I will be out of the office for about two weeks, and will probably be unable to send EveryDay Life until the first week of June. I invite you to browse the archives of previous devotionals – 570 of them now at www.allenrandolph.com! – and maintain your daily devotional time in God’s Word. I will miss writing them; I hope you will miss reading them. I appreciate your doing so and the privilege of sharing my thoughts and comments from the practical truth of God’s Word . .
“Let us throw off everything that hinders . . and entangles.” Hebrews 12:1 NIV
“Always know the difference between what needs to be kept and what needs discarded.”
My thoughts today are about “hindered and entangled.”
One of the problems with everyday life is all the stuff you accumulate and keep along the way. The older I get the more I have, but some of it is unused and of minimal value. To air out the garage yesterday (due to the untimely demise of a field rodent among the stuff there), I opened the windows in spite of the day’s warnings of thunderstorms and heavy rain. With the foreboding weather forecast, I took time to move my golf clubs safely away from the open window, just in case. Of course, by my disuse they are allowed to gather dust and rust, yet there I was worrying about their getting wet. Really, like other things where my truck should be, they are allowed to take space that could be used more beneficially. People’s lives can be like that.
Does your life feel that way sometimes? Life is better without stuff that hinders more than helps – remembering every slight suffered, holding old grudges, vividly recalling every mistake, indulging sins that grieve you, reciting every complaint, clinging to unhappiness, being constantly critical, worrying about the unknown, believing your doubts, regretting your wrong without changing, hurting people, making promises you won’t keep, wanting friends but being unfriendly, having friends that make you worse not better, and the list goes on and on! So much unnecessary stuff deserves no place in your life; such things are unprofitable.
The Bible picturesquely describes some things, “as useless as dried grass burning in a fire . . as useless as dried up springs of water or as clouds blown away by the wind – promising much but delivering nothing.” Isaiah 47:14/2 Peter 2:17 NLT. God advises you to, “throw off everything that hinders . . and entangles.” Hebrews 12:1 NIV. What hinders your being your best? What entangles your thoughts and emotions until you are dismayed and stuck where you are?
You know the stuff you have stored in and around your life that hasn’t been useful for a long time, if it ever was. When something or someone continually complicates your spiritual progress, you have to make a change. You have to be forceful and specific, “throw off . . run with perseverance . . fix your eyes on Jesus . . consider Jesus . .!” Hebrews 12:1-3 NIV. Don’t find a place to keep such things out of sight or out of mind; rid yourself of them! Refuse to tolerate what is unprofitable. Anything that doesn’t help the development of spiritual life can hinder it.
Paul gave good advice, “Those who have trusted in God must be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good. These things are excellent and profitable for everyone. But avoid foolish controversies and arguments and quarrels about the law, because these are unprofitable and useless.” Titus 3:8-9 NIV. Be sure to always know the difference between what needs to be kept and what needs discarded.
My prayer for you today is that life is enjoyed, not encumbered with needless things.