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 22
1 A good name is more desirable than great riches;
to be esteemed is better than silver or gold.
This is a clear example of a better-than proverb. It clearly says that a good name is by far better than wealth. So, are we to conclude that riches are bad? No, not exactly. We have to hold the two things, a good name/money, in their proper perspective. With both hands on the tuner dials, we can work the dials together until we get a clear signal of what is being said.
One of the big ideas from this proverb is the idea of what counts most in the end. Riches fade, they’re here today and gone tomorrow, and in the end, they really mean nothing. Especially if those riches are gained at the expense of a ruined character! Oh, I know that wealth does make life more comfortable in a sense. We need a certain level of income to function in the world as it is today. But again, it is not what matters most in the end. What matters most is that we love God and people. One of the ways we do this is by developing a rock-solid reputation as a person of character. And as the book of Proverbs has already shown us, that begins with “The fear of the Lord.”
When I was young, I remember my Dad sternly telling me, “Boy, you’re carrying the Lewis name… don’t you forget that… that’s all you have!” He was reminding me that my actions represented the family—he was telling me that my actions mattered, that what I did had a direct reflection on my character. I would nod like I understood what he was saying, and then out the door I went. Honestly, I would let it go in one ear and out the other (Yes, I was a rock).
Even when I was in the Air Force, I received the same message that had been communicated to me by my Dad. I remember one occasion when I was going to my first Professional Military Education training. I had to report to the Commander’s office in my dress uniform. I entered his office, gave a reporting statement, and stood at attention in front of his desk. He looked me right in the eye and said, “Airmen Lewis, you represent the 96 OMS, do not bring discredit upon this squadron. Am I clear?” “Yes sir,” was my reply. Then I was dismissed.
That was a sobering experience for me. The Commander’s point was crystal clear! His short and direct words told me to stay out of trouble, study hard, apply myself, and perform well—in other words—be a person of character!
Words of scripture communicate this same message, especially the wisdom literature. In the end, your character or reputation is all you have in the sight of God or others. Scripture stresses the importance of believers having a good reputation with those outside the faith. What we do, the way we live matters! Simply put: Christians should have a good reputation—we should be known as people of character, for that character is what brings glory to God.
Make it your goal to live an honorable life in all that you do so that people can see your good deeds and glorify God. Live in just a way that the light of Christ shines before others. (1 Peter 2:12; Matt. 7:17)
As you go about your day—remember that you bear the name of Christ!
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.