Archive for the ‘General’ Category

Proverbs 16 10-16-18

October 16, 2018

Our mouths are pretty good gauges for what we are thinking. BEWARE! God holds us accountable for what we say!

Proverbs 16:2 All a man’s ways seem innocent to him, but motives are weighed by the LORD.

We are good at justifying what we do. It doesn’t even have to be logical! We can justify getting even with someone by telling ourselves the feeling of satisfaction is worth whatever the consequences.

The problem is that without the Holy Spirit, there is no way for us to combat our own self-centeredness. In fact, we can pretty much count on whatever we want to say or do to be flesh-motivated. We must learn to stop and listen for His prompting. We must also read His Word so that we can discern what He calls good and would ask us to do.

Look at it this way: If we won’t read His Word regularly, then we are telling God that we don’t need His opinion and that learning how to please Him and what He likes is not important to us. Are we really that arrogant? I’m afraid so!!!

There is one area that we feel particularly justified, and that area is in what we say about others. There is a verse in a song from my teen-hood that sets the bar for me:

“We will work with each other, we will work side by side…and we’ll guard each man’s dignity and save each man’s pride, and they’ll know we are Christians by our love…”

Even when describing an incident, let’s take care to “guard each man’s dignity and save each man’s pride.” It’s an important habit, if anything, for the sake of others (our audience tends to take up the attitude of the one to which they are listening) as well as the reputation of the ones about which we are talking. A good rule of thumb is to ask ourselves, “If the person were standing right here beside me, would I say it?” Scripturally, we base our question on this passage:

Ephesians 4:29-32 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

The questions we ask are:

  1. Is it considered unwholesome?
  2. Is it helpful for building up others?
  3. Will it benefit those who are listening?
  4. Will it grieve the Holy Spirit?
  5. Does it have any bitterness or malice in it?
  6. Is it kind and compassionate?
  7. Is it forgiving (full of grace)?
  • If we can run what we say through these filters, then we are well on our way to godliness. I’d say, “Good Luck,” but I don’t believe in luck. Instead, let’s strive to “be perfect (complete, well-rounded, whole, mature) even as your Heavenly Father is perfect (Matt 5:48).”
  • Now, THAT’S a goal with having!
  • Bonus:
  • Proverbs 16:24 Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.

    Proverbs 15 10-15-18

    October 15, 2018

    Following our hearts leads to wickedness. Following the Lord leads to godliness. Every decision leads to one or the other.

    Proverbs 15:24 The path of life leads upward for the wise to keep him from going down to the grave [we are always moving either up or down].

    Proverbs 15:9 The LORD detests the way of the wicked but he loves those who pursue righteousness.

    What is the way of righteousness?

    1 John 5:3 This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome,

    One of Jesus’ goals for us is to have His joy and to have it completely!

    John 15:11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.

    TRUST = JOY

    When will we stop doubting God’s will for us? Has He not proven over and over that He wants only the best for us and that all His plans are for our good? Since Adam and Eve first doubted God’s goodness, we as a people have not trusted God. Here is His word to us:

    Jeremiah 29:11-13 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

    Is God approachable?

    [12] “Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.”

    Is God knowable?

    [13] “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”

    Is God trustworthy? You bet He is! Let’s trust Him today and watch how He blesses us with knowledge and discernment and a sense of His presence!

    Proverbs 13 10-13-18

    October 13, 2018

    Pride says, “My time is too important to spend listening to God in His Word.” Watch out! A fall is coming…

    Proverbs 13:13 He who scorns instruction will pay for it, but he who respects a command is rewarded.

    We simply do not have the tools nor the skills to know the best route for our lives. Only the LORD can guide us through this life–not with the least amount of sorrow, but with the most intimate fellowship with Him. We must remember that comfort is not our goal, but becoming like Jesus is!

