**Special Note** Devotionals in 2020 will go out every day. You are encouraged to read the chapter from Proverbs that corresponds with the date. Today we are reading Proverbs chapter 6. There is a link for you to read the Proverbs chapter online or you can read the chapter in your Bible. The devotionals will not follow the Sunday sermons.
Proverbs Devo 1.6.20
I. Prayer to enter the Lord’s presence:
Be still for a moment. “Lord, I give the day that is now past to you. It is yours. I give the day that is to come to you; help me to see where you are working and to join you there. Speak to me during these moments. I commit them and myself to you.”
II. Prayer of Confession:
“Lord, you are faithful to forgive me and cleanse me of my sin when I confess it to you. I confess my sin(s) of ______________. Thank you for forgiveness.” (1 John 1:9)
III. Prayer of Thanksgiving:
Choose to be thankful, speak out loud of what God has done.
“Thank you, Father, for _________________. Fill my heart and my mouth with gratitude throughout this day.”
IV. Scripture Reflection
Read: Proverbs Chapter 6
6 Go to the ant, you sluggard;
consider its ways and be wise!
7 It has no commander,
no overseer or ruler,
8 yet it stores its provisions in summer
and gathers its food at harvest.
The sluggard is another character we meet as we read Proverbs. If you’re reading in a different translation, he may go by lazybones, slacker or lazy fool! Either name will do, they all capture the essence of who he is. His running buddies are fool and scoffer. They all have one thing in common, they believe themselves to be wise, but in the end, their “wisdom” will only lead to their destruction. They all stand in contrast to the diligent or hardworking person. To drive the contrast home to his son, the father says, “Look at the ant!”
The ant is a brilliant example. The ant is small, yet it is up and moving, it doesn’t need anyone to rouse itself up. It doesn’t just sit around and expect things to get done. It goes about its business diligently. It doesn’t need a boss or superintendent to make sure it’s working; it just gets after it! What a tremendous quality to have.
The Air Force core values—integrity first, service before self, and excellence in all we do—are a commitment each Airman makes when joining the Air Force. When I served, I had to make a commitment to live by these values. Integrity first was explained to me like this. It’s doing what’s right when no one else is looking. In other words, you don’t have to be supervised, you don’t need someone to watch over you, because you can be trusted to do the right thing even when no one is watching you. You can’t say this about a lazy person.
The proverb challenges us to take a lesson from the ant, to learn from their ways and become wise!
Take some time today and be honest about where you are at. Are you more like the sluggard or the ant? The ant takes the path of wisdom, and we’d do well to follow its lead. Life is going to be hard. It requires work. Persistent work. We live in a time where people have lost sight of this reality, it seems as though some expect the good life to just happen for them with no expectation of having to do anything. This is a lazy person. Life doesn’t work this way! To live a good life—the best life—will require a life that is lived with intentionality. We can’t sit around hoping things will happen a certain way, we have to do our part. For example, to expect to have a particular job without doing anything to acquire the skills needed for that job is called dreaming at best and lazy at worst. It just doesn’t happen like that. Does this mean it’s going to require work? Absolutely! But in the end, it is the path that leads to life. Don’t let the “hard” keep you from following the ant’s example. The life we’ve been called to requires much more than just talking about it, dreaming about it, or just sleeping and lying around. So, let’s get busy! Ask God to reveal areas of your life where you’ve grown lazy, ask him to help you re-frame your thoughts.
V. Prayer for others:
Pray specifically for the concerns of your life and the lives of others.
VI. Prayer of commitment:
“Lord God, I commit to love you with all my heart and with all my soul and with all my strength and with all my mind and to love my neighbor as myself. Empower me today to love you and others with everything that I am.” (Luke 10:27)
This Week’s Scripture Memory:
Proverbs 1:7 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.