Proverbs Devotional 4.17.20

By April 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 17:9     

Love prospers when a fault is forgiven,
but dwelling on it separates close friends. (NLT)

We are living in a contentious time right now; there’s lots of uncertainty. Many people have different opinions about what is being done to combat the Covid-19 virus. All this uncertainty brings on stress and when people get stressed, their buttons can get pushed easily. 

I’m writing this devotional as the nation enters its second week of “social distancing.” All of this has been done in preparation for a potential mass outbreak of the virus. We haven’t entered into the combat stage yet. And already I’ve heard many differing opinions about what needs to be done. My conclusion is this: we need to have grace with people who may have differing opinions. 

I think our proverb for today can help us be prudent in the days to come. The New Living Translation states the proverb like this, “Love prospers when a fault is forgiven, but dwelling on it separates close friends.” The proverb is talking about forgiving sin, but I think the principle goes beyond sinning and has application to differing opinions. Love contributes toward peace because it covers the faults of others; it doesn’t dwell on those faults. Dwelling on others’ faults (or differing opinions) can quickly turn into gossip, which is sin! This only leads to alienating ourselves from others just when we may need them in our lives more than ever. 

For Jesus, love was a top priority; He told us that love summarizes the entire Old Testament! (Mark 12:31) Love is what marks us as followers of Jesus (John 13:34-35). Paul said that love is what binds us all together in perfect harmony. In fact, Paul goes so far as to say that “faith expressing itself in love” summed up the whole of Christian ethics (Galatians 5:6). 

If we’re going to prosper in uncertain times in ways that matter, we’re going to have to cultivate love. Love is what allows us to be peacemakers, not troublemakers. Listen, there are plenty of troublemakers around, yet very few peacemakers. Let’s not add to the dysfunction!

Respond:

Seek to love others today! Being a faithfully loving person is one of the most important things we should seek and value. Make it your goal going forward to love those around you as if your life depended on it! Love can make up for practically anything! (1 Peter 4:8 MSG)

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 23:4-5
Do not wear yourself out to get rich; have the wisdom to show restraint. Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone, for they will surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky like an eagle.

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