Today’s devotional, prepared by Pastor Jason Sato, was originally posted on November 4, 2014. He and his wife Jessica (along with their three young children) recently moved to Japan to serve as missionaries.
Devotional Thoughts for Today
My son, if you receive my words and treasure up my commandments with you, 2 making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding; 3 yes, if you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding, 4 if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures, 5 then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God. 6 For the LORD gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding; 7 he stores up sound wisdom for the upright; he is a shield to those who walk in integrity, 8 guarding the paths of justice and watching over the way of his saints.
Proverbs 2 invites us to receive, treasure, make our ear attentive, incline our hearts, and cry out for wisdom (v.1-3). Simply put, we’re called to desire and ask for insight and instruction. The act of asking presupposes trust.
Sometimes my son “accidentally” breaks apart the tracks to his train set while I am working at the kitchen table. Then, I would hear his voice, “Dad…Dad…help!” He asks for help because he assumes two things. First, I am able to help him (train sets are still within my abilities); second, I am willing to help him. I suppose I could walk over and flip his train table upside-down but my son trusts that I want to help, not hurt.
Do we trust that God is able and willing to answer our prayers for wisdom and understanding? In other words, is God a personal-infinite being worth speaking to when we need insight and help? The author of Proverbs answers with a resounding YES!
Proverbs 1 speaks of the fear of the Lord as the beginning of wisdom. Fearing the Lord is the path to becoming wise. But as we become wiser, we will gain a greater reverence and fear of the Lord as well (v. 5). It turns out that the fear of the Lord is both the beginning and the end of wisdom!
How does this happen? As we walk with God in reverence, our fear increases based not only on abstract knowledge but through personal experience. As we seek and ask for help, we come to find that the Lord is the one who shields, guards, and watches over his saints (v. 6-8).
As we ask for wisdom and experience God’s faithfulness when our petition is granted, we know with that much more certainty that God will come through and His ways lead to righteousness and life.
Take a moment to remember the faithfulness and answered prayers God has given to you in the past. Then come to Him for the wisdom you need for today.
Prayer: Father, thank You for Your faithfulness throughout my life, for you have always been good to me. Grant me the wisdom I desperately need that I might always honor You as I labor at work, love my family, and steward Your gifts.
Bible Reading for Today: Isaiah 1
Lunch Break Study
Read Luke 11:9-13: And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. 11 What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent; 12 or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 13 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”
Questions to Consider
- What does v. 9 tell us about how we ought to pray?
- What causes us to fail to persist in prayer?
- How are you tempted to believe that you are (or would be) a better parent than God?
- We ought to pray with persistence, effort, and faith.
- We doubt whether God will answer. Ultimately, we question whether God gives good gifts to his children.
- Answers will vary but could include the following: we feel as if we are more generous and attentive than God, or we care more about our children’s needs.
What opportunities did you have today to ask the Lord for His help and insight? How did the Lord provide His fatherly care for you today? Take a moment to thank God for His faithfulness.