    We live in a fallen world that is full of sorrow and grief. Blaming God for bad things happening to us simply shows that we don’t understand how things work:

    1. God loves us and gives each person CHOICE.
    2. He honors each choice by allowing the results to happen according to our choices.
    3. We live with the blessings/consequences of our choices and others’.
    4. Our walk with Christ is designed to deliver us into His presence looking as much like Him as we can (NOT with us being as content as we would like).
  • Jesus’ favorite phrase is, “Follow Me.” He used it 10 times! Here’s my favorite:
  • John 10:27-29 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.

    Here is the verse that I NEED to hear daily:

    John 21:22 Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.”

    I need to quit looking around at others and look to Christ! We each walk a path with Him and it is different than anyone else’s although our paths may cross, and even run concurrently for a while. Let’s be good, obedient sheep and follow Him exclusively and closely and “encourage each other all the more as we see the DAY approaching Hebrews 10:25.”

    Bonus verse:

    Proverbs 13:18 He who ignores discipline comes to poverty and shame, but whoever heeds correction is honored.

    Proverbs 12 10-12-18

    October 12, 2018

    We cannot defeat our old nature without the new nature that comes from Christ. His Spirit IS our new nature.

    Proverbs 12:12 The wicked desire the plunder [stronghold] of evil men, but the root of the righteous flourishes.

    The difference between the wicked and the righteous is their source. The wicked have their sin nature and self as theirs; the righteous have the Holy Spirit as theirs.

    Ephesians 4:22-24 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

    Our decision-making is not commandeered by the Spirit; instead, He guides us into all truth (John 16:13) and gives us the desire to do His will–but it’s still our choice!

    We change the way we think by filling our minds with Scripture (often via Scripture-oriented songs) and allowing our lives to be influenced and oriented to God’s way. We change the way we feel by changing the way we think. Hence, our daily time with the LORD.

    Look at what happens when we have the Spirit as our Source:

    Proverbs 12:15 The way of a fool seems right to him [self], but a wise man listens to advice [Spirit].

    [18] Reckless words pierce like a sword [self], but the tongue of the wise brings healing [Spirit].

    [20] There is deceit in the hearts of those who plot evil [self], but [there is] joy for those who promote peace [Spirit].

    Let’s align our attitudes with the LORD’s through His Word this morning. Get ready to receive His joy and peace and experience His love at an all new level!

    Proverbs 11 10-11-18

    October 11, 2018

    Wisdom is acknowledging that God is GOD and we are not. It changes our perspective and guides our conduct.

    Proverbs 11:2 When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.

    This whole chapter is built around being wise and humble or being foolish and arrogant. Understanding that we cannot see everything and know everything helps us to seek God’s perspective. His relationship with us is centered around us listening to Him as our Mentor and Guide.

    Proverbs 8:34-36 Blessed is the man who listens to me, watching daily at my doors, waiting at my doorway. For whoever finds me finds life and receives favor from the LORD. But whoever fails to find me harms himself; all who hate me love death.

    Keeping in mind that we are forgiven in Christ and now there is no condemnation (Romans 8:1-2), we function in an atmosphere of peace with God, which is abundantly provided for us (Phil. 4:6-7). Our LORD is delighted to walk with us through life. It’s why He came to live inside of us! If He had wanted to be critical and judgmental of us, He would have stuck to the old system. Instead, He came to bring us life in abundance (John 10:10).

    Today, let’s not be arrogant and treat God as if He were not GOD. Instead, let’s allow Him to be the LORD of our lives. We will experience His love, joy, peace, hope and grace in abundance!

    Proverbs 10 10-10-18

    October 10, 2018

    Our over-arching desire sets the tone for our emotional and spiritual health. His presence “fixes” everything!

    Proverbs 10:24 What the wicked dreads will overtake him; what the righteous desire will be granted.

    Whether it’s food, exercise, work, play, or any number of subjects, BALANCE is essential. KNOWING that we tend to lean in a certain direction with each category, we need guidance: The Holy Spirit! He lives in us to guide us into ALL truth–more than just knowledge about spiritual things, He guides us in every decision, right down to the minutiae of our lives. Our holiness is based on how much we allow Him to guide us. The end result is that we look and act and are, indeed, like Jesus!

