Great Plains Daily Devotional for 6/10/19

Today please be in prayer for

Harveyville UMC
Flint Hills District
Junction City: Church of Our Saviour UMC
Flint Hills District
Junction City: First UMC
Flint Hills District
Junction City: Korean UMC
Flint Hills District

Today's Lectionary Text

Proverbs 16 

The plans of the mind belong to mortals,
    but the answer of the tongue is from the Lord.
All one’s ways may be pure in one’s own eyes,
    but the Lord weighs the spirit.
Commit your work to the Lord,
    and your plans will be established.
The Lord has made everything for its purpose,
    even the wicked for the day of trouble.
All those who are arrogant are an abomination to the Lord;
    be assured, they will not go unpunished.
By loyalty and faithfulness iniquity is atoned for,
    and by the fear of the Lord one avoids evil.
When the ways of people please the Lord,
    he causes even their enemies to be at peace with them.
Better is a little with righteousness
    than large income with injustice.
The human mind plans the way,
    but the Lord directs the steps.
Inspired decisions are on the lips of a king;
    his mouth does not sin in judgment.
Honest balances and scales are the Lord’s;
    all the weights in the bag are his work.
It is an abomination to kings to do evil,
    for the throne is established by righteousness.
Righteous lips are the delight of a king,
    and he loves those who speak what is right.
A king’s wrath is a messenger of death,
    and whoever is wise will appease it.
In the light of a king’s face there is life,
    and his favor is like the clouds that bring the spring rain.
How much better to get wisdom than gold!
    To get understanding is to be chosen rather than silver.
The highway of the upright avoids evil;
    those who guard their way preserve their lives.
Pride goes before destruction,
    and a haughty spirit before a fall.
It is better to be of a lowly spirit among the poor
    than to divide the spoil with the proud.
Those who are attentive to a matter will prosper,
    and happy are those who trust in the Lord.
The wise of heart is called perceptive,
    and pleasant speech increases persuasiveness.
Wisdom is a fountain of life to one who has it,
    but folly is the punishment of fools.
The mind of the wise makes their speech judicious,
    and adds persuasiveness to their lips.
Pleasant words are like a honeycomb,
    sweetness to the soul and health to the body.
Sometimes there is a way that seems to be right,
    but in the end it is the way to death.
The appetite of workers works for them;
    their hunger urges them on.
Scoundrels concoct evil,
    and their speech is like a scorching fire.
A perverse person spreads strife,
    and a whisperer separates close friends.
The violent entice their neighbors,
    and lead them in a way that is not good.
One who winks the eyes plans perverse things;
    one who compresses the lips brings evil to pass.
Gray hair is a crown of glory;
    it is gained in a righteous life.
One who is slow to anger is better than the mighty,
    and one whose temper is controlled than one who captures a city.
The lot is cast into the lap,
    but the decision is the Lord’s alone.

Today's Devotional

There is so much packed into these verses of Proverbs 16. 

“All one’s ways may be pure in one’s own eyes, but the Lord weighs the spirit.” (v. 1)
Oof, that’s a tough one. Why? Because I know I do it. I’m perfectly able to justify myself through the lens of my own judgement. Does that make it right? Nope. 

Here’s a few more nuggets:

“Better is a little with righteousness than large income with injustice.” (v. 8)

Yikes! In a society and time that values largess and the voracious need for more, more, more I am admonished that I would be better off with less. 

“The human mind plans the way, but the Lord directs the steps.” (v.9)

Maybe I need to do a better job of listening to that still small voice that nudges me off my planned route and into the plan He has for me.

“How much better to get wisdom than gold! To get understanding is to be chosen rather than silver.” (v.16)

To value experience and knowledge over money and fame. Anyone else getting increasingly uncomfortable here?

“Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.” (v. 24)

Maybe I would do better to hold my tongue (and our text) and save my words and social media interactions for higher things. 

“Gray hair is a crown of glory.” (v.31)

Hold please. As another birthday has passed, I’m not ready to give into going gray. However, gray hair gained by a righteous life, I’ve seen that in my faith mentors and heroes and aspire to it. Just not today. 

“One who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and one whose temper is controlled than one who captures a city.” (v.32)

 Maybe I need to watch my fuse and practice some deep breathing. 

“The lot is cast into the lap, but the decision is the Lord’s alone.” (v. 33)

A gentle rebuke that even with all my work and good intention, the Lord is still in charge. But this gives me hope! Through scripture, tradition, reason and experience we can use these ancient, yet still vibrant words to guide our faith journey. Scriptures like these continue to challenge me, shape me, and mold me into a better person, and Christian.

Happy are those who trust in the Lord!
-Lisa Soukup
communications administrative assistant

Prayer for Reflection

Heavenly Father, thank you for your word that lasts through the ages and continues to inspire, direct and challenge us today.
 

 

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