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Live Distinct

Sermon Series:

Words To Live By

Ryan Kimmel
Ryan Kimmel

Lead Pastor

Peace Church

Main Passage:
Proverbs 24:13-22


Today is the day that the Lord has made So let us rejoice and be glad in it and everyone said...

Hey, church. So here's the question. I want to start here with this morning when you think about your life And those who cared for you, those who invested in you, those who taught you, what did they teach you? What life lessons did they instill in you that you still hold on to today? And not only that but these lessons, did they sit you down and teach you these lessons? Or just by their life, and you observing their life, did they teach you? Because if you're like me, it's going to be a mix of both. It's going to be a mix of both, people actually sharing lessons with me and then me just watching their life. But here's what I'm going to say to you today. I tend to believe that in today's world, those life lessons aren't being instilled like they were. And the reason I'm saying that is because it's hard, it's hard to learn from those around you when your face is always on a phone. Parents and grandparents, I would say now more than ever, more than any other generation before, it takes great intentionality to pass on the wisdom of life from one generation to the next. And part of that wisdom that we need to be instilling in the next generation is that filter, is that process for how we make decisions. Because for Christians, for us to remain distinct in the world like we are called to, part of that distinction comes from the ways that we make decisions, the ways that we process and make decisions. Families in the house, if I were to ask your middle schooler or your high schooler, how does your family make decisions? Would they even begin to know how to answer that question? The intentionality needed to pass on wisdom and life lessons is great because in our world we are so busy and so distracted I would say more than ever before. Nearly 50% of Americans admit, admit to being addicted to their phone. How many more actually are? Of all the stats I'm going to share with you, this next one for me is the most disheartening. 45% of Americans say that their phone is their most valuable possession.

Three-fourths of Americans feel uneasy about leaving their home without their phone. On average, we check our phones every four minutes. That's 344 times a day. Sometimes I feel like this is a picture of our culture. If you send someone a text, I bet you can't wait three minutes before you get frustrated about them not texting you back. On average, Americans spend three hours a day on their phone. It's estimated that in 2022, the average American spent a total of a month and a half on their phones. Not eight hours a day, 24 hours a day when you add it all together, a month and a half. And you know what's even sad about that? What's even sadder? That's a 30% increase from the year before. Our time and our focus, let's just say it, it's being wasted. It's being wasted. Here's the hard truth about all this. Christians are no different when it comes to this. When it comes to our time and our focus, are we really that distinct? And yet Christians are called to be distinct in this world. We are called to be a light in a dark place. It's hard to be that light when we model every other statistic that's out there that makes us all gasp and like, where do you think the stats come from? It comes from us. The challenge today is are we going to be distinct or not? We are called to be this in the world. Yes, current trends are We're going to go back, back 3,000 years to look at the wisdom that has stood the test of time. Wisdom from the book of Proverbs. We're in the middle of a series, we're in week four of five of a sermon series called Words to Live By. Wisdom the world has lost as we've been walking through verse by verse through Proverbs chapter 24. You can start heading there now, but I'm just gonna let you know that today the words to live by, the words that we're gonna look at today, are these two words. Live distinct. Live distinct.

If you haven't yet, please turn to Proverbs chapter 24 verses 13 to 22. Tell your kids, tell your grandchildren, and live distinctly. As you turn in there, just a word about Proverbs. I love the book of Proverbs, not only because it's a collection of wise sayings, but it's a book that a man wrote to his son that he loves He loves his son and he's trying to teach his son how to live wisely in a foolish world. It's a man Loving his son teaching his son But teaching him in ways that I think honestly Rarely happen these days and so by the power of God's Spirit who inspired these words in their fullness. This is not just a book that a man wrote to his son. This is a book for anyone who wishes to be wise in a foolish world.

So Proverbs chapter 24, verses 13 to 22, would you hear the inspired, inerrant, infallible, authoritative, sufficient word of God? Hear God's word. Run, eat honey for it is good. And the drippings of the honeycomb are sweet to your taste. Know that wisdom is such to your soul. If you find it, there will be a future. And your hope will not be cut off. Lie not and wait as a wicked man against the dwelling of the righteous. Do no violence to his home. For the righteous fall seven times and rise again. But the wicked stumble in times of calamity. Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, and let not your heart be glad when he stumbles, lest the Lord see it and be displeased and turn away his anger from him. Fret not yourself because of evildoers, and be not envious of the wicked, for the evil man has no future. The lamp of the wicked will be put out. My son, fear the Lord and the King, and do not join with those who do otherwise, for disaster will arise suddenly from them. And who knows what ruin will come from them both.