    So, where do we start? King David knew:

    Psalms 27:4 One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple [WE are His temple now].

    [8] My heart [the Spirit] says of you, “Seek his face!” Your face, LORD, I will seek.

    What do we ask of Him?

    Psalms 25:4-5 Show me your ways, O LORD, teach me your paths; guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.

    Let’s seek the LORD and desire His company today. I promise you will not be disappointed–in Him or yourself!

    Proverbs 9 10-9-18

    October 9, 2018

    What is our goal in life? To please ourselves or to please our LORD? Be careful; we may catch what we chase!

    [4] “Let all who are simple come in here!” she says to those who lack judgment.

    [6] Leave your simple ways and you will live; walk in the way of understanding.”

    [8-9] Do not rebuke a mocker or he will hate you; rebuke a wise man and he will love you. Instruct a wise man and he will be wiser still; teach a righteous man and he will add to his learning.

    The Holy Spirit inside us tells us to “seek His face.” We respond like King David: Your face, O LORD, will I seek (Ps. 27:8).”

    Jesus said, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they will be filled (Matthew 5:6).”

    In contrast, Folly (the devil’s puppet) offers delicious bait: lust for the eyes, lust for the flesh, and she caters to our pride of life (1 John 2:16). She offers thrills:

    Proverbs 9:17 “Stolen water is sweet; food eaten in secret is delicious!”

    Without the Spirit, without our new nature, and without self control, we would follow after her–and quickly, giving not a second thought to sin or entrapment.

    We have a warning from Solomon:

    [12] If you are wise, your wisdom will reward you; if you are a mocker [of God and His ways], you alone will suffer.”

    [10:24] What the wicked dreads will overtake him [God]; what the righteous desire will be granted [God!].

    Let’s desire Jesus and His company today. Let’s submit to His authority and obey His commands. He promises intimate fellowship and an easy yoke. Who we live to please tells us, God, and the world who our true Master is. “We know that anyone born of God does not continue to sin (1 John 5:18a);”

    1 John 5:3-4 This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.

    Bonus:

    1 John 5:20 We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true. And we are in him who is true—even in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.

    Proverbs 8 10-8-18

    October 8, 2018

    Ever wonder why God allows His children to endure hardship? We are His messengers. We take light to dark places!

    Proverbs 8:2-3 On the heights along the way, where the paths meet, she takes her stand; beside the gates leading into the city, at the entrances, she cries aloud:

    God is constantly putting His people in places of influence. Oftentimes, He will allow a king-or president-to rule and provide a godly counselor (such as Daniel). We are often placed in specific circumstances “for such a time as this (Esther 4:14).” The problem comes when all we want is peace and safety. Being God’s person for the job usually means upsetting the current regime, which brings CONFLICT. Change nearly always brings conflict.

    We have been studying Paul’s second journey through Macedonia. Everywhere he went, he introduced the people to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Guess what? He endured a lot of conflict! [for more on this subject, read Acts 16-17).

    What is our main goal? Is it “peace at all cost,” or are we here to do our Father’s will? If we want to be like Jesus, then we will be about the Father’s business (Luke 2:49).

    Let’s connect with Him this morning and allow Him to position us where we can be the most useful for His kingdom.

    Proverbs 7 10-7-18

    October 7, 2018

    Today is a day of worship–everyday is! We meet together to encourage each other and lift each other up. Don’t miss it!

    Proverbs 7:1-3 My son, keep my words and store up my commands within you. Keep my commands and you will live; guard my teachings as the apple of your eye. Bind them on your fingers; write them on the tablet of your heart.

    “The main thing is to keep the Main Thing the main thing!”

    God’s Word is living and active (Heb. 4:12), which means that as we read His Word, the Spirit speaks to us. Then, during the day or in the watches of the night, He reminds us of why we read:

    • He loves us with an everlasting love (Jer. 31:3);
    • We are sanctified (freed from sin) by the truth of His Word (John 17:17);
    • If we call to Him, He is waiting to answer us (Jer. 33:3)! Btw, that’s God’s phone number!!!

