Institutional First Baptist Church Weekly Sermon
Delivered By
Dr. E. G. Sherman, Jr
Delivered On
January 25, 2015 at 10:45 AM
The Spiritual Outlook on Life
Dr. E. G. Sherman, Jr. Sunday January 25, 2015
The Spiritual Outlook on Life
Pr. 3:5 “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding”
The New Year of 2015, like “Father Time” has moved 
almost to the end of its first month, January. The earlier 
gaieties of its entrance, resolutions, and athletic events - 
all have transpired. Now the reality of confronting life has 
become the order of the day. Humankind is, therefore, called 
to confront the tasks of daily living. This process will require 
thinking, planning, remembering, and performing tasks 
designed to achieve the desired objectives. In the haste 
to formulate both daily and long ranges plans, too many 
individuals rely solely on their past experiences and their 
personal understanding. While such an approach is 
pragmatic, it is at variance with biblical teachings on facing 
and planning for daily life. Our sermon, in this connection, 
was been planned to address the problem of facing life. It 
has been entitled, The Spiritual Outlook on Life. The sermon 
will explore three aspects of the subject, namely: personal 
comprehension, self evaluation, and personal stewardship. 
Prior to delving into these dimensions, some attention 
will be devoted to the book, Proverbs, from which the 
textual anchor was lifted. This book is one of the five 
Poetic Books of the Bible. The other four are Job, Psalms, 
Ecclesiastes, and Song of Solomon. This expression 
poetic books “... refers only to their form. It must not be 
thought to imply that they are simply the product of human 
imagination.… These books portray real human experience, 
and grapple with profound problems, and express big 
realities. Especially to they concern themselves with the 
experiences of the godly, in the varying vicissitudes of this 
changeful life which is ours under the sun …” . Of particular 
interest in this sermon is the book of Proverbs. According to 
the King James Bible Commentary, “Proverbial teaching 
represents one of the most ancient forms of instruction; and 
the book of Proverbs belongs to that segment of the Old 
Testament that is commonly called the wisdom literature.” 
As noted in Chapter 1 and verse 1 of Proverbs, its author 
was Solomon, the son of David , king of Israel. Against this 
background on Proverbs, the focus will now be directed to 
the earlier specified dimensions of the subject, the first of 
which is - personal comprehension in daily life. The 
philosopher, John Locke asserted that, at birth, the mind 
is lack unto a blank chalk board with nothing written on it. 
Hence, the experiences of life, symbolically, write daily 
thereon. Each person, therefore, has a view of life known 
as personal understanding. It is on the basis of this 
understanding that the individual thinks, acts, and pursues 
life. While conceding that each person is entitle his/her 
understanding, an important question becomes what is/are 
the basis of the understanding? It is herein submitted that 
one’s understanding can come from a single or combination 
of the following sources. First, there is the understanding 
acquired through personal experiences. Remember, the 
proverbial saying ‘ a burnt child is afraid of the fire’; next, 
understanding can emanate from intellectual exposure 
as experienced in the school and collegiate systems; 
thirdly, one’s understanding come from individuals and/or 
group contacts - this type is often highlighted in the legal 
system with its term delinquent sub culture, finally, 
understanding can be obtained from the Holy Spirit. This 
reality is presented in Proverb 3:5 where Solomon penned, 
“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto 
thine own understanding”. Beloved, this admonition does 
not preclude using nor devaluating them; instead, it is a 
call to assess them in the light of spiritual guidance. 
In utilizing spiritual guidance - trusting in the Lord - the 
individual will find that the Lord, “...shall direct thy path”. 
This fact leads to the second component of the sermon 
which is - self evaluation of the believer. It is an 
unfortunate fact that contemporary society emphasizes 
and encourages intellectual spontaneity and creativity 
while, often neglecting and/or discouraging an reference 
to the role of the Holy Spirit. Yet, Paul asserted that it is 
in him that we live, move, and having our being ( Act 17: 28). 
Additionally, the text calls upon the believer to “Be not wise 
in this own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil” ( 3:7 ). 
This type of humility, according to Solomon, is good “for 
health and strength” ( 3:8). While exercising an attitude of 
moderation in self perception and accomplishments, the 
believer is also instructed in the area of steward is 
specified. This responsibility will constitute the third and 
final phase of the sermon on the spiritual outlook on life, 
which is - personal stewardship. Although most people have 
access to some resources, a large segment of them is less 
than faithful in personal stewardship. In the meantime, this 
same group has access to guidance from the Holy Comforter 
whom Jesus promised would “teach you all things, and bring 
all things to your remembrance...” ( Mt. 14:26 ). Such 
individuals also are beneficiaries of the peace that 
Jesus promised to leave for the believers. Yet when it 
comes to fulfilling the obligation of personal stewardship 
all to many individuals fall short. Such persons are failing 
to heed Solomon admonition to “Honor the Lord with thy 
substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase” 
(Pr. 3:9). Complying with this requirement is not a loss of 
personal resources; it is rather the conduit through which 
the individual’s possessions will be multiplied. This fact is 
taught by Solomon as reflected in his words, “So shall thy 
barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out 
with wine”. ( Pr. 3:10 ). The prophet, Malachi, would focus 
on this issue of stewardship with special emphasis on 
tithes. He uttered a challenge regard the value of financial 
stewardship as seen in ( Mal 3:10 ) “Bring ye all the tithes 
into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, 
and prove me now herewith...and he, the Lord, promised 
that he would pour you out blessing, that there shall not be 
room enough to receive it”. Beloved, both Solomon and 
Malachi - literally are begging humankind to take seriously 
the obligation of personal stewardship. In so doing, such 
believers will be complying with biblical teachings, 
demonstrating their comfort in the spiritual outlook on 
life, and experiencing bountiful blessings from the 
Almighty God. Hopefully, our fellowship is included in this 
band of committed Christians. Are we? This question must 
be answered be each individual! Amen.
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