Not So Secret Sauce pt 2

Not So Secret Sauce  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  51:15
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There was a company that wanted to improve efficiency and performance… So, they called in a consultant…
The consultants job was to evaluate, encourage, and improve employee performance… So, he did what all good consultants do, he called a meeting… He brought all the company personnel together…
Stressing the need to listen to experts in the field… to heed their directions… he said to them: “Imagine you’re on the Titanic, and it’s sinking… You climb into a lifeboat… Which direction would you row?”
Then he asked, “What if you had the ship’s navigator with you? Now which way would you go?”
“You’d row in the direction the navigator told you, right?”
There were murmurs of agreement among those gathered… until one man, way in the back, shouted, “Well, I don’t know. He’s already hit an iceberg!”
If we are going to get anywhere, we have to know where we are going, right?
We need to know where to get good directions…
We’ve all heard the stories of GPS systems misleading people…
So… Where do we turn for directions in life?
Last week, we began this series addressing this very question: “How do we live a life of Holiness?” What’s the “secret Sauce”?
And we discovered that it’s really a “Not So Secret Sauce”!
Look at 2 Peter 1:5
2 Peter 1:5 NIV
5 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge;
Peter says, “Add to your goodness… knowledge.
Would you agree that Knowledge is essential for any kind of cooking endeavor? (Yes)
So… If we wanted to add knowledge to our cooking abilities, we’d turn to the Chef, right?!
Look back at 2 Peter…
“For this very reason” because of our salvation… because we have been called to live in Holiness… “add to your Faith, goodness, and to goodness, knowledge...”
Peter believes that adding knowledge to our faith and goodness is a formula for spiritual growth.
So… Where do we turn… Where do we look for the knowledge we need?
Look at Proverbs 1:1-6
Proverbs 1:1–6 NIV
1 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.
Solomon lays it out right there… Proverbs is all Godly wisdom…
How we get it… How we use it…
Proverbs is about the way in which we REGAIN the art of Making a Life!
Look at Proverbs 1:4
Proverbs 1:4 NIV
4 for giving prudence to those who are simple, knowledge and discretion to the young—
Solomon is concerned with equipping the young for what? Life!
Look at Proverbs 1:5
Proverbs 1:5 NIV
5 let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance—
No matter how young, how old, or how much you “think” you know… Solomon calls us to LISTEN!
Now… Look at Proverbs 1:7
Proverbs 1:7 NIV
7 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
There are a couple of things I want you to see here.
Solomon says, “True knowledge comes from a ‘Fear of the Lord’...”
“Fear” does not mean “terror”… But “Reverence for God.”
Stephen Lennox says: “[Fear of the Lord is] respect that produces a submissive attitude toward God.” (A Bible Commentary in the Wesleyan Tradition)
Lennox goes on to say:
“Fear of God implies a recognition that He exists, that He knows all about us, and that He will reward or punish based upon His knowledge.”
In other words, “Fear of God” is recognizing Who He is, and Who we are not!
It is recognizing that “He is who He is”… the He IS the author… He Is the creator… and He Is the sustainer of ALL things!
It is the recognition and submission to the Truth! God is the Author… He is the Sustainer… of all the “good works” He designed us for!
Solomon says “This ‘Fear’ is the beginning of ‘Knowledge’.”
That word - “Beginning” is an interesting word…
It means “the Head”… “the Foremost”… “the First in Importance”…
In other words, “The Fear of the Lord” is the base upon which everything else is built.
Lennox states: “Head” here suggests a “fountain from which wisdom flows, a posture that enables True Wisdom to be obtained.”
In other words… “The Fear of God is the ‘headwaters fo knowledge’.”
It is the proper understanding of our position before God and His position before us…
He is Creator and we are creation…
He is Divine and we are mortal…
He is the Giver of Unending - Unconditional Love and we are the recipients of that Love!
It’s like a healthy relationship between an infant and its parents… When the baby comes into the world, they literally know nothing about anything… They have to be taught everything…
That’s the parent’s job! They guide… they nurture… their children through the ins and outs of life… imparting knowledge as they go…
For an child to learn, they must have a sort of reverence for their parent… So that, when their parent tells them not to touch a hot stove… not to put their hands in a fire… not to go near a barking dog… they listen and they respond…
Each time a parent does that… each time a parent teaches by stopping and action… by encouraging… even when they don’t use words… They are teaching their child… And he/she is learning…
(Allessa example - spicy food) “Sometimes we don’t even realize we are teaching...”
Look back at Proverbs 1:7
Proverbs 1:7 NIV
7 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
Solomon tells us: “The Wise SUBMIT (write this down) their intellectual prowess to their commitment to God, RECOGNIZING His CLAIM on their lives!”
It is all about relationship, amen?
God designed wisdom to be a by-product of our relationship with Him.
Look back at Prov 1:7
Proverbs 1:7 NIV
7 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
We have been given a choice!
Fear God and gain wisdom… OR… Reject God’s instruction for our lives and become a FOOL.
“A Fool despises wisdom and instruction.”
Pastor Dennis Davidson states: “A Fool (nahal) is not one who lacks intelligence, but one who is obstinate and stubborn. The root of his foolishness is not intelligence, but spiritual perspective.”
Proverbs 13:16 NIV
16 All who are prudent act with knowledge, but fools expose their folly.
Proverbs 17:10 NIV
10 A rebuke impresses a discerning person more than a hundred lashes a fool.
Proverbs 17:28 NIV
28 Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent, and discerning if they hold their tongues.