    These are just a few of the things His Spirit whispers to us when we stop and listen. These verses are GREAT memory verses–at least, mark them in your bibles; make 3×5 cards of them; use post-it notes and put them on your mirror–do something to learn them! I’m sure that as you read, you will find a great many more that speak to you. 🙂

    They will reveal to us the lies of Satan (v. 15) and keep us from the seduction of the temptress (v21). Instead, we will enjoy sweet fellowship with Him as His love, joy and peace radiate from Him to us and through us. It’s our greatest benefit that comes from being in His presence (and makes this world tolerable).

    Today, let’s worship Him in Spirit and in truth and enjoy His presence in our lives.

    Proverbs 6 10-6-18

    October 6, 2018

    “Garbage in/garbage out.” It works with what we see, hear, and eat! Let’s be smart about everything we do!

    Proverbs 6:27-28 Can a man scoop fire into his lap without his clothes being burned? Can a man walk on hot coals without his feet being scorched?

    Newton’s third law of motion is: For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.

    We deal with physics everyday. Knowing how it works helps us to get things done and avoid certain reactions. Guess what? What we eat and drink affects our bodies the same way. One of the major players in how we process what we see, hear, and do relates to our mental filters, which are controlled by the physical demands and condition of our bodies.

    What does this mean?! It means that WE are RESPONSIBLE for putting into our bodies the right kind of fuel for our minds to work right. I’m not talking about our physical shape; I’m talking about mental acuity (although, being in shape physically helps).

    The sluggard mentioned in verses 7-10 may be eating something that causes mental sluggishness. Does it excuse him? No, but he would do well to find it and fix it.

    We all know that sodas are not good for us–and diet sodas are worse! Does that mean “no sodas ever?” That’s for you and the LORD to decide. If/when we do drink sodas, however, let’s be strategic: Drink one for the caffeine boost (just not everyday); or, drink one ONLY with a particular item, like a burger (again, just not everyday). You and the Spirit work it out. He knows what is best: ask Him!

    We are physical beings; we react to our outward environment and to our inward environment. The LORD knows how much control we have over each. He is interested in His relationship with you, so He wants to remove anything that hinders that relationship. Note that relating to His Body, i.e. the Church, is a lot of our interaction with the LORD.

    Let’s use every advantage to “clear the way” to a closer relationship with Jesus. Use the physical world to enhance our spiritual objective: To Be Like Jesus.

    Proverbs 5 10-5-18

    October 5, 2018

    We need to be intentional about our lives; otherwise, others will do it FOR us. Serve God and no other!

    Proverbs 5:1-2 My son, pay attention to my wisdom, listen well to my words of insight, that you may maintain discretion and your lips may preserve knowledge.

    As I read the chapter, I noticed that the path of the wise was deliberate and intentional as opposed to the adulterous woman:

    [6] She gives no thought to the way of life; her paths wander aimlessly, but she does not know it.

    What she doesn’t realize is that Satan will guide her life if God doesn’t. Look where he led her:

    [5] Her feet go down to death; her steps lead straight to the grave.

    Where are your feet taking you? Are you walking on the straight and narrow path with Jesus (Matt. 7:13-14)? Are you intentionally spending time with Him in His Word? Are you listening to Him throughout the day? Are you putting into practice all that you are learning?

    Let’s be intentional today concerning our walk with Jesus Christ. HE IS LORD. Revel in the knowledge that we are His and He is IN US!

    Proverbs 4 10-4-18

    October 4, 2018

    If we have chosen to serve Christ, then let’s be intentional about it. Being two-faced does both sides a disservice.

    Proverbs 4:25-27 Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you. Make level paths for your feet and take only ways that are firm. Do not swerve to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil.

    When Jesus came to us and asked for our hearts and lives, we gave Him both. WE RECEIVED SALVATION as His Spirit entered in and took up residence. Our POSITION in Christ is secure.

    On a daily basis, He asks us to allow Him to lead as we walk with Him. In our RELATION to Christ, we must “bow the knee” routinely. My pastor quotes the late Adrian Rogers as saying that Jesus must be more than resident in our lives; He must be PRESIDENT of our lives.

