Reading: Proverbs 24:1-34
Over the years I’ve been given some great advice on preaching, both from the great preachers I’ve met and the preaching books I’ve read. Such as ‘No such thing as a short, bad sermon’ and ‘preach to the broken-hearted there’s one in every pew’. My personal favourite is, ‘In a good sermon the hearer should ‘learn’ something, ‘feel’ something and resolve ‘to do’something.’ As I read today’s chapter I am reminded of a guest lecturer at Spurgeon’s College where I trained, Gerald Borchet, he told us that every sermon should have a balance between assurance and warning: we should both feed our sheep and protect them from straying.
I see that today in Proverbs 24, Solomon admonishes and warns, but he also motivates and encourages. As you have read it through, did you notice that? In his book, ‘Every Day Deserves a Chance’ Max Lucado writes,
Here’s God’s agenda for your day: to make you more like Jesus.
“God . . . decided from the outset to shape the lives of those who love him along the same lines as the life of his Son” (Romans 8:29 MSG). Do you see what God is doing? Shaping you “along the same lines as the life of his Son.”
Jesus felt no guilt; God wants you to feel no guilt.
Jesus had no bad habits; God wants to do away with yours.
Jesus faced fears with courage; God wants you to do the same.
Jesus knew the difference between right and wrong; God wants us to know the same.
Jesus served others and gave His life for the lost; we can do likewise.
Jesus dealt with anxiety about death; you can too.
God’s desire, His plan, His ultimate goal is to make you into the image of Christ.
I know I don’t always get this right, but I am grateful that Solomon writes, “For the righteous falls seven times and rises again.” Lord pick me up when I fall!
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it …. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:1-5,14 ESV)
“An honest answer is like a kiss on the lips.” (Proverbs 24:26 NIV 1984)
Father, I see that you have a plan for my life. Today, I see your plan is to make me more like Jesus; he is the full embodiment of Proverbs. Help me not to be jealous of evil people. Instead, help me live wisely. Help me love justice, mercy, honesty, and hard work. And for all my days, in all my ways, may I walk closely with you. In Jesus name. Amen
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