Archive for January, 2011
“Cast your burden upon the Lord and He will sustain you; he will never allow the righteous to be shaken” (Psalm 55:22).
Inevitably, it seems we awaken each day with something on our mind; something that preoccupies us to such a degree that it distracts us and makes us less productive. It’s like going through the day with a backpack filled with stones. Why not exchange the backpack for a yoke? The Lord assures us that it’s easy and His burden is light. Before your go out to begin your day, leave your backpack of burdens at the door. Put on the yoke of the Lord, instead.
Blessings for a day of traveling light.
“Yet those who wait for the LORD Will gain new strength ; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary” (Isaiah 40:31).
As we live between the first coming of our Lord and the second the waiting is not to be an idle time of slothfulness. We are to embrace fully the duties of the day and perform each in a way that reflects our dedication to Him.
Blessings today as you wait and work for Him.
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Rom. 12:2).
Each one of us are aware of the changes that need to be made in our lives. We don’t have to wait for others to point them out. While we do not have the power to change others, our own lives can be transformed. Simply by asking God for the courage to face our shortcomings, we discover that he empowers us to change weakness to strength, and vulnerabilities to victory.
Blessings for a transforming day in your life.
“Let your eyes look directly ahead and let your gaze be fixed straight in front if you. Watch the path of your feet and all your ways will be established” (Prov. 4:25-26).
As a people called to view life through the prism of the resurrection, we cannot afford to be distracted by the elements, the obstacles, or even our own fatigue. For the glory of the Father, we keep going–one inch, one foot, one victory at a time.
Blessings for a straight ahead, undistracted day.
“Therefore, we ourselves speak proudly of you among the churches of God for your perseverance and faith in the midst of all your persecutions and afflictions which you endure” (2 Thess.1:4).
God’s people are known by their capacity to endure and continue to do the right thing even when they don’t feel like it or circumstances make them want to do otherwise.
Blessings today for building an enduring testimony.
“I do all things for the sake of the Gospel, so that I may be a fellow partaker of it. Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air” (1 Cor. 9:23,26).
Today is a new day. I will dedicate each moment and task to the glory of the Father and the call he has placed upon my life.
Blessings today for the course set before you.
“Forgetting what lies behind, I reach forward to what lies ahead” (Philippians 3:13).
This is another day to discover the possibilities of what might be. The choices you make today will determine the quality of your tomorrow.
Blessings today for new possibilities.
“Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us lay aside every encumbrance and the sin that so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is se before us, fixing our eyes in Jesus, the author and protector of faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross” (Hebrews 12:1-2).
Having a focal point helps us to prioritize our choices, decisions, and activities. The sinful things we are to avoid are obvious, but what can even more distract from the goal of glorifying Christ are those things that though not sinful, and possibly even good, entangle and distract us from what we should be doing.
Have a focused day.
“I am the resurrection and the life…”
The boyhood struggles of the imaginative artist, Pablo Picasso, in such definitive subjects as mathematics are highlighted in Robert K. Cooper’s book, High Energy Living. Part of the problem was that through the artistic eye of Picasso the number 4 had a nose. When called upon to write the number 4 on the blackboard, the protuberant nose he saw hanging there would compel him to continue on until he had chalked-in the rest of the face.
I suppose an oppressive teacher could have suppressed his imagination for the sake of a better grade in math, but the world would have been denied the skill and imagination of a great artist. While most who looked at a 4 saw only a 4, the imaginative gaze of an artist saw much more.
Just as the prism of Picasso’s imagination enabled him to see great art in the simplest of shapes, the risen Christ calls his followers to view life, and others, through the prism of the resurrection; that we might see beyond the simplistic view of lives defined by circumstances and consider the transformational possibilities that are offered by God’s love.
“It shall be with him and he shall read it all the days of his life, that he may learn to fear the Lord his God, by carefully observing all the words of this law and these statutes” (Deuteronomy 17:19).
Even with the advent of digital books, a report by the National Endowment of the Arts reveals that Americans aren’t just reading fewer books, but are reading less and less of everything, in any medium. Americans have become so averse to reading that one 2006 study indicated that among 15-24-year-olds only seven minutes was spent reading on weekdays, 10 minutes on Saturday and Sundays, while spending two-and-a-half hours a day watching television. Before you dismiss these startling statistics with “Ahh, these young people today…” there is only a minimal “uptick” in the numbers for any of the older population segments.
While such data offers ample warning to the general declining literacy of the nation, it is also the major contributing factor to the waning biblical literacy that occupies the pews of the nation’s churches. A working knowledge of scripture is best realized by the discipline of reading. When the Apostle Paul extended the challenge, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (II Timothy 2:15), the expectation was that Timothy would daily immerse himself in the sacred text.
I am not without hope. If Oprah’s endorsement of Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina can drive this classic tome to the top of the best-seller list, anything is possible. What it requires is a passionate thirst and desire to know and understand the heart, mind, and purposes of God…”As the deer pants for the water brooks, so my soul pants for You, O God” (Psalm 42:1)