Brandon Sanchez

December 7, 2017

Today's Passage: Proverbs 29:1-9

Hey! My name is Brandon, and I grew up in San Antonio, which gave me a deep love for my Spurs, Tex-Mex, and George Strait! I got married to Sarah last month, which has been a blast (and we gladly welcome all marriage advice!).

December is my favorite month of the year, primarily because I can watch Elf and Christmas Vacation on repeat. And the odds are high that gingerbread lattes have made their way into my daily coffee habit.

It’s a joy to serve as one of Watermark’s Community Directors for the Single Men’s Ministry. I look forward to Journeying through the Word with you today!

Proverbs 29:1-9

29:1 He who is often reproved, yet stiffens his neck,
will suddenly be broken beyond healing.
When the righteous increase, the people rejoice,
but when the wicked rule, the people groan.
He who loves wisdom makes his father glad,
but a companion of prostitutes squanders his wealth.
By justice a king builds up the land,
but he who exacts gifts [1] tears it down.
A man who flatters his neighbor
spreads a net for his feet.
An evil man is ensnared in his transgression,
but a righteous man sings and rejoices.
A righteous man knows the rights of the poor;
a wicked man does not understand such knowledge.
Scoffers set a city aflame,
but the wise turn away wrath.
If a wise man has an argument with a fool,
the fool only rages and laughs, and there is no quiet. (ESV)

Footnotes

[1] 29:4 Or who taxes heavily

Key Verse:

When the righteous increase, the people rejoice,
but when the wicked rule, the people groan.
(Proverbs 29:2)

Central Truth:

Christ-centered wisdom and righteousness are two critical elements that help us become better family members, friends, and citizens in our society. 

WHO’S THE REAL MVP? THE RIGHTEOUS AND THE WISE

Every year, the NBA gives the Most Valuable Player (MVP) award to the best player of the season. In 2014 Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder won this prestigious award. He made a touching comment in his acceptance speech that is still referenced today. Durant, who grew up in difficult circumstances, looked right at his mother and said, “Mom, you’re the real MVP.”

In this passage from Proverbs 29, we see two types of people: those who tear down a society, and those who build it up—the real MVPs. What are the two defining characteristics of the people who build up a society? Righteousness and wisdom.

You can spot these people in families, friend groups, our nation, and the world. They are teachable and humble, their wisdom blesses their parents, and they seek justice and peace where they live. "When the righteous increase, the people rejoice . . ." (verse 2). Families and societies thrive and flourish, like a "city on a hill" (Matthew 5:14), where these MVPs shine.

In contrast, enter stage left: the wicked and foolish. These are people who ignore instruction, squander their families' wealth, and stir up rage and strife in a city. When the wicked and foolish rise to power, they accept bribes and ignore the poor, and "the people groan" (verse 2).

This proverb reminds me that at the end of my days, I’ll fall into one of these two categories: the righteous and wise, or the wicked and foolish. I’ll bring joy and peace to those around me, or chaos and groaning to those I love.

I thank the Lord for saving me from my foolishness filled with pride and debauchery. He has given me "the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ" and wisdom through daily "renewal of [my] mind" in Him. (Romans 3:22, 12:2)

And you? If you were to multiply today, would the people rejoice or groan? With God’s Spirit, Word, and people guiding us, may you be the kind of MVP God uses!

Discussion Questions:

1. Who has been a wise and righteous example in your life (a parent, friend, or mentor)? Send them a quick text now to thank them for being a Christ-like example and encouragement to you! (Also, encourage us by writing the person’s name in the comments section below and how they are an example to you!)

2. We know that all righteousness and wisdom comes from Christ, our Lord. Describe in your own words how this miracle takes place. (Hint: read Romans 3:21-26, 12:1-2, and 2 Corinthians 5:21.)

3. What spiritual disciplines have helped you the most as you strive to become more like Christ in wisdom and righteousness?


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