Sunday, December 3, 2017

December 3 - Proverbs 23

Today's reading in our daily plan is Proverbs 23. Take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you from this passage. Then read, using the following notes and questions to help you get everything out of the passage.

SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
  • This chapter reiterates the importance of gaining wisdom instead of trying to get rich.
  • In verse 9 we’re warned not to waste our time talking to someone who’s foolish; they will ignore our advice anyway.
  • Parents are also advised to discipline their children. The author says that if parents discipline their children, it will save their children from death. If children were left to do whatever they wanted, they would find easy ways to seriously harm themselves (by touching a hot stove, or wandering into the street, or in any number of ways). Discipline helps them make wise choices and understand consequences.
  • The author closes this chapter out by warning against drunkenness. 

SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
  • We should value intimacy with God over money, or fame, or anything else this world offers.
  • This chapter mentions alcohol. The Bible doesn’t say alcohol is bad in and of itself. However, there are multiple times that we’re told to keep away from drunks and not to abuse alcohol ourselves. Everyone is different; some people have such an addictive personality that they shouldn’t partake in it at all. The bottom line is, there are very few “benefits” from alcohol and countless negatives. This is why we’re warned so often about it in the Bible. And it's not just alcohol; addiction comes in all shapes and sizes, and it pushes us away from God.
  • Gaining wisdom and growing closer to God never happens by accident. We must be intentional about investing in a relationship with God.

NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
  • Are you intentionally investing in your relationship with God? What if you spent a few more minutes reading the Bible, or made a habit of talking to God at different points throughout your day?
  • Is there an addiction (or potential addiction) you are tempted to step further into? Ask God to give you his strength to replace the addiction with a desire for him. Asking a trusted friend to hold you accountable will also help you take steps away from addiction and closer to God. Restore is Verve's weekly ministry designed to give you a safe place to get unstuck. If you want to get past your past and take refuge from your addiction, go to Restore this Tuesday night at 6:30.