6-Week Series: Against All Odds


Summary: Are we too mentally lazy to think? Being wise will help you rise!

We Can Be Wise!

(Proverbs 21:20-23)

1. I have always enjoyed funny last words. Here are a few:

No, he doesn’t bite? Hey look a light at the end of the tunnel. "It's a dud! It's a dud! It's a du...". What does this button do? So, you're a cannibal. Are you sure the power is off? Pull the pin and count to what?

Which wire was I supposed to cut? I wonder where the mother bear is.

These are the good kind of mushrooms. Let it down slowly.

I can do that with my eyes closed. Look ma! no hands!

2. Wisdom — the ability to think and apply principles is specifics — can be one of life’s greatest assets. Wisdom has saved countless lives, in contrast to the above!

Main Idea: Wisdom cries out for us to embrace her and put her precepts to work. All of us can be wise if we are willing to replace our way of thinking with the way God’s Word says we should think. But we need to be alert enough to recognize the difference.

Are we too mentally lazy to think? Being wise will help you rise!

I. SAVING For a Rainy Day Demonstrates Wisdom (20)

Sometimes difference between foolishness & wisdom can be summarized as the difference between short term & long term thinking, impulsive vs. contemplative

A woman informed her friend, "I'm responsible for making my husband a millionaire." "Well what was he before you?" the friend asked. Woman replied, "A billionaire."

A. Deny yourself pleasure today for blessings TOMORROW

B. The not-so-wise thinks about ENJOYING surplus money

1. Gambling, covetousness, pride, addictions can quickly deplete funds…

2. We are a society that believes we must constantly reward ourselves

C. Frustration: when irresponsible spenders ask savers for HELP

D. People can over-do saving by assuming wealth brings SECURITY

1. Jesus’ story of a rich farmer who built barns and died before he could enjoy…

2. Some act as if the spiritual/social realm did not exist; focused on money

Being wise will help you rise!

II. A Truly Meaningful Life is a BY-PRODUCT (21)

The average American watches 28 hours of TV per week; in an average lifespan, that means we spend more than 10 years in front of the TV…

When you factor in Facebook, internet, video-games, you can imagine…

Other people are addicted to their own adrenaline; they don’t really trust God to work things out or others, but believe if they don’t do it, it won’t be done right.

A. If you seek to find your life, you LOSE it

A man and his wife were both 60 years old. For his birthday, a friend bought the man an old oil lamp and a genie popped out. He was given one wish, so the man wished that he could be married to a woman 30 years younger than he; poof, he was now 90 years old!

B. If you seek to give your life away, you FIND it

1. Expend time interacting with your spouse, children , church life, develop friendships, community

2. Pursue some interests in concert with others

3. Volunteer to serve in the Kingdom and the community

C. Stingy, selfish people are the most UNHAPPY

D. Righteousness melded to KINDNESS (hesed, unfailing love, enduring mercy)

E. What is a MEANINGFUL, satisfying life?

Some eras of life may not seem meaningful; numb times, traumatized times, unhappy seasons (just get thru) … but we must look at life as a whole

1. LIFE (security and animation); John 10:10b (Jesus speaking) “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” Life vs. existence

2. RIGHTEOUSBNESS (character);Matthew 5:6, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.”

3. HONOR (significance); serving the Lord, you are somebody

Being wise will help you rise!

III. Wisdom Makes One Good at Developing STRATEGY (22)

Less wise do what they do out of routine or by seeing what everyone else does; the wise person seeks to improve over the norm

A. The wise man has military victory by WISDOM (strategizing)


C. Strategies are important for LIFE

1. What is your strategy to grow in the Lord?

2. To have a good marriage?

3. Rear your children?

4. Save for retirement? Do you even have strategies for these things?

Being wise will help you rise!

IV. Wisdom Recognizes the Tongue as a Potential ENEMY (23)

Atomic power can destroy a city or provide electricity for that city…Japan

Either way, it must be guarded

A. The tongue is a source of great blessing and great TROUBLE

B. Wisdom tells us HOW to use it

1. Be FORTH COMING to help others

Inspector Clousseau, “Does your dog bite?”

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