If Sinners Entice You

If Sinners Entice You

What I Learned Last Sunday

Hear, my son, your father’s instruction, and forsake not your mother’s teaching,
for they are a graceful garland for your headand pendants for your neck.
My son, if sinners entice you,do not consent.
If they say, “Come with us, let us lie in wait for blood; let us ambush the innocent without reason;
like Sheol let us swallow them alive, and whole, like those who go down to the pit;
we shall find all precious goods, we shall fill our houses with plunder;
throw in your lot among us; we will all have one purse”—
my son, do not walk in the way with them; hold back your foot from their paths… -Proverbs 1:8–15

Wisdom cries aloud in the street, in the markets she raises her voice;
at the head of the noisy streets she cries out; at the entrance of the city gates she speaks:
“How long, O simple ones, will you love being simple? – Proverbs 1:20–22

My son, if you receive my words and treasure up my commandments with you,
making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding;
yes, if you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding,
if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures,
then you will understand the fear of the LORD
and find the knowledge of God. – Proverbs 2:1–5

Here are a few takeaways from this week’s message on Proverbs 1:8-2:22:

Who are these sinners?

Don’t all sin? Even Christians? Yes. Pastor Mike used the example of when we call someone a runner. These sinners are defined by what they are doing. Though the Christian falls short and sins, we are actively pursuing the righteousness of Christ and waging war on sin with his help. The sinners in this passage are actively living in their sin, pursuing it.

And though verses 10-11 might seem irrelevant to us due to the specifically murderous context, we see the bigger reality in verse 19 that “such are the ways of everyone who is greedy for unjust gain; it takes away the life of its possessors.”

Evil desires are counterfeits of good ones.

The result of consenting to the enticement of sinners seems worth it. They promise a sense of togetherness and of great reward in precious goods and plunder (1:13-14). We might desire to seek such sin because we long for a sense of community and common cause. God hard-wired us to long for the church and for the common interest of Christ.

These sinners set an ambush for their own lives. The thought that it might be worth it is a lie.

You will never be sorry for following God.

The alternative to falling for the enticement of sinners is to treasure God’s wisdom in our hearts. Whoever listens to true wisdom will dwell secure and will be at ease, without dread of disaster (1:33). The Lord will give us wisdom, will be a shield to us, will watch over us, will give us knowledge, will give us discretion, and deliver us from evil (2: 1-15).

If you throw in your lot with Jesus, you will live. Build your house on the rock (See Matthew 7:24-27 as referenced in the sermon).

As Mike said “It’s hard when you’re at the crossroads, but it’s better Every. Single. Time.

The Challenge in two words: How Long?

There comes a time when the laughing stops. If you don’t take God’s word seriously today, you will one day.

Wisdom is calling out! How long until I listen?
Make it today.

Parents: Don’t waste your influence. Teach this to your children. The world is full of influence that is crying out for their hearts.

Truly this Man was the Son of God!

Truly this Man was the Son of God!

Holy Week 2022

And Jesus uttered a loud cry and breathed his last. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And when the centurion, who stood facing him, saw that in this way he breathed his last, he said, “Truly this man was the Son of God!” -Mark 15:37-39

Jesus hangs on a cross – crowned in thorns, bruised and bloodied from the beatings and the nails through his flesh that pin him to the wooden structure. The night before, he was betrayed by his own and turned over to the authorities. On this morning, the decision was made that he would be crucified for who he claimed to be: the Christ, the coming Messiah whom the prophets had spoken of. This was the very Son of God.

How can we call this ‘Good Friday’ when it’s the day that this sinister killing of the King of kings took place? This Son of God, through whom all things were created, came to earth and lived a sinless life. He would die a criminal’s death. The only way we can see the good in this is by viewing it through the lens of God’s ultimate redemptive plan to unite all things in Christ. On the cross, Jesus would bear the punishment for the sin of all who believe in him.

God is holy and just. Man is sinful and incapable of upholding God’s law to be made righteous before him by our own doing. The wages of sin is death and all sin must be accounted for before a holy and just God. Unless we recognize the weight of our sin against God, we cannot fully experience the marvelous beauty of this loving act of grace towards us who follow Jesus.

For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. – Romans 8: 3-4

Our savior bore the full wrath of God in our place and experienced that punishing separation as he cried out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me!” And it is to him and his atoning work that the scriptures point. The Passover lamb has been slain and saved are those covered by his blood! The curtain that separated man from God’s holy presence is torn in two as we can now enter in free from the bondage of sin! Only because of Christ.

As the centurion stands before our dying Lord and sees the almighty God’s plan falling into place, he can say only one thing: “Truly this man was the son of God!”

This was not just another sacrifice. We wouldn’t see it as good if it ended there. The serpent had bruised his heel, but he would soon crush the serpent’s head. This is Good Friday, and Sunday is coming.

Challenge:

Prayerfully allow yourself to wrestle with the tension between the heartache from what our Savior went through and the beauty of what he accomplished on this day.

Pray:

Lord, thank you for your grace poured out on me at the cross. Strengthen me, that I may walk by faith in your Son and be a light to the world.