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 9
7 Whoever corrects a mocker invites insults;
whoever rebukes the wicked incurs abuse.
8 Do not rebuke mockers or they will hate you;
rebuke the wise and they will love you.
9 Instruct the wise and they will be wiser still;
teach the righteous and they will add to their learning.
How do you respond to correction? Think about that for a moment. It’s a great question.
As I read over the verses above, I can’t help but picture someone about to do something very foolish. Something like driving their car right off a cliff. You think what they’re doing is crazy, you look around at the others watching, and it’s clear they are thinking the same thing too. But here’s the rub—nobody is doing anything! So, you take the initiative (you use your superpowers to enter the moving car miraculously) and say, “Hey, there’s a cliff up ahead, and if you keep going you’re gonna run off the cliff and kill yourself!” As you sit back, you take a breath, you feel good, you just saved someone’s life. But then, all of a sudden, the driver turns and looks at you, scowls, turns red in the face, and in anger explodes, unleashing a barrage of insults—he’s filled with hatred for you like nobody’s business! You’re rocked back on your heels! Wow, all you were doing is trying to help.
You know the truth is, we can’t make it through life without help. But sadly, some try to make it on their own despite this truth. Our verses describe two types of people: mockers and wicked people vs. the wise and righteous person. Essentially the writer is showing us the difference between the unteachable versus the teachable person. I’d be willing to bet all of us would want to be known as wise or righteous—we’d want to be known as the teachable one. We definitely don’t want to be known as the person “driving off the cliff.” And why? Because at a deeper level, we understand that a defiant attitude goes with depravity. It just seems to work this way. We don’t want to be that kind of person. These kinds of people are not on the path that leads to life.
A sensible person (the wise and righteous) seek to learn from others. When we’re heading towards trouble, we want someone to speak truth to us, even if it’s a rebuke! Oh, we may not like it, but we understand the value of it. On our own, we can’t make all the right decisions all the time. This is why we value having others to speak into our lives. Understanding this truth though doesn’t make criticism easy to take. Wisdom from others is going to hurt at times, but it must be followed if it’s right. How can we know if it’s right? We can go to the Word of God, the ultimate source of wisdom. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting.… (2 Timothy 3:16).
Do you have people around you who are willing to speak truth into your life? If not, why? If you do, consider reaching out to them today and encouraging them for their faithfulness to you. We need a trusted friend to walk alongside us as we journey down the path of life.
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:
Every word of God is flawless;
He is a shield to those who take refuge in him.