Sermons

Summary: A lesson on true wisdom and knowledge for graduating seniors.

1. Burger King April Fool's Joke

On April 1st, 1998 Burger King published a full page advertisement in an American newspaper announcing the introduction of a new item to their menu: a "Left-Handed Whopper" especially designed for the 32 million left-handed Americans. According to the advertisement, the new whopper included the same ingredients as the original Whopper, but all the items were rotated 180 degrees for the benefit of their left-handed customers. The next day, Burger King issued a follow-up. The follow-up press release said that although the Left-Handed Whopper was a hoax, thousands of customers had gone into restaurants to request the new sandwich. Simultaneously, according to the press release, "many others had requested their own 'right handed' version." Although an April fool's is relatively harmless, being foolish isn't.

2. Parents prepare their children for life -- Graduation from formal education

a. Some children insist on learning the hard way -- by experience

[A young man in his early thirties was given the position of Bank President. He never dreamed he would have held that position, especially at such a young age. He went to the Chairman of the Board to ask for some advice on how to succeed in his new role.

The old chairman said, "Right decisions!"

The young man thought about it, thanked the chairman and then asked, "How do I make right decisions?"

The chairman replied, "Experience."

The young President asked, "That's the reason I am talking to you. I do not have the necessary experience for this job. How do I get experience?"

"Bad decisions!" He replied, tersely.

b. Some go an easier route and pay attention to others' experiences, especially biblical characters -- REAL STORIES OF REAL PEOPLE

c. God has gone to great lengths to help us live wisely.

3. Proverbs 1.1-7

I. Will We Be Foolish or Wise:

A. In Our Relationship with God?

1. The Foolish say/act as if there is no God -- Psalm 14.1ff

a. No authority -- rebellious spirit

b. Prefers evil conduct -- Proverbs 10.23

Doing wrong is like a joke to a fool, but wisdom is pleasure to a man of understanding.

c. Prefers evil companions -- Proverbs 1.10

2. The Wise Accept the Reality of God

a. The Bible assumes God and does not prove his existence (Genesis 1.1)

b. Accepting the reality of God means accepting his authority in our lives

B. In Our Self-Portraits?

1. Prideful

a. "All about me"

b. Choosing own way -- Prodigal son -- Luke 15; Proverbs 14.12; 16.25

2. Humble

a. Not think less of ourselves [we ARE made in the image of God]; but thinking of ourselves less [and more about others].

b. Recognizing dependence on God -- not a weakness, a reality

c. Recognize we are here for him, not he for us

1) Who told you that life was to be easy?

2) Who told you that life was all about you?

3) Life is a series of tests -- Manna test -- Exodus 16.4-5

4 Then the LORD said to Moses, "Behold, I am about to rain bread from heaven for you, and the people shall go out and gather a day's portion every day, that I may test them, whether they will walk in my law or not. 5 On the sixth day, when they prepare what they bring in, it will be twice as much as they gather daily."

C. In Matters of Responsibility?

1. Foolish are irresponsible, especially towards God.

A famous millionaire died of cancer. For weeks he suffered intolerable agony. Although surrounded by every luxury and receiving every possible care, he died as wretchedly as a pauper. There was the usual publicity, flowers, telegrams, an expensive bronze casket and a towering beautifully carved tombstone. After the funeral a relative turned to another and said, "How much do you suppose that Harry left?" Back came the reply, "He left everything he had." Yes, Harry could take not one thing with him. He worked harder than a slave would. He grasped, saved, cheated, lied and where legally possible, he stole as he amassed his great fortune. He lived for self. He left all he had. He faced God without hope or plea. Harry was a poor fool. Proverbs 11:4, "Wealth is worthless in the day of wrath, but righteousness delivers from death."

2. Wise take responsibility before God -- thief on the cross

II. How to Act Wisely

A. Avoid:

1. Foolish people and walk with the wise -- Proverbs 13.20

Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.

2. Foolish Disagreements -- 2 Timothy 2.23

Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels.

3. Self-Focus -- Proverbs 28.26

Whoever trusts in his own mind is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom will be delivered.

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