Wisdom pays attention to the realities built into us by God our Creator. A wise person notices, picks up on the clues, cuts with the grain, tears along the perforated line. Unwise people can be gifted, but they are trying to be healthy on junk food, or run high RPMs on low octane gas, or swim against the stream of the universe. Ultimately, sin is an attempt to reengineer creation to fit our own way. But the book of Proverbs is where the Lord guides us into the only real success there is.

Wisdom is the Law and Gospel of Jesus Christ reshaping us into His image, as God places us on His anvil, and we trust Him enough to stay there until His work is done. Are you ready? Let’s get started.

Contrary to popular belief, life is not about making your way or finding your way, as if there were an infinite number of ways. Rather, there are only two ways – The Way of Wisdom or the Way of Folly. Proverbs 9 imagines two houses, one on either side of the road. On one side, a house stands open, with an elegant lady named Wisdom inviting us in. On the other side of the road, another house stands open, with a seductive lady named Folly inviting us in. Proverbs describes life in practical ways, but it goes way beyond helpful tips and self-help. All of God’s Word is about leading us to the one who IS The Way, The Truth, and The Life.

What Kingdom are you pursuing? It seems so obvious that the kingdom of this world offers so much. Fame, wealth, security, but in the end, they are all empty promises. Seeking the Upside-down Kingdom of God can seem strange in this life, but the promises of Jesus are not empty but real and eternal.

This parable has been called, “The Hardest Parable.” That is, the hardest parable to understand and apply. Many questions come up. Why did the Lord, “commend the dishonest manager for his shrewdness?” Is the Lord condoning “unrighteous wealth?” Join us this Sunday as we reflect on the surprising ways Jesus works through His Upside-down Kingdom.

God’s grace and forgiveness in His Upside-down Kingdom is extravagant. But that might not be the most surprising thing we witness in His Kingdom. Perhaps the most surprising aspect of His Kingdom is when people do not reflect His extravagant grace.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways declares the LORD (Isaiah 55:8).” These words are true and apply to the Upside-down Kingdom of God. On the surface, it can even appear to be unfair. Take “The laborers in the vineyard,” for example. Was the Lord fair in His treatment of the laborers? Perhaps it depends on which laborer you identify with. Why do you assume that you are the one who arrived early and did the most?

How does a person determine their righteousness? The world says, by what you do or don’t do. The Upside-down Kingdom of Jesus has a different standard. “Those who exalt themselves with be humbled and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” So, what does it mean to humble yourself? To come under The Blood. When the tax collector said, “Be merciful to me,” he is saying, “Cover me with the blood which has been shed.” In this Upside-down Kingdom, sinners are forgiven by the blood of Jesus Christ – even tax collectors.

Who is unworthy and who is worthy? In worldly terms, it only makes sense that those with an invitation are the worthy ones and those without an invite are unworthy. But what’s shocking is, in the Kingdom of Jesus, those who are invited end up being unworthy and the unworthy person on the street ends up being worthy. How might this end-time parable impact how we live according to His Kingdom today?

The Parable of the Sower

The Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) all begin the parables of Jesus with “The parable of the sower.” In many ways, this parable is the prime example of Jesus’ teaching of His Upside-down Kingdom. In His Kingdom, His grace is extravagant, and could even appear to be wasteful. This is one of very few parables that Jesus interprets (Matthew 13:18-23). Join us this Sunday as we begin to discover the Upside-down Kingdom Jesus has inaugurated.

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