SCRIPTURE REFERENCES FOR THIS SERMON:
3:1 My child, do not forget my teaching,
but let your heart keep my commandments,
2 for they will provide a long and full life
and well-being for you.
3 Do not let mercy and truth leave you;
bind them around your neck,
write them on the tablet of your heart.
4 Then you will find favor and good understanding
in the sight of God and people.
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not rely on your own understanding.
6 Acknowledge him in all your ways,
and he will make your paths straight.
7 Do not be wise in your own estimation;
fear the Lord and turn away from evil.
8 This will bring healing to your body
and refreshment to your inner self.
9 Honor the Lord from your wealth
and from the firstfruits of all your crops;
10 then your barns will be filled completely,
and your vats will overflow with new wine.
11 My child, do not despise discipline from the Lord,
and do not loathe his rebuke.
12 For the Lord disciplines those he loves,
just as a father disciplines the son in whom he delights.
13 Blessed is the one who has found wisdom
and the one who obtains understanding.
14 For her benefit is more profitable than silver,
and her gain is better than gold.
15 She is more precious than rubies,
and none of the things you desire can compare with her.
16 Long life is in her right hand;
in her left hand are riches and honor.
17 Her ways are very pleasant,
and all her paths are peaceful.
18 She is like a tree of life to those who grasp onto her,
and everyone who takes hold of her will be blessed.
19 By wisdom the Lord laid the foundation of the earth;
he established the heavens by understanding.
20 By his knowledge the primordial sea was broken open,
so that the clouds drip down dew.
21 My child, do not let them escape from your sight;
safeguard sound wisdom and discretion.
22 So they will become life for your soul
and grace around your neck.
23 Then you will walk on your way with security,
and you will not stumble.
24 When you lie down you will not be filled with fear;
when you lie down your sleep will be pleasant.
25 Do not be afraid of sudden disaster
or when destruction overtakes the wicked;
26 for the Lord will be the source of your confidence,
and he will guard your foot from being caught in a trap.
27 Do not withhold good from those who need it
when you have the ability to help.
28 Do not say to your neighbor, “Go! Return tomorrow
and I will give it,” when you have it with you at the time.
29 Do not plot evil against your neighbor
when he dwells by you unsuspectingly.
30 Do not accuse anyone without legitimate cause
if he has not treated you wrongly.
31 Do not envy a violent man,
and do not choose any of his ways;
32 for one who goes astray is an abomination to the Lord,
but he reveals his intimate counsel to the upright.
33 The Lord’s curse is on the household of the wicked,
but he blesses the home of the righteous.
34 With arrogant scoffers he is scornful,
yet he shows favor to the humble.
35 The wise inherit honor,
but he holds fools up to public contempt.