Day 251: Goal Setting (Proverbs 13-14; 1 Corinthians 16)

Proverbs 13 is a goal setter’s go-to scripture. In particular, highlight verses 4, 11, 12, 19 and 25 in your Bible as we briefly study the gem of wisdom behind each of these proverbs.

“The soul of the a lazy man desires, and has nothing; but the soul of the diligent shall be made rich.” -Proverbs 13:4

To be diligent is to have or show care and conscientiousness in one’s work or duties. It’s about showing up, over and over again, to make what matters happen. I can desire a healthy body all day, every day, but I will never receive it if I don’t apply diligent efforts daily.

“Wealth gained by dishonesty will be diminished, but he who gathers by labor will increase.” -Proverbs 13:11

We’re back to the importance of work. But not just any work, but honest work that you’ve done with your own two hands. There are a lot of get rich schemes out there – promises for more Instagram followers, making six figures from home, losing 20 pounds in one week, or the life you’ve always wanted in three easy payments of $100. But the good life you’ve always wanted comes from showing up every day and doing what needs to be done. There are no short cuts and if you use others to get what you want, it will only come back to haunt you.

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“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when the desire comes, it is a tree of life.” -Proverbs 13:12

If you’ve ever achieved a goal you’ve desired, then you know that feeling of accomplishment and pride. It’s a euphoria that I wish could be bottled for a rainy day, because it truly breeds the desire to keep making it happen. Each day I spend time in the Word motivates me the next day and the day after to keep showing up for my quiet time.

If there is a goal you’ve wanted to achieve for a long time, figure out small ways that you can work towards the goal daily. Then, start a chart and track your progress each day to visually see your progress (Lara Casey’s Power Sheets are great for this!).

How do you make what matters happen? 

Do you have an example of a desire that came true?

“A desire accomplished is sweet to the soul, but it is an abomination to fools to depart from evil.” -Proverbs 13:19

There are some habits that we know are harmful to us, especially our spiritual health, yet we can’t imagine ever truly giving them up. Whether it’s a R-rated tv show, junk food, lust, envy or a dozen other things.

I prayed over the second portion of this verse for awhile because it truly did not make any sense to me or even how it fit in with a desire accomplished. That’s when God reminded me of how truly sweet it was to my soul to depart from a bad habit I struggled with for a long time. It’s the triumph and freedom you feel when you depart from a dependence on sugar, pornography, an abusive partner, body insecurities, etc…Because you probably spent a lifetime appalled at the thought of life without it, but then God came in with His sweet grace and lovingkindness and you could finally breathe again.

What do you think about this verse? 

Have you lived out this verse in any area of your life? 

“The righteous eats to the satisfying of his soul, but the stomach of the wicked shall be in want.” -Proverbs 13:25

There are people to whom nothing is ever enough. They keep buying bigger houses and cars, fancier designer labels and are constantly in search of making more money and growing their wealth. As Apostle Paul writes in Philippians 4, we must be satisfied in all seasons of life, because we know that only God can fully satisfy our souls. Only then will what we have be enough – from our bank accounts to our beauty.

Is there an area of your life where you constantly seek more and are never satisfied? Why? 

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Day 250: Remember the More (1 Corinthians 15:33-58; Proverbs 11-12)

Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. -Colossians 3:2

Do you ever have those days when you just want to throw your hands in the air, sigh in exasperation, and run away to hide for a while? It seems like you’ve been pushing and pushing, but you remain stagnant. Life is so big and you are so small. There is so much to do in the World and you haven’t even scratched the surface. Nothing is falling into place as easily as you expected and all of the pieces are taking so much work. Emotional, physical, mental, spiritual, and even social energy…you’re completely tapped out.

Here’s the thing: it’s not just about where you are now.

We see with human eyes and we are surrounded by the human world, so it’s easy to forget that there is more. But Paul, in this passage, reminds us that there is so much more. We are, at the moment, existing as perishable, dishonorable, weak, natural bodies (vs. 42-43). Rest assured, though, you shall be more.

The darkness that seems to overtake you in this moment is not an eternal darkness. Christ shall overcome this darkness. In fact, He has already overcome the darkness!

DAY 250

That’s why we are called to live as children of the light. God calls us to do and be more, despite our human weariness. But He doesn’t call us and then leave us high and dry. He gives us a reason to remain in Him, fighting towards His will: “Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain” (vs. 58).

Surely I am not the only one who gets overwhelmed by earthly needs and wants. Throughout scripture, we are reminded that there is more. How does your life change when you keep these things in mind? (Romans 12:2, 1 John 2:15, Ephesians 6:12, Philippians 3:20-21…)

In the moments of exasperation when you’re tired of the work, remember that God has called us to be at work (Colossians 3:23, Proverbs 12:11, Romans 12:11-12, Philippians 2:14…).

How does your outlook change when you understand that you are experiencing what God had in mind? Or…do you need to reevaluate your work to ensure you are, in fact, doing what God had in mind?

 

 

 

 

Day 246: The L Word (Proverbs 3-4; 1 Corinthians 13)

Main theme of the day? Love.

Love is not just a word. It’s not something to be thrown around to make our hearts flutter. More so, it’s an attitude and an action. A loving person not only feels and exudes love, but also acts faithfully and works for the benefit of more than him or herself.

DAY 246

Many of us have been let down by empty words and repetitive thoughts revolving around love. Bottom-line: we have to be as intentional as possible with our words and thoughts because ultimately they lead to our actions and attitudes. We will fall short, but in placing our faith in the Lord and focusing on Him and His love for us, we craft Him into a vital part of our beings.

