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Living a Good Life: Wisdom Gets the Edge, Part 2

Delight in Grace / Grace Bible Church / Rich Powell
The Truth Network Radio
March 22, 2024 10:00 am

Living a Good Life: Wisdom Gets the Edge, Part 2

Delight in Grace / Grace Bible Church / Rich Powell

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March 22, 2024 10:00 am

In the last message, we saw from Ecclesiastes 9 that, in spite of our best efforts, we are not in control of our circumstances.  But we will see today from chapter 10 that there is an advantage in life for those who live with wisdom.  Let’s listen in.

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Welcome to Delight in Grace, in July 2018, at Grace Bible Church in Winston-Salem. To hear the first part of this message, and other messages in the series, you can go to www.delightingrace.com. His manner of walk, his attitude of walking manifests the true character of the person. You might be doing the right thing, you might be working a good job, but your attitude and your manner of work might be saying, I really don't want to be here. Or, you might be doing a good deed of service, but your manner and attitude of doing it might be communicating to someone else, you're a bother to me. That's not self-control.

All of these manifest the fact that you have the self as the center of all. And then he brings it to another example in verse 4, if the anger of the ruler rises against you, do not leave your place. That's being roused up, outraged in a sense. When injustice comes to you from an authority figure, is your initial response just one of outrage? There's a lot of that going on today. Outrage.

Are you an outrageous person? Wisdom leads to calmness. It's a matter of, as a matter of self-control. He says the calmness will lay great offenses to rest. At the end of verse 4, calmness is the sense of healing which leads to alliance. Finding middle ground, being able to work together instead of just simply judging and wiping off and disdaining and being outraged at how you disagree with somebody. In other words, keep your head, be reasonable, keep your poise. This is a part of wisdom.

A person that is not able to keep his poise is not living life well. When one is led by rage at their core, it means that they are being led by their emotions. And when you are led by emotions, that is when you are led to error and regret and you make mistakes and you build walls instead of bridges. Wisdom is not led. A person who is living life well is not led by their emotions.

Listen to me Christians, please listen to me. Don't be led by your emotions. Your emotions are a wonderful God-given thing and they are a thermometer but they are a lousy compass. You need to be led by wisdom, by reason and principle, not be led by your emotions. And everything about our culture today compels us to simply follow our emotions.

That is not wisdom. We are called to self-control. And so I ask you, whose wind is in your sails? When you lose control, when you lose your poise, the idea of losing your temper flying off the handle, right? You lose your head, the picture of an exploding head.

What is that? That means you've let somebody's wind get in your sails. And yet we are called to be filled with whose wind? That of the Holy Spirit.

Walk in the Spirit and you will not what? Fulfill the lusts of the flesh. And one of the chief lusts of the flesh is I want justice for me. I want revenge.

I want satisfaction. We are called to self-control and whatever wind is in your sails you need to understand this. It's up to you whose wind is in your sails.

There's wind blowing everywhere. Which wind is in your sails? It's a matter of self-control. That's a part of a life well lived, living a life of wisdom. Here's a third point and I'm calling it influential discernment.

Verses 5, 6 and 7. There is an evil that I have seen under the sun as it were an error proceeding from the ruler. Folly is set in many high places and the rich sit in low places. I have seen slaves on horses and princes walking on the ground like slaves. Influential discernment.

Here's the truth. Sometimes the foolish get positions of leadership. And conversely, those who deserve to be heeded are in obscurity or even disrespected. Consider the poor wise man of chapter 9 who rescued the city from an invading king and yet he was not heeded.

Why? Because he didn't have the image. But the chief of fools is the one that was heeded. Consider Jesus Christ who came in humility and poverty. If anybody should have been heeded, it was him.

And yet was he not rejected by the masses? This is a reality of life. And we can be so guilty of group think when we don't consider whose voices we are heeding and listening to. Do not confuse. Here's a principle that I think that Solomon is teaching us from these three verses.

10, 5, 6 and 7. Do not confuse the person with the position or one's character with the circumstances. Just because a person is in high position doesn't necessarily mean that they are the type of person that you ought to admire and follow.

And just because somebody is of lowly circumstances doesn't mean that they don't possess a wisdom that ought to be heeded. You need to be choosy about who your heroes are. Be discerning about what influences are speaking into your life.

Be choosy about your heroes. The powerful and the popular are not necessarily worth following. And that is reality under the sun, isn't it? This is why the writer of Hebrews speaks of the high expectation and the high standard and criteria for those who would lead the church. He says of the leaders of the church, he says whose faith you should follow. That means they are leading by example. It doesn't mean that they have the authority of position. The authority is from the word of God. But as they follow the word of God, as they unpack the word of God and live the gospel, you follow their faith. It is strange to the scriptures to think that a leader of the church is a celebrity.

And yet it's so common today, isn't it? But we need to be very thoughtful and influential about who we are following and who is speaking into our lives. Here is the next point in verses 8 and 9. That is a life of wisdom, a life well lived, manifests mindful attention.

Mindful attention. Living entails risk. That's what he says in verses 8 and 9. He who digs a pit will fall into it and the serpent will bite him who breaks through a wall. He who queries stones is hurt by them and he who splits logs is endangered by them. If you are working, if you are actually doing something, if you are accomplishing something, there is risk involved. We need to be aware of the potential pitfalls as we move forward, as we progress in life.

We need to be aware of them. Awareness of your surroundings is so important. That's why I judge a good driver by how aware they are of their surroundings. A driver who is driving as if they are the only ones on the road are the kind of person that challenge my sanctification. Don't be that driver. Awareness.

Or it could be just foolish impulsiveness. Seven last words of a fool. Hey y'all watch this. Is that seven? That's not seven. I don't know where seven came up. Anyway. Four. That's four.

I was homeschooled in math. But as we progress in life, as we take measures, as we are industrious, we need to take the appropriate measures and precautions as good stewards of God's gifts. Gifts including abilities, material things, relationships, time, good stewards of all of that. Take appropriate measures and precautions. Don't be dull and naive. Don't be impatient. Don't be irrationally driven. I saw a post one time.

It was so funny. Why do things that happen to stupid people keep happening to me? And one of the comments was, think about that. But at the same time, you also don't want to get stuck in the rut of analysis paralysis. That you think something through so much that you are incapable of taking action. Mindful attention is a significant part of a life well lived. Not impulsiveness. Not naivety. Not dullness.

But mindful attention. Thanks for joining us here at Delight in Grace. You've been listening to Rich Powell, the lead pastor at Grace Bible Church in Winston-Salem. The Delight in Grace mission is to help you know that God designed you to realize your highest good and your deepest satisfaction in Him. The one who is infinitely good. We hope you'll join us again on weekdays at 10am.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-03-22 12:19:08 / 2024-03-22 12:22:58 / 4

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