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 19
24 The slacker buries his hand in the bowl;
he doesn’t even bring it back to his mouth!
When this proverb was written, food was eaten by groups of people out of a common bowl. So imagine the seeing bowl as it comes to this fella, he plunges his hand into it, but he is too lazy to lift his hand and feed himself. He lacks the gumption to put forth the effort to nourish his body, which will have a direct physical impact on his body.
Since we don’t eat that way in our own culture, it may be easy to breeze right over this proverb. So let me paint a more vivid picture for you. As I write this devotional, the Super Bowl is six days away. Let’s say you’re having a watch party, and you have invited folks over to your place for the game. One of your guests is the slacker described in the proverb. You bring the snacks out, set them on the table in front of your guests to enjoy. Then all of a sudden, this slacker, reaches into the bowl of chips, plunging his hand deep into the bowl—and there he stops! He’s absolutely too lazy to lift his hand to his mouth and eat! It’s as though his hand is just too heavy to lift.
As sad as it may be, we have those same types of folks around. It’s funny, you can do all sorts of things for them, but ultimately, they’re going to be the ones that feed themselves.
Are you like them? You know that’s a great question. Maybe you’re industrious at work, involved in the community, and – if you’re married—you’re investing in your relationship with your wife and children. This proverb doesn’t describe you in those areas. But what about your spiritual life? In my experience, this is where people—myself included—tend to emulate the slacker. There are so many resources—bowls of spiritual food—waiting for us to plunge into and feed ourselves with its nourishment, yet we act as if our hand is just too heavy to lift out of the bowl and eat. We can’t do this—we’ve got to make sure we’re taking care of our spiritual needs too. So, here’s the bottom line: When it comes to caring for the spiritual component of our lives, there is no room for laziness. Don’t be a slacker when it comes to your relationship with God and others.
If you’ve been lazy in pursuing Christ, ask Him to forgive you. Determine today not to let your hand sit in the communal bowl of spiritual food and instead bring it up to your mouth and feast on God’s abundant nourishment. This will take effort—but its benefits will far outweigh the cost. Live decided!
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:
As iron sharpens iron,
so one man sharpens another.