Dr. E. Dale Locke
Sermon Series: Better Wise Up!
- Name one of the wisest people you know personally, and tell the group why you consider them wise.
- Pastor Dale challenged everyone who attends COH to read one chapter of Proverbs each day for one month. Share with the group one idea that was helpful for you from the readings you’ve done so far.
- Proverbs is part of the Old Testament wisdom literature. God gave us these books of the Bible to help us do better at living life well and honoring God. There are two main ways a person can learn wisdom in life: (1) we can learn wisdom by messing up and growing wiser through our own difficult experiences; or (2) we can learn wisdom by learning from others – such as the writers of the Bible, or other Christians who are farther along in the journey.Share about a time in your life, when you learned wisdom the hard way.
- Read 2 Timothy 3:16-17: “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”Read Psalm 119:105: “Your word is a lamp for my feet, and a light on my path.”
What do these verses tell us about why God gave us the Bible?
- Pastor Dale said, “I don’t just read Scripture. Scripture reads me.” What did he mean by that?
6. Read Proverbs 1:1-7: “The proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel: 2 for gaining wisdom and instruction; for understanding words of insight; 3 for receiving instruction in prudent behavior, doing what is right and just and fair; 4 for giving prudence to those who are simple, knowledge and discretion to the young— 5 let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance— 6 for understanding proverbs and parables, the sayings and riddles of the wise. 7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.”
What thoughts or questions come to your mind when you read this passage?
7. In Amy Grant’s song, You Better Wise Up! she says, “You gotta use your head to guard your heart.” Think of that statement as you read Jeremiah 17:9 and Matthew 15:19. Read these verses below:
Jeremiah 17:9: “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?”
Matthew 15:19: “For out of the heart come evil thoughts– murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander.”
What do these verses say about why we need to use our head to guard our hearts?
8. The Hebrew word for wisdom is “chokmah” and it means, “strength, firmness, skill.”
Have you ever known someone who is “book smart” but not really wise for life? What’s the difference between being “book smart” versus being “wise”?
- The Bible often contrasts wisdom with folly. Folly means “living impulsively and without self-discipline.” What generally results when a person lives life like that?
- Read Proverbs 1:7 again – “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.”
Some people misunderstand the word “fear” here to mean that we’re supposed to be afraid of God; but that isn’t what this verse means. The word “fear” here means “deep respect and awe”.
Read John 1:14 – “The Word (Jesus) became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
The word “grace” means “unmerited favor”; it means to be freely given what we don’t deserve. But John 1:14 is clear that we shouldn’t mistakenly think that we can just do whatever we want to do, because of Jesus’ grace and forgiveness. Notice here that Jesus is also full of “truth” – which represents the fact that Jesus was never afraid to tell people the truth about their sin and where they needed to repent and change. But He always did it with grace.
What does John 1:14 add to your understanding of what it actually means to “fear the Lord”?
- What did Pastor Dale mean when he cautioned us not to let grace become cheap?
- What’s the danger when we only focus on telling others the hard “truth” about their lives, without remembering “grace”? How do you feel when someone does that to you?
- Pastor Dale promised that if you do the following three things over the weeks of this sermon series, you will grow wiser:
- Open your mind and heart to God.
- Admit your own wisdom has its limitations
- Apply God’s Word to the folly-prone areas of your life.
What folly-prone area of your life do you sense God speaking to you about now?