- Sermon Notes
Intro: The sleepover
The desire to rule your own life is very relatable. Many of us are quick to believe that we are the best architect for our story, but there is someone who has a much better design than we could even imagine! If we can trust God enough to seek Him first, to let Him be most important in our life, we will find a source of hope and blessing that can’t be beat!
The wisdom literature of the Bible is continually encouraging us to do just that. In today’s set of proverbs we find the call to –and value of– God taking His rightful place in our lives.
Read: Proverbs 3:5-12
Biblical wisdom, tells us that God is meant to occupy the throne of our hearts. Turing over the story we are trying to write can be challenging, but there is no author more skilled or caring than the Lord (Hebrews 12:2). God has laid out this truth time and time again. What would it look like if you believed Him?
I. Trust Him With Your Heart
- God asks to be first in our hearts, trusting him above all, and putting nothing and no one before Him (Exodus 20).
- This calling that we have to trust in God is foundational to our faith. If we really want a relationship with Him, we have to be able to trust God with even something as vulnerable as our heart.
- For many of us it can be discouragingly difficult to trust anyone with something so precious, let alone surrender it to God.
Illus. Handle with care
- Letting someone into your heart creates an opportunity to get hurt, and people can be careless with the hearts of others. It’s easy to see why we might just want to shut that door altogether, but with God things are different!
Philippians 4:7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
- Even when we don’t understand it, God brings us comfort and carries the weight of our anxieties; however, we aren’t always willing to accept what we don’t understand.
- Believe God First
- Today’s scripture instructs us not to lean on our own human understanding. As hard as it may be to put your own thoughts in the passenger’s seat, if you are going to trust the Lord to handle your heart you must trust Him even more than your own perception.
- That’s a very hard thing to do. We are often ruled by our perception, operating with a “believe it when I see it” mentality.
- However, now more than ever we should know that our understanding of reality can be distorted with surprising ease.
Illus. Oculus Quest
- Our minds and hearts can be so easily deceived, yet we often trust our first impression more than God’s direction.
Proverbs 14:12 There is a way which seems right to a man,
but its end is the way of death.
Isaiah 55:8-9 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.
- God simply sees things more accurately than us. His wisdom, capacity, and pool of information outclasses ours every time.
- When we choose to trust anything –even ourselves– more than we trust God, we are setting ourselves up for failure.
- Believing God before your own mind may be rare and difficult, but it’s integral to walking in wisdom. A heart that totally trusts the Lord is evidence that He is first in your life.
- He wants your whole heart
Verse 5 – Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding.
- Even once we have decided to entrust God with our heart and trust Him more than our own mind, we can still manage to miss one very important part.
- God doesn’t just want a little of your heart, He asks for all of it!
Matthew 22:37-38 And He said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the great and foremost commandment.”
- It’s the thing we are called to do above all else, and it’s extreme! God is not asking for anything less than all of you.
- What do we do in the face of such a huge requirement? A little of my heart I can do, but the rest of it is taken! It’s mine, or my loved one’s, or my pet’s.
Illus. Mark’s Challenge
- We may be tempted to protest to the idea of giving God that much of ourselves. It can be tempting to fling around words like “selfish” or “needy”, but I would be careful in that. Accusing God of neediness is attempting to put a human descriptor on an eternal, self-sufficient God.
- He doesn’t need, or lack. God is perfect, it’s part of His nature (Matthew 5:48). So, why does He expect us to give Him access to every part of our lives? It’s for us.
Illus. Jayme’s secret snacks
- In spiritual immaturity it might be frustrating to give God so much, but it ultimately is a blessing to us!
Jeremiah 17:7-8 Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord and whose trust is the Lord. For he will be like a tree planted by the water, that extends its roots by a stream and will not fear when the heat comes; but its leaves will be green, and it will not be anxious in a year of drought nor cease to yield fruit.
- With whole-hearted earnestness, we need to sink deep roots that draw from Jesus. We need Him to be our source, truly first in our hearts and lives.
- Entrust Him With Your Life
- Once God is the king of your heart, He must become king of your life as well.
Verse 6 – In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.
- We need to let Him direct our whole life. While it can be heart-pounding to hand over the wheel, we can have confidence that God is a better driver.
- The calling that God has, the path He asks us to walk, isn’t always congruent with the plan we would make for ourselves.
- For example, in this passage we are reminded that God asks us to give Him parts of our life that we might first want for ourselves.
Verses 9&10 – Honor the Lord from your wealth
and from the first of all your produce;
so your barns will be filled with plenty
- First fruits are a hard sacrifice to make. It is much more like us to give the last fruits. The banana that sat on the counter too long. Many of us have the tendency to give to God out of our excess.
- Give God the best of you, not the rest of you.
Illus. Lego Loser
- The same offering can be great or pathetic depending on the context and motivation.
Mark 12:41-44 And He sat down opposite the treasury, and began observing how the people were putting money into the treasury; and many rich people were putting in large sums. A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which amount to a cent. Calling His disciples to Him, He said to them, “Truly I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all the contributors to the treasury; for they all put in out of their surplus, but she, out of her poverty, put in all she owned, all she had to live on.”
- The size and sum of the offering didn’t matter, Jesus valued the whole-hearted demonstration of respect-for and trust-in God. This widow evidentlyhad God first in her life.
- Giving God the best of us means that we trust Him to subsidize our lives with His blessings. It means we aren’t afraid to lose out on the best we can muster, because we trust that what God has for us is better!
Psalm 146:3-7 Do not trust in princes, in mortal man, in whom there is no salvation. His spirit departs, he returns to the earth; in that very day his thoughts perish. How blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord his God, Who made heaven and earth, the sea and all that is in them; who keeps faith forever; who executes justice for the oppressed; who gives food to the hungry. The Lord sets the prisoners free.
- By holding nothing back from Christ, we invite Him to work out His will for us in our lives. We need to be genuine before the Lord and ask Him to establish our path.
- Even things that we would actively avoid for ourselves can be a blessing when God is using them for His plan!
Verses 11&12 – My son, do not reject the discipline of the Lord or loathe His reproof, for whom the Lord loves He reproves, even as a father corrects the son in whom he delights.
- While reproof might not be part of the plan you would make for yourself, even discipline is a blessing when it comes from a loving father.
- That’s a big leap of trust, allowing someone to correct and reprove you. It can be easy to avoid the voice of truth simply because we don’t like what it has to say, but if God is going to be first in our lives, that means giving Him the authority to bring a stern correction.
- Entrusting God with your life is an extremely humbling process. It gives light to Jesus’ expectation that we become like children in order to be great in the Kingdom of Heaven.
Illus. When Jayme cries
Psalm 34:17 The righteous cry, and the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles.
- Be refreshed in Jesus
Verses 7&8 – Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your body and refreshment to your bones.
- The story of placing God first in our lives isn’t about what we give up. It’s about what we choose instead.
- We let go of so much in favor what God has for us, and more importantly, in favor of God Himself!
- We are inviting the one who created us and knows best how to bless us to lovingly craft our lives.
Matthew 6:33 But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
- Even though life my batter us, and we walk aweary road, we can be refreshed in Jesus. We have a boundless source of living water
John 7:37-38 Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’”
- When God is first in our lives, we are granted peace, joy, and hope. We are designed to be in right relationship with Him, and when we are, all of the important peripherals fall into the correct place!
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the Lord and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your body and refreshment to your bones. Honor the Lord from your wealth and from the first of all your produce; So your barns will be filled with plenty and your vats will overflow with new wine. My son, do not reject the discipline of the Lord or loathe His reproof, For whom the Lord loves He reproves, Even as a father corrects the son in whom he delights.