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 5
1 My son, pay attention to my wisdom,
turn your ear to my words of insight,
2 that you may maintain discretion
and your lips may preserve knowledge.
“I told you so!” “What did you expect?” “You got what you deserved!” We’ve all heard these phrases before. Maybe you’ve used them with a friend, maybe you’ve even had them said to you before! Generally, they follow a warning of some kind that one fails to heed. Sometimes these warnings pop inside our head, just before we do something, “maybe I shouldn’t climb up on that ladder until I secure the footing… ah, whatever, I’ll just go up, I’ll only be up there for a second.” Then up you go, only to come tumbling down. Now laying there on the floor, your back aching, you tell yourself, “why didn’t I firm up the bottom!” You feel so stupid for not listening to yourself.
Proverbs 5 is one of those warning we need to heed. It speaks both to the long-term consequences of adultery and to the joy of marriage. We live in a highly sexualized culture. Sex! It is in the books we read, the TV shows we watch and the advertisements we see. One could say we are totally saturated with it. The short-term pleasures of affairs, illicit sex, and sex outside of marriage are celebrated. Yet, the long-term consequences are all but an afterthought. No one wants to talk about the brokenness that comes to a family. Broken relationships. The cost financially. The cost relationally. The cost physically. The cost socially. The cost of living with regret. All of these are swept under the rug. They’re not spoken of. Rather, what matters most is the short-term pleasure from sex.
In a way, these “costs” are like the elephant in the room that no one wants to talk about. “Don’t mess up my pursuits with any talk of consequences… I want what I want!” But in reality, no one likes the long-term results of embracing short-term sexual pleasures. It’s true. Sleep around a lot, you’re considered loose. Have an affair, and you’re a dirty dog! Betray your spouse and you’ll lose half your friends. If children are involved there is shame and a loss of respect. Pick up a sexual disease and you may carry it around for a lifetime. It’s bad!
Faithfulness—fidelity—may not be considered glamorous. But this is what is truly best for us.
Don’t listen to the prevailing winds of culture, they will fall short! Proverbs 5 is a warning to all of us. Whether you’re single or married, God has set boundaries around sex for our good. Will you trust in His boundaries? Will you heed the warning? Will you listen closely to wisdom? Please don’t ignore wisdom; it can spare you from ruin. Don’t give in to the sexual lies of culture. Listen to the Father’s insight.
Thank God for the boundaries He has set for us. Thank Him for the freedoms we have by living within those boundaries.
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:
There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.