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Rooted #1: Will You Trust and Flourish? // Proverbs 11:28;3:5-6

Mary Ellen Ermis April 16, 2023 sermons, cityrise, Crosspoint Church - Bellaire, houston, Proverbs, Roger Patterson, Rooted,

The following is a manuscript of the sermon presented by Senior Pastor Dr. Roger Patterson on Sunday, April 16, 2023 at our Crosspoint Church-Bellaire campus. To view the sermon in full, check out the link below.

This is not a message about money, it is a message about TRUST!  Money is the tool, but how you wield it depends upon who and what you TRUST!

American coinage was first inscribed with the motto, “In God We Trust,” in 1865, after a feeling of thanksgiving swept the nation that had survived the Civil War.

In 1957, American currency was inscribed with the same motto. Yet, putting the motto on our money isn’t the same as writing it on our hearts.

Where we put our trust matters.

Q: Why does trust matter?

A: Because it affects each and every one of us.  What we trust has serious ramifications on our lives, money is a barometer of our trust and shows us that misplaced trust leads to series problems.

According to a study from Purdue University, worries about finances came in as the No. 1 stressor in the CreditWise survey, released in December 2020. The results indicated that finances are the No. 1 cause of stress (73%). 

So, what are the effects of that stress?

According to Everyday Health, Stress over money has been linked to:

  • heart disease,
  • diabetes,
  • migraines,
  • sleep problems,
  • depression,
  • anxiety and more.

These conditions can lead to serious, high-cost medical problems which can, in turn, lead to even more financial worry and instability.

Our desire is that you each would live a “Flourishing Life.”  Therefore, we must talk about money as it pertains to TRUST!

The Bible talks a lot about money, Jesus talked a lot about money, therefore we need to talk about money in order to help you experience the “flourishing life,” God desires for you.  That is always our primary goal, it is not about what we want from you, but what we want for you, more importantly what God wants for you!

But what I want to do today is different than just teaching on tithing or talking about stewardship. I want to go on a journey with you during our worship time together and the time you are in your Community Groups and I want to give you 11 principles about how the Kingdom of God functions. I want us to plant the seeds, water those seeds, and believe that these principles deployed are going to be honored by God.

We begin our “ROOTED – PLANTING SEEDS FOR A LIFE THAT BEARS FRUIT,” series today focusing for the next four weeks on Proverbs 11:23-31. The book of Proverbs provides words of direction and wisdom for life. We purposefully are pulling aside half-way through our Deep and Wide emphasis to seek wisdom in our giving as well as our living.

To go on this journey together, we have a gift for you this morning… (communicate ROOTED books and card…) Join a group or Start a Group!

So, this morning our outline is simple:

Today we will…

  1. Plant a Seed
  2. Water the Seed
  3. Watch it Grow
  4. Bear Fruit

That’s our outline!

Let’s read our focus passage for the month Proverbs 11:23-31.

Proverbs 11:23-31

23 The desire of the righteous ends only in good,
    the expectation of the wicked in wrath.
24 One gives freely, yet grows all the richer;
    another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want.
25 Whoever brings blessing will be enriched,
    and one who waters will himself be watered.
26 The people curse him who holds back grain,
    but a blessing is on the head of him who sells it.
27 Whoever diligently seeks good seeks favor,
    but evil comes to him who searches for it.
28 Whoever trusts in his riches will fall,
    but the righteous will flourish like a green leaf.
29 Whoever troubles his own household will inherit the wind,
    and the fool will be servant to the wise of heart.
30 The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life,
    and whoever captures souls is wise.
31 If the righteous is repaid on earth,
    how much more the wicked and the sinner!

As you could hear, we will find many nuggets of truth in these 9 verses.

Our focus verse today is from Proverbs 11:28

Proverbs 11:28

Whoever trusts in his riches will fall,
    but the righteous will flourish like a green leaf.

Traditionally, Proverbs was written by King Solomon who was a man granted great wisdom from the Lord.  This book is filled with contrasts and today we’ll focus upon one that is often repeated in these 31 proverbs. The object of our trust!

Let’s look at this contrast in this single sentence.

The first statement says…

Proverbs 11:28a

Whoever trusts in his riches will fall…

Now, let’s define two key words here.

The first word is TRUST.

Definition of Trust: The word trust means to confide in or set one’s hope and confidence upon.

Solomon is saying, “If you put your hope in riches…if your confidence regarding the future is the amount of money you have, then I have a warning for you.”

What is that warning?

The second half of the waring is that these will fall.

Anybody interested in falling?

