Proverbs Devotional 3.14.20

By March 14, 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 14

Reflect:

Proverbs 14:4

Where there are no oxen, the feeding trough is empty,
but an abundant harvest comes through the strength of an ox. 

This is a great proverb! Sometimes our desire for orderliness can lead to a lack of productivity. We may have a beautiful and shiny barn, but it’s useless if we can’t use it. Even though the proverb is an agricultural illustration, we get the point: You don’t have to worry about having to feed or cleaning up after oxen if you don’t have any! See, the only way the farmer can make a living is by having oxen. With owning oxen comes responsibilities—you’ve got to care for them, feed them, and clean up after them. It can be messy at times. Oxen can also frustrate you; they can be stubborn. Oxen require work, a lot of work. And that’s the point! The truth is, anything worth having is going to take work, that’s just how it is, especially when it comes to relationships with others! Sometimes the benefits of an investment outweigh the costs and inconveniences involved.

The NIV Life Application Bible says, “The only way to keep your life free of people problems is to keep it free of other people. But if your life is empty of people, it is useless; and if you live only for yourself, your life loses its meaning. Instead of avoiding people, we should serve others, share our faith, and work for justice.” 

I was challenged by these words. It’s easy to not want to invest in others because of the mess that may be involved. And sometimes not even the messes, it’s our own desire to keep our life nice and tidy. To let someone else in may mean that things will get moved around, and cause me to have to work more than I want too. But sometimes my wants can end up working against what is best for me. I really want what God wants for me! I’ll only find deep relationships with others if I’m willing to deal with the inconveniences and messes that come with relationships. 

Respond: 

Is your life clean but empty? Or does it give evidence of your serving God wholeheartedly? What is keeping you from inviting people into your 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:

Proverbs 17:17
A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.

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