Proverbs Devotional 2.17.20

By February 17, 2020Daily Devotional

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 17

Reflect:

Proverbs 17:1

1 Better a dry crust with peace
than a house full of feasting with strife.

Reflection: Oh, the wonders of having a peaceful home! You read this proverb and something inside you just instinctively says, “how true!” It rubs against what the world is telling us to pursue. Think about it, who would want dry crust when you could have a feast? A feast would be far better. But at what cost? What if there’s strife within the home, would it still be worth it? The writer doesn’t think so. He believes that a piece of dry crust with peace in the home far outweighs material blessings amid a feast. I think he’s right!

So why do I think he’s right? Because I’ve experienced it firsthand! And just to be clear, most of the strife, if not all of it, was because of my self-centeredness. Things didn’t go my way, so I made life miserable for everyone around me. 

Let me give you an example of what I’m talking about. Once Patty and I had friends over for dinner. It was my idea. I had it all planned out, and it was going to be a lot of fun. However, it required Patty cooking a meal—and not just any kind of meal. I wanted a meal that would “wow” our friends. Are you ready for it—Copycat P.F. Chang Lettuce Wraps, oh yeah! Now in case you didn’t know, that’s a lot of work, especially if you’ve never made them before. But I had confidence in Patty. 

All was going well, until it came time to put the meal together and Patty asked for some help. You see, the problem was that I had other things I was doing. I wanted her just to figure it out, but she persisted in asking for help. So when I finally did stop to help her (begrudgingly), we were pressed for time. I was aggravated, and all this did was add to the stress. And at this point—I’ll just cut to the chase—she needed me to read the steps of the recipe off to her. I picked up the iPad and began to read the steps off, but unbeknownst to her, I was looking at the wrong recipe! She kept questioning me, and the more she questioned, the more I raised my voice! It was like something out of a movie. Finally, we both stopped and looked at each other as we realized our mistake. But rather than stopping, I angerly dug my heels in—I was too stubborn to admit that I had been reading the wrong recipe. As the veins in my neck bulged out, all I kept saying to her was, “IT SAYS LETTUCE WRAPS!!!” And to make it even worse, our company was now twenty minutes out.

Praise the Lord this isn’t where the story ends. We were both able to get a hold of ourselves, and I came to my senses. We embraced each other, I asked Patty to forgive me, and then she quickly came up with a plan to save the meal. 

But sadly, some never stop when they’re going down the wrong path, they live in perpetual strife. Think about our meal, how much better would it have been if we would have just stopped and avoided all the strife? So what if the meal was a flop? We could have just gone and bought a pizza! What mattered was not the food, but the relationship. Listen, I’ve grown to value a peaceful home! Whether the house is a peaceful one or not depends in large part with what I’m doing to ensure I’m maintaining a peaceful home.  I’ve learned that it far outweighs anything the world could offer me. So how do you get and keep a peaceful home? Focus on what matters most—a loving relationship with Jesus and others. You get this right, and eating a feast or some crusty old bread can both be considerable times of joy.

Respond:

What is it you are focusing on? Pick a peaceful home. Make the people GOD has brought into your life your priority—determine to love God and people.

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 27:17
As iron sharpens iron,
so one man sharpens another.

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