4/25/13 - PTC_Proverbs 4 - "The Principle of the Sunrise"
Instruction on Proverbs PTs:
I am excited to jump into the Priority Time Challenge with Chris for the next eight weeks. This would be a great opportunity to start the Priority Time Challenge; all the details are here. I'll be taking us through the book of Proverbs. I LOVE the Proverbs and have made reading Proverbs a regular part of my daily "diet" of God's word for nearly 15 years.
Here's how we will go about it. Take the time to READ the entire chapter for the day straight through. Don't read too fast, the Proverbs are like miniature sermons. One or two sentences really pack a punch. So, read slowly and look for the one or two verses that really stand out to you today. You might select a passage that addresses a challenge you are facing, a need in your life or a growth area. I will share the passage that stands out to me each day and take you through the steps of a Priority Time. I will not post the entire chapter, just the passage that stands out to me. I encourage you to write in your journal, verbatim the passage that stands out to you each day as you log your progress through the steps of a Priority Time.
A Priority Time is a daily unhurried time to read the Word of God to know the God of the Word. Each day we will read a passage of scripture and highpoint a few verses for the purpose of Focused Thinking, Personal Application, Interactive Prayer, and Life Journaling.
- Focused Thinking: Ask the journalistic questions (5 W's and How).
- Personal Application: It turns information into transformation.
- Interactive Prayer: It is personal, private, and precise.
- Life Journaling: It is the process of recording thoughts, evaluating my experiences, and capturing my memories.
18 The path of the righteous is like the morning sun,
shining ever brighter till the full light of day.
Who? The righteous. I want to be one of "the righteous."
What? "The path" This is the way of the righteous person. This means the steps they take. The behaviors they choose. The many decision points that accumulate along the way. Everyone has a path. Our decisions become the wake our lives leave behind. The righteous person has a path that is similar to the morning sun.
How? How does the morning sun work? The morning sun breaks into darkness and gets "ever brighter until the full light of day." This is how it is for the righteous. At first, the righteous may feel like their righteous decision is in the darkness, but over time it is proven by the light. This is partly what makes righteous decision making so difficult. The righteous choice may seem foolish in the moment. You may not be able to foresee the reason or positive outcome. But the truth will bear out over time.
Why? The reason a person would choose to be righteous is because there is a payoff in the end. I know this sounds like it may be wrong, but no one chooses righteousness without the promise of the payoff…even Jesus! (Hebrews 12:1-2) It sounds good to say i'm choosing righteousness out of principle or because "God said so." But the truth is, if there was no promise of payoff for us, why in the world would we choose righteousness!? Righteousness means saying NO to my flesh and denying self. Righteousness means choosing what God says is right in faith, like the darkness of the early morning before we see the payoff in the full light of day. Conlee has taught this for years - "the sign comes AFTER the act of obedience."
Personal Application: I need the daily reminder as the sun rises that there is ALWAYS a payoff to choose righteously. I need to teach this as a message or series called, "Sunrise." We need to continually equip people with the understanding that there is always a payoff to righteousness. God never leaves us alone and never leads us astray.
Interactive prayer: God give me the faith to choose righteousness even when the outcomes are unclear. I pray this for the men of HP. Help men choose purity even before ether see the payoff in their marriages. God convict men to say NO to porn and lustful thinking and see the "full light of day" in their families. Use righteous fathers to protect the purity of their children. I pray that you constantly give me a vision for the sunrise. Help me not forget that the full light of day is coming. I pray this for the many who are choosing righteousness in other areas, keeping a child of an unexpected or problematic pregnancy, those choosing to adopt and waiting for a placement, those who are faithful to tithe waiting for the floodgates of Heaven to open, those who are honest among liars waiting on vindication, God bless the righteous today.
People need and I need to stay closely tied to the understanding of righteous payoff. The sun will rise. We will see the blessing of righteousness. The righteous path will lead us well. I want to develop this concept. I think there is so much freedom and motivation in this. God call to righteousness is not without purpose. God does not call us to meaningless living. The challenge of each day is acting in faith before the payoff.
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