What I need today

Do you know what you need today? Do you even know the next step to take?

I find myself today (like pretty much every other day!) in need of the Lord to guide me.

It is the wisdom from God that I am most in need of.

  • What should I be thinking on today?
  • How do I think about different things?
  • Why do I think about things that really aren’t excellent, praiseworthy, true?*
  • Who should I be talking to today?
  • What should I be saying to them? (what words/message/truth)
  • What attitude should I be having?
  • What things do I need to let go of?
  • What things are a distraction to me and completely unnecessary in my life?

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When it’s okay to quit

We buy new stuff, set new goals and try new things. We try to turn over a “new page”, start a “new chapter in life” and try to become a “new me”. In all of this new stuff, we obviously have to let go of some of the old stuff. We need to quit certain things. So when is it okay to quit? And what should we quit?

I hope you and I have enough common sense that when we start something new it is actually something helpful. The truth is that is not always the case. Sometimes we start new things that hurt, distract or encumber. So here is something you and I need to fiercely hold to in all of life:

“Start new things according to what is true and helpful, quit things that are untrue and harmful”

It’s always okay to quit lying, cheating, and stealing. It’s always okay to quit lusting, envying and boasting. It is not only okay but necessary for you and me to quit sinning and pursuing selfish ambitions. God’s mercies are new every morning (all thanks and praise be to His holy name!). It is so wonderful to know that we can quit the harmful, sinful things of the past and that we can begin afresh and anew the helpful, life-giving things which God is calling us to.

I do however want to give you a warning.

You and I can’t ever quit pursuing God. We can’t quit learning about love. We can never stop pursuing holiness. There are a myriad of obstacles we will come up against and a thousand reasons to quit, but we simply can’t.

  • After exactly how many failures should we quit trying to love like Jesus?
  • After how many sins should we stop pursuing holiness?
  • After how many mistakes should we give up on praying to God?
  • After how many shortcomings should we stop walking with God towards Christlikeness and heaven?

You know immediately the answer to those questions: there is no number, no point at which we should quit those things! The enemy, the devil, would love to say you have done too much, gone too far, failed too much, come up too short, so you might as well quit. But you and I can’t and won’t!

Life is too short, eternity is too long and God’s love is too precious to ever quit running after what really matters.

Keep persevering. Keep calling out to God. Keep pressing into God’s loving embrace. Even with all our shortcomings, God loves us and invites us to take another step with Him!

Hebrews 12:1b Let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.

Philippians 3:14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

Simple steps to a better day

Have you ever noticed how some days are just better than other days? Some days are easy, others are hard. Some days you hope will last forever while other days you and I hope will end as quickly as possible. There are a few simple things that you and I can do to make each day we live better:

  1. Be thankful no matter the circumstance: remember daily to be grateful for the good gifts that God has given to you
  2. Go out of your way to try and put a smile on someone’s face: we know that laughter is the best medicine, but a smile goes a long way too.
  3. Practice unnecessary, unearned generosity: some people call these random acts of kindness, and they are a great way to warm your heart and multiply love in the world
  4. Do all things to the glory of God: don’t work on anything except that you make up your mind to do it in such a way that God will be pleased and that other people will praise God for what you have done
  5. Remember that you get what you pay for: we know this principle regarding money and material possessions, but there is truth also in what we spend our time on. If you want to have a great outcome for your efforts make sure to spend enough time to do it well.

I know you could add 100 other things to this list, but I would encourage you to remember that there are always things that you and I can do to make each day better. It will take intentionality and perseverance, but with God’s grace and wisdom and some good old-fashioned stick-to-it-iveness, I know today can be a good day for you!

What or who do you rely on?

Let’s face it: you and I can’t do it alone. As a matter of fact, we rely on people and certain tools all the time to help us to live and to do our jobs. I imagine your phone and computer are tools right at the top of the list. Hopefully your spouse, family, and friends make the list too. But can I ask you a question? What singular thing or person do you rely on more than anything else?

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Does your Christianity matter?

You and I will do 100 different things this week. Some of those things may have a significant impact on us personally as well as on our sphere of influence and our legacy. Other things that we do may not matter quite so much. What color toothbrush we pick out or what condiment we put on our hamburger matters little in the eternal picture. What we believe about God and how we treat fellow human beings: that has a massive influence on eternity.

A question to seriously consider is “does my Christianity matter?” Does what I believe about God actually impact the people around me? Does what I do on Sundays really have any bearing on how my coworkers perceive me?

The answer to this question may not be as automatic as you might think.

Obviously, what we believe is enormously important because it often shapes our behavior; however not everything that we claim to believe do we live our lives according to. We may claim that God is love and therefore we should also be loving and yet perhaps we act in an unloving way towards someone. Then we justify that behavior because of the “stress we are under” or “how rude they were” or some other equally insufficient excuse. Sometimes we allow what we claim we believe to be overruled by something more pressing (usually our comfort or pleasure or what is easiest).

So I want to ask again: “Does your Christianity matter”? In other words, do you live your life such that what you claim to believe about Christ and eternal truths is daily evident in your life? Are you following through on your commitment to the Lord to live by faith and not by sight?

If you want your Christianity to matter, it must inform everything you do, whether on Sunday or any other day of the week and regardless of circumstances, or pressure, or other people, or any feelings you may have. Dear Christian, if we claim Christ as Lord let us walk as Jesus walked. Then our Christianity will not only matter but it will be blessed and used of the Lord for His glory and for the redemption of the world.