What Do We Have To Offer? Proverbs 1:1-9
Have you ever wondered what our world is like right now? I have some questions that I want us as men to think about. What is the ratio of single parent homes to homes with both parents in the house? In those single parent homes, what is the ratio of single mothers to single fathers? Now, out of all the fathers (in a single parent home or both parents at home), how many of those fathers are saved? In the homes where there is a single parent mother, what kind of male figures (if any) are present, whether they be positive role models or negative influences? Now in your life, the male figures that were represented were they positive or negative? And my final question, Men...What do we have to offer to the generations that are to come after us? Now you may ask, well what does any of this have to do with me, I've had a successful life and a successful ministry, and it's possible to turn out alright in today's society? But in all naturallity if you look back on your own life, you can honestly say that where you are in life right now has come by you following the examples of someone that has been influential in your life whether it has been positive or negative. That being, because someone has poured into your life whether it was by words of wisdom, idle and foolish conversation, or just by the way they lived. It might have been your favorite music artist, your favorite actor, one of your cousins/brothers/uncles/father/friends, or even one of the people that you to much didn't care for…, you either assimilated your behavior or style after them or have even done the total opposite, but in any instance your life has taken a queue (positive or negative) from them. And that's where the question, "What Do We Have to Offer to the Generations That Are to Come after Us?" comes into play. And that is what brings us to our scripture Proverbs 1:1-9
The key word in Proverbs is wisdom, "the ability to live life skillfully." A godly life in an ungodly world, however, is no simple assignment. Proverbs provides God's detailed instructions for His people to deal successfully with the practical affairs of everyday life: how to relate to God, parents, children, neighbors, and government. Solomon, the principal author, uses a combination of poetry, parables, questions, short stories, and wise maxims to give in strikingly memorable form the common sense and divine perspective necessary to handle life's issues. Now when you look at the book of Proverbs in whole, the book looks like a father talking to his son and passing down wisdom that he has learned in his life to his son in hopes that his son will understand and, hope, come to lead a successful and even more prosperous life of his own. How many times in our own life have we even just taken the time to sit down with our fellow brethren and the future generations of men and just imparted knowledge and wisdom to them. Many times we will hear the excuse, 'well nobody did it for me, why should I have to do it for them?', but that in itself is a cry for change. When you look at the first verse in the book of Proverbs you see that Solomon states who he is, "…The Proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel…", I believe that Solomon put this sentence in to show us that despite who you are in life whether you are a CEO, a bus boy, or even a king… that at one point in our own lives we were sons and were at a point where we had to be poured into. So in his statement he shows that he is the son of David, and kind of gives us insight that where he is now can be linked back to his father, which was a positive influence in his life. If we were to look at ourselves now, can we consider ourselves a positive influence in the life of one of our fellow brothers or a young man that we know? We look at the generations to come now and say that they are a perverse generation that in our day the things that they do now we never would have done or even gotten away with, but we then have to look at ourselves and say with the upbringing that we received why are we not examples to live by like the generation before us. Our scripture says…, "To know wisdom and instructions; to perceive the words of understanding; to receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, and judgment, and equity, to give subtility (prudence) to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion. A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels…the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction." It is our responsibility as men of God who know his ways and his precepts to pass them on to the generations that are to come after us. One thing I have realized is that us men today, have forgotten what the generations before us did, when they sat us down they taught us and poured into us. Nowadays when we sit down with the future generations we indulge in idle conversation and talk about movies, T.V., sex, money, and music, not edifying them about the right things to do or even in those areas what are the acceptable and holy things of God, but more or less degrade their minds even further than what the world has done through it's influence. For instance when we talk to our kids about sex do we just talk about wrapping it up and making sure they use protection or do we teach them that the safest sex is no sex until marriage and that if they keep the marriage bed sacred it honors God and purifies their lives and makes their marriage even the more beautiful…? I admonish you men of God, take a look into your own lives and see what it is that made you what you are today, the things that made you a man of valor, the things that you wished you wouldn't have known back then that could have prevented some things from happening in your life, the principles and teachings that you have learned and the relationship that you have with God and your fellow men…take those things and pour into to the generations that are to come. For if you pour into there lives, they will surely remember those things and when they come to the position where you are at they can pour into the generations that are to come after them. In verses 8-9 of that fourth chapter Solomon helps us understand that when he speaks to his own son when he says, "My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother: For they shall be an ornament of grace unto thy head, and chains about thy neck." These things will help the generations to come 'seek first the kingdom of God and all his righteousness', instead of seeking after the things of the world and it's influences. So the next time you begin to think, 'what is happening to today's generation?' first say to yourself, 'what am I doing, how can I help guide the generation of tomorrow?' Now, I'll ask you one more time…What Do We Have To Offer?