This is God's word. Let's pray, let's get to it, let's pray. Father God in heaven above, Lord, we ask that by the power and the presence of your Holy Spirit, Lord, you'd make us wise. Lord, that you'd make us wise. Lord, we ask for wisdom. Father, we ask that as we look at the past before us, Lord, you'd lead us to choose wisely. We'd choose what's right and by our choices, we'd let our light shine in the world so the world would see. They'd look at the church, they'd look at those who follow Christ and they'd see something better in us. They'd see people living distinctively and distinctly. And Lord, it's for your glory that we pray these things. And everyone said, Amen and Amen.

So our passage today says a number of interesting things, a lot of different ways we go with this. But if we're going to point to one main idea that I think we need to hear today, here's what I'd share with you. Part of our distinction, our distinction, between those who follow Christ, the church of Jesus Christ, part of our distinction comes from the wise choices that we make. And so as we walk through our passage, I think we're going to pull out three things here this morning. Number one, have the wisdom to choose enjoyment over entertainment. Have the wisdom to choose humility over jealousy and have the wisdom to choose righteousness over rebellion. You know, our distinction isn't just in these abstract concepts. Our distinction plays out in every aspect of our life. Our distinction is found in the choices that we make, too. In this passage, Solomon is helping us to, is helping to draw a contrast between the wicked man and the wise man. He's drawing a distinction so that his son will see the difference and choose wisely. He doesn't just pull his son aside and be like, boy, you best listen to me or you're gonna get a whooping. He's drawing a picture so that his son can see before him the difference between the righteous and the wicked and that his son will choose what is wise, not foolish. So a very practical question for you. That's also a very philosophical question for you would be simply this. How do you make decisions? Do you have a framework of wisdom that you employ when life's hard decisions come before you? Or do you just kind of like, ah, just take it as it comes, cross that bridge when I get there? The world's watching and we need to have something better than that. How do you make decisions? I'm not saying where you go out to eat. I'm saying the decisions that govern the trajectory of your lives and the quality of your lives. What is your process? What is your filter? How do you make decisions and are they distinct? Is that process distinct from our world and our culture's approach? And then there's the big one. Are you actually training your children in those ways? Are you sitting them down and explaining how your family, based on your values, makes decisions in this world and how we're not going to be like the world, but we're going to be distinct? So we're looking at wisdom today. So, as you consider instilling this in the next generation, my question and challenge for you is to make sure that you are living this out yourself because honestly, I weighed this upon myself and I found myself lacking in a number of areas. So let's together, let the spirit of God work through the word of God so that we might become more conformed to the image of God. So first, have the wisdom to choose enjoyment over entertainment. I'll be honest with you, Peace Church, you feel a little quiet today. And typically that translates into a sense of guilt.

When I read those cell phone stats, I'll just be honest with you, the spirit of the room immediately changed. That's something you need to look in the mirror about. I've been doing it. We need to be doing it. I wonder, of those cell phone stats that we read, how many are you guilty of? Now this point that I'm going to make here about choosing enjoyment over entertainment, I think it's hidden in our text, but as I prayed over this text, this just kept coming back to the forefront, especially in light of those cell phone stats. So please, keep your Bibles open. Let's go to verses 13 13 and 14 My son eat honey for it is good and the drippings of the honeycomb are sweet to your taste Know that wisdom is such to your soul Okay, so do you get what's going on here Solomon is telling his son you are to enjoy the truly good things in life Why because the truly good things in life teach us about the truly good things in life wisdom makes life more enjoyable. Just as honey tastes good and makes things taste good, so wisdom makes life more enjoyable. It makes it fruitful and fulfilling, and that is a more enjoyable life. He's saying, let the good things in life teach you about the good things in life. But this isn't happening in our world because our world is choosing entertainment over enjoyment. We are mindlessly being entertained by the trap of consistent scrolling on our phones. We are entertained, but we're learning nothing. We're entertained, but we're wasting time. We're entertained, but we walk away feeling empty. Let me share something with you. That's not enjoyment. That's not living. That's not true enjoyment, which means it's a tool of the enemy, of the devil, to keep you distracted. Seriously, how many of you will spend an hour on social media or scrolling and walk away and think, you know what, that was a really great use of my time. I feel really great about my life choices here today. Nobody thinks that, and yet we all fall prey to it.

