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Eyes on the Things of God (Proverbs 14)

Sermon on 3 April 2022 by Sis Hui Ling

Introduction

What are the things of God? Why is it important to have our eyes on God?


Message

Jesus predicted His death and resurrection.


And He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. 32 He spoke this word openly. Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him. 33 But when He had turned around and looked at His disciples, He rebuked Peter, saying, “Get behind Me, Satan! For you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.” – Mark 8:31-33


To better understand the meaning of the words ‘things of God’, let us look to verse 33 in NLT and the Amplified Bible.


NLT

33 Jesus turned around and looked at his disciples, then reprimanded Peter. “Get away from me, Satan!” he said. “You are seeing things merely from a human point of view, not from God’s.”


Amplified Bible

33 But turning around [with His back to Peter] and seeing His disciples, He rebuked Peter, saying, “Get behind Me, Satan; for your mind is not set on God’s will or His values and purposes, but on what pleases man.”


‘Things of God’ can be explained as (1) God’s point of view, or (2) God’s will or values and purposes, or (3) God’s concerns.


Proverbs are filled with instructions of God. In Proverbs 14, we can find the following things of God:


v3, 15, 16, 26, 27, 30, 32: safety

v4, 21, 22, 23, 24, 28, 34: large harvest, blessings (unfailing love, faithfulness, wealth, glory, great nation)

v6, 7, 8, 18, 29, 33: knowledge, understanding

v1, 11, 19: home

v2, 12: path, steps

v9: reconciliation

v5: honesty

v10: joy


Let us look at the top 3 things.


Safety


3 A fool’s proud talk becomes a rod that beats him, but the words of the wise keep them safe.

15 Only simpletons believe everything they’re told! The prudent carefully consider their steps.

16 The wise are cautious and avoid danger; fools plunge ahead with reckless confidence.

26 Those who fear the Lord are secure; he will be a refuge for their children.

27 Fear of the Lord is a life-giving fountain; it offers escape from the snares of death.

30 A peaceful heart leads to a healthy body; jealousy is like cancer in the bones.

32 The wicked are crushed by disaster, but the godly have a refuge when they die.


Safety here is about safety for the soul. Do we guard what is precious, what we are taught? Do we go back to the Bible?


God wants us to be wise in our words, and not to speak arrogantly. Do not believe everything you are told, and carefully consider everything you hear. Be careful, do not be recklessly confident. Fear the Lord and your children are safe. Fear the Lord, and you have eternal life. Pursue peace!


Large Harvest, Blessings


4 Without oxen a stable stays clean, but you need a strong ox for a large harvest.

21 It is a sin to belittle one’s neighbor; blessed are those who help the poor.

22 If you plan to do evil, you will be lost; if you plan to do good, you will receive unfailing love and faithfulness.

23 Work brings profit, but mere talk leads to poverty!

24 Wealth is a crown for the wise; the effort of fools yields only foolishness.

28 A growing population is a king’s glory; a prince without subjects has nothing.

34 Godliness makes a nation great, but sin is a disgrace to any people.


Harvest and blessings is not just about prosperity, excellent grades, or career advancement. God does bless us with physical accomplishments, but from God’s perspective, it is more than that. It is about God’s harvest – souls. Genesis 1 tells us what God’s creation was meant to be good.


God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” – Genesis 1:28


Proverbs 14 tell us to be willing and humble to work hard and stay focused. We are to help those in need and do good. We do not merely talk or boast. We are to fear God for wisdom, fear God for godliness and do not indulge in sin. God also wants us to govern well and have good stewardship.


Knowledge, Understanding


6 A mocker seeks wisdom and never finds it, but knowledge comes easily to those with understanding.

7 Stay away from fools, for you won’t find knowledge on their lips.

8 The prudent understand where they are going, but fools deceive themselves.

18 Simpletons are clothed with foolishness, but the prudent are crowned with knowledge.

29 People with understanding control their anger; a hot temper shows great foolishness.

33 Wisdom is enshrined in an understanding heart; wisdom is not found among fools.


God’s perspective and concerns on knowledge and understanding is about being humble to get understanding. We are to watch who we hang out with. God wants us to be careful and thoughtful, for wisdom, not deceiving ourselves. We are to control our anger. Fear God, for understanding.


What did Jesus say about things of God? Take up the cross and follow Him.


34 When He had called the people to Himself, with His disciples also, He said to them, “Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. 35 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it. 36 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? 37 Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? 38 For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.”


Closing


Read Proverbs 14 with eyes on the things of God. Act out Proverbs 14 by taking up the cross and following Jesus. Deny the things of men. Instead, desire the things of God.

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