The word fall here means to SUFFER RUIN.

Is there anyone here interested in suffering RUIN?

According to ESPN –

  • NFL players, 2 years after retirement 78% are bankrupt or in serious financial trouble.
  • 5 years after retirement 60% of all NBA players are broke.
  • Mike Tyson filed bankruptcy only a few years after his last title fight after blowing over 500 million!

Now, this is just financial ruin.

There are all sorts of other types of ruin and devastation.

Look at 1 Timothy 6:9-10.

1 Timothy 6:9-10

But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.

The love of money is the root of all kind of evils…and when you crave it…you may just even walk away from Jesus. Don’t fall into this ruin!

So, the first half of this proverb is a WARNINGDon’t put your hope in…your confidence in…your trust in Money.

The second half of the verse show you how to WIN.

Proverbs 11:28b

…but the righteous will flourish like a green leaf.

Inferred here is the fact that the righteous have placed their trust, their hope, their confidence elsewhere.

The Word Flourish means to put forth buds, leaves, fruit or flowers, as a tree.

And every tree…every plant…they all started with a seed.

So, where do we find the path to flourish…to the green leaf…to the life that bears fruit.

·      Key to this journey is the principle of trust…where are we placing our trust?

In Proverbs 3 we see these instructions about our trust from Solomon.

Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
    and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him,
    and he will make straight your paths.

So, let’s understand this process.

Today we will…

I. PLANT THE SEED – Rely Upon God

Proverbs 3:5

Trust in the Lord with all your heart…

The phrase “Trust in the LORD” occurs some 180 times in the Old Testament; therefore, we know it’s an important part of God’s success formula.

In Proverbs 11, we are counseled to not put our trust in riches. In Proverbs 3, we are counseled to put our trust in the Lord.

Remember that word trust…

Definition of Trust: The word trust means to confide in or set one’s hope and confidence upon.

We are counseled to put our confidence in and set our hope upon the Lord. This provides a sense of well-being and security for our lives.

The reason one could have such confidence in God was the Lord’s faithfulness and trustworthiness. Look at Solomon’s words of God’s faithfulness at the dedication of the Temple.

1 Kings 8:56

 “Blessed be the Lord who has given rest to his people Israel, according to all that he promised. Not one word has failed of all his good promise, which he spoke by Moses his servant.

Do you see God’s faithfulness? —  “There has not failed one word of his good promise.”

We can place our confidence in God because God does not change. He is not going to be here for us one minute and forget about us the next. He is constant in his love, in his concern, in his watchfulness.

And now notice the amount of trust we are to have: We are to trust in the Lord with all of our heart.

Proverbs 3:5

Trust in the Lord with all your heart…

This confidence we are to have in God should be whole-hearted.

  • If we do not trust in God with our whole heart, we really do not trust in him at all.
  • If we just place part of our confidence in God, we will try to solve all of our problems ourselves, instead of allowing God to play his role.

Here is what is true: We and God cannot both be in the driver’s seat of our lives – there’s room for only one there.

Why wouldn’t we want God to be in the driver’s seat of our lives? He is the one who knows what the future holds. He is the one who truly understands what is in our best interest.

Are you placing your confidence in God?

Let’s look at this second principle today.

Today we will…

  1. Plant a Seed
  2. Water the Seed

II. WATER THE SEED – Read and Respond to the Word of God

How do we water the seeds that get planted?

We have to read and respond to the Word of God. Notice this next phrase of this proverb.

Proverbs 3:5b

 …and do not lean on your own understanding.

The word “Lean” here means to depend on our rely. It is a synonym for trust.

The word “Understanding” refers to insight, prudence, and intelligence.

We are given counsel to not put our trust in our abilities…but God’s abilities.

The point Solomon is making is that human wisdom and understanding cannot be the standard by which we live, for human wisdom is so often faulty.

Jeremiah 10:23

I know, O Lord, that the way of man is not in himself,
    that it is not in man who walks to direct his steps.

You may say, “Well, Pastor, am I just to leave my intellect at the door?”

No…not at all. This isn’t to say don’t read. Don’t get educated. Don’t learn from life. I’m not saying that.

What I’m saying is that you are either going to trust yourself for guidance or God. The Lord gives wisdom and from his mouth comes knowledge and understanding.

The Scripture is replete with verses that declare that God wants to grant you wisdom and vision for your life.

Notice how the Bible testifies of itself that it gives wisdom.

Psalm 119:104

Through your precepts I get understanding;
    therefore I hate every false way.

