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May 21, 2020 1:00 am
No person in your life is leading you toward wisdom or foolishness. Here's one way, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God, the person who believes that Christ is the wisdom wants to know what Christ thinks about whatever wants to talk to Christ about life wants to lead you into pursue Christ in the life of Christ wisdom that person to those people generally lead you toward Christ and encourage you to be a devoted follower of Jesus. Are they leaving you in wisdom or to the people you spend time with tend to lead you toward man's version of wisdom and ultimately toward foolishness.
As parents were careful about who our children hang out with, because we know that the company we keep influences us more than a look at the company we keep today here on wisdom for the hearts with Stephen Davey were in a series on wisdom called the quest for hidden treasure. This lesson is called birds of a feather.
Every year Beloit College in Wisconsin publishes a list that you may have heard of it. Beloit College mindset list and they reveal cultural background that students are coming from. As they begin their freshman year in college I went online to the website copy.number interesting entries that have created in part the mindset of those born in around 1990 for the students.
Fox has always been a major network HDTV's of always been available.
The World Wide Web has always existed. They have always been able to watch war live on television the Soviet Union never existed only known to presidents. They learn about JFK, Malcolm X, from movies Disneyland has always been in Asia and Europe. Beach volleyball has always been a recognized work. Walmart has always been bigger Sears food packaging has always included nutritional labeling grown drinking water in plastic bottles. They have never rolled out a car window while her brothers and sisters never use the typewriter they had never seen one at a mall or store coffee is always taken longer to make the shape Dilbert has always been really feeling the workplace and Al Gore has always been running for office. Without a doubt the influence of culture is certainly profound, but it isn't our culture. The problem is it is whatever we allow from our culture to influence our thinking and condition our hearts becomes the issue is why the Scripture never tells the believer. Now you say your culture and to live in the woods never does. The believer has been challenged to reach this culture with the gospel while at the same time resisting the undertow of its fall towards certain aspects of culture to be careful who you run with because we run with ultimately runs you. You give an ear to ultimately has you by the ear. You've heard the expression, birds of a feather flock together is not only effective nature is a fact of human nature who you choose to follow who you choose to flock together will influence you in one way or another and the believer needs to take it very seriously. That's why friendship and fellowship with the right people is is so important who you like, you become in many ways like CS Lewis called friendship school of virtue or a school of vice heroes.
This friendship makes men better and bad men worse. So the question is who are they who will make you bad. Who are they who will make you good or better at exactly what God has in mind here in the first chapter in Proverbs it shouldn't take us by surprise. One of the first things that Solomon will teach us is how to avoid certain people that might sound harsh or or strange. It is actually biblical and wines. Birds of a feather flock together. It's no surprise that the Proverbs would talk a lot about flocks of birds were to avoid were about to begin where he just parades across the platform. One kind of bird after another begins by flock that we are to avoid fact this is the first piece of fatherly advice, Solomon offers verse eight here, my son, your father's instruction and do not say your mother's teaching.
In other words, listen to your mom first to my son, if sinners entice you do not consent. If they say, come with us. Let us lying in wait for blood, let us ambush the innocent without cause other not saying his father simply taking the mascot with her saying things they would use amortizing work this is really let us swallow them alive. Some innocent sat swallow.
I like she'll even hold as those who go down to the pit where you find all kinds of precious well.
Good stuff to steal the hours we will fill our houses with spoil took prior lot in with us. We shall all have one person I recommend you write in the margin of your Bible verse 10 we could say this is summary warning. Safest way with two words. Here they are. Stay alert stay alert. The word used here for sinners source sinful man is happy, which refers in general, the people who are missing the mark.
Those who are falling short of God's standard for holy living certainly good living. This is a group of people that live this way they practice sin they desire to miss the mark. They don't care about God's standard. This is their occupation.
They are experienced veterans of sinful lifestyle we take note of the center begins with an invitation letter come with us to join us. Relax you doing this weekend, with us to the limitation Solomon advises two responses. The believer is to respond to the invitation first with something verbal. He says back in verse 10, consent not which is another way of simply saying, son say no symbols that say no.
One of the best ways to avoid sin is to say no is early as possible will live with that word on her lips know. I think that not say that no man can look at that moment to go there. Don't do that no list, no talking so no live like that.
The best time say no is early on that the time to say no I don't want to talk guys advances is not 11 o'clock at night in his car parked. It is 2 o'clock in the afternoon when he invites you out. That's when you say thank you so you guys are convinced you will never commit adultery or embezzlement and we can all be convinced of that. When you say we can say no to that right now you might be cheating on the expense accounts the time to say no. Early on, the best time to refuse the rotation decision is when you first hear words, this I thought of Daniel as I read this text in Proverbs provides an incredible example for the believer.
