Be kind, but also be cool.
OCTOBER 30, 2023
Be kind, but also be cool. I’ll explain on this edition, of Key Life.
Being adopted into the family of God is not about doing more or trying harder. It’s about being welcomed by God because of His radical grace, free from the penalties of sin and never alone in your suffering, that grace is what Key Life is all about.
Thank you Matthew. Hope you guys had a great week-end. Hope you got a lot of relaxation in. And I hope your pastor’s sermon was as good as my pastor’s sermon. If you’re just joining us, we have started, we’re about two or three weeks into it, a study of the Book of Proverbs. And I’m calling that Street Smart Christians. And that’s what it’s about, the Book of Proverbs. A lot of Christians read at least a chapter of Proverbs every day in their lives. I have some mentors who did that, some friends and heroes who did that, and I do that sometimes, too. Because we live in a world that will eat you alive, and lie to you, and lay out narratives that just aren’t true. And when you read the Book of Proverbs, you’re reading truth about how to be smart, street-smart, how to be wise, street-wise, how to be kind, but cool. And by the way, I got that kind, but cool comment from Thomas Penchant. How to be kind, but cool. Okay. On Mondays, let’s pray and then we’ll get down and we’ll study. Father, we come into your presence, so glad that you have revealed truth to us. Truth that tells us how to live, how to live with wisdom, how to get through this thing, and how to get home before the dark. Your kindness and your word is one of the many gifts that you have poured out on your people. And we praise you and worship you for that. We worship you and praise you because you sent your Son to die in our stead, because you promised to get us home, because you are kind and good all the time, and merciful. So, we worship you. Father, you know the people who are listening right now, and you know the hard places and soft places, the laughter and the tears. Remind us that as our Father, a sovereign Father, that you are sufficient for all of that. You listen to the sound of our tears as they strike the ground, and your laughter mingles with ours in the good times. And then Father, as always, we pray for the one who teaches on this broadcast, forgive him his sins, because there are many. We would see Jesus and him only, and we pray in Jesus’ name, Amen. Now, if you’ve been listening for the last few days, you know that we’ve done some dull stuff. It’s called the exegetical work that one does, before one studies a particular book of the Bible. We have asked questions that one should always ask, like, when was this book written? And the answer is, well, we’re not sure. In its present form, it’s 180 B.C. But a lot of it was compiled long before that, and not just among God’s covenant people. They’re Egyptian proverbs in this particular book, and from other sources, so we’re not exactly sure when this book was written. Who wrote it? Well, there’s a problem there too, and we’re not sure who wrote it. We know Solomon gathered some of it together and wrote some of it, but the book itself talks about other authors who were a part of that. And then we talked about an outline of the book of Proverbs, and in answer to that, we saw you’re crazy. You can’t outline the dictionary, and the Book of Proverbs is kind of like teaching the dictionary. So, I kind of gave up on the exegetical points that one often goes to before one studies a book of the Bible. Instead of doing that, I decided to tell you some of the overview anchors that are a part of the Book of Proverbs. Let me read to you the opening verses again.
