October 4, Friday

Today’s devotional, prepared by Pastor Jason Sato, was originally posted on November 7, 2014.  He and his wife Jessica (along with their three young children) recently moved to Japan to serve as missionaries. 

 

Devotional Thought for Today

“Self-Reliance”—Fool’s Gold 

Proverbs 3:21-26

My son, do not lose sight of these—keep sound wisdom and discretion, 22 and they will be life for your soul and adornment for your neck. 23 Then you will walk on your way securely, and your foot will not stumble. 24 If you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet. 25 Do not be afraid of sudden terror or of the ruin of the wicked, when it comes, 26 for the LORD will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being caught.

In our passage today, the author of the Proverbs exhorts us to “keep sound wisdom and discretion” (v. 21).  How easy it is to learn wisdom and then fail to keep it, to understand the knowledge of God only to lose sight of it.

For example, Solomon began well.  He gained greater wisdom than any before or after him but he lost sight of it in the end.  Wisdom is not only to be gained but to be kept.

We are constantly tempted to put aside the wisdom of God for our own wisdom, especially when things seem to be working out all right.  But as we trust more and more in ourselves, fear and stress begin to creep in.

I belong to an accountability group with several brothers.  We at least seem to be a fairly capable group of men, whether in areas of finances and career or even family and spirituality.  Some time ago, while we were having a casual conversation, I found out that we rely more on ourselves than God. Faced with increasing responsibilities and greater awareness of what can go wrong, we’re tempted to rely even more on ourselves and exert greater control over every detail of our lives.  But there is no peace in self-dependence—it’s fool’s gold.

The one who holds tight to the wisdom of God will not stumble or be afraid (v. 23-24).  They will sleep easily because the Lord is their confidence (v. 24, 26).

We may be successful and competent people, but deep down we know the limits of our own wisdom and power.  We simply don’t know everything and even if we did there are many more things outside of our control than in our control when it comes to our health, our finances, and even our children.

Only in God can we rest secure.  As we walk by His wisdom, we can be confident in the One who actually is in control of all things.  Take some time to entrust your responsibilities, cares, and loved ones to the Lord.

Prayer: Father, thank You for all the blessings and truths You have granted to me thus far.   Forgive me that I am so tempted to go back to my own understanding and ways. May I walk in Your wisdom and find peace in a world of uncertainty.

Bible Reading for Today: Revelation 5


Lunch Break Study  

Read 1 Kings 11:1-5: Now King Solomon loved many foreign women, along with the daughter of Pharaoh: Moabite, Ammonite, Edomite, Sidonian, and Hittite women, 2 from the nations concerning which the LORD had said to the people of Israel, “You shall not enter into marriage with them, neither shall they with you, for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods.” Solomon clung to these in love. 3 He had 700 wives, who were princesses, and 300 concubines. And his wives turned away his heart. 4 For when Solomon was old his wives turned away his heart after other gods, and his heart was not wholly true to the LORD his God, as was the heart of David his father. 5 For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites.

Questions to Consider 

  1. What contributed to Solomon’s downfall?
  2. According to v. 4, did Solomon still love the Lord?
  3. Solomon allowed his wives whom he loved to turn his heart away from God. How can you be wise in your relationships?

Notes

  1. His love of foreign women (v. 1) and his disobedience to God’s clear command (v. 2).
  2. Solomon did love the Lord, but his heart was not wholly true to Him.  His heart was divided.
  3. Deliberately investing in friendships that will build your faith; obeying God’s command not to be yoked with nonbelievers; learning to communicate love to family and friends apart from simply obeying them (when their desires conflict with God’s).

Evening Reflection

Did any particular worries or pressures weigh heavily on you today?  How can you rely more on the Lord and less on yourself? Allow the Lord to carry Your burdens.

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