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 15
22 Plans fail when there is no counsel,
but with many advisers they succeed.
Over this year we’ve already seen the value of wise counsel. At least four times in the book of proverbs the focus is on the importance of seeking advice (11:14; 15:22; 20:18; 24:6).
All this got me wondering about examples in the Bible of people who failed to heed good warning and counsel. Let me cut to the chase—there are lots of examples of those who had no counsel or even failed to heed the counsel given!
Remember King Rehoboam? He “…consulted with the elders who had served his father Solomon when he was alive, asking, ‘How do you advise me to respond to this people?’ They replied, ‘Today if you will be a servant to this people and serve them, and if you respond to them by speaking kind words to them, they will be your servants forever.’ But he rejected the advice of the elders who had advised him and consulted with the young men who had grown up with him and attended him. He asked them, ‘What message do you advise that we send back to this people who said to me, “Lighten the yoke your father put on us”?’ The young men who had grown up with him told him, ‘This is what you should say to this people who said to you, “Your father made our yoke heavy, but you, make it lighter on us!” This is what you should tell them: “My little finger is thicker than my father’s waist! Although my father burdened you with a heavy yoke, I will add to your yoke; my father disciplined you with whips, but I will discipline you with barbed whips.”’” (1 Kings 12:6-11 CSB) Rehoboam rejected the wise counsel given, and in the end the kingdom was divided and eventually would be taken off into captivity.
Moses, on the other hand, listened to his father-in-law Jethro’s advice about how much time Moses was spending answering disputes and inquiries (see Exodus 18). “’What you’re doing is not good,’ Moses’s father-in-law said to him. ‘You will certainly wear out both yourself and these people who are with you, because the task is too heavy for you. You can’t do it alone. Now listen to me; I will give you some advice, and God be with you. You be the one to represent the people before God and bring their cases to him. Instruct them about the statutes and laws, and teach them the way to live and what they must do. But you should select from all the people able men, God-fearing, trustworthy, and hating dishonest profit. Place them over the people as commanders of thousands, hundreds, fifties, and tens. They should judge the people at all times. Then they can bring you every major case but judge every minor case themselves. In this way you will lighten your load, and they will bear it with you. If you do this, and God so directs you, you will be able to endure, and also all these people will be able to go home satisfied.’ Moses listened to his father-in-law and did everything he said.” (Exodus 18:17-24 CSB)
What do you do when it comes to seeking counsel? Are you willing to seek input from others? Those who think they don’t need anyone’s advice generally fail.
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:
Good judgment wins favor, but the way of the unfaithful leads to their destruction.