Proverbs 10-15: The Way of Wisdom-Righteousness {Week 5}

These first few weeks of studying Proverbs has really been about nine chapters of warning. The main warning has been regarding why we need wisdom and what we need to run away from in order to stay the course. We will now shift into the section of the book that comprises actual proverbs—the short, pithy, punchy sayings we tend to be more familiar with. You will need your chart from pages 291-294 handy each day, as we will begin to fill in what this book has to say regarding specific themes or topics in skillful living.

It will be tempting as we study actual proverbs to see a list of ways we need to change or improve, a way to be more moral or righteous. However, the danger in studying proverbs is that we become more moral, but not more in love with Jesus. Or we become more disciplined and righteous, but not because it’s the righteousness of Christ in us, working through us.

The last thing we want after this study is a bunch of moral, self-righteous people. We want people who walk in the way of wisdom because Christ’s love flows through them and His Spirit works in them. So as you study these proverbs, be sure to do so not in your own strength or for self-righteousness, but do so in the strength of the Spirit because Christ’s righteousness is already in you.

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Proverbs 8-9: Wisdom Personified {Week 4}

In these final two chapters of the long introduction of this book (Proverbs 1-9), we find the father’s final plea to his son to marry wisdom: follow wisdom, listen to wisdom, to choose the path of wisdom. These chapters show us 4 things about wisdom:

The Appeal of Wisdom

The Attraction of Wisdom

The Origin of Wisdom

The Fullness of Wisdom

Does not wisdom call?
     Does not understanding raise her voice?
On the heights beside the way,
    at the crossroads she takes her stand;
beside the gates in front of the town,
    at the entrance of the portals she cries aloud:
“To you, O men, I call,
    and my cry is to the children of man.
O simple ones, learn prudence;
    O fools, learn sense.
Hear, for I will speak noble things,
    and from my lips will come what is right,
for my mouth will utter truth;
    wickedness is an abomination to my lips.
All the words of my mouth are righteous;
    there is nothing twisted or crooked in them.
They are all straight to him who understands,
    and right to those who find knowledge.
10 Take my instruction instead of silver,
    and knowledge rather than choice gold,
11 for wisdom is better than jewels,
    and all that you may desire cannot compare with her.

12 “I, wisdom, dwell with prudence,
    and I find knowledge and discretion.
13 The fear of the Lord is hatred of evil.
Pride and arrogance and the way of evil
    and perverted speech I hate.
14 I have counsel and sound wisdom;
    I have insight; I have strength.
15 By me kings reign,
    and rulers decree what is just;
16 by me princes rule,
    and nobles, all who govern justly.[a]
17 I love those who love me,
    and those who seek me diligently find me.
18 Riches and honor are with me,
    enduring wealth and righteousness.
19 My fruit is better than gold, even fine gold,
    and my yield than choice silver.
20 I walk in the way of righteousness,
    in the paths of justice,
21 granting an inheritance to those who love me,
    and filling their treasuries.

22 “The Lord possessed[b] me at the beginning of his work,[c]
    the first of his acts of old.
23 Ages ago I was set up,
    at the first, before the beginning of the earth.
24 When there were no depths I was brought forth,
    when there were no springs abounding with water.
25 Before the mountains had been shaped,
    before the hills, I was brought forth,
26 before he had made the earth with its fields,
    or the first of the dust of the world.
27 When he established the heavens, I was there;
    when he drew a circle on the face of the deep,
28 when he made firm the skies above,
    when he established[d] the fountains of the deep,
29 when he assigned to the sea its limit,
    so that the waters might not transgress his command,
when he marked out the foundations of the earth,
30     then I was beside him, like a master workman,
and I was daily his[e] delight,
    rejoicing before him always,
31 rejoicing in his inhabited world
    and delighting in the children of man.

32 “And now, O sons, listen to me:
    blessed are those who keep my ways.
33 Hear instruction and be wise,
    and do not neglect it.
34 Blessed is the one who listens to me,
    watching daily at my gates,
    waiting beside my doors.
35 For whoever finds me finds life
    and obtains favor from the Lord,
36 but he who fails to find me injures himself;
    all who hate me love death.”

Proverbs 5-7: Wisdom in Times of Temptation {Week 3}

After our first week of study, we should be left with the overwhelming realization of our need for wisdom. This week, we will be left with our need for wisdom in times of temptation. We will explore the intense warnings a father gives to his son about being aware of adultery. He will sneak in some practical warnings in Proverbs 6, but these chapters overwhelmingly warn of adultery. These chapters will highlight the type of man lured by the forbidden woman, a description of this adulteress, what to look for, and the destruction, devastation and ultimate death that adultery brings.

