Thought of the day: focus on the relationship
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?”
(Matthew 6:25 NIV)
How can I live without thinking about food or clothes or where to sleep tonight? Is that a concern? Of course it is! How does Jesus say not to think about it? He must not know my circumstances.
But He does. He knows my circumstances better than I do. And his guidance is – focus on Him. Let your primary thought be about your relationship with Him. Don’t get distracted or caught up with clothes or money or house or job or worldly pursuits. Focus on the relationship.
Thought of the day: grow where you are planted
“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? (Matthew 6:28-30 NIV)
“See how the flowers of the field grow.” The flowers grow. That’s their nature. That’s their task given to them. They grow wherever they are planted. And God takes care of them.
Our task is to grow where we are planted, to live fully in our environment, to rely on God to take care of us.
Thought of the day: God’s timing
But when God, who set me apart from my mother’s womb and called me by his grace, was pleased to reveal his Son in me so that I might preach him among the Gentiles, my immediate response was not to consult any human being. (Galatians 1:15-16 NIV)
Paul is writing to defend himself against his detractors. But the phrase to focus on today is “when God was pleased to reveal”. KJV says “when it pleased God”. The message here, delivered by Paul, is that God works in His schedule. Paul’s life was interrupted, thrown into disarray, turned upside-down when it pleased God to do so.
Our problem is that we want God to work in our lives on our schedule. We ask for his help and intervention and expect an answer or solution in minutes. We should expect to be surprised by God, and we must learn to be patient and ready at all times to give Him space to work in our lives.
Thought of the day: stand up
“Now get up and stand on your feet. I have appeared to you to appoint you as a servant and as a witness of what you have seen and will see of me.”
(Acts 26:16 NIV)
Jesus, speaking to Paul in a vision on the road to Damascus.
This vision changed Paul’s life. He was confronted with the spiritual reality of Jesus’ resurrection and God-nature. He fell to his knees, but Jesus lifted him up. “Get on your feet! Go and do!” Paul dedicated his life to a person, not a cause. The foundation of his life was not a message but a relationship.
Thought of the day: look to God
Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else. (Isaiah 45:22 KJV)
NIV says “turn to me and be saved.”
Who are we looking at? As we pursue a Christian walk, who or what or where are we looking at? The LORD says “look into me.” Don’t look at someone else and compare yourself to them, or think that you must do what they are doing. Look to God. He is your firm foundation.
We probably look to God more in times of trouble, when we recognize that we need help outside of ourselves. But also remember to look to God when things are going great. Don’t be distracted by the blessings – acknowledge the source.
Thought of the day:
“Go and proclaim in the hearing of Jerusalem: “This is what the Lord says:
“I remember the devotion of your youth, how as a bride you loved me and followed me through the wilderness, through a land not sown.”
(Jeremiah 2:2 NIV)
I love this phrase: “the devotion of your youth”. When we are new Christians, and the mystery and power of salvation and grace and grace are fresh in our minds, we are devoted to God like a new bride. In love, amazed by love.
And now, later, are we comfortable? Are we passive in our love? Do we spontaneously do acts of love and service, for God? He remembers when our love was like that.
Thought of the day: freshness of spirit
Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.” (John 3:5-8 NIV)
We are born of the spirit and filled with His new life. This energizes us. It gives us a freshness for each day, a willingness to say, “God, what do you have in store for me today?” We do not know where the Spirit comes from or where it is going. This means we are surprised by God. We can’t predict what God will do. Things will come into our lives unexpectedly or be resolved by His direction and intervention in our lives.