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Summary: A SERVICE OF CELEBRATION AS TWO GRADUATES ARE HEADING OFF TO COLLEGE. A SAD TIME FOR US AS THEIR LIVES TAKE THEM ELSEWHERE, BUT WE ALSO CELEBRATE WITH THEM IN THEIR ACHIEVEMENT.

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IN SEARCH OF WISDOM

PROVERBS 1:1-19

YOU’LL HAVE TO FORGIVE ME IF I FEEL A BIT MELANCHOLY ABOUT THE MESSAGE TODAY. THESE ARE VERY SAD SERVICES IN SOME WAYS. EVA AND AMANDA ARE GETTING READY TO LEAVE OUR COMMUNITY TO CONTINUE WITH THEIR LIFE GOALS AND AMBITIONS. THEY WILL BE BACK TO VISIT, PERHAPS HOLIDAYS AND SPECIAL OCCASIONS, BUT FOR THE MOST PART THEIR LIVES NOW WILL LEAD THEM AWAY FROM US.

I REMEMBER AMANDA VISITING WITH OUR CHURCH FAMILY ON DIFFERENT OCCASIONS, SUCH AS JOYCE’S BIRTHDAY, AND I ALSO REMEMBER WHEN EVA AND NANCY FIRST CAME TO FIRST BAPTIST. WE GOAT A PHONE CALL AT THE HOUSE FROM NANCY, ASKING IF SHE COULD COME TO A BIBLE STUDY, AND WITHIN A FEW MONTHS, EVA AND NANCY DECIDED TO MAKE FIRST BAPTIST THEIR HOME.

AMANDA AND EVA HAVE BEEN PART OF OUR LIVES SINCE THEN. IT’S HARD NOT TO KNOW YOU AMANDA, WHEN YOU HAVE A PROUD GRAND-MOTHER IN THE CONGREGATION. IT’S HARD NOT TO REMEMBER WHEN EVA WASN’T INVOLVED IN CHURCH ACTIVITIES, FROM KID’S CLUB, TO CHRISTMAS CONCERTS, AND SINGING IN CHURCH. MY HOPE, AND YOU MAY CONSIDER THIS AN INVITATION TO PARTICIPIATE IN OUR SERVICE ANY TIME IT IS POSSIBLE.

TODAY THOUGH IS A TIME OF CELEBRATION. YOU HAVE REACHED A SPECIAL TIME IN YOUR LIVES, AND WE WANT TO CELEBRATE THIS WITH YOU. I DON’T WANT YOU TO FEEL TOO UNCOMFORTABLE OR UPTIGHT THINKING THAT THIS SERMON IS ADDRESSED SPECIFICALLY TO YOU. THE ONLY REASON TO FEEL THAT WAY IS BECAUSE IT IS. THE SEARCH FOR WISDOM THOUGH IS SOMETHING WE ALL PARTICIPATE IN, SO IT IS A SERMON FOR ALL OF US TODAY.

THE WORLD THAT WE LIVE IN TODAY, HAS FAR MORE OPPORTUNITIES FOR EVIL TO HAPPEN THAN EVER BEFORE. JASON CRABB HAS A SONG OUT ENTITLED “WE CAN’T DO THAT ANYMORE.” HE DESCRIBES IN THE CHANGES THAT HAVE HAPPENED IN THE WORLD. WE USED TO BE ABLE TO LEAVE OUR DOORS UNLOCKED. PEOPLE USED TO RESPECT PROPERTY. WE USED TO BE ABLE TO TRUST THE PERSON GIVING US A DRINK NOT TO HAVE IT MIXED WITH A DRUG. “YOU CAN’T DO THAT ANYMORE.”

DRUGS TODAY ARE MUCH MORE POWERFUL THAN THEY WERE SAY 20 YEARS AGO. TODAY DESIGNER DRUGS ARE THE RAGE, AND PEOPLE DON’T KNOW WHAT THEY ARE PUTTING IN THEIR BODIES, NOR THE CONSEQUENCES OF DOING SO.