Why? Now, I know some of you are gonna be like pastor, come on, are you saying that we just can't sit down and relax? Brother or sister, I am telling you, absolutely, you sit down and relax. Rest is godly, we are called to rest. But true rest will make you feel rested and fulfilled. It won't leave you feeling empty. You know, my favorite book outside the Bible speaks directly to this.

Tell me if you've heard of this book. It's called The Screwtape Letters. It's my favorite book outside the Bible. It's not that I read that book every year, it's that I'm always reading that book. So if you're unfamiliar with this book, let me lay the context for you real quick. It was written by C.S. Lewis. It's a series of letters, fictional letters, that a demon wrote to a junior demon. And the senior demon is coaching this younger demon on how to lead people astray. So it's written from the perspective of the demonic. And so when it talks about the enemy, it's talking about God. The objective is not to get people to go to heaven, but the objective is to get people to go to hell. And chapter Nine speaks right to the heart of this. I want to read you a section from it. Again, remember, this is a demon coaching another demon on how to lead people astray. It says, never forget that when we are dealing with pleasure in its healthy and normal and satisfying form, we are in a sense on the enemy's ground, meaning God's territory. I know that we have won many a soul through pleasure. All the same, it is his invention, not ours. He made the pleasures. All of our research so far has not enabled us to produce one. All we can do is encourage humans to take the pleasures which our enemy has produced at times or in ways and degrees which he has forbidden.

Hence, we are always to try to work away from the natural conditions of any pleasure to that which is least natural, least redolent of its maker, and least pleasurable. An ever-increasing craving for an ever-diminishing pleasure is the formula. Now what Lewis is saying to us is that true pleasure, the truly enjoyable things in life come from God. The devil can't make any true fulfilling enjoyment for us. All he can do is take what God has made good and twist it. Sex is made for the covenant of marriage to be enjoyed in that relationship, but the devil takes it out of that relationship and it wreaks havoc on people and culture. Food is meant to be enjoyed and fulfilled, but the devil takes it and makes us all gluttons. People, we need to be wise to know that true enjoyment is fulfillment. When you are truly enjoying something, it fulfills you. But mere entertainment is emptiness. And all the good things in life, when they are enjoyed in the right way, they teach us about the good things in life because they give more than what they take. Honey tastes good on your lips, but it teaches us so much more. It teaches us about wisdom for your soul. So when it comes time to think about how we spend, yes, our money and how we spend our time, let true enjoyment be your choice, not mindless entertainment. Teenagers let me speak with you for a moment. Teenagers, I am so thankful that social media Social media was not a thing when I was in high school. Is anybody with me on that? Please I am begging you, I am begging you, don't waste your life scrolling on social media. Don't spend your life looking at the fake pictures of everyone else. Live your life. Don't waste your life scrolling. Spend time with your parents. Spend time with your grandparents, and parents, you better be living this so you can model this rather than letting social media do the influencing. I tell you what, church, when I play a game of Clue or Settlers with my wife and daughter, I may lose every stinking time, but I never regret choosing that time over my phone. And you know what, this isn't in my notes, I just feel called to share this. I just wanna empower your parents with some authority that you already have. Do you know what you can do? You can take the phone away.

