Posts Tagged ‘God’s way’

Direction and Distractions

September 6th, 2016

Once again, I ask for your patience. About 15% of EDL readers had this devotional “returned to sender” through a technical error, which we believe has been corrected. Therefore, I am resending “Direction and Distractions” (from Friday, September 2). Thank you for your patience with our “technical difficulties.”

A dear friend, whose technical expertise I do not possess, has worked diligently to correct this. His contribution at the earliest days of EveryDay Life and his continued help across these nine years of publishing EDL, has been invaluable. Without his help we could not have reached those of you who receive EDL today. I am grateful for his encouragement.

For those receiving “Direction and Distractions” for the first time today, could you do me a favor? Would you simply hit “reply” and I will know that the mailing problem has been resolved. Also, it is possible that you may not have received “Clocks and Calendars” (Wed 8/24) and “Wisdom” (Tue 8/30). At the website, you can read those if you have not received them. Blessings!

Life without purpose and direction is pointless.

“As for God His way is perfect. The Lord’s Word is flawless.” 2 Samuel 22:31 NIV.

My thoughts and comments today are about, “direction and distractions.”

It is easy to lose your way. I remember visiting a family in an unfamiliar neighborhood. As I left their home, I made a wrong turn. Not realizing I was headed the wrong way, I continued to a dead end. I assumed I knew which way to go, but now I was confused. I was wandering in an unfamiliar area of town. I did not know what to do, except to retrace my path and start over. Sometimes, life feels like that too.

You can begin with a sense of purpose and direction, but along the way distractions and disturbances can misdirect you, often without your notice. Things that once seemed more obvious to you become more obscure; answers you once knew yield to disconcerting questions; your projected plans appear less certain or even possible. Going in circles keeps you busy but takes you nowhere. To have meaning, life must have purpose; if your life is aimless, it will be pointless. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6 NKJV.

By might and miracles, God delivered Israel from Egypt. Their path was clear; their destination sure. Until somewhere on their way to Canaan, a fruit-filled, bountiful land, they were content going in circles. Along the way, they lost their way. Then God said, “You have been wandering around in this hill country long enough; turn northward.” Deuteronomy 2:3 NLT. It was time for them to stop wandering and proceed forward into God’s purpose for their deliverance from Egypt. When you forget your purpose you lose your sense of direction. Read Romans 8:28 NIV. When you find yourself making no progress, you are wandering. Here’s a few realities I have learned from life.

You can get lost when you aren’t paying attention. Inattention to where you are and which direction you are going can leave you confused, wandering and wondering how you got where you are and how you can know where you should. Jesus frequently warned, “Anyone who is willing to hear should listen and understand.” Mark 4:23 NLT. If you aren’t listening to God every day, listening for His voice in every situation, you are likely to be lost.

You can become lost when you follow bad counsel. “Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the ungodly . . the counsel of the Lord stands forever, the plans of His heart [are] to all generations.” Psalm 1:1/33:11 NKJV. See Proverbs 12:15 NIV. Be careful who you follow. If your destination is not where they are going, don’t walk where they are walking. If you don’t want to become like them, you shouldn’t be walking with them.

You will get lost when you insist on your own way. “There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death . . but as for God His way is perfect. The Lord’s Word is flawless” Proverbs 16:25 NIV/2 Samuel 22:31 NIV. God’s way is always better than your way. Any individual who thinks otherwise is unwise. Read Isaiah 55:6-11 NKJV. I am grateful for the times God did not give me what I insisted on having, nor allow my continuing the way I was going.

You are never lost whenever you are where God wants you to be. In His will, doing His will is the only place to be. God can and will use you, but only where He directs you.

Today, I pray for you to follow the One who declares, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.”

EDL trust Prov 3.5-6











Christian Communications 2016

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Time Well Spent

April 24th, 2013

“Make every minute count.” Ephesians 5:16 CEV.

You cannot buy, borrow, or bargain for more time than God gives.

My thoughts and comments today are about “time well spent.”

Most of everything you use or lose can be replaced, except for time. It is a mistake to not value time as you should or use it as wisely as you could. Time is a limited commodity; you cannot buy, borrow, or bargain for more time than God gives you. Use the time you have, well and wisely. Time is irreplaceable, much too precious to waste; invest in people and matters of eternal importance rather than spending it frivolously. Jesus advised, “Store up for yourselves treasures in Heaven . . for where your treasure is there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:19-21 NIV.

James’ counsel was that you not presume anything about tomorrow, because “How do you know what will happen tomorrow?” James 4:13-17 NLT. The Psalmist prayed, “Teach us to make the most of our time, so that we may grow in wisdom. Psalm 90:12 NLT. The wise objective is to prize each moment, investing it wisely as a gift from God. Paul’s counsel is, “Make every minute count . . find out what the Lord wants you to do.” Ephesians 5:16-17 CEV. Here’s practical advice how to do that.

