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We begin a summer series this Sunday which will be thoughtful and timely.  The series is entitled, Smart Move: Finding Wisdom for Your Life.  This series will focus on finding God’s wisdom through the book of Proverbs.  We live in a world where knowledge is increasing exponentially, but this does not translate into an increase in wisdom.  Wisdom is a combination of insight, practical application, and inspiration that uses the available knowledge to improve our circumstances or our world.  Wisdom, like so many other things, comes in a lot of variations. Many things are driven by “conventional wisdom” which seems to be the best practice for a particular point in time.  Conventional wisdom will constantly change and it can be very dynamic.  The book of  Proverbs contains God’s wisdom for our lives, not just the ever-changing opinion of one society.  Proverbs begins with a simple definition, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom….” (Proverbs 1:7 (JOT)) Yet, how are we to understand this simple definition?  Are we to live in fear of God’s wrath and judgment?  All of us have experienced the fear of judgment!  Does God simply want to make us so afraid that we will not get out of line?  No!  Of course not! The first sermon in the series is RESPECT from Proverbs 2:1-12.  These words help us to understand that God’s goal in sharing his wisdom with us is to help us thrive, not just survive.  It is to help us overcome our fear with a living faith in a powerful God who will share with us the truth that will set us free!   This is our prayer for you that you will find the living God lifting you from the fear of judgment into the transformed insight of his grace and love as you read Proverbs 2:1-12:

My child, listen to what I say, and treasure my commands. 2 Tune your ears to wisdom, and concentrate on understanding. 3 Cry out for insight, and ask for understanding. 4 Search for them as you would for silver; seek them like hidden treasures. 5 Then you will understand what it means to fear the LORD, and you will gain knowledge of God. 6 For the LORD grants wisdom! From his mouth come knowledge and understanding. 7 He grants a treasure of common sense to the honest. He is a shield to those who walk with integrity. 8 He guards the paths of the just and protects those who are faithful to him. 9 Then you will understand what is right, just, and fair, and you will find the right way to go. 10 For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will fill you with joy. 11 Wise choices will watch over you. Understanding will keep you safe. 12 Wisdom will save you from evil people, from those whose words are twisted. (NLT)