    Jesus has much to say about trying to live with one foot in both worlds:

    Luke 9:62 Jesus replied, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.”

    Revelation 3:15-16 I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.

    Wow! Strong words. But necessary words. Lukewarm lives water down the message and impact of the Gospel. It speaks of a divided heart–which MAY speak of an unregenerated heart!

    Matthew 6:24 “No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money [or, “mammon,” which is a personification of riches as an evil spirit or diety, and can represent anything that comes before Christ].

    Let’s be about the Father’s business today; let’s allow Him to lead us as we do what we know to do and trust Him to teach us as we go, guiding us in the Way of Truth. Remember:

    PRESIDENT, not just RESIDENT!

    Addendum:

    1 John 3:24 Those who obey his commands live in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us.

    Second addendum:

    1 John 4:11-12 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.

    Proverbs 3 10-3-18

    October 3, 2018

    Before knowing Christ, we are dead in our sin. WE NEED HIM! We would do well to remember our humble beginnings.

    Proverbs 3:1-2 My son, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart, for they will prolong your life many years and bring you prosperity.

    FORGET: A primitive root; to mislay, that is, to be oblivious of, from want of memory or attention.

    Another way of saying it is, “Do not lay aside my teaching.” We are to keep His commandments in the forefront of our minds. The idea of laying aside His commands is to disregard them. NOT GOOD!

    Paul uses this idea in a good way when talking about past misdeeds:

    Philippians 3:13-14 Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

    The Greek definition here is: to lose out of mind; by implication to neglect. We may not be able to “not remember,” but we can set the memories aside and render them powerless to influence us. We “neglect” them.

    Learning to “forget” is a process, and as with all processes, is daunting at first. But, with time and practice, we become more adept at moving through the process more quickly; sometimes, we can even create shortcuts (this takes a while)!

    Let’s press on toward the goal of being perfect–complete, whole, mature–in Christ. We are being made into His image (Romans 8:29). Indeed, we ARE like Him NOW (1 John 4:17)!

    Proverbs 2 10-2-18

    October 2, 2018

    Which is better: To do something we prefer FOR God or to do WITH God what He wants us to do?

    God doesn’t need us to do anything for Him. What He wants is for us to love Him. How do we love God?

    • Time-Spending time with Him,
    • Words of Affirmation-Praising God and telling of His attributes,
    • Service-Doing what He says when He says to do it with the right heart attitude,
    • Gifts-He most desires the gift of our lives,
    • Touch- even though we cannot touch God, we CAN be His hands and feet to others for Him–we can be “God with skin on!”
  • The best way that He has prescribed for us to know Him and to spend time with Him is through reading His Word. The Bible is the language of God by which He communicates with us.
  • Proverbs 2:1-6 My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you [do we believe that He has our best interests at heart?],

    turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding [do we believe that His way is best?],

    and if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding [are we really interested in His way of seeing things?],

    and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure [is learning His will and way the most important goal in our lives?],

    then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God [that experiential, intimate knowledge of Him that He saves for those who seek Him].

    For the LORD gives wisdom, and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding [His Spirit has much to show us if we will pause and listen].

    King David understood the necessity–and the benefits–of seeking the Lord’s presence:

    Psalms 16:11 You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.

    Let’s enjoy our relationship with the Father through the Son by way of the Holy Spirit as we read His Word and walk with Him in obedience. It’s really all we have; indeed, it is all we will ever need!

    Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges [knows and reveals] the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

    Proverbs 1 10-1-18

    October 1, 2018

    Learning how God thinks and feels helps us to align our thoughts and feelings with Him. The best place to start is the Bible.

    [33] but whoever listens to me will live in safety and be at ease, without fear of harm.

    The LORD looks after His children–He just thinks bigger than we do! He is not limited to time and space as we are. We have difficulty imagining what life beyond this life is like; He LIVES THERE!