(1) Just say, “No.” Learning to say no to things – or people – that waste time allows you opportunity to say yes to God’s will, caring for your responsibilities, and being helpful to others. Stress results when you busy yourself with things not your responsibility, or commit to more than you can accomplish in available time. Jesus could confidently say to His Father, “I have finished the work You gave Me to do.” John 17:4 TEV. Jesus was not distracted by lesser matters, understanding personal priorities and knowing what is eternally important.

(2) Avoid procrastination. Ignoring things that must be done wastes time now and usually takes more time later. Personal and spiritual maturity is evidenced by doing what you should even when you don’t feel like doing so, just because that is what you should do. Jesus said, “I always do those things that please [the Father].” John 8:29 NKJV. Can you say that today? My spiritual life improved noticeably when I understood that procrastinated obedience is merely disobedience by lesser name. Read Matthew 21:28-31 NIV. Obeying God promptly and fully is time best spent.

(3) Take time to abide in Christ. Time reflecting on God’s Word, worshiping in His presence, and serving others is time well spent. Jesus was clear,“You cannot be fruitful unless you abide in Me.” John 15:4 NKJV. You will be more effective, more fruitful, more successful, and so much more satisfied. Listen and learn from the One Who will guide your life and direct your steps. Proverbs 3:5-6 NKJV. Your time doing so is well spent and makes every other minute more effective. A disciple of Jesus will trust His promise, “Seek first the Kingdom of Heaven and His righteousness, and all these other things will be provided for you.” Matthew 6:33. Life works best God’s way. First things first” is always good advice.

My prayer for you today is that you value time and use it with eternal purpose in mind.

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Where Is Love?

May 14th, 2010

“Abide in My love.” John 15:9 NKJV

“Having the right kind of feeling for the wrong person or  wrong things is not where love is found.”

My thoughts today ask “where is love?”

Isn’t love a wonderful feeling? Maybe that’s why people talk about “falling in love,” only to later find themselves falling out of love. If love is just a feeling, however grand it may be at the moment, then you can lose it as readily as you felt it. Feelings are whimsical, changing with your moods and circumstances.

Thinking love is no more than a feeling may be the reason that some people find themselves having the right kind of feeling for the wrong person or the wrong things. If it’s love, they reason, it must be right. If it feels so right it must not be wrong. The problem is a dangerous misunderstanding of love. Be very aware of this; the right kind of feeling does not make it the right kind of thing.

Love does feel wonderful, and it should! Love does produce incredible feelings as it should, but those feelings are the fruit of love not the root of love. Love is rooted in your will, and then expressed in your emotions. For love to fully be what it can and should be, your will needs to be firmly anchored in God’s will and your love planted deeply in God’s love.

There is an insightful prayer of the Apostle Paul that is particularly relevant to my previous statement, “I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources He will give you mighty inner strength . . and I pray that Christ will be more and more at home in your hearts as you trust in Him. May your roots go down deep into the soil of God’s marvelous love. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep His love really is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is so great you will never fully understand it. Then you will be filled with the fullness of life and power that comes from God.” Ephesians 3:16-19 NLT.

Where your love is rooted will evidence its reality and reliability. If it rests only on your feelings, what will be left when your emotions differ from now? When love resides in what is eternal, you discover that love is also eternal, not subject to yours or others’ transient moods and whims.

Love is a wonderful thing when you find it. Everybody is looking for that; not everyone finds it. You will only find your full capacity to give and receive love when you abandon your life to God’s will, and allow yourself to receive and give God’s love. That’s where real love is found. Your will and love are inseparable; either without the other is incomplete. “When you obey Me, you remain in My love, just as I obey My Father and remain in His love. I have told you this so that you will be filled with My joy. Yes, your joy will overflow!” John 15:10-11 NLT.

Here is Jesus’ wise counsel: “Abide in Me . . My words abide in you . . abide in My love . . keep My commandments . . love one another as I have loved you . . your joy will be full.” Read John 15:1-12 NKJV. Do that and your will find where love is! Trust me; God’s way is always the right way. It cannot be otherwise.

My prayer for you today is that your love finds it source in God, and is real and lasts.

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Spending Time

March 30th, 2010

“Tell me clearly what to do, and show me which way to turn.” Psalm 5:8 NLT

“Life is wonderful, when your life is in His hands and care.”

My thoughts today are about “spending time.”

Are you spending too much time feeling lost and overwhelmed, feeling like more was against you than for you? You should read the Psalms, especially Psalm 5. David felt that way, the way you may be feeling right now. It may be your job – difficult; it may be your finances – stretched; it might be a relationship – strained; it may be a problem – distressing; it might be a decision – complicated; it may be a crisis – urgent; you may be at a crossroads – unclear. Whatever that is, it is important to you and of concern. That means it is important to God because you are important to God. He wants you to “cast all your care on Him because He cares about you.” 1 Peter 5:7 NKJV.

