5/3/13 - PTC_Review, Apply & Pray - "Takeaways from week 2 of Proverbs"
This week has been somewhat strange. I feel like God has come down hard on the issue of adultery and sexual sin (themes from Monday and Wednesday). Men, if there is a message we need to hear in our culture it's these. Today as we review, apply and pray, I'm going to specifically take note of the positive side of what God calls us to.
Monday: Proverbs 5:18 "May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth." This is God's ideal for marriage. That we not define marriage by what we are missing. This is such a danger today. The media industry force-feeds us sexuality every chance it gets. We must recognize that God's plan is to "lean into" marriage. This means rejoicing in the wife of your youth. This means making the marriage you have a great one. Water the grass you have instead of wishing for greener pastures. God I pray against the attack of the enemy who would want nothing more than to cause us to be bored with our marriages and start looking around. Fill us with the willingness to put in the hard work of marriage. Cause us to rejoice in our marriages. God for the countless couples out there who have become more critical than rejoicing in their marriages, please bring a change. Help us put more energy in rejoicing than we do in complaining or being critical.
Tuesday: Proverbs 6:6 "Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise!" We all have a lazy streak. God I pray that you never allow me to give my lazy side control. You have given us a living example that is completely clear - the ant. This passage ought to give us hope that we CAN be diligent. I believe faith in God produces diligence. If we truly believe in Jesus and the truth revealed in Scripture then the natural response is diligence in life. There is too much at stake in life. And counter to most men, myself included, we need diligence in relationships more than tasks. Now, I've met my share of men who can't seem to get any tasks complete because they "hang out" all the time, in this case, more diligence is needed in tasks. There is so much payoff in our diligence. I need to work and put forth effort believing 2 things: 1) my effort makes a difference. There is no responsible way to interpret the texts of scripture any other way. God has allowed us to affect the world around us. And 2) believing that God can do whatever He wants. He can interrupt our efforts and bring supernatural change that our effort could never produce. We should pray for it. Yet, always keeping our diligence in life.
Wednesday: Proverbs 7. God, You truly stirred my heart through this chapter. I pray for a wave of Your wisdom to come over the people of Highpoint (at least). Sexual sin is too easy today. Convict us of guarding our path by watching who we run with. Provide people with godly friends to create an environment of faithfulness to surround them. Help us see the dangers of sin long before we start down those dangerous paths. Protect Your people through LOVE. Give the ladies a conviction about modesty. Give the men a conviction about pornography and flirting. Restore purity at every level.
Thursday: Proverbs 8:35 "For those who find me find life and receive favor from the Lord." When we pursue wisdom, we gain in the process. God is the only reliable source of life. When we seek His will, His ways and His wisdom we discover His favor. What a blessing! We can enjoy the favor of God in our lives. That's what it feels like when we heed God's wisdom and watch the decisions play out - at some point in the process we sense that God's favor has come our way.
Lord, as we pray through these principles, please give us the active steps to take. I pray that at the very least You will motivate us to stay faithful to a daily Priority Time. I pray that our desire for Your wisdom will be matched by our diligence to carve out the time to spend with you. We just can't afford to live apart from Your truth. Personally, thank you for the blessing of baby Joshua. Thank you for answering so many prayers along the way during pregnancy. I pray now that you continue to bless Amanda and all our boys as we integrate yet another boy to the mix! God, give us wisdom to know how to manage our time and all the duties around the house. Help us know how to give each child the individual attention needed. Help me stay focused in my writing/study hours. God I pray that Your favor would be with me as I write the marriage book. Thank you for all Your blessings and grace. Keep me close to You today. AMEN.
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