Ministry of Love

The intention of this blog is to share Biblical messages at least on a weekly basis. Any response is appreciated. I do not expect everyone to agree with my interpretation of Biblical passages. I will try to respond with love and thoughtfulness.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Wisdom? Who Is Wise? by John

Wisdom? Who is Wise?
Proverbs 11:30

1. Proverbs 11:30 says, "The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he who wins souls is wise."
2. I see three things in this verse:
(1) The righteous life bears fruit to eternal life.
(2) Since the writing is poetic in form, the Hebrew rule is, the second half of the verse rephrases the first, or adds something else to the first.
a. Considered the second way, it is wise to win souls.
b. Taken the first way, a wise person wins souls.
c. I take it that the Scripture is saying we can get people to change their minds toward God. (It will be His Spirit that changes their hearts).
3. We may persuade people to trust the Lord, but it is the Lord, and only the Lord, Who does all the saving.
4. Before Solomon's day, God told us how to recognize a wise person and how we can become wise.
5. The process is simple to state, but not so simple to accomplish.

I. First, Do you really want to be Wise?

1. Persuade men to put their trust in the only real God, the One Who reveals Himself both in the Bible and directly to the human soul.
2. How can you do that?
(1) First, live like Jesus did when He walked the earth. I John 2: 5b and 6: "This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did."
a. If you don't live spiritually as Jesus did, your claim is untrue.
b. Worldly people can tell a real Christian from a phony in the blink of an eye!
c. It's true that people let Satan confuse them sometimes, but if they go directly to God in prayer, He opens their understanding to the truth.
(2) Second, fill your life with good and avoid the bad the rest of the world does. People know and notice the difference! They are not likely to change their minds, if our claim doesn't ring true.
(3) Third, love people the way God does.
a. I'm talking about the kind of love that the Father displayed when He sent His only born Son to die for us.
b. Again, lost people know, and they can spot a phony. Satan aids them in that! In fact, Christians out of fellowship with the Father are one of the strongest tools Satan uses to keep lost people lost!
(4) Fourth, deliberately seek to lead others to the truth of the Gospel.
a. Most people hear preaching at church if they go to church, or on the radio, or TV, but too often they don't really apply it to themselves. As the old saying states, "It just goes in one ear and out the other!"
b. Your visiting with them will cause them to say, "Hey! You mean the preacher was talking about me?" Or, they will at least get the idea God cares!
(5) Fifth, we must pray for, and if possible, with the people we want to meet Jesus.
ill. When I was very young, I was in church every Sunday morning and night. I never applied the message to myself. I just wondered how long the preacher was going to preach, or when the Sunday School bell would ring ending the class. I had a very strong, uncontrolled temper. When I got angry, my mother took me into the bedroom, knelt by my dad's bed, pulled me down beside her, and she prayed for me. When I asked her why, she said, "I don't want you to end up in the penitentiary. That would break my heart!" Those prayers did not make me a Christian, but they did make me scared of doing wrong! She really got my attention, not through scolding, but through prayer!
When you pray with lost people, they get the point that you, and probably God, care about what happens to them in their future! And you've shown yourself to be wise!

II. A Wise Christian is a Soul Winner.

1. I don't think most Christians understand what a soul-winner is because we think that when we do the things we've already mentioned, people will automatically become Christians.
(1) If that doesn't happen, we think we are at fault! And we may be, but that's not necessarily true.
(2) Maybe there's unconfessed sin in our lives, and that lost person sees it.
(3) That may happen, too, but we don't save people!
(4) God does the saving, and He uses the Gospel to do it.
(5) If we give the Gospel to people, we've given them the one thing they need to live forever!
ill. If you saw a person drowning in a swimming pool, what would you do? Jump in and save him? Call the lifeguard? Dial 911? What would you do?
When I took lifesaving in college, they taught us how to go about every possible circumstance to save the person drowning, and to be safe ourselves.
The very first rule was, don't go into the water if it is not absolutely necessary! Use that long pole with a crook on it. Throw the person a life preserver. Those things you can do even if you can't swim!
When you are dealing with lost people, be aware of your limitations and theirs, but don't let them keep you from doing God's will. Use your limitations to do it right!

III. Connecting this text with Jesus' Words in John 15:5: seals your wisdom.

1. Every Christian bears fruit because of his relationship with Jesus, the Vine.
(1) How much fruit you, as a Christian, will bear is variable.
(2) He first states simply that you will bear fruit. That means every Christian will bear some fruit.
(3) The second indicates you will bear more fruit.
(4) The third indicates you will bear much fruit.
(5) Considering the parables Jesus used, we have to be aware that some of us will bear more, some less.
2. Again, Jesus does all the saving. It is our job to point people to Jesus in a winning way.
3. To do that requires two things:
(1) We need the powerful presence of God's Holy Spirit.
(2) We need to be in contact with lost people.
a. We may visit people we just think are lost specifically to tell them about Jesus.
b. We may tell people we already know, perhaps really love, about Jesus.
c. We may stage activities to attract and educate people about Jesus.
2. But when all is said and done, the fact is, you will bear fruit because you are part of the Vine,
Jesus! Producing fruit is absolutely natural and certain for Christians!
(2) But we must be sure the glory of all we do
goes to our heavenly Father, to His Son Jesus, and to God's Holy Spirit Who seals every person to the very day of redemption. Ephesians 4:30 says: "Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption." "Sealed" is past tense and means every believer who places his life in the Lord's hands is immediately sealed all the way to heaven!

IV. Please God!

1. We've talked about being wise, and about winning souls.
2. We have not paid much attention to the first part of that verse, "The fruit of the righteous."
3. It seems reasonable to say that the fruit of a Christian is another Christian, but since we don't do the saving, is that true?
4. Perhaps we need to consider the word, "righteous." (It is tsaw-DEEK in Hebrew, 6662 Strong's Concordance).
(1) The righteous man or woman is moral, upright, someone who is dependable.
(2) Someone recognized by his neighbors as a good person.
(3) Such a person in Solomon's time would be highly respected and should be now.
(4) The person from the New Testament on is a Christian rather than a godly Jew.
5. Perhaps you feel you are too much a sinner to fit that description.
(1) Let me remind you that Isaiah said in 64:6:"...All our righteous acts are like filthy rags..." Without Jesus we could not be clean!
(2) Titus 3:5 says, "He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life."
(3) Whatever righteousness we have comes directly from God. We haven't, and we can't, be righteous apart from Jesus!
6. The point is, it is wise to trust Jesus as our Lord and our Savior. Everything good comes from just one Source! Jesus!
1. Without Jesus, we are no different to any other person in the world, and with Him, we become fellow-workers with God.
3. Our words, our actions, our thoughts, make up our godly character, and we witness to the truth of the Bible, to the reality of our Lord Jesus and of other people's need of forgiveness and salvation.
4. Our first wise act is to trust Jesus and commit our lives to Him.
5. It is wise to guard our lives from sin and live uprightly.
6. It is wise to show the world how wonderful belonging to Jesus is.
7. People notice the difference in our lives, and they want to know Jesus, too.
8. Perhaps you haven't given your life to Jesus... Look around you. Most of these have given their lives to Him.
9. Give yourself to Jesus right now. The altar is open for you. We will pray with you, counsel you, and help you to know our Lord Jesus!
10. I only mentioned two of the three things I see in that verse. The third is reproduction. Every soul who comes to Jesus, will bear fruit, and when you lead one person to Jesus, that "tree of life" has already started growing! It should continue growing until Jesus comes to take us home.
11. If you aren't a Christian, give yourself to Jesus and start a whole new tree of life!

Completed February 2, 2010


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