The proverbs of Solomon, the son of David, king of Israel: To know wisdom and instruction, to perceive the words of the understanding, to receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, judgment, equity; to give prudence to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion– A wise man will have an increased learning, and a man of understanding will attain wise counsel, to understand a proverb and an enigma, the words of the wise and their riddles. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
Well, that pretty much says it all. And then we were talking about the nature of this book. Some of the anchors that are at the base of what this book is about. And we saw that this book has a lot to say about the nature of God. If you want to study theology proper, that is the study of God, a good place to go is the Book of Proverbs. And one of the things you learn about God is that God is into everything, into everything. We are getting some work done at our house. In order to get the permit to do that, we have to have a site plan that shows our property and where it goes. And my wife and I spent hours yesterday looking for it, and we can’t find it. So, this morning, when I prayed for peace in the world, and I confessed all of my sins, and I prayed for my pastor, and I prayed for our leaders, and I prayed for the wars we’re involved in, and I prayed on and on and on. I also said, Lord, could we find that site thing so we could get, and you said, no, you didn’t, yes, I did. And I did that because God is concerned with Afghanistan, he’s concerned with Washington, he’s concerned with politics, he’s concerned with our leaders. And he’s concerned about my site plan too because he’s involved in everything. I remember one time, during the great crusade that Mr. Graham had in New York, and hundreds of thousands of people were gathered, waiting for him to speak, and they were in the hotel room. And the last thing that Mr. Graham prayed as they went out the door is, Lord, I can’t find my hat. Could you help me? And I thought, what? Find your hat? Why don’t you pray that millions of people come to Jesus? I can’t find, and it was so wise when I thought about it because the Booki of Proverbs says that God is involved with everything. We also saw that the Book of Proverbs is quoted often by Jesus. And that ought to give you an idea of how important this book is. You know, I have a friend who has a friend who wanted me to meet his friend. And I said to the friend of my friend, if you’re a friend of Bill’s, then I’m going to like you too. If you’re a friend of Bill’s, you’ll be a friend of mine. Well, that’s kind of true in the Book of Proverbs. I love the book of Proverbs and one of the reasons that I love the Book of Proverbs, among a list of a lot of other reasons, is because Jesus loved the Book of Proverbs. And then we saw, that in this book, and by the way, there in Proverbs 23:13 through 24 through 22, those are Egyptian Proverbs. They didn’t come from Israel. They didn’t come from God’s people. They come, they came from a pagan source. And you go, what’s with that? Proverbs 31:1, the words of Lemuel, the king of Massa, which his mother taught him. And Massa, by the way, was an Arab kingdom. What in the world is with that? Well, you can learn something from that. And that is, there is truth all over the place. And I mean that. Truth all over the place. You can find truth in the Koran. You can find truth in the Vedas. You can find truth in all kinds of sources, but you’ve got to be careful, it’s not all true. Truth is there, but you’ve got to be careful, and that’s what the Book of Proverbs says to us. You’ve got to be careful because it’s not all true. But when you read the Word of God, it is all true, every bit of it. And so, the Book of Proverbs says that to us. Don’t ignore truth, wherever you find it, but always measure it by all truth that is found in the Word of God. And so, that’s what Proverbs is, it’s all truth, for street-smart Christians. You think about that. Amen.
Thank you Steve. That was Steve Brown resuming our series called Street-Smart Christians, a guided tour through the Book of Proverbs. I don’t know about you, but I really could use more wisdom. So, I can’t wait for us to continue and that’s exactly what we’ll do tomorrow, hope you’ll join us. You know, one of the great things about Proverbs is how nuts and bolts practical it is. And that’s one of the things I like about Steve’s writing, for example, in his article called Just Stop It and You’ll Laugh More. He talks about how Jesus, laughter and tragedy. And that if you really want to chill out, there are some things you’re going to have to stop. You’ll find that piece in the latest digital edition of Key Life magazine. Check it out for free at keylife.org/magazines and if you haven’t read our 2023 print magazine yet, it’s not too late to claim your copy. Just call us at 1-800-KEY-LIFE that’s 1-800-539-5433. You can also e-mail [email protected] to ask for the magazine. To mail your request, go to keylife.org/contact to find our mailing addresses. Again, just ask for your free copy of Key Life magazine. And finally, if you value the work of Key Life, would you support that work through your giving? You can charge a gift on your credit card, or include a gift in your envelope. Or, just pick up your phone and text Key Life to 28950 that’s Key Life, one word, two words. It doesn’t matter, just text that to 28950. And listen, if you can’t give, all good. But please do pray for us, would you? Key Life is a member of ECFA in the States and CCCC in Canada. And as always, we are a listener supported production of Key Life Network.