You can do that. And you know what else? You decide when they get it back. Fine. If I'm public enemy number one to the teenagers in the house, you'll thank me later. Have the wisdom to choose enjoyment over entertainment. And I would say you do this by asking one simple question. Here's a filter, here's a way to process the choices you have. Will this leave me feeling fulfilled or feeling empty? Chances are you already know the answer to that. Will this leave me feeling fulfilled or feeling empty? You'll never regret spending time with your family over scrolling on social media. Just like how honey is sweet to your lips, let the choices you make leave your soul feeling thankful. Have the wisdom to choose true enjoyment over mindless entertainment. Point number two, have the wisdom to choose humility over jealousy. Or have the wisdom to choose humility over jealousy. Now over these next six verses, verses 15 to 20, we see a common contrast that's painted all throughout the book of Proverbs. It's between the righteous and the wicked. So go back to your Bibles, and keep them open. Verse 15, lie not in wait as a wicked man against the dwelling of the righteous. Do no violence to his home. Verse 16, don't miss this. For the righteous fall seven times and rise again. Okay, a quick word on that. Something profound is being stated here. Seven. The number seven is a powerful number in the scriptures. It represents wholeness or completeness in scripture. So what Solomon is saying, he's saying is that the righteous, the righteous can be obliterated. They can be completely killed, but they will rise again. Foreshadow Jesus. By the way, the righteous will rise again, no matter what they face. The righteous fall seven times and rise again, but the wicked stumble in times of calamity. This is a continual message throughout scripture, how those who are righteous and those who are wise will ultimately rise in the end. Even, even when it seems like the fool and the wicked win in the moment. People, when we see people gain money and fortune, and popularity at the moment that is still no cause to want to be like them. Easy for me to say you got to live this because disaster is coming for them but when it does the righteous are not to gloat the righteous are to stay humble because that's what good people do. Verse 17, do not rejoice when your enemy falls do not let your heart be glad when he stumbles, lest the Lord see it and be displeased and turn away his anger from him." Solomon is saying it's not your job to rain down justice. You stay humble. Solomon is saying let the Lord deal with them. It's not your job to gloat over them. You stay humble. Don't get jealous when you see wicked, evil people prosper for a time because it will not last. No matter what you accumulate on this side of eternity, you can't take it with you. Remember that when you see everyone else getting everything, you stay righteous and humble, because what's waiting for you is better. Verse 19 and 20, fret not yourself because they're evildoers, and be not envious of the wicked, for the evil man has no future. The lamp of the wicked will be put out. What he's saying is don't worry about it when evil gets all the likes and all the love. Don't be jealous of that because it's headed nowhere good. Don't let your righteousness go to your head either. We stay humble in the midst of all of this because we are employing wisdom to choose humility over jealousy. And when you do, here's a question to ask yourself. When you look back on your life, would you rather have spent it being jealous or being humble? At the end of your days, when you look back on your life, would you rather have spent it being jealous of what everyone else has, or being thankful for what you had? How would you rather have spent your life? Because let me remind you, it was Jesus himself who said in Matthew 23, whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted. So have the wisdom to choose humility over jealousy. Thirdly, have the wisdom to choose righteousness over rebellion. Now I'm gonna warn you, we're gonna hang on to this one because this is an important point. Go to verses 21 and 22, this is so important, don't miss this. Verse 21, my son, fear the Lord and the king, or we might say today, honor God and the government. And do not join with those who do otherwise, for disaster will arise suddenly from them, and who knows the ruin that will come from them both. I'm going to warn you, this is a very, very easy passage to misapply and misinterpret. So let's understand what Solomon is saying here. Now, on the one hand, it is easy to think that what Solomon is telling his son is to play it safe and to be dismissive, be submissive. Don't disrespect those who can crush you. But listen here, yes, there is wisdom in obeying authority because that comes from the humility of knowing your place, but nowhere in scripture does it say to give up your morals for the sake of security. The apostles tell the authorities in the New Testament that they must obey God rather than man, even when it means breaking the law. But I think what this verse hits on, I think what this verse hits on is so important because it really pushes back on a popular cultural notion that we have today, and that's one of our cultures idolizing bad boys. Our world and our culture talks about rebellion like it's always a good thing. And what this verse is saying to us is, no, it's not. If your objective isn't first about righteousness, then we're on a collision course with disaster for no reason. If your general outlook in life is to be in opposition to authority over you, then chances are that stems from jealousy or that stems from pride, which means it's leaving nowhere good.