What I find interesting.
As we look at Daniel responding to those sinners and that culture is that he did not resist the educational system in Babylon. In fact, he excelled in he rose to the top of his class. He didn't argue about is lodging his professors.
Whatever. What he did refuse to go along with was the one thing about this cultural shift that would have required Daniel to sin through the line. He refused what eat the king's meat and drinking wine.
Daniel chapter 1 verse why because were told that he made up his mind that he would not defile himself. He wouldn't sin so Daniel went along with everything except this one thing which would have made him sin and he made it very clear no. This will cause me to become defiled and sin against my God is verbal response was gracious, but it was firm Solomon writes son when we are enticed to go along graciously firmly say no. I personally believe that one little word will save us from a life of regret. The first response of the believer. In verse 10 is verbal. The second response of the believer is physical.
If you wrote the words stay alert side verse 10, you can write in the margin. Your Bible by verse 15 the words stay away. Stay alert and stay away verse 15 my son, do not walk in the way. Keep your feet from the past why their fear. Running to evil, and they hastened the shed blood useless to spread bated net inside of the bird. They lie in wait for their own blood. Ambush their own lives. Notice you have the father is advising son consider the end of sinners that yes they have friends that are not alone.
Get plenty of cash.
Exciting times, things to do, which is look at their end to calamity's futility is emptiness and loss. Stay alert stay away. Someone here is short think as I did not did Jesus Christ make friends with sinners when he condemned for eating and drinking with tax collectors and sinners. Yes, many M verse 19 lays out for true enough. But Jesus Christ had a purpose. He was eating with tax collectors because he was lonely he was meeting with with Sears because he wanted something to do over the weekend was meeting with wayward men and women so he could have some friends in some activity to know he wasn't mingling with them so they could influence him so that he could influence them, not because he needed them, but because they needed him.
He had come to seek and to save the others who were lost. He wasn't there to entertain them. He was there to redeem them.
He was mission minded as he walked through his culture.
When you think of friendships or influences in our lives with with the idea of three circles. Think of three circles surrounding the widest circle is out here. There's one near to you in the one closest to the furthest circle out is passive. Acquaintances these are the kids in your science class or want to ride the bus home with you. These are the people who work in the in the cubicles next to you, you share the same water and elevator. You know the name of that receptionist you know who these people are.
That's really about all there is and that I only really know who you are. The next circle closest we can move from passive acquaintance to casual friendship. These are the guys that you play on soccer team with and you not only sit with them on the bus, but you share the same bench and enjoyed talking with them on the way to gain these are the people you serve in the board room with as you hammer out the plans. These are the neighbors check with maybe invite over for handlers on Saturday afternoon. These are the people you talk with in the hallway you piloted the cardiogram lunch. These guys or girls in your dorm room or on your task force. They are then passive acquaintance there in your world.
You get to know these people pretty well. These are the people you strike up meaningful conversation with Jesus Christ. When you get the opportunity.
These are the people on your prayer with them so that they can influence you, you intend to influence them. These are not passive acquaintances. These are casual friendships people that God has placed in your world to influence that no one else will ever reach they are placed in your life by God so that you can influence them, not the other way around. That's the third circle is the closest one to you. That is reserved for close companions. These are the people that are in your life that you share life with you chosen to allow them as counselors and confidence. If you're fortunate you have 123 you choose these people with tear. These are people you have given the right to influence your heart and your direction in life. These are people that you'll ask what anything I would do about this from passive acquaintance. No personal connection really to casual friendship, personal connection, but you intend influence the price to close companionship. These are the ones you have given the right of persuasion and influence you have allowed them to develop in you a mind set. I look at life. This is your flock of birds is fine with me say this for the believer. No one who was without Jesus Christ should ever gain access to his inner circle.
This is what you guard your guard your heart. For out of it flow the issues of life. Proverbs 423 thorns and snares are in the way of the perverse that he guards himself will be far from Proverbs 20. This is where you make sure the discretion guards you understanding watches over you. Proverbs chapter 2 verse 11. Listen, this relates to who you date this relates to who you seek for counsel. If you are dating an unbeliever, or even a believer who has no regard for the things of Christ. There is no such thing as evangelistic dating. By the way, okay. If you have is as an older adult allowed into your life. A counselor, psychologist, therapist, confidant at work who does not know Jesus Christ. They have no right to get inside the inner circle where they can influence your mindset because they may very well lead you astray. Perhaps the best thing you can do for your spiritual walk is start avoiding certain people graciously move someone from the inner circle to the elders. Solomon wrote Proverbs 1320 he who walks with wise men will be what wise, but the companion of fools will suffer. I remember in the Bible were full has nothing to do with IQ of full throughout Scripture is someone who has said in his heart there is no there is no God. That is, they live as if there is no spiritual authority in heaven and no biblical authority on earth. Solomon to say someone who allows a fool to infiltrate that inner circle will suffer harm you let someone he was a close and intimate friendship with the Lord, and you will be wise someone who does not care about the authority of God in heaven, and the written authority of God on earth will leave you.
