Ohhh, I should have been done with this devotional long ago. I'm so terrible about these sort of things. But the last couple of days have been really bad.
Have you ever been so down, so low emotionally, that it just feels as though the entire weight of the world has come crashing down on your shoulders? And worse yet, you don't even know why you're feeling that way? Well, that was me over the last 36-48 hours. It was bad. My mind was going to very deep, dark places and I struggled to pull myself out of it. I almost didn't go to church this morning because of it, but I made myself go. And on the way there, I had a hunch at the kind of sermon I'd hear. I just knew God was going to make sure of the topic for the mood I'd allowed myself to get in. And guess what? I was right. The sermon today was as though it was tailor-made for my current state of mind. We were in the book of Lamentations (go figure!) talking about when life gets us so down and all we want to do is complain. The lesson was that, during these times, we need to just be still and wait on the Lord.
Hammer, meet nail head.
I needed that message. Boy did I need it. And what'dya know...my deep, dark mood is behind me now.
Sometimes I get really upset over things relating to how we people of 2016 "do" church. I get so tired of the ritual and the routine. I long for a more spontaneous version of communal worship, something a little less regimented, and a lot more personal/ized. But I continue attending because on days like today, I know God will use a sermon to reach me; when I'm too busy seeing the negative for Him to reach me through my thick noggin or soiled heart.
Have you ever drug yourself into church, really feeling like you didn't want to be there, only to come out feeling rejuvenated and refreshed...and blessed for having made the effort to place God above all your sorrows?
Here is today's text:
1 When thou sittest to eat with a ruler, consider diligently what is before thee:
2 And put a knife to thy throat, if thou be a man given to appetite.
3 Be not desirous of his dainties: for they are deceitful meat.
4 Labour not to be rich: cease from thine own wisdom.
5 Wilt thou set thine eyes upon that which is not? for riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away as an eagle toward heaven.
6 Eat thou not the bread of him that hath an evil eye, neither desire thou his dainty meats:
7 For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee.
8 The morsel which thou hast eaten shalt thou vomit up, and lose thy sweet words.
9 Speak not in the ears of a fool: for he will despise the wisdom of thy words.
10 Remove not the old landmark; and enter not into the fields of the fatherless:
11 For their redeemer is mighty; he shall plead their cause with thee.
12 Apply thine heart unto instruction, and thine ears to the words of knowledge.
13 Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die.
14 Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell.
15 My son, if thine heart be wise, my heart shall rejoice, even mine.
16 Yea, my reins shall rejoice, when thy lips speak right things.
17 Let not thine heart envy sinners: but be thou in the fear of the Lord all the day long.
18 For surely there is an end; and thine expectation shall not be cut off.
19 Hear thou, my son, and be wise, and guide thine heart in the way.
20 Be not among winebibbers; among riotous eaters of flesh:
21 For the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty: and drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags.
22 Hearken unto thy father that begat thee, and despise not thy mother when she is old.
23 Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding.
24 The father of the righteous shall greatly rejoice: and he that begetteth a wise child shall have joy of him.
25 Thy father and thy mother shall be glad, and she that bare thee shall rejoice.
26 My son, give me thine heart, and let thine eyes observe my ways.
27 For a whore is a deep ditch; and a strange woman is a narrow pit.
28 She also lieth in wait as for a prey, and increaseth the transgressors among men.
29 Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes?
30 They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine.
31 Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright.
32 At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder.
34 Yea, thou shalt be as he that lieth down in the midst of the sea, or as he that lieth upon the top of a mast.
35 They have stricken me, shalt thou say, and I was not sick; they have beaten me, and I felt it not: when shall I awake? I will seek it yet again.
You can read the entire 31 daily Proverbs devotional series by clicking here.
Do you know, if you were to die today, whether or not you'll go to be with Christ after you die? Are you 100% and completely assured of your salvation? If not, please take the time to read this salvation message today. There is nothing more important than giving your life to Christ and securing your place in eternity. I pray the Holy Spirit leads you to a personal relationship with Christ today, and I pray that you follow where the Holy Spirit leads you.