It may seem strange that after four chapters of telling us why we need wisdom for life, the author would jump right into writing almost three chapters on adultery. But remember, the father writing these proverbs to his son is trying to get his son to marry wisdom over folly and to seek the Lord over passions of the flesh. Chapters on adultery following chapters regarding the pursuit of wisdom may seem like a strange contrast, but that is because the quickest, easiest and most devastating way to take us off the path of wisdom is to lure us into a path of sexual immorality. Sexual immorality—and specifically adultery—destroys your marriage, your family, your friendships, and ultimately, your relationship with God. These warnings are given so early on in life to prevent the kind of devastation it will bring.

Although this is written as a father to his son, these proverbs are true for daughters of God too. In fact, many of you working through these chapters this week have been affected by adultery.

These chapters may stir up wounds from the past or even the present. Be sure to give yourself grace this week. If you need time to process or someone to process with, reach out to a friend, your leader, or even someone in our Counseling Center. We hope this awakens your heart and leads you on the path toward healing.

Proverbs 1-4: The Beginning of Wisdom {Week 2}

“We are all being discipled by something.”

This quote I heard years ago stuck with me and helped me see I was being influenced and taught by so many things around me, some of which I wasn’t even aware. To be discipled means to be a learner and follower of a master teacher, watching his or her ways and listening to his or her teaching. By doing so, you are so influenced by his or her life that you begin to look like, act like, think like, and speak like the teacher you are following.

What are some of the things influencing you right now? What are some of the things or some of the people you are learning from? We are inundated with information, opinions, and messages daily by TV shows, commercials, celebrities, social media, bloggers, authors, artists, politicians, friends, neighbors, pastors, etc. There are so many voices speaking into our lives, influencing us, slowly changing our thinking or perspective—discipling us.

Over time, these voices can become louder than the voice that matters most: the voice of God.

Who do you listen to?
Who do you follow?
Who are you influenced by?
Is the Word of God the loudest voice in your life right now?

This week, we’ll look at the beginning of wisdom. We will learn how we can begin to have our thoughts shaped by the voice that matters most and redirect the alignment of our hearts to the Lord.

 

Proverbs: Intro & Overview {Week 1}

Not everything is in the Bible, but everything you need is in the Bible. – Rick Taylor

His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness. – 2 Peter 1:3a

We are searching for answers in this life. We want to know the purpose of our lives, that our lives have meaning. We want direction and guidance in areas that are hard. At times, we look at the Bible like a Magic 8 Ball that is supposed to provide us with answers for decisions in our lives. Other times, we treat it like some kind of superstitious pacifier—if we open it to just the right verse at just the right time, God will soothe our weary souls.

However, the Bible isn’t a Magic 8 Ball or a superstitious pacifier. The purpose of the Bible is to know God and to get a glimpse of the kind of life He desires us to live as His followers. There are certainly times the Bible will provide direct instruction, black and white answers to morality or godly living, and His Word will soothe and comfort us. However, the reality is there is much to life that is gray. The Bible may not speak directly to every circumstance with a clear “turn right or turn left.” That is why we need wisdom.

God’s desire for us is to need Him in times that are hard. He wants us to look to Him and to know Him so well that we would trust His character and know His wisdom in difficult times. This is why so often He reminds us to abide in Christ so that we may experience joy in life. We must know Him, His character, and His Word to gain wisdom. Our goal is not to gain wisdom for wisdom’s sake, but to learn to live wisely and be able to glorify God in all that we do.

That is why we are studying Proverbs. This book is full of short, punchy, pithy statements that help us understand God and His desire and direction in our lives.

The Lord has much to say about our daily living. The book of Proverbs gives us insight into wisdom unlike any other book of the Bible and a better picture of who God is and how much He cares for our lives. Let’s look to Him for wisdom during these next nine weeks.

Thus says the Lord: “Stand by the roads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls.” – Jeremiah 6:16

Let’s journey on this ancient path, find the good way, walk in it, and rest satisfied.

Proverbs Bible Study

Proverbs

“Not everything is in the bible, but everything you need is in the bible.” –Rick Taylor

“His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness . . .” (2 Peter 1:3a)

We are searching for answers in this life. We want to know the purpose of our lives, that our lives have meaning. We want direction and guidance in areas that are hard. At times, we look at the bible like a Magic 8 Ball that is supposed to provide us with answers for decisions in our life. Other times, we treat it like some kind of superstitious pacifier—if we open it to just the right verse at just the right time, God will soothe are our weary souls.

