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 24
8 A person who plans evil will get a reputation as a troublemaker.
9 The schemes of a fool are sinful; everyone detests a mocker.
We all have a reputation. This proverb speaks to the reputation of a troublemaker, a fool, and a mocker. A reputation is the beliefs or opinions that are held about someone. It’s the belief about the characteristics or habits of a person’s life. A reputation says a lot about who we are.
The life of the troublemaker is the theme of this proverb. I don’t have to describe what a troublemaker is, you know exactly what I’m saying when I use the term to describe someone. What a terrible way to be described. And what makes it even worse, once you’ve got a bad reputation, it’s hard to lose it!
Here the teacher is using the negative to encourage us to do all we can to maintain a good reputation. A good reputation is of great value. Ecclesiastes 7:1 says, “A good reputation is better than a fat bank account.” (The Message). So how do we take care of our reputations? Here are a few thoughts:
- Live decided. Determine to walk the path of wisdom. If you’re at a fork in the path, don’t waffle back and forth. That doesn’t work; it’s like “not deciding.” If you want to have a good reputation, then decide to walk in line with God’s instruction. Settle this issue and then move forward in obedience to God.
- Give your life away for others. That means we follow Jesus’ example. Remember that Jesus came to serve and give. Matthew 20:28 says, “Even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (NLT)
- Live with integrity. Make sure your private life matches your public life. Let your yes be yes and your no be no. If you offend someone or sin against them, be quick to make things right.
- Be an ambassador of Christ. Jesus is to be priority number one. Determine to represent Him well to a lost and broken world. Study His character and pay attention to the things He did. Jesus was honest, kind, loyal, and honorable, so we should strive to be those things as well (Ephesians 5:1).
These are just some of the qualities that contribute to a good reputation. Sounds like work, right? Well, it is, but it is work worth pursuing!
Stop deciding. “Live decided” for Christ. That’s how you maintain a good reputation.
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:
Wine is a mocker and beer a brawler; whoever is led astray by them is not wise.