    Consider this:

    1 Corinthians 2:9 However, as it is written: “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him”

    In the same chapter, Paul explains that the Spirit knows God’s mind and is willing to share it with us–according to our willingness to receive such knowledge and our capacity to understand it. The question is, “Do we believe that God WILL and that we CAN?

    God is looking for those who trust Him and are willing:

    2 Chronicles 16:9a “For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.”

    Jeremiah 33:3 ‘Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.’

    “If we change the way we think, it will change the way we feel.” –Beth Moore. Let’s allow God to change our thinking as we read His Word today. Listen for Him and believe what the Spirit says about Him, about you, and about His will.

    It’s a process.

    Proverbs 30 9-30-18

    September 30, 2018

    Don’t take my word for anything concerning Scripture. The idea is for you to read and hear it from Him yourself!

    [5] “Every word of God is flawless; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him. [6] Do not add to his words, or he will rebuke you and prove you a liar.

    One of my favorite passages is Acts 17:10-11,

    Acts 17:10-11 As soon as it was night, the brothers sent Paul and Silas away to Berea. On arriving there, they went to the Jewish synagogue. [11] Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.

    It’s important for us to go to the Source so that we hear directly from Him on the matter. So, how do we hear from God? Henry Blackaby lists four ways in “Experiencing God”:

    1. The Bible,
    2. Prayer,
    3. The Church (His Body, which is other believers),
    4. And circumstances (sometimes He doesn’t give us a choice).

    Another “guiding light” is His peace. In the garden of Gethsemane, Jesus prayed the same prayer three times until His had peace about the situation (see Matt. 26:36-44). Jesus had just given the disciples His peace:

    John 14:27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. [16:33] “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

    Having His peace doesn’t mean that we will know or understand what He is doing; it simply means that we trust Him and are being obedient to the leadership of the Holy Spirit.

    Still another sure sign of being in His will is JOY. It comes from being in His presence,

    John 15:11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. [16:24] Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive [peace, trust, assurance], and your joy will be complete.

    If we live according to our peace and joy that are found in Christ, we will be the most brilliant lights for Him in this dark world.

    Philippians 2:14-16a Do everything without complaining or arguing, [15] so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe [16] as you hold out the word of life

    Let’s dig into His Word today!

    Proverbs 29 9-29-18

    September 29, 2018

    Finding knowledge and gaining wisdom: both are admirable when sought from the right source–The LORD!

    [18] Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint; but blessed is he who heeds wisdom’s instruction.

    The phrase, “I don’t see why…” is a telltale sign that wisdom is not abounding at the moment. The whole point of wisdom is to be able to step back and see more of the picture. If a circumstance has a rope border, chances are it’s a noose! The only way for us humans to see what is going on in the spirit world is to have the Holy Spirit reveal it to us. We have NO spiritual insight in and of ourselves. The verse,

    Matthew 5:3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

    can read, “Blessed are they who realize that they are spiritually bankrupt and are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked from a spiritual standpoint (Rev. 3:17), for they now have access to all of heaven’s riches and wisdom through the Spirit.”

    When will we quit trying to do it ourselves? God created us to interact with Him, for us to be one with Him in thought and deed.

    John 17:20-23 “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, [21] that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. [22] I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: [23] I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.”

    We use John 3:16 as our banner verse, but verse 23 here could easily be our daily verse! Let’s dwell on His indwelling and on how much He loves us and wants to be ONE with us!

    Proverbs 28 9-28-18

    September 28, 2018

    Following Jesus closely requires giving up, letting go, and throwing down all the “things” in life that would enslave our hearts.

    Proverbs 28:6 Better a poor man whose walk is blameless than a rich man whose ways are perverse.

    In the Old Testament, the emphasis was put on our being blameless. In the New Testament, we have ALREADY been made blameless!

    Ephesians 1:4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.

    1 Thessalonians 5:23 May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

    Jude 24 To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault [blameless] and with great joy

    Now we can focus on Him without worrying about judgment or condemnation. We are in training for righteousness–but wait! I thought we were already righteous in Christ. Oh yes, we ARE!

