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Encourage0gram August 4, 2020

Posted by Pastor Rick John on

Encourage0gram
August 4, 2020
 
Dear Friends,
 
We have reached Proverbs 4.  It is a uniquely powerful appeal by a father to his children!  One primary duty for all fathers and mothers is to instruct our children.  As disciples of Jesus Christ ourselves, we are called by God to guide our children into the truth! We do this in our words and in our actions.
 
NIV Ephesians 6:4
Fathers, do not exasperate your children;
instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.
 
Exasperation comes when children are confused by our instruction or lack of guidance. Our words or silence can be confusing as well as our unholy actions or words. We have been given the sacred duty of bringing our children up!  We are called to help them come to know the Lord and to follow Him. Every instruction should agree with the holy Scriptures. It is imperative that we give our children the biblical basis for life. 
 
Solomon refers to his own father David in 4:2-9.  I see that David was a better father in his latter years.  He took time to direct his son to the Lord!  Solomon follows this godly model in 4:10-27. 
 
There a few gems in this chapter:
 
NIV Proverbs 4:11
I instruct you in the way of wisdom and lead you along straight paths.
 
The way of wisdom is the patterns in life we are presently living. Paths are the steps we will take in the future.  Both are to be lived consciously in submission to wisdom. 
 
NIV Proverbs 4:12
When you walk, your steps will not be hampered; when you run, you will not stumble.
 
All of us as parents love to see our children walking in the truth unhampered!  See 3 John 4.  We also enjoy seeing them run!  Both are done best when each step is taken on the path of wisdom.  This means we are called to warn our children to avoid “evil” paths (4:14-17).
 
Note the stark contrast in 4:18-19
 
NIV Proverbs 4:18-19
The path of the righteous is like the morning sun, shining ever brighter till the full light of day. 19 But the way of the wicked is like deep darkness; they do not know what makes them stumble.
 
The final commands in the chapter call us to live intentionally in obedience to wisdom.
 
NIV Proverbs 4:26-27
Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways.
Do not turn to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil.
 
We are to be careful about our future steps on the path and steadfast in the patterns of life each day.  This concentration will keep us on the straight path that honors God and brings blessings into our lives.
 
I am eager to meet with you tomorrow.  Keep living skillfully to honor God and enjoy His daily guidance!
 
Your servant for Jesus sake,
Pastor Rick

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