Archive for the ‘Today’s Walk in the Word’ Category

Wasting Time

Jan
2018
19

A sluggard does not plow in season;
so at harvest time he looks but finds nothing.
                     —Proverbs 20:4

I’d had it up to here with an associate who had been given an easy, but important, assignment. I’d asked for a progress report several times—always receiving a lame excuse. Over a year had passed when I again asked the status of the project. “It’s still in the thinking stage,” he said.

As a friend of mine says, “Thinkin’ about it don’t hoe no cotton.”

The book of Proverbs perceives these nails in the path of the procrastinator . . .

“A lazy person will end up poor” (10:4 NCV).

“Lazy people want much but get little” (13:4 NLT).

“A lazy person is as bad as someone who is destructive” (18:9 TEV).

Napoleon Hill defined procrastination as “the bad habit of putting off until the day after tomorrow what should have been done the day before yesterday.”

There are lots of ways to lose a day,
but no way to get one back.

God will meet all your needs according
to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.
                —Philippians 4:19

Mark reports four back-to-back stories of people in critical need . . .

First, Jesus rescued a crew of terrified disciples trapped in a furious squall. He “rebuked the wind and said to the waves, ‘Quiet! Be still!’ Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.” (Mk 4:37-39)

Next, Jesus crossed paths with a man tortured by demons. He said, “Come out of this man, you evil spirit!” Next thing you know, that demoniac was “dressed and in his right mind.” (Mk 5:1-15)

Soon after, Jesus healed a woman who had an affliction that had stymied physicians for twelve years. (Mk 5:25-34).

Then he restored a dead child to life. (Mk 5:22-24, 35-43).

Four stories that assure us Jesus can handle any problem that invades our space.

There is no problem that
you have to handle alone.

I will not neglect your word.
            —Psalm 119:16

A single verse of scripture has captured the attention and transformed the lives of many, including Augustine, Martin Luther, Jonathan Edwards, and Charles Spurgeon.

This verse—“But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ” (Eph 2:13)—inspired Augustus Toplady to write the hymn Rock of Ages, which William Gladstone considered the greatest hymn ever written in any language.

Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in Thee;
Let the water and the blood,
From Thy riven side which flowed,
Be of sin the double cure,
Cleanse me from its guilt and power.

Never let a day pass without spending time in the Word. A single sentence from it may change you forever.

Your Bible has information that
will activate your transformation.

[T]o each one of us grace has
been given as Christ apportioned it.
               —Ephesians 4:7

“Do you have anything to do that’s more important?” he asked me. As a matter of fact, I did.

He was insisting that I drop what I was doing and follow his agenda. He was good at running other’s lives; thought he knew better than they how they should spend their time and talent.

God has already mapped that for each of us; has work that he “prepared in advance for us to do” (Eph 2:10).

Find your gift and your passion, and immerse yourself in it (Eccl 9:10). Sometimes you have to reject the path someone wants you to take in order to travel the one you’ve prayerfully chosen.

Time and energy are limited. Success depends, in part, on deciding what to do by deciding what not to do.

Time isn’t in your control,
but your use of it is.

Have a Good Day

Jan
2018
15

This is the day the Lord has made;
let us rejoice and be glad in it.
             —Psalm 118:24

Her purchases had been paid for and bagged. As she turned to walk away, the perky clerk said, “Have a good day.” Queen bee did a 180 and hissed, “Young lady, that’s just not in my plans!”

So, how’s your day going?

You’ll get through it, one way or another. How is mainly up to you.

You can grumble and growl, making yourself miserable. You can snap and snarl, sending everyone you encounter running for cover.

Or you can be bigger than your problems, and see the day as a gift from God. It is, you know. What if he had decided not to give it to you?

Have a good day . . . unless that’s just not in your plans.

Unhappy people are hard to love
because they return so little of it.

Man’s days are determined; you have
decreed the number of his months.
                       —Job 14:5

Hurricane Harvey made landfall near Rockport, Texas, August 26, 2017. Officials ordered a mandatory evacuation.

Rockport Mayor Pro Tem Patrick Rios asked residents who refused to leave to write their name and Social Security number on their arm with a Sharpie, so first-responders could identify those who didn’t survive. Next of kin would need to be notified.

Catastrophes give a heads up to the fragility and brevity of life. James and Job put it in words . . .

Instead of saying today or tomorrow we will do this or that, James wrote, “you ought to say, ‘If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that’” (Jas 4:13, 15).

Job said: “Our time is limited. You have given us only so many months to live and have set limits we cannot go beyond” (Jb 14:5 NCV).

Do it today. You have
no guarantee of tomorrow.

I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
                        —Psalm 23:6

The only thing that can keep you out of heaven is . . . you!

Your spouse can’t.
Your parent can’t.
Your enemy can’t.

Nothing and no one can keep you out except . . . you.

“Death can’t, and life can’t. The angels can’t, and the demons can’t. Our fears for today, our worries about tomorrow, and even the powers of hell can’t . . . nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom 8:38–39 NLT).

You’re on your way to heaven, and nothing can keep you from reaching that destination except . . . you.

God has a heaven-forever place reserved for you.
Don’t cancel the reservation.

It’s Your Life

Jan
2018
10

I care very little if I am judged by you.
                 —1 Corinthians 4:3

Fear of displeasing others gives them control which only you and God should have.

There will always be somebody who wants to control you. But when pleasing people becomes your primary focus, your vision of God becomes blurred and your life-purpose muddled.

Only you can discern the God-designed purpose of your life. Prayerfully seek his direction. Don’t let the approval of others be the standard you feel compelled to meet.

Paul said it well: “God’s grace has made me what I am . . .” (1 Cor 15:10 NCV).

Be what you are, not what someone else wants you to be. Don’t yield to pressures that pull you away from your purpose.

Refuse to abandon your purpose and principles.

[E]ncourage one another daily.
                —Hebrews 3:13

Ben Byrum was lonely.

Ben had been to a nearby church a few times but didn’t feel welcome or wanted. He decided to go one more time; walk in and sit down. If no one spoke to him before the service started, he would leave and not return.

People congregated in cliques, slapped backs, gossiped, chuckled. But no one spoke to Ben.

He was getting ready to leave when a lady two rows in front of him, turned, smiled and said, “I’m glad you’re here.”

Ben stayed.

He doesn’t remember the sermon or the hymns. What he remembers is being noticed. “People may forget what you say,” said Maya Angelou, “but they will never forget how you made them feel.”

Today let it be your smile, your “hello,” your word of encouragement that makes someone’s day.

Everyone wants to be wanted.
Everyone needs to be noticed.

Nothing to Fear

Jan
2018
08

[D]o not be afraid of them.
    —Matthew 10:26

Peter and John were ordered by the Sanhedrin to quit talking about Jesus.

“With all due respect, sirs, that isn’t going to happen. You crucified him, but God raised him from the dead. We must speak about what we have seen and heard.”

Fear caused Peter to deny Jesus, but his resurrection caused Peter to defy those he had feared.

All the apostles were terrified by Jesus’ crucifixion, fearing they would be the next to be hunted and hanged.

But after his resurrection, those apostles were lionhearted: floggings, imprisonment, threats, and death decrees couldn’t silence them.

We have nothing to fear. Jesus has risen. He is alive. And he has promised, “Because I live, you also will live” (Jn 14:19).

You’re in just the first mile
of your forever journey.