And either God or the government will come and strike you down. And this is difficult for us Because you know and I know exactly how our culture works Everyone likes the bad boys and nice guys finish last Just look at who gets all the love and likes on social media And so when you're talking with your son or with your daughter teach them to be distinct in this world to value what is righteous because that is what the wise do. The wise choose righteousness over rebellion, not because we play it safe, but because we do what's right, knowing that those who are wise and those who are righteous, have a future that will last, but that only comes from wisdom and righteousness before the Lord. My question for you is who is teaching this to our children? Who's passing this down? Because they're picking up the complete opposite online. Are we sitting down and confronting this? Is the previous generation doing this for the next generation? Who is setting this example? And the beautiful thing is that when we turn to the pages of Scripture, we see a person who both teaches this and sets this example perfectly. When we look at the life of Jesus Christ, his words were wisdom. His life was always in contrast to those around him. He was distinct. Jesus chose enjoyment over entertainment. Jesus perfectly embodied Psalm 1, which says that his delight, his delight, his enjoyment was in the law of the Lord because Jesus knew that joy comes from the Lord Almighty. Never once in scripture did we see Jesus wasting his time on things that didn't bring fulfillment or fulfillment to those around him or bring glory to God because Christ spent time with God. He spent time with people. He spent time in the scriptures. He spent time in prayer. Jesus always spent his time wisely. Jesus was also the most humble. He didn't come to be served, He came to serve. He told us to follow Him because He was gentle and lowly in heart. He was humble. Jesus knew no jealousy. He never longed for what another person had. He never wanted to be someone else. He didn't stand and gloat over the misfortunes of others. He was not jealous or envious. He was humble. He was gloriously righteous. He didn't seek to rebel for rebellion's sake, whether it was the religious leaders or the Roman government. Jesus sought to do nothing but to be perfectly righteous before God, even when that righteousness put him at odds with those in authority over him. And that ultimately led him to the cross, because Jesus claimed to be something that they could not tolerate God the Son the Savior of the world And so they nailed him to a cross and that was the righteousness of God the judgment of God Because Jesus took our place on the cross, even though he was perfectly sinless Jesus went to the cross in our place Taking our sin and it was righteousness that brought him there It was the love of God being shown that He hung His Son on the cross instead of us. And by His death, judgment had come. But make no mistake, Jesus' death on the cross was not a defeat. It was a victory. The victory that we have in the death of Christ is that death itself was defeated. Because Jesus' death gave way to his resurrection and his resurrection to life again is our promise and our guarantee of new life. And so when we talk about words to live by, our words to live by is Jesus himself who is the word of God made flesh. He is the word to live by because by him we have life. And so as you consider your life choices, I'm telling you right now, you've got one choice to make, and that is to choose Jesus


To place your faith in Him and let the wisdom of God flood your life, let the love of God flood your life. And live a life marked by distinction as we follow Christ, that our choice is about seeking what is wise and what is good and righteous before God. Wise not according to the world a distinction guided by faith in Christ as we have wisdom. Wisdom to choose enjoyment over entertainment. Wisdom to choose humility over jealousy and wisdom to choose righteousness over rebellion. Church, go and be distinct because you live by wisdom, which is the name of Jesus. Amen. Please stand. I'm going to ask you to bow your heads. And if you're like me, if you want and need more wisdom in your life, I want you to just push your hands out like you're going to receive a gift. Father God, we come before you. Lord, we know that you hear the prayers of your children because of Jesus. And so, Father, we humbly ask for wisdom. Wisdom in this foolish world that we would choose what is right and righteous. And, Father, I pray for those who have yet to make a choice for Jesus. Father, I pray that today is the day of salvation, that they may know the love of God that is only available through Christ, that to cast aside their sin and replace their faith in the one who's paid the penalty for their sin. That they may receive love and wisdom to know how to live rightly in this world. And Father, for those who have already made that choice, Father, I pray, Father, that we're ever growing in wisdom. Help us to be wise. Help us to live distinct in this world. And Father, as we come before you now, we ask that your Spirit would fill this place, uniting our souls together, uniting our spirits together as we sing of our good and gracious God. As we sing, a mighty fortress is our God, Father, I pray that it helps us to remind ourselves that it's upon the solid rock that we stand. It's in Jesus' name we pray these things. It's in Jesus' name we pray these things. And everyone said, Amen and Amen.

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