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 23
10 Do not move an ancient boundary stone
or encroach on the fields of the fatherless,
11 for their Defender is strong;
he will take up their case against you.
Fraud is the vice in our proverb for today. Fraud is wrongful or criminal deception intended to result in financial or personal gain. Evidently, some in Israel thought they could just move boundary markers to gain a little more property or real estate at their neighbor’s expense. Picture this: you’re out on the edge of your property, nobody’s around to watch, and you think, “Here’s an easy way I can increase my acreage at my neighbor’s expense. I can just roll the stone a few yards to one side and ignore those ‘ancient legal boundaries’ and increase my farm’s yield.” Do you see the problem with this? Yeah, it’s fraud and it’s a sin! And to make it even worse, the proverb implies that it was done to the defenseless: the widow or the orphan.
When we read a proverb like this, it’s easy to read right over it because we don’t use ancient boundary stones to mark our property. We must look for the timeless principle: what truth is being communicated that applies to all generations and all people? The truth is that wealth obtained by fraud or deception is wrong. Now think about all the fraud that happens in our day. It’s rampant. Every year millions of people are victims of fraud. In 2018, people reported losing 1.48 billion dollars to fraud! (consumer.ftc.gov) There’s mail fraud, driver’s license fraud, health care fraud, debit and credit card fraud, bank account takeover fraud, stolen tax refund fraud, internet fraud, elder fraud… and the list goes on. You get the picture.
Truthfulness is a building block of society; dishonesty is destructive. We all lose in the long run. I think the question for us to ponder today is this: are there areas in my life where I am fraudulent? Am I being deceitful in something in order to have a personal gain? If so, let today be the day you stop.
Determine today to live a life of honesty. Live in such a way that if everyone acted as you did, all would be well. (Anders)
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:
In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.