Welcome friends! For the next few weeks we are going to read through the book of Proverbs together. A quick thing to know: I love Proverbs a whole lot. My hope is over the course of reading it you will too. The book of Proverbs is a collection of little teachings and sayings, designed to give us wisdom and also question how to live the “good life.” A life dedicated to Jesus and his teachings. We believe the good life is one where we experience the hope and goodness of Jesus while we faithfully obey his word and love those around us.
Now that’s all fine and dandy, but here’s the problem I’m running into lately. I don’t feel like there is anything good about life right now. It’s not awful or hopeless, but sort of like being awake in the middle of night when you can’t fall asleep. The problem though is we aren’t awake because of Christmas or the day before vacation, it’s just another normal day. Are you with me at all? Life just seems repetitive and boring, there isn’t much exciting or good about it.
The book of Proverbs is intentionally designed to have us wrestle with what we believe the good life actually is. Is it more enjoyment or happiness? How about getting a bunch of stuff to make us happy? What about traveling and seeing wild and crazy things? Although none of these are bad, Proverbs disagrees.
Proverbs starts defining the good life right in verse 7 of chapter 1. “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” You want the good life? Counterintuitively, the good life is learning how to fear God, get more knowledge and learn how to be more wise. We will define all of these over time.
I guess here is my hanging question, do you think the good life, one where we feel good about ourselves and life around us, comes from fearing God or do you think it comes from more enjoyment and stuff. My prayer for you is you answer that over this study.
My friends, be well. Miss you all! – Jack Hein
Journal Guide: Take some time to get alone today and take about 15-20 minutes to journal through these questions. Journaling is a way we pray to God, so see what God might be telling you.
1. How would you define the “Good Life?” If you can experience it, how do you think you would feel?
2. Do you think you can achieve the good life only through God or do you think you can get to it with other ways?
3. What questions do you have about the meaning of “the fear of the Lord” or “wisdom?”
4. Take some time to journal through how you have been feeling lately.
Conversation Guide: Ask three questions to your siblings and parents. We think doing it over the dinner table or right after dinner is a great time to do it.
1. When was the happiest you have ever been? Describe what was happening, when, and where.
2. The devotion today talked about the “good life.” What do we need to do to achieve the good life?
3. What can we do as a family to better love our neighbors?
Prayer: Read Proverbs chapter 1, and silently pray this prayer to God
Dear God, thank you so much for your love and for the work of the cross. A few days ago was Easter, and I’m so thankful to have a relationship with you. I want to learn how to fear you, and learn how to be wise in your eyes. Help me to see the areas where I lack wisdom, and help me to love you with all of my heart, soul, and strength. Amen.