Sunday, December 31, 2017

December 31 - Proverbs 31

Today's reading in our daily plan is Proverbs 31. Take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you from this passage. Then read, using the following notes and questions to help you get everything out of the passage.

SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
  • In this final chapter of Proverbs, we read wisdom from a king named Lemuel. Like the guy named Agur in yesterday's reading, not much is known about Lemuel, but he offers God-centered guidance. 
  • This chapter opens with a warning not to chase things that this world puts a big emphasis on, like lots of money or being surrounded by good-looking girls or guys. In God's eyes, speaking up for those who cannot speak for themselves is more important than gaining these "accomplishments."
  • The final 21 verses outline characteristics of a Christian spouse. This particular chapter addresses wives, but most of the principles can apply to both husband and wife. Note how verses 26 and 30 explain that wisdom, and a fear of the Lord, are to be highly valued in a partner.
SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
  • It's easy to be influenced by the world's pressure to get more money, or to put ourselves in Instagram-worthy situations so we can look like we are living a more lavish lifestyle than we really are. Instead, we should focus on loving people who are overlooked by society.
  • If you're married, one of the best things you can do for your relationship is to "fear the Lord" more. This doesn't mean you walk around in a constant state of intimidation; it just means you value God's desires more than you value your own. 

NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
  • How can you "fear the Lord" today? Maybe there's a situation in your marriage, or in a friendship, where you've been acting selfishly. To "fear the Lord" would be to put the desires of the other person above your own. This might mean you need to send that text message, make that phone call, or have that conversation to apologize to the other person and put their needs above yours.