Proverbs Devotional 5.4.20

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 4

Reflect:

Proverbs 4:23 

23 Above all else, guard your heart,
for everything you do flows from it. 

To guard something means to protect it. We safeguard things that are of great value. When Proverbs speaks of the heart, it’s talking about the center of your being, the thinking and being part of you—your innermost being. I like the idea of the heart being the “command post.” It’s a military term that simply means the place from which a unit is commanded. It’s the place where the battle is directed. Needless to say, the command post is usually heavily guarded because if it goes down, command and control fall apart. The same could be said about our being; if we don’t place a guard over our heart, command and control fall apart and we can quickly be overrun by the enemy. 

As a follower of Christ, we place a guard over our hearts by focusing our thoughts on the basic truths of the gospel—they are necessities for Christian living! We find Paul reminding us of these truths in Romans and 1 Corinthians: “Do you not know?” he asks multiple times, as if to say to his readers and us, “Keep these truths in front of you, don’t let them slip, don’t forget about them, for these are the things that will guard your heart.” 

We can’t guard our hearts without thinking; we have to fuel our actions (the things we do to guard our hearts) by thinking on Gospel truth and how to live in line with those truths. Sinclair Ferguson sums up this idea like this: thinkers make the best doers! People who guard their hearts well think about truth often and how to apply it to their lives in practical ways. 

Reflection:

Walk the path of wisdom and guard your heart. Think deeply about the simple gospel truths: trust Jesus, love God and others, repent often, serve others, allow the fruit of the Spirit to grow in your life, transform and renew your mind. This is how we guard our hearts. It’s not complex; hard to do, but not complex.

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 10:9
Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but whoever takes crooked paths will be found out.

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