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Proverbs 4:1 (Mini Sermon)

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1. Pro 4:1 - "Hear, ye children, the instruction of a father, and attend to know understanding."
A. Hear, ye children, the instruction of a father,
i. Hear v. - 1. a. intr. To perceive, or have the sensation of, sound; to possess or exercise the faculty of audition, of which the specific organ is the ear. The proper verb to express this faculty or function. 4. To exercise the auditory function intentionally; to give ear, hearken, listen. b. trans. To listen to (a person or thing) with more or less attention or understanding; to give ear to, hearken to; to give audience to. Orig. with dative of the person or thing. to hear out, to listen to to the end: see out; to hear out: also, to distinguish (the sounds of something heard).
ii. Instruction v. - 1. The action of instructing or teaching; the imparting of knowledge or skill; education; information.
iii. There are three applications of this passage to the lives of Christians.
iv. We have three father figures to whose instruction we should listen.
a. Our natural father
(i) We are the biological children of our natural fathers.
(ii) It is their job to instruct us (Eph 6:4; Psa 78:5).
(iii) We should take heed to their instruction (Pro 13:1).
b. Our pastoral father
(i) Christians are as it were the children of their pastor (1Co 4:14-15; Gal 4:19).
1. A father teaches his children: so does a pastor.
2. A father comforts his children: so does a pastor (1Th 2:11).
3. A father warns, admonishes, and rebukes his children: so does a pastor (1Co 4:14; 1Th 2:11).
4. A father bears (at least some) responsibility for the actions of his children: so does a pastor (Heb 13:17).
5. A father worries about his children: so does a pastor.
6. A father has to sometimes get his children out of trouble: so does a pastor.
7. A father loves his children more than they know: so does a pastor (1Th 2:7-8).
(ii) It is his job to instruct them (Eph 4:11-16; 2Ti 2:25).
(iii) They should take heed to his instruction (Heb 13:7, 17).
c. Our heavenly Father
(i) We are the spiritual children of God our Heavenly Father (Rom 8:16).
(ii) He instructs us through His word (Psa 32:8; Jer 35:13).
(iii) We should take heed to His instruction (2Pe 1:19).
B. and attend to know understanding.
i. Attend v. - I. To direct the ears, mind, energies to anything. 1. To turn one's ear to, listen to.
ii. Understanding can be known, but it takes effort.
iii. If we are to understand the things of God, we must direct our ears, mind, and energy to it.
iv. It requires will, desire, determination, and persistence to acquire it (Pro 2:1-6).
v. If we pay attention to what our earthly father, our pastor, and our Heavenly Father teach us, we will know understanding.