    2 Corinthians 5:21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

    From now on, our training is designed to let that which is on the inside (Him and His righteousness) show on the outside Philippians 2:13). Let’s “flesh” that concept out a little bit:

    • Be doers of the Word and not hearers only (James 1:22);
    • Fix our eyes (focus) on Jesus and what the Spirit is saying to us (Hebrews 12:2, Revelation 2:7, 11, 17, 29, 3:6, 13, 22);
    • Seek first His Kingdom and its increase along with learning the depths of His righteousness (Matt 6:33);
    • Learn to be content with what we have here on earth at this particular time knowing that God could change our circumstances at any moment (OR NOT) and that we have a rich inheritance awaiting us in heaven (Philippians 4:11-13, Matthew 6:19-20), 1 Timothy 6:19).

    There are many more, but that’s a start. Let’s get on the other side of the argument by realizing that He Has Already Made Us Righteous. We do EVERYTHING out of GRATITUDE. We do not fear any kind of judgment because we are ALREADY seated with Jesus in heavenly places (Eph. 2:6). We can discuss 2 Corinthians 5:10 another time…

    Enjoy walking with Him today.

    Proverbs 27 9-27-18

    September 27, 2018

    We restart each day aligning ourselves with Christ. The best way is through prayer and bible study. It’s the breakfast of champions!

    [1] Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth.

    [23] Be sure you know the condition of your flocks, give careful attention to your herds; [24] for riches do not endure forever, and a crown is not secure for all generations.

    Two dangerous attitudes tend to plague us when we first get up:

    1. Arrogance-we feel that we don’t need to humbly present ourselves to the Lord for His instruction. We are too busy.
    2. Sloth-we just don’t feel like taking the time nor making the effort to orient our lives to Him. We are too lazy.
  • Either way, we don’t spend the necessary time and energy to “gird ourselves for battle.” We are then susceptible to the enemy’s deceit and trickery. “All we like sheep have gone astray. We have each turned to his own way (Isaiah 53:6a).”
  • Aren’t we glad for the next half of that verse:
  • “But the LORD has laid on Him [Jesus] the iniquity [sin and punishment] of us all.”
  • With gratitude in our hearts, we get up each morning and welcome Him into our lives. Then, we make this verse very real to us:
  • James 1:21 Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.

    • “Therefore” (what’s it there for?)- We tend to allow obstructions and conflict to make us angry, which “does not produce the righteousness that God desires (v20).”
    • “Moral filth”- This world is filled with it; we must separate ourselves from it. How? By allowing Him to choose what to work on today.
    • “Humbly accept”- He doesn’t need a reason to ask us to give up something or to say “no.” He is our Father; treat Him with the respect He deserves and trust Him to know what is best for us.
    • “The word planted in us”- The Spirit is our seal of salvation->Jesus and the Spirit are ONE->Jesus IS the Word->the Word is planted in us.
    • “Which can save you”- from what? From all kinds of pitfalls, temptations, hidden snares and heartaches–from DAMAGE!
  • Sin destroys us. The Spirit renews us. Let’s be renewed daily even as He tells us we are:
  • 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. [17] For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory [to be just like Jesus] that far outweighs them all. [18] So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen [that which is yet to come]. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

    It’s breakfast time again!

    Proverbs 26 9-26-18

    September 26, 2018

    It’s all about the relationship. God welcomes questions, but we must have a right heart attitude. Let’s remember who is God and who is not!

    [7] Like a lame man’s legs that hang limp is a proverb in the mouth of a fool.

    Knowledge does us no good if we don’t have a relationship with the Father. We may have all the kindling and logs we want in order to make a fire, but without a flame, which is the Holy Spirit, we cannot get the fire started.

    Even more important than knowledge is understanding, which comes from seeing from God’s perspective. We can only get that perspective by walking humbly with Him.

    We would do well to heed These words:

    Micah 6:8 He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.

    Jesus focused the charge to an even finer point:

    Matthew 6:33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness [through obedience], and all these things [physical necessities along with understanding and discernment] will be given to you as well.

