss. 7-8 of the Sunday School material that fearing/reverencing God enough to shun evil leads to health.

First, we should not be terrified of God like we should be of a wild bear in the woods. But we should have a healthy reverence like children, who have been bad in school should have towards parents who are known for disciplining their children when they do wrong.

As with faith/trust, the real measure of our fear is our obedience. If we fear God enough to shun evil, we are doing well. However, if our fear is only lip service that doesn’t lead to our shunning evil, we have much work to do in this area.

Second, shunning evil can keep us out of so much trouble. There is some trouble that chases us down and finds us in our attempts to hide.

But there is some trouble that we could have avoided, if we were not so curious and willing to cooperate with it. Shunning evil can keep us out of a great deal of trouble.

Third, God is able to give us not only physical health. But He can give us psychological and spiritual health. As believer, we know we will have eternal health/life with the Lord.

Let’s work on fearing God enough to shun evil and experience the health that He has for us.



Read Proverbs 3:9-12
V. and VI. Key to Blessings and Love.
The son is urged to honor the Lord with the first fruits of his wealth. This will lead to overfilled barns. The son is urged not to despise his Lord’s discipline. The discipline is evidence of the Lord’s love.

Applications –
- Trusting God with our giving.
Notice in vss. 9-10 of the Sunday School material that honoring the Lord with the first fruits of our wealth leads to our barns being overfilled.

First, all that we have already belongs to God. But giving is the key to receiving. Second, God can and wants to overfill our barns. It is laughable to see people shouting about the goodness of the Lord and then cannot trust Him with even a dime out of dollar.

When God over fills our barns, it is better to bless others than to simply keep building bigger barns for ourselves. Let’s work on trusting God to do what He said in the area of giving.

- Trusting God when He disciplines us. Notice in vss. 11-12 that we should not despise the discipline of the Lord, because it is really a sign of His love towards us.

First, when a parent never disciplines a child, it is not because the child is so good that he/she doesn’t deserve it.

It is often because the parent doesn’t care enough to do the conflicting work on disciplining, or the parent thinks he/she knows better than God regarding the value of discipline.

Second, the discipline of God is not only evidence of God’s love, but it is working for our good. Many of us can see how the discipline of our biological parents has worked for our good.

Think about how this is even more the case with God’s discipline. God may discipline us through people – parents, Pastors, and other authorities that He has placed over us. Let’s work on trusting God’s discipline to work for our good.

Conclusion: Let’s work on living by the blessed principles of God. God has much for those who obey His will.

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