However, the bible isn’t a Magic 8 Ball or a superstitious pacifier. The purpose of the bible is to know God and to get a glimpse of the kind of life He desires us to live as His followers.   There are certainly times the bible will provide direct instruction, black and white answers to morality or godly living, and certainly His word can soothe and comfort us. The reality is, there is much to life that is gray. The bible may not speak directly to every circumstance with a clear “turn right or turn left”. That is why we need wisdom.

God’s desire for us is to need Him in times that are hard. To look to Him, to know Him so well that we would trust His character and know His wisdom in difficult times. This is why so often He reminds us to abide in Christ to experience joy in life. We must know Him, His character, and His word to gain wisdom. It is not wisdom for wisdom’s sake, but wisdom to learn to live wisely and be able to glorify God in all that we do.

That is why we are studying Proverbs. This book is full of short, punchy, pithy statements that help us understand God and His desire and direction in our lives. This book covers topics like:

Work               Laziness          Diligence         Money                        Debt                Generosity

Family             Marriage          Relationships     Sex                Purity              Adultery

Words             Quarrels          Patience           Anger              Alcohol           Gluttony

Friendship       Neighbors        Happiness       The Heart        Envy               Correction

Humility         Pride                Foolishness     Wisdom           Blessing           Curses

The Lord has much to say about our daily living. The book of Proverbs gives us insight into wisdom unlike any other book of the bible and a better picture of who God is and how much he cares for our life. Let’s look to Him during these next 9 weeks for wisdom.

Thus says the Lord: “Stand by the roads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls.” (Jeremiah 6:16)

Let’s journey on this ancient path, find the good way, walk in it, and rest satisfied.

Sign up here: https://thewellcommunity.org/equipping/classes/general/womens-equipping-spring-2018

Womens Bible Study Slide.jpg

The Lydia + Pearl Market

Lydia + Pearl: Women selling their goods, for good.

Lydia and PearlWe are excited to announce our 3rd annual “Lydia + Pearl Market”

Saturday, 12/9

9am-12pm

The Well-North Campus (Maple/Nees)

We are so encouraged by the amount of people who have shown interest in this event or asked about being a vendor. We’d love to share a little of the backstory about this market and she got her name.

The Story of The Name: Lydia + Pearl

Lydia
Lydia is mentioned in Acts 16:14, “ One who heard us was a woman named Lydia, from the city of Thyatira, a seller of purple goods, who was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to pay attention to what was said by Paul.”

She was a wealthy businesswoman, who sold her goods and used her wealth to serve others. She was the first European convert of the apostle Paul’s in the city of Philippi. It is suggested by some scholars that Lydia’s wealth perhaps was what funded the church of Philippi. One modern day preacher suggests, “Lydia bankrolled the Philippian church”. The example of Lydia’s skill as a businesswoman and devotion to God through her faith and generosity is why we named the market after her. We desire to promote women who sell their goods that they make with their own hands, for a greater good.

Pearl
In Matthew 13:45-46, the pearl of greatest value is described as the Kingdom of Heaven.
“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls, who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it.” (Matthew 13:45-46)

The greatest good, our greatest treasures and investments should be eternal. While we want to promote local businesswomen selling their goods, we also wanted this market to add Kingdom value to the items you are purchasing.

Women selling their goods (Lydia), for good (Pearl).

We desire to see this market have a missional component that blesses our city and advances the Kingdom. Each year, we charge and entrance fee and a vendor fee that goes directly to a non profit that works in our city for the good of others. The past three years we have partnered with City Without Orphans. You can read more about the organization here: City Without Orphans

CWO is a local agency that helps bridge the gap between the needs of foster and orphaned children with the calling and resources of local churches through advocacy, education, support and events.

This market will be more than Christmas shopping, it will be supporting an agency that cares for the most vulnerable in our city, as well as supporting local artisans and small business owners.

Shop local.  Shop with a purpose.  Shop to give back.

Vendors
Since our vision for this market is to promote women vendors, some of our values are to accept vendors that:

Create their own products with their own hands
Sell ethically made products
Support small businesses

*There have been a few exceptions this year to the above requirements, but beyond the few that have been approved, we have limited our number of direct sales vendors. We desire this market to promote women who create and make their own goods.

Again, this year’s market will be held at The Well-North Campus (Maple/Nees)
Saturday 12/9
9am-12pm

There is a $5 entrance fee that will be donated to City Without Orphans. If you’d like to give more you can do so at the door or give online here: City Without Orphans

For a full list of vendors and sneak peeks at their products, follow us on Instagram @lydiaandpearlmarket and be sure to find our event on Facebook and RSVP!

If you are interested in being a vendor and you meet the above requirements, you can start the process by filling out an application here: Vendor Application

If you’d like to see what we’ve done in years past, checkout the hashtag: #lydiaandpearlmarket

For further questions, please email Mallory@thewellcommunity.org

Vendors