Proverbs 20:3 NIV
3 It is to one’s honor to avoid strife, but every fool is quick to quarrel.
And the list goes on…
Fools despise wisdom’s instruction…
They are morally bankrupt… They are fleshly… they ignore the greatest truths if this universe…
They trifle with what is serious… and gamble away the joys of life for the lusts of time…
They may be extremely intelligent… but, their logic is faulty and inconsistent…
None of us wants to be a fool… but sometimes we become one unintentionally.
We convince ourselves that we already know everything… that we are already the “smartest person in the room”… and when we do that, there is no place left to receive from God!
John 10:10 (NIV)
10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
The “Full Life”… or “Abundant Life”… Holiness… is the result of making right choices in the middle of difficult circumstances.
It can be navigating a messy relationship… a job loss… wounds from past abuses… handling bad news… healing… or simply raising children…
The wise person feels the weight of the situation… feels how important making the right decision is… and turns to God for guidance.
When we face the difficult decisions… When troubles rear their ugly face… Even in the “small stuff”… we need to learn to begin by saying: “God, I don’t know what to do… Help me!”
Instead of trying to do it ourselves…
We WILL receive knowledge from God… If we ask!
James 4:2 (NIV)
2 You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God.
We receive knowledge from God in different ways…
First, We have been given His Word.
The Bible speaks to us in EVERY situation we experience in life! Teaching us how God wants us to live.
Second, we receive knowledge through Godly counsel.
When we surround ourselves with people who love God… who are trying their best to live holy lives… they can help us to navigate life.
How often do you call the pastor to talk about and pray about what you are struggling with?
Many of us seek out Godly counsel regularly… where good at it… BUT…
The problem is that we have access to the knowledge, but we don’t apply it to our lives!
Let me tell you… There is a difference between Knowledge and Wisdom.
Knowledge is information… Wisdom is application.
JRR Tolkien once said: “The chief purpose of life, for any of us, is to increase, according to our capacity, our knowledge of God by all means we have, and to be moved by it to praise and thanks.” — JRR Tolkien
When we despise wisdom and instruction… we neglect a major ingredient in God’s Recipe For Life!
Knowledge is information…
Wisdom is knowledge applied
Wisdom is transformation!
Wisdom is when knowledge moves from our heads… to our hearts!
James tells us that the Knowledge of God MUST move us to action!
James 1:22–24 NIV
22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.
We are called to be “doers of the word,” not just “hearers”…
When we hear God’s word but don’t do what it says, we are like a person who looks in the mirror… sees what they look like… and then walks away and forgets…
Or worse! Looks in the mirror… sees what they look like… and doesn’t care enough to do anything about it!
Scripture is our mirror!
We don’t read scripture for entertainment… We don’t read the Bible simply for information… We read the Bible for APPLICATION!
When we forget what scripture reveals to us… there is no application!
When we read for information… and simply memorize and regurgitate… there is no application!
And when there is no Application… there is no TRANSFORMATION!
It’s like coming to church on Sunday… hearing the message… but then on Monday… Do you even remember it?
To many of us come to church for entertainment… to get our box “checked”… and to “feel good” about ourselves....
But there’s no Transformation!!!
Have you ever had this happen to you?
You’re reading the Bible… not really sure what you are needing to read… to hear… and all of the sudden… something you read just Jumps off the page!!!
It cuts you to the core… because it is just what you needed to hear…
It brings with it some conviction…
That happened to me this week… I was reminded of Col 2:6
Colossians 2:6 NIV
6 So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him,
You see… I have been in a spiritual slump… (maybe I’m not the only one)
When I read this verse, I felt like God was speaking to me… pointing out why I have been struggling… why I was feeling spiritually stagnant…
You see… I had been neglecting the simple disciplines in my life… There are things I did when I first gave my life to Jesus that I have just… kinda… stopped… doing…
Things like intentional prayer… reading the Bible (not for sermon prep, but for personal study)… fellowship… confession…
You see… those things are what built my foundation of faith… but I had been neglecting them…
Now… I had a choice to make!
This was knowledge I had to act on!
Maybe that’s you too…
We have a choice… We can feel the Spirit’s nudge to action… but then just go about our day without making any changes…
That would be like looking in the mirror… seeing myself clearly… but then leaving without dong anything about the way I look!
We may know God’s Word… We may have received Godly counsel… But if we don’t do anything with it, what good is it?
I may know that God tells me to “love my neighbor as myself,” but if I don’t do it, what have I accomplished?!?
The Bible wants every Christian to share their faith… to “be ready in season and out of season to give a reason for the Faith we have”… but the truth is… Few actually do!
That is why Peter tells us to “add to our faith, goodness,” and to throw in a touch of knowledge applied as wisdom… because when we do… We are transformed!
Paul invites us to experience the truth of this in our lives…
Romans 12:1–2 NIV
1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
So… What do we do if we feel like we don’t have wisdom in our lives?
James 1:5 NIV
5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.
In order to add knowledge to your Faith and Goodness… all you have to do is ask!
Far too many of us see prayer as a last resort…
We try to work things out in our own strength… and forget to come to the One who made the world… the One who can inform our decisions for GOOD!
God is not some cosmic kill-joy… He’s not hiding in heaven with all the answers just watching you make bad decisions and laughing about it…
He WANTS to help!
God gives generously to ALL… to EVERYONE… who is willing to ask!
God invites us to His Table… to come and seek His help… His answers… His guidance…
Before we end our time together today with a few more minutes of worship, I want us to take a moment… I want to invite you… to just come before God, and talk to Him the areas of your life that you need His direction?
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