Monday, August 2 – “When you are brought before synagogues, rulers and authorities, do not worry about how you will defend yourselves or what you will say, for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what you should say.” (Luke 12:11-12) Have you ever been in a situation and you just knew exactly what to say? You knew that what you were saying wasn’t from your mind, but was coming from a deep font of wisdom and insight, outside of yourself? Or, how about being in a situation and just knowing the right thing to do? Not knowing how you know, you just know? That is a glimpse into trusting God from the bottom of your heart. Sadly, too many of us ignore these glimpses. God desires these glimpses to be your entire life.
Tuesday, August 3 – “I have seen something else under the sun: The race is not to the swift or the battle to the strong, nor does food come to the wise or wealth to the brilliant or favor to the learned; but time and chance happen to them all.” (Ecclesiastes 9:11) You work so hard to be in shape, strong, prepared, rich, comfortable and smart. You work so hard to be the master of your own destiny. But what is it all for? Now, don’t give up. Don’t get discouraged. Keep on keeping on. Simply work on your perspective. Don’t rely on your strength, your health, your money or your intellect; for they will all eventually fail. Enjoy the life that God has given you and never forget that it is God who has given it.
Wednesday, August 4 – “They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts.” (Ephesians 4:18) We all struggle with hard hearts and thick heads. We can list several reasons for this reality, but today let’s focus on one. We want to be god. We want to serve our own wants and our own desires. We want to go our own way, make our own path. This is a byproduct of being created in the infinite image of God, while existing in a finite reality. Don’t beat yourself up, simply make the choice to gain a new perspective – God is God!
Thursday, August 5 – “Jesus replied, ‘Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven.’” (Matthew 16:17) Always pay close attention to what Jesus honors in the Bible. Here Jesus is honoring, not Simon, but Simon’s decision to follow God’s direction, not the world’s teaching. When push comes to shove and what the world around you is teaching flies in the face of what you know God is revealing to you through the Holy Spirit, always err on the side of God. Nothing and nobody in this world can or will ever have the same perspective on reality as God. Lean into his understanding.
Friday, August 6 – “And you, my son Solomon, acknowledge the God of your father, and serve him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the Lord searches every heart and understands every desire and every thought. If you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you forsake him, he will reject you forever.” (1 Chronicles 28:9) Ouch! That one will leave a mark. Seems harsh, until you unpack it. If you seek God you will find him. Likewise, if you never seek God (“forsake him”), you will never find him. Thus, you will be rejected by him. Not that God is looking to reject you, but that your decision to forsake him makes his rejection inevitable. You will never find that for which you never seek. If God isn’t directing your steps today, it is simply because you are not allowing God to direct your steps today. You are the only one who can change that.
Monday, August 9 – “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) You are so worked up over what? Politics? The economy? The weather? The decision that someone else made? Are these really as important as you are allowing them to be? Think, for a moment, on what are you unable to focus, because you are so wrapped up in all of this? Today, focus on what you are missing in life, because of your worrying.
Tuesday, August 10 – “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Matthew 6:34) It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. You worry about tomorrow. Which causes you to lose sleep tonight. Which, in turn, causes you to be too tired to function tomorrow. Or, you worry about tomorrow. Which causes you to miss out on what is happening today. Then, what you miss today comes back around and bites you tomorrow. Maybe you find peace in worrying about tomorrow, like you are doing your due diligence? Yet, all you are really doing is causing your worries to come true.
Wednesday, August 11 – “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7) What is it about our culture and anxiety? We will do anything to avoid any hint that we suffer from any form of anxiety. Like we will be some social, political and economic pariah if we struggle with anxiety. Deep down, we struggle with the concept of anxiety because we have bought the lie that we are a god. We believe that we can handle anything and everything. That we don’t need God. We don’t need help, because we are the center of the universe. This is sin’s grand deception!
Thursday, August 12 – “But the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful.” (Mark 4:19) There is only so much space in your life. You will either fill it with worries, deceit, wealth and desires or you will fill it with the word of God. The word that gives you the peace that surpasses all understanding. The choice is yours. God loves you so much that he has given you the power. God promises peace, grace, love and forgiveness. The worries of this world promise anxiety that will choke out your life and cripple you. Anxiety that will make it impossible to accomplish anything. Except maybe an ulcer.
Friday, August 13 – “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.” (Colossians 3:15) We are all in this together. All of us, trudging along this thing called life, trying to make it through. We all have the same needs, the same questions, the same concerns, the same fears and access to the same peace. What you are experiencing today is the same thing that someone has experienced in the past and someone will experience again in the future. Not that misery loves company, rather misery is watered-down by company. It loses its potency. Is your life really that bad? Today, is there nothing for which you can be thankful? Making the choice to be thankful is allowing the “peace of Christ to rule in your heart”.