LESLIE AND I WERE WATCHING THE NEWS ONE NIGHT AND THEY HAD A REPORT ON THE NEWEST CRAZE ON UNIVERSITY CAMPUSES. IT WAS INHALING ALCOHOL.

WHAT PEOPLE WOULD DO IS BUY SOME DRY ICE AND POUR ALCOHOL OVER IT. IT WOULD TURN THE ALCOHOL INTO A VAPOR WHICH YOU WOULD THEN INHALE.

THE DANGER IS THAT THE ALCOHOL WOULD GO DIRECTLY TO YOUR BLOOD STREAM AND YOUR BRAIN. WHEN YOU DRINK YOUR BODY CAN MAKE YOU VOMIT IF YOU’VE HAD TOO MUCH. NOT SO WITH THIS METHOD. YOU GET THE FULL DAMAGING DOSAGE OF THE ALCOHOL. WE DON’T KNOW HOW IT WILL EFFECT PEOPLE, BUT THE KIDS ON CAMPUS ARE NOT AFRAID TO TRY IT. THE MAGIC WORD IS JUST ONCE.

THERE ARE MORE INTERNET SCHEMES DESIGNED TO DEFRAUD SENIOR CITIZENS THAN EVER BEFORE. WE COULD GO INTO SOME BUT THAT WOULD TAKE TOO LONG TODAY.

WHAT I’M SAYING IS THAT EVERYONE IS A POTENTIAL TARGET FOR EVIL TODAY, AND SO EVERYONE NEEDS TO BE AWARE AND VIGILENT OF SATAN. THE FIRST STEP TOWARDS WISDOM IS THE REALIZATION THAT NOONE IS IMMUNE FROM TEMPTATION AND WE MUST ALWAYS BE ON OUR GUARD.

THIS IS WHY WISDOM IS SO IMPORTANT TODAY. AT SCHOOL YOU ARE INTRODUCED TO A LOT OF FACTS AND KNOWLEDGE, BUT THIS DOES NOT MEAN THAT YOU HAVE WISDOM. THE WORLD TODAY IS AN INFORMATION AGE. TECHNOLOGICAL ADVANCES SUCH AS INTERNET, FACEBOOK, CELL PHONES, ETC. ALLOW US ACCESS TO INFORMATION INSTANTLY. WHAT THEY DO NOT DO, IS GIVE US THE WISDOM ON HOW TO USE THAT INFORMATION.

THE BIBLE CAN DIRECT YOU TO GOD AS THE SOURCE OF ALL WISDOM. THIS IS WHAT MAKES SOLOMON’S WORDS SO IMPORTANT FOR ALL OF US TODAY. HE IS NOT WRITING TO TEACH YOU WISDOM FOR WISDOM CANNOT BE TAUGHT. HE IS WRITING TO DIRECT YOU TO HIS SOURCE OF WISDOM, AND THAT IS GOD.

SOLOMON, YOU MAY REMEMBER WAS A VERY WISE KING OF ISRAEL. HE WAS DAVID’S SON, AND TO HIM FELL THE TASK OF BUILDING THE TEMPLE THAT DAVID MADE THE PLANS FOR. SOLOMON’S PRAYER WAS NOT FOR RICHES AND WEALTH, NOR WAS IT FOR FAME. RATHER SOLOMON’S PRAYER TO GOD WAS FOR WISDOM AS HE RULED.

1 KINGS 3:8-14:

“8 Your servant is here among the people you have chosen, a great people, too numerous to count or number. 9 So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong. For who is able to govern this great people of yours?" 10 The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for this. 11 So God said to him, "Since you have asked for this and not for long life or wealth for yourself, nor have asked for the death of your enemies but for discernment in administering justice, 12 I will do what you have asked. I will give you a wise and discerning heart, so that there will never have been anyone like you, nor will there ever be. 13 Moreover, I will give you what you have not asked for— both riches and honor— so that in your lifetime you will have no equal among kings. 14 And if you walk in my ways and obey my statutes and commands as David your father did, I will give you a long life."”

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