Application: My friends, there are many false ways out there…ways designed to lead you astray. God wants to give you wisdom and counsel. He wants you to trust in him so that he can lead you in the right way…the straight way…the upright way…the everlasting way!

Psalm 119:130

The unfolding of your words gives light;
    it imparts understanding to the simple.

If we want answers to the questions of life, we need to look no further than the Bible.

Andrew Young, former US Ambassador to the UN, told the University of Maryland’s graduating class to get a Bible.

“It won’t hurt you at all,” he said, “and it will give you more illumination and purpose in life. It’s better to invest fifteen dollars in a Bible now than twenty-five dollars an hour for a psychiatrist later.”

Are you leaning on your own understanding or are you studying the Bible to obtain God’s understanding? Are you applying it to your lives?

Proverbs A Day Challenge: I want to issue you a challenge that I believe will change your life. It’s a simple challenge. All that is required of you is the ability to read.

Can you read? Because if you can read, you can do this challenge.

Beginning today, I want to challenge you to read a chapter of Proverbs a day. There are 31 Chapters, so read a chapter a day.  And here is what we are going to do…this is going to be so cool…we aren’t starting in Proverbs 1… Since today is the 16th, we will start with Proverbs 16. Tomorrow, we will read Proverbs 17.  On the 18, we will read Proverbs 18.

As a value add, I have asked that our various staff members get in front of the camera and provide for you a devotion from that days Proverbs chapter. So, today, I’ll kick things off with a video devotion from Proverbs 16 that will be in your inbox before you get home from lunch today.

Saturating our lives in the WISDOM of GOD will bear great fruit…and we must do it over and over and over again, as growing in Wisdom is so vital and important!

Let’s look at this third step in the process after we have planted and watered these critical seeds that help us flourish.

Today we will…

  1. Plant a Seed
  2. Water the Seed
  3. Watch it Grow

III. WATCH IT GROW – Recognize the Hand of God

“In all your ways acknowledge him.”

Proverbs 3:6a

In all your ways acknowledge him…

So much of this trust is belief that His way is better. So, in your life, your coming and going, your circumstances that you are walking through, you are looking for His leading. You are looking for evidence of His hand.

You see, watching it grow involves recognizing that God is at work behind the scenes and beneath the surface to bring forth something that will bear fruit.

John and Linda Penny have given me some vegetables plants…these are some plants from their garden where they grow vegetables. I’ve also gotten some seeds and planted them and have a little experiment going in my backyard…I’m seeing if I am able to grow tomatoes, zuchinni, cucumber, etc.

Now, here is the fun part…going out to see what sort of progress is being made.  From seeing the seed sprout up the first time…to seeing it grow…to waiting for the day I see some sort of fruit…it’s kind of fun…and I am now officially old!

As we acknowledge God, we are saying, “God, you began a work in me. You will be faithful to complete it. I trust you.”

Philippians 1:6

And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.

Our spiritual growth…and our trust in our Lord, is a journey. And when we TRUST, we have a perspective that He is at work to work it out…which leads me to my final point.

Today we will…

  1. Plant a Seed
  2. Water the Seed
  3. Watch it Grow
  4. Bear Fruit

IV. BEAR FRUIT – Rejoice in the Path of God

Proverbs 3:6b 

 …and he will make straight your paths.

To make straight our lives isn’t to:

  • Make our lives perfect
  • Make our lives easy
  • Make our lives free of suffering or harm

It’s to make our lives morally upright. It’s to give us level standing and a place for our feet that isn’t going to cause us to fall and experience ruin.

When we trust God, we forgo certain things other people readily engage in.

When we walk with God, our motivation isn’t the approval of others, but His approval.

When we lean on Him with all of our heart, we aren’t being tossed to and fro by the winds and waves of circumstance, but we are rooted and planted firmly.

Let me close with this contrast of a cursed life and a blessed life from Jeremiah 17.

Jeremiah 17:5-9

Thus says the Lord:
“Cursed is the man who trusts in man
    and makes flesh his strength,
    whose heart turns away from the Lord.
He is like a shrub in the desert,
    and shall not see any good come.
He shall dwell in the parched places of the wilderness,
    in an uninhabited salt land.

“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord,
    whose trust is the Lord.
He is like a tree planted by water,
    that sends out its roots by the stream,
and does not fear when heat comes,
    for its leaves remain green,
and is not anxious in the year of drought,
    for it does not cease to bear fruit.”

My friend, where is your trust? Is your trust fully in the Lord? Is it in yourself? Your riches?

The better way is the Lord’s way! Trust Him today.