READ: Proverbs 20-21
THINK: Are you willing to sacrifice-to give up time, effort, convenience and personal resource to accomplish greater goals? Anything worthwhile requires sacrifice. This certainly applies to following Jesus in a God-defying world. But the kind of sacrifice the Lord wants isn't just a matter of being more involved in church or taking time to study God's Word like you're doing right now. While these things should be among your top priorities, they can easily become no more than religious exercises if not accompanied by sincere devotion and practical action. God wants us to do what's right (21:3) and to live in a way that honors Him and benefits others. Worship, sacrifice, efforts and offerings are acceptable only if our service to Christ is backed by a life of moral purity and spiritual integrity.
RESPOND: What does it mean that "wine is a mocker and beer a brawler" (20:1), and what warning does this provide? (See 20:1 note.) According to 20:3, what is honorable, and what is foolish? Why is unfailing love and faithfulness so hard to find (20:6), and where can you find it? In what way does 20:9 describe all people apart from God, and how can God change this condition? (See 20:9 note.) According to 20:22, why should we not take judgment into our own hands or look for revenge, and what should we do instead? (See 20:22 note.) In what way can making a promise or commitment without thinking be like a trap (20:25)? What does it mean that "the lamp of the LORD searches the spirit of a man" (20:27), and how should this affect your life? In what way does 21:2 challenge you regarding your own plans, opinions and judgments? What's more acceptable to God than personal sacrifice (21:3)? (See 21:3 note.) How can our response to those in need affect God's response to us (21:13)? (See 21:13 note.) In what way is 21:20 a warning about how we plan, spend, save and use personal resources? (See 21:20 note.) Why can nothing succeed against God and His plans (21:30)?
PRAY: Pray for strength to resist pressure to indulge in alcohol. Pray that you'll never seek revenge, but that you'll entrust justice and judgment to God. Ask God to help you rely on Him and to remind you to think before making promises, plans and commitments.
ACT: If you've made any promises or commitments you haven't kept, fulfill those responsibilities or apologize for not doing so. Also apologize to anyone whom you may have misjudged. Do something to help someone in need.
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