You are merely inviting really challenges is not to be so full companion of fools suffer harm as well. He was going to find these Hebrew words companion of fools listed as is someone who allows this kind of individual to excite their interest fix their habits formed the resolutions you let someone who has no authority in heaven or on earth do that for you.
He says you will suffer harm, but he says in Proverbs 1226, one who is righteous can be a guide to his friend, but the way of the wicked leads him astray progression here in chapter 1 verse 10. First you have an invitation and it leads in verse 11 to participation and eventually in verse 14. You have cooperation you are you are not fully invested one purse, your invitation participation, cooperation and collaboration wherein here is the hardest place to say no to cut ties surly and here I cooperation your your invested. Now you are your your your deeply involved. You have perhaps my name on the line fully invested. Maybe it's your heart you have already given it away. Your emotions are all tied in now so hardest time was easiest time to disengage with accurate invitation. Hey,, thanks so how do you avoid flying when wrong flock of birds well.
Proverbs 1 informs us to responses one is verbal. Stay alert. The second physical stayaway with your verbal response you resist enticement with your physical response.
You refuse entanglement.
Be prepared to do both, but the question remains as we rest the study of how his father wise flock of birds to key characteristics about wise birds of a feather go outside the text to give you these two characteristics number one, they believe in the crucified and resurrected Christ pulling to the Corinthians in chapter 123 but we preach Christ crucified the Jews a stumbling block in the Gentiles, foolish but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ is this the power of God and the wisdom of God.
So the person who believes that Christ is the wisdom who wants to know what Christ thinks about whatever he wants to talk to Christ about life. Who wants to lead you to pursue Christ in the life of Christ is the wisdom once fly the birdlike to not only believe in the living Christ.
They base their lifestyle were of Christ and 90 724 Jesus Christ and therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and acts upon them, maybe compared to a wise man who built his house on the lot on the rock. The person who says you now. I think you're taking the Bible little too seriously is not wise person takes the words of Christ seriously as his or her mandate for living, the person is that they are better than what Christ said his wives. Solomon says to his son here at the outset of of godly wisdom. So I want to look all the way down the path. Verse 18.
You need to understand. They think they figured out that the ruining their own lives. The ambush future to percent first piece of advice is having avoid wrong set heart is helpful, wise, in 1942 Boston colleges football team had the best record in their division.
The year was coming to a close and in a planar homecoming game. It was planned against holy cross and holy cross only won four games that year. That's the kind of team you want to write, however, that particular night as they played them everything fully trusted was right. Everything Boston College did failed at the end of the game score was an embarrassing 55 to 12.
It was so embarrassing that the Boston College team slithered back to their dorm rooms and they canceled their big homecoming party.
They did want to show the faces back and very convinced they would wake up the next morning to the headlines Boston College created by holy cross or something. However, the next morning the local newspapers didn't even cover the game instead.
I have read about this front-page story was about a fire had broken out Coconut Grove country club by way as fire remains in American history is one of the top five fires in terms of fatalities over 400 people died that night to those reading the article by Justin one more catastrophe as was carrier in the country, but to every player and every coach and every friend of Boston colleges football team. It meant everything to their homecoming celebration and plan to take place at the Coconut Grove country club could help think their embarrassment there loss there emotional pain and save their lives. Solomon will later write a check for do not have the path of the wicked do not proceeding with avoid do not pass, but turn with me I had to that, even if it's embarrassing for five long.
This advice means to Solomon's sons. He spends weekends alone. Perhaps it may mean you're the odd man out in the office.
It may mean that the least likely to get asked out on a date.
Perhaps the greatest proof that you are walking with Christ and you are safe you are standing alone stand. Solomon was saying resist enticement refuse entanglement your heart guarded make all the difference not only in this world world. If you're blessed with people in your life who encourage you to walk wisely. Thank God for those friends.
If you're in a position where you need to stand alone against foolishness. Pray that God will strengthen and encourage you. And if you're a parent. These principles will guide you regarding the company your children. Keep as well. You're listening to wisdom for the heart with Stephen Devi the name of our ministry reflects what we hope is true for you that the teaching you hear each day will help you live wisely according to God's standards. If we can assist you today. Give us a call at 86 648 Bible when you call, ask how you can get the next three issues of our new magazine heart-to-heart.
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