Life is wonderful, when your life is in His hands and care, but life is not always simple or easy. Everyday life can be demanding. Some days the path going forward is plain. But there are other days and situations when the next step seems shrouded in questions and uncertainty.

Here’s the usual options. You can just guess and move forward anyway. Don’t some say any decision is better than no decision? Occasionally maybe, but not usually. That’s quite a gamble really. You can stay paralyzed right where you are and go nowhere, but that’s not much of a solution. You can add up all the facts, laboriously laying out the pros and cons only to conclude that they don’t add up after all. You certainly should seek respected advice and valued experience.

Missing anything? Let me advise that you pour your heart out to God, sincerely and humbly. “O Lord, hear my voice. Let your ears be attentive to my cry for mercy.” Read Psalm 130:1-2 NIV. Don’t tell Him your answers, or non-answers; be real about your questions. He can handle them. “Tell me clearly what to do, and show me which way to turn.” Psalm 5:8 NLT. That’s an invitation He loves.

Now here’s the important part: listen! That’s where and when David found his answers. “Now that you have made me listen, I finally understand.” Psalm 40:6 NLT.

Here’s how you learn to listen. Spend time in prayer and meditation of Scripture. Read Psalm 1:1-3 NIV. Meditate on eternal truth, not your present read of what appears as facts. It is not always the quantity of time. But it is always the quality of time you spend with God, but time is certainly an element of quality. God doesn’t answer by Facebook and Twitter. What God has to say is important enough to spend whatever time is necessary to hear and understand His voice.

Don’t you think it interesting that people talk about “spending” time? Time is a commodity, one to be used wisely for things that truly matter. It is wisdom, not wealth or want, that makes time valuable. You can spend it for something worthwhile in return. You can invest it in family and friends, planning for your future well-being, spiritual growth of yourself and others, and serving God in practical and helpful ways.

Time is also something too often wasted, too soon gone, with too little to show for it. You can’t know how much will be given to you in your lifetime, but everyone has the same 24 hours each day – no more, no less. Use every minute usefully, and make sure enough of those are spent with God in His presence and Word. Spend time where you will find the answers you need, the clarity you seek, and the direction you lack. Read what David found there. Psalm 5:11-12 NIV.

My prayer for you today is: spend your time where you find God’s will and blessing.

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Where Life Works Best

February 25th, 2010

“Make sure you understand what the Master wants.” Ephesians 5:17 The Message

“Learn to live where life works best.”

My thoughts today are about “where life works best.”

Even sincere and well-intended advice can sometimes be wrong. Sometimes a person is told, “You can be anything that you want to be.” But can you be? There’s a better question. Should you be anything that you want to be, even if you can?

Have you ever tried to step into some one else’s job that “just wasn’t you?” Some years ago, I was ministering in England and was graciously invited to play golf at a beautiful, seaside Country Club. My host loaned a set of clubs and a pair of golf shoes to me. But the clubs were unfamiliar to me, and the shoes just a bit large. By the end of the round, which was mercifully cut short by a storm that quickly blew in from the sea, my feet were so sore from the ill fitted shoes, that I was relieved to be rained out. Life is just not much fun when it doesn’t fit you just right.

As I was growing up, my Dad often told me, “You can do anything anyone else can do, if you have the same opportunity and the training and experience they have had.” I know that he only wanted me to believe in myself. Meanwhile, I have learned that I do not need to be able to do what others can do, nor determine for my self what I want to be. God has long had all that worked out.

The wisest thing is to discover the spiritual DNA God placed within you. You are one of a kind, truly unique, and God has a plan for you that is especially created for only you. The One Who made you perfectly knows what you will do best, and what will bring you the greatest achievements with satisfaction. “All the days ordained for me were in Your book before one of them came to be.” Psalm 139:16. Secular thinking doesn’t buy this, seeing no author behind the book, and no purpose behind life. Why then, they would reason, not just be whatever you want to be? Except what do you do when you find that what you want to be is not what you are best suited for, nor where you are the happiest?

Often people choose a course for their life for wrong reasons, such as money, fame, power, celebrity, and career advancement. That doesn’t work out well. Many such reasons are not of themselves unworthy, just inadequate. What you do with your life should be consistent with your interests, abilities, and opportunities. Those will usually be aligned with how God made you and the motivational and spiritual gifts that God has given you. See Romans 12:4-8. How you invest your life should bring you a measure of joy, a sense of fulfillment, and a pride of accomplishment. Life works best with a clear understanding that you are serving God in your life’s work, while contributing to the well being of others.

The Bible’s wise advice is, “make sure you understand what the Master wants.” That’s where you find that life works best. “Prove for yourself what that perfect will of God is.” Romans 12:2.

My prayer for you today is that you know what God has created you to be and to do.

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