Hello Project Ezra! This week’s reading is Proverbs, chapter 1. The chapter proclaims God as the true source of all wisdom and knowledge, speaks of the deceptiveness of sin, and talks of the consequences for those who chose to ignore God’s truth. It’s a good reminder that sin is always present, and that the promises it makes are tempting, but empty. It’s also a good reminder that God is not silent. He speaks clearly to us in many ways, and we only miss His voice if we choose to ignore it.
Please remember that the purpose of Project Ezra is to encourage you to grow in your ability to share the gospel. This outline is meant to help you with ideas and the flow of the presentation, but the presentation should be yours. If you are newer to the group and only read the chapter, that’s fine. And you can read the outline front to back if you like, and use that alone as your presentation. But I pray that over time it will become easier to add additional verses and illustrations to fit your audience and your evangelism style. If you do have any verses or illustrations that are particularly useful, please consider sharing them in the blog comments or on our Facebook page, so others can benefit too.
We are also just a week away from 1 John on July 4th, our next major reading. The Facebook event is up and we already have a couple dozen people signed up, which is great! There are very few times of the year where there will be as many major public events, or as many people out on the streets in most local communities, so this is a great Project Ezra opportunity. There is still time to invite your Christian friends to join you too, and the chapter can easily be broken into multiple parts. You might consider going to a local Independence Day Parade Parade before it starts. There will likely be plenty of people waiting with not much else to do. For our Canadian brothers and sisters, you can simply do your reading a couple days early for Canada Day. As for those outside of North America, my apologies and I’ll try to become more familiar with your holidays. :-)
The outline is below. I pray it will be a blessing.
All for His glory,
READ PROVERBS 1
Proverbs was written by Solomon, through the inspiration of God, for our wisdom and instruction
Solomon tells us the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.
He also tells us wisdom is crying aloud in the streets. God exists, and He has not been silent.
You may think I’m a fool for saying such a thing, and scoff at a claim that the bible is true.
But God’s word says scoffers delight in their scoffing, and fools hate knowledge
If you scoff at what I’m saying, ask yourself, what are your motives for denying or ignoring God?
Is it lack of evidence? Or is it a desire for independence and autonomy?
Since the beginning of creation man has been doubting God, and choosing to go his own way.
And today, every one of us has acted as a rebel, a criminal against God.
This is not an attempt to insult or offend you, but to encourage you to think these things through carefully. We are here because we care about you and your eternity.
I’ve been where you are.
The bible says we are to test all things and hold to that which is true. Don’t take them for granted, and don’t take my word for it. But don’t dismiss them carelessly either.
Test everything I say, but be sure to test your motives for rejecting what I say as well.
The wisdom of God is not the only voice crying aloud. The pleasures of sin cry out after us as well
Sin is deceptive. It promises rewards it can not deliver.
Sin can bring pleasure, but not true joy. The pleasures of sin are only for a season, and consequences are dire.
Ultimately, sin is offensive to God, and destructive to us.
We were created for a purpose, and that purpose is not simply to have fun and do what we want. We were not created to live and die by accident.
We were created by God to give Him glory and to enjoy Him forever. And there is amazing joy in serving and glorifying Him.
We were made in the image of God, as the pinnacle of His creation, to reflect that holy character. But His word says all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.
The sin is breaking God’s law. The law tells us what sin is, so we will see our problem, and our need of God’s mercy. Look at God’s law, and see if you need God’s mercy.
GO THROUGH THE LAW TO BRING CONVICTION OF SIN
In truth, every one of us knows we are guilty of breaking God’s law. God’s law is written on our hearts, with our conscience bearing witness, accusing or excusing us.
We often treat sins lightly, or assume that we are not too bad. You may say you have done your best, so God should overlook your shortcomings.
But God is perfect, and His standard is perfection.
Proverbs 1 says the simple are killed by turning away, and the complacency of fools destroys them.
Romans 2:4-5 - Do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? 5But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed.
God does not take sin lightly, and if you are continuing in your sin you are storing up wrath for yourself, and are bound for hell.
But God is not only a God of wrath and anger. He is a just judge, and will make sure that justice is satisfied. But God is also a God of patience, love, and mercy.
Ephesians 2:4-5 - But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ— by grace you have been saved.
PREACH THE CROSS
So how can we be made right with God? How are our sins made right by the blood of Jesus on the cross? Through repentance and faith in Him.
Repentance is turning from our sins. It is not perfection, but a change in our direction.
And we must trust in Christ alone, the one true and living God. He not only died, but rose again on the third day, as He predicted He would, and sat down at God’s right hand as our advocate, our lawyer for the Day of Judgment. He proved His power over death.
If we trust in Christ, we will be seen as innocent and set free, because our fine has been paid, and justice has been satisfied through Christ’s blood.
So, what will you do with the truth of God’s justice and mercy?
It could be that the only reason you are still alive today is that God is showing patience toward you.
Is any sin worth dying for? Is any sin worth an eternity in hell?
God says there will be terror and calamity for those who ignore reproof
So don’t let your pride destroy you, as it has so many.
And don’t let the lies of sin distract you, and convince you there is fulfillment outside of God.
Repent and trust in Christ today, and He will change you supernaturally. You will be born again.
And you will know the true joy of being in a right relationship with your creator, and knowing your sins have been washed away.