TRC Student Ministry Graduation Sunday
May 6, 2018
Proverbs 1:1-7 Some Wisdom Applied to Navigating the Generations of Life
- God the Father, by the eternal work of the cross by the Son Jesus Christ, through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, gave us Proverbs.
1a. I commend Proverbs to you.
- How to read proverbs:
2a. Fee and Stuart offer hermeneutical guidelines: 1. Proverbs are not legal guarantees from God but poetic guidelines for good behavior. 2. Proverbs must be read as a collection. 3. Proverbs are worded to be memorable, not to be theoretically accurate. 4. Some proverbs need to be translated to be appreciated. (meaning they are Hebrew acrostics)”
- Want to share with you some learned wisdom on what to expect in the generations of life and how to navigate the generations of life from a Christian worldview.
3a. Learned this from Bob Biehl
3b. Not how we should normally study the bible
3c.A skill you need to learn is how to exegete your city, state, country, world and the
cultural climate in which you live.
3ca. 1 Chronicles 12:32 (ESV) Of Issachar, men who had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do, 200 chiefs, and all their kinsmen under their command.
What does the bible teach us as the purpose and value in wise and godly living?
Proverbs 1:1-7 (ESV) The proverbs of Solomon, son of David, king of Israel:
2 To know wisdom and instruction,
to understand words of insight,
3 to receive instruction in wise dealing, (The Proverbs are not intended to be exhaustive, which is why we need wise people exegeting their culture to give us wise practices for our day that are constructed on the principles of God’s word.)
in righteousness, justice, and equity;
4 to give prudence to the simple,
knowledge and discretion to the youth—
5 Let the wise hear and increase in learning,
and the one who understands obtain guidance,
6 to understand a proverb and a saying,
the words of the wise and their riddles.
7 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge;
fools despise wisdom and instruction.
The fear of the Lord is where wisdom begins, and this is why we have to exegete our times with a Christian worldview.
Proverbs 3:13-18 (ESV) Blessed is the one who finds wisdom,
and the one who gets understanding,
14 for the gain from her is better than gain from silver
and her profit better than gold.
15 She is more precious than jewels,
and nothing you desire can compare with her. (Listening to and obeying wise counsel will literally save you finances. Ignoring it can cost you your very life and vitality.)
16 Long life is in her right hand;
in her left hand are riches and honor.
17 Her ways are ways of pleasantness,
and all her paths are peace.
18 She is a tree of life to those who lay hold of her;
those who hold her fast are called blessed.
Some Wisdom Applied to Navigating the Generations of Life
20’s – Survival
This is where you are trying to figure out exactly what you do and who you are. I can’t say this has been the case in all of mankind’s history. It seems in some places around the world this happens in the teen years. But here, it seems to be the 20’s.
So, learn who you are, but don’t let this stage of indecision keep you from being a committed follower of Jesus who plants their life and stays the course. Do figure out what God made you to do.
You have more energy than you’ll ever have in your 20’s, so although you are trying to figure out who you are and what you are going to do, don’t let that rob you and the world of your ability to make a difference now.
30’s – Success
The 30’s is where you will begin to have some success and find a few places or duties you do well. The challenge will be to focus.
Which things do you do? What do you give your time to?
40’s – Significance and Struggle
This is the decade when you will begin to seek that “one thing” you do, and it will be a struggle to shed everything else that stands in the way of that.
You will have to cut ties with loved work in order to focus on the “one thing”.
I’m right smack dab in the middle of this.
Some people call this “mid-life crisis”. That may be bad terminology, but there is something to recognizing you are over half way done with life and need to “get after it”. Some people use this uneasiness for sinful stuff and wasting time or resources on toys.
I’d argue this is where you should sharpen your ministry focus, find out what you can do to leave the best impact, and then “get after it.”
I’d suggest anyone in their 40’s read Bob Buford’s book “Halftime”.
I’m ¼ of the way through the 3rd quarter of my life. That’s sobering. I don’t have time to tinker with petty things. I want to obey the Lord, and lead others to obey the Lord and have a lasting impact, no matter how small, on the world for the Kingdom of Jesus. You’ll want that too.
50’s – Hit your Stride
Your 50’s is where you become the expert. You’ve figured out who you are, what you do and you’ve gained a track record. You are now the expert. Don’t quit or start slowing down now! Speed up and get after it with more intensity.
60’s – Strategic
This is the decade where many in our part of the world “mail it in”. They quite on life.
This decade is where you will begin to have less energy, so you will begin to think more strategy in being more targeted at what you do. You will begin to dial in on the most important things and get them just right and get those few things just right.
Don’t quit here!
70’s – Succession
I’ve heard Bob Roberts say that the world is run by 70-year-old tired people. That’s true!
You will begin to pass on your Christian legacy here. This is where you will take all of your spiritual sons and daughters and hand them the reigns of your work.
Successive Christian legacies and generations are passed on by intentional, biblical, Christ-centered life living. Live to have something to pass on deeper and more significant than material goods.
You don’t quit here either. You keep running until you can’t run anymore, but you’ll enjoy watching your people run with your vision.
So, graduates. Don’t be short-sighted. Think ahead. Begin with the end in mind. It may just help you navigate those tumultuous 20’s.
Excerpt taken from “How to read the bible for all it’s worth” by Gordon Fee and Douglas Stewart. I am pulling this quote from a previous work I’ve done where I simply quoted them for a personal work and did not cite the page number. Since this is published for sermonic content and not academic purposes, I have not gone back through the book to give you the page number. I’m simply letting you know who said it so as to not attribute to me something I did not come up with. Sermonic integrity is the aim.