14 June 2018

1 Corinthians 10
Proverbs 21

Reading the book of Proverbs is not easy because each verse seems so random. At first reading one would think that the writer was very distracted when he penned these words as there doesn’t seem to be any connection! So writing a devotional on a chapter of Proverbs is therefore even more difficult – unless you #readtheBibleslowly! I hope that you do take time in reading your Bibles. Please don’t rush it just for the sake of ticking the box.

In todays’ reading … when we focus in on verses 1-8, one picks up clear references to and about the ‘heart’:

‘In the Lord’s hand (is) the king’s heart’ (verse 1)

A person may think their own ways are right, but the Lord weighs the heart.’ (verse 2)

‘a proud heart…produce(s) sin‘ (verse 4)

Then from verses 5-8 we see the result of the behaviour that go with a sinful heart.

As those who understand even a little bit of the Old Testament Scriptures, we know that the ‘heart’ is not just a blood-pumping organ in the human body, but a reference to the innermost being. As someone said: “the centre of motivation and understanding which drives each person.” God therefore looks at our heart to determine who we really are and why we do what we do. So, meditating on these opening verses of Proverbs 21 there are some questions we can ask of the text – questions about ourselves, and our own heart.

Remember our theme #GrowDeepLoveDeep

Think of this past week:

Why have you done the things you did?

Was it motivated by what’s in your heart – whether good or bad?

How would God “weigh” your heart in the light of what you have done?

Then, look down at verse 21 and connect it with the ‘heart’ language above and check whether the things in your heart are in fact borne out of a pursuit after righteousness and love. It’s brilliant actually! Will you spend time with this? Will you be honest before the Lord and allow Him to do some (perhaps very necessary) heart surgery? Will you resist the temptation to rush over it?

Let me end of with this personal prayer that is informed by the words of Proverbs 4:20-27:

Our Father in heaven. Please enable me to pay close attention to your words as recorded in the Bible. Help me to hold it before me in all my comings and goings. These words are precious, they are life to me who, by God’s grace, has found them. Above all else, please Lord, help me to take very special care in guarding my heart because it is indeed the wellspring of life – the source of everything (without exception) of my life. So Father, please bless whatever flows from my heart – what comes from my lips, what my eyes look at, places I go, and whatever I do. I pray humbly in the name of the source of all life, Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour. Amen