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 3
9 Honor the Lord with your wealth,
with the firstfruits of all your crops;
10 then your barns will be filled to overflowing,
and your vats will brim over with new wine.
Ben Franklin was known to have said, “Money never made a man happy yet, nor will it. There is nothing in its nature to produce happiness. The more man has, the more he wants. Instead of it filling a vacuum, it makes one. If it satisfies one want, it doubles and triples that want another way.”
Our proverb today has to do with money and what we’re to do with it. Some may be ready to put the devotion down at this point, thinking, “Here we go again, another pastor asking for my money.” So let me be clear: I’m not selling anything. I’m just stating what the Lord says to those who want to walk the path of wisdom. In no way am I denying the benefits of financial resources. Wealth can make it a lot easier to deal with many of the challenges life brings. But we also have to recognize the limitations and risks of wealth. Money cannot and will not meet our spiritual needs; only God can do that.
Verses 9 and 10 are telling us to honor the Lord with our wealth. Actually, when you read the verses, you’ll see that there is a command with a promise. Being willing to give God the first fruits of our earnings is an expression of faith and worship of God. Giving is a recognition of our dependence on Him. It’s also a way to express our gratitude for His provisions. You can think of it as giving back to God part of what He has given us, and we do this to acknowledge that everything belongs to God. Giving shows our gratitude for His gracious provision.
Notice what God does in return for us: He pours out abundant blessings upon us. Consider 2 Corinthians 9:6-8: “Remember this—a farmer who plants only a few seeds will get a small crop. But the one who plants generously will get a generous crop. You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. ‘For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.’ And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others.” (NLT)
Giving is the only antidote to selfishness. If you live for money, it will harden your heart. Determine today to be generous with your money (for it’s really not your money at all; it all belongs to the Lord). A good place to start would be to give where you are ministered to the most. If you attend River regularly, this would be an excellent place to start. Talk to God, and together decide how much to give in your heart, and then be faithful to give as the Lord has led.
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:
The Lord tears down the house of the proud, but he sets the widow’s boundary stones in place.