Monday, October 31, 2016

Three Promises

I was reading Proverbs the other week and this verse jumped out at me. The sowing and reaping aspect of this was compelling, but even more so were the three promises. This is a short but profound teaching.

Proverbs 21:21
Whoever pursues righteousness and love
    finds life, prosperity and honor.

Things to think about:
  • The Message translates the beginning part of this verse as “Whoever goes hunting for what is right and kind…”
    • I’m struck by the intentionality of the verbs used – pursues, hunting. First observation is that they are in the present tense. Becoming a Christian isn’t the end point, becoming Christ-like is
    • These aren’t casual efforts, or stumbling upon something, rather they are focused on their object
    • Do we pursue righteousness and love like our work or favorite activity?
  • The Pursuit
    • Like a good hunter, we must become students of what we’re are after. How do we know what righteousness and love look like?
    • Who in your life embodies these qualities?
    • When you ask God to help you be righteous, what kinds of things come to your mind that would tell you something is righteous or not?
    • Have you had an opportunity in the last week to demonstrate love?
  • The Promises
    • Life, Prosperity, and Honor
      • Sounds like winning the heavenly lottery to me! See Proverbs 3:16
      • Who in their right mind wouldn’t want these things? If that’s true, why do so few go hunting for righteousness and love?
    • What do you think Solomon means by “life”?
      • One hint: John 14:6
      • What does it mean to truly have “life”?
    • Prosperity is a tricky one. Are we being promised financial success if we pursue righteousness and love?
      • If not, what might it mean?
      • Hint Psalm 103:2-5
    • Honor
      • We have talked a lot recently about legacy and significance. How does the concept of honor relate to these?
      • Psalm 103:4 – even God crowns us with love and compassion
      • What is the  opposite of honor? How could that creep into the picture?

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