“Guard your heart above all else, for it is the source of life.” -Proverbs 4:23

We have the ability to tap into daily newness in our loving relationship with God… (Check out Proverbs 4:18!) Maybe you feel thrown away or that your loving qualities have been hindered and hidden away because of harsh circumstances. Be encouraged! There is freshness and immeasurable joy in the love of Christ and all pursuing this is a day-by-day choice and process.

Do your actions measure up to your attitudes when it comes to love?

How do you show others your love for them? How do you show them your love for Christ?

Set goals for today on how you can pursue a loving attitude towards others to exhibit the love God has shown you in your life.

 

Day 245: Unity in Diversity (Proverbs 1-2; 1 Corinthians 12)

Day 245

For anyone struggling with comparison or just not feeling like enough, 1 Corinthians 12 is the chapter to read. Here, Apostle Paul writes about the value in diversity. We are each given different spiritual gifts, talents and skills. Not one is more valuable than the others. Every single one is crucial for the church to thrive and grow.

But even knowing this, I sometimes try to be all the things. I want to be the nose, the ears, the mouth and the feet in the body of Christ. And I want to be good at all of them simultaneously. Despite my best efforts though, I end up lackluster in all the areas instead of excelling in just one thing. Because we weren’t created to be the whole body of Christ, otherwise churches would be made up of single individuals, not a collection of imperfect souls.

You have a purpose, a role to fulfill. Only you can do it the way the Lord envisioned it when He designed your life, complete with the talents and spiritual gifts you’ll need to succeed. So, don’t go trying to be something you were never created to be. Embrace your niche and stay in your lane. Once you do, you’ll recognize the importance of your role and exactly how limitless the possibilities are in just that one area.

Day 244: The Lord’s Supper (Psalm 148-150, 1 Corinthians 11:16-34)

DAY 244

In today’s reading, Apostle Paul chastises the church at Corinth on diluting the holiness of the Lord’s Supper. Apparently, they were abusing the privilege by getting drunk on the wine and fulfilling their physical hunger on the bread, instead of treating it as a sanctified tradition in remembrance of Jesus’s sacrifice on the cross. Even worse, they were participating in the Lord’s supper without first judging if they were worthy to participate.

We must partake in the Lord’s Supper with the right intentions and a clean heart. Don’t do it because it’s what you always do at church on Sunday or because you’re scared what people will think if you don’t. If there is a sin that is separating you from God, repent of it before partaking in the Lord’s Supper – judge yourself first so that you can take part in this holy process blameless and with a clear conscience. If you are harboring a grudge or are in anger at the time the Lord’s Supper is offered, abstain from participating until you have cleared the air with the person you’re angry with.

Because by partaking in the Lord’s Supper, we are physically partaking in the Lord’s body. This is not something to be touched with unclean hands (spiritually speaking) or something to be taken lightly or routinely. Hold yourself accountable and give this the respect and honor it deserves. Many don’t, and as a result become weak, sick and fall asleep spiritually. Don’t be in that camp. Hold on dearly to the sanctity of the Lord’s Supper!

Day 242: No Offense (Psalm 142-144; 1 Corinthians 10:14-33)

“Give no offense, either to the Jews or to the Greeks or to the church of God, just as I also please all men in all things, not seeking my own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved.” -1 Corinthians 10:32-33

In today’s reading, Apostle Paul uses himself as an example. During the times of the first church, there was a lot of tension between the Moses’s law and Jesus’s teachings. A prime example of this was food. The Jewish law has detailed instructions on what the Jews could and could not eat. On the other hand, the apostles preached that God told them they could eat anything as long as they prayed over it. As Apostle Paul traveled around from country to country, he encountered all sorts of people with many different beliefs. He could have proudly touted his opinions and began to grow a following behind his teachings, but instead, he focused on preaching the Gospel so that many would be saved.

DAY 242

The lesson to us is this: don’t go around trying to offend people just to make a point or be one of those people who sticks to legalism blindly. If you know something is going to offend another believer, don’t do it in his or her presence if at all possible. If you know another believer who expects women to dress a certain way, then when you’re around them, humble yourself and dress accordingly. Because this level of humility and respect for fellow believers is incredibly precious in the Lord’s eyes.

This life is not about making your name known or building a tribe around yourself and your beliefs. It’s about living a peaceful life and spreading the Gospel to those who haven’t yet accepted Jesus as their savior. Do everything for the glory of God.

Day 240: RUN! (Psalm 136-138; 1 Corinthians 9)

DAY 240

Apostle Paul often used the metaphor of an athlete in training to represent the life of a Christian. In today’s reading, Apostle Paul’s instructions to believers on how to the run the race well are two-fold. First, we need to run towards the goal in order to get the prize. Thus, you must know the goal, which is eternity. The prize? An imperishable crown. This then implies that not all of us will reach the goal nor will all get the prize. Only those who run with intention will win, which leads us to the second part: self-denial and discipline.

A few days ago, we talked about how although everything is allowed for us, not everything is beneficial. Athletes excel at choosing what is beneficial to their training over what is not. Like eating healthy and exercising daily to prepare for a meet or game. They often push themselves beyond even their personal best, just to keep getting better and better. They discipline their body daily, because they know their goal is worth the sacrifice.

A guy who spends most of his time sitting on the couch eating junk food and only occasionally exercising and eating well won’t be wining the Olympics any time soon. Similarly, saying you believe in Jesus as your Savior and occasionally visiting church and reading your Bible won’t be enough when your life is spent loosely obeying the word of God as you gorge in the pleasures of this word without any self-discipline. A Christian’s life is one of self-denial, humility and obedience. Because we are running to get an imperishable crown and an eternity with our Savior. So, run with intention, friend. It’s worth it.