    Following Jesus isn’t easy, but it IS simple. Let’s give Him our lives and then commit the next five minutes to intensively live for Him.

    Steven Curtis Chapman wrote these words:

    Next Five Minutes

    I can reminisce about the already

    I can worry and fret about the not yet;

    But when it all comes down I know it really

    Really all comes down to the right now

    So right now

    I’m living the next 5 minutes

    Like these are my last 5 minutes

    ‘Cause I know the next 5 minutes

    May be all I have

    And after the next 5 minutes

    Turn into the last 5 minutes

    I’m taking the next 5 minutes

    And starting all over again

    Starting all over again (Starting all over again…)

    Every moment God is giving is precious

    Every heartbeat; every breath I take;

    We’ll never have them back once they’ve left us

    There will never be another right now

    So right now

    I’m living the next 5 minutes

    Like these are my last 5 minutes

    ‘Cause I know the next 5 minutes

    May be all I have

    And after the next 5 minutes

    Turn into the last 5 minutes

    I’m taking the next 5 minutes

    And starting all over again

    Proverbs 25 9-25-18

    September 25, 2018

    Becoming like Jesus is our goal and our destiny. Being obedient to His Spirit is how we become like Him.

    [28] Like a city whose walls are broken down is a man who lacks self-control.

    I would give anything to be able to “fight the good fight if faith (1 Timothy 6:12)” and live my life with my focus on the Gospel and sharing God’s love; instead, I wind up spending all of my energy and brain usage on self-control. My first inclination for anything is selfish, or, at least, self-centered. Learning to think of others and their welfare first does not come easily. I understand why the LORD saw fit to place His Spirit inside of us: We need His personal assistance if we are ever to succeed in holiness. His residence in us has SO MANY benefits, one of which is that we have the mind of Christ:

    1 Corinthians 2:16 “For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.

    In order to access Him, we must first put off our “old man,” our former selves:

    Ephesians 4:22-24 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; [23] to be made new in the attitude of your minds;

    And put on the new man–Jesus Himself!

    [24] and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

    This task never gets easy. I used to think that as I grew older that it would get easier; instead, what I find is that God keeps reaching down into me and pulling up more “stuff” with which to deal.

    Take forgiveness, for instance. We say we forgive someone, but we cannot shake the memory of the deed or the feelings that go with the memory, so the next time we see the person, we have to work through the process all over again. As we pray for this person and work on releasing hIm each time, we find that, over time, we begin to have God’s heart for that person, which is always compassion. Do we ever forget? Probably not. But we can transform the memory into a “trophy of His grace” if we are persistent. We are ALL trophies of His grace:

    Ephesians 2:7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.

    As we walk with Jesus today, know that we are being fashioned into His likeness–somehow, someway–and that the WALK is the important part. We’d best leave the rest up to Him.

    2 Corinthians 3:18 And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

    Proverbs 24 9-24-18

    September 24, 2018

    Checking with the Spirit on everything, asking and looking for His will in every situation: This is how to walk in the Spirit!

    [1] Do not envy wicked men, do not desire their company; [2] for their hearts plot violence, and their lips talk about making trouble.

    What most people don’t realize that if it is not God’s way, then the way is wicked. The choice is not between good and best or good and right; it’s between God’s way or wickedness.

    We simply don’t know enough or can see enough concerning the future, the Spirit world, or God’s wonderful, overarching plan in order to make an informed decision. So, let’s stop trying, shall we?!

    James put it like this:

    James 4:13-17 Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” [14] Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes [again, we don’t know enough or see enough of the future, the spirit world, or God’s wonderful, overarching plan]. [15] Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that [ask God!].” [16] As it is, you boast and brag. All such boasting is evil. [17] Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins.

    Think about this last verse: Is it about not doing the right thing or is it about not asking what the right thing is? Jesus wants to be a part of every area of our lives. He has a plan that will bless our socks off if we let Him. All we have to do is ask! All the time! About everything!

    Proverbs 23 9-23-18

    September 23, 2018

    What is your life’s goal? What is it you seek? Let’s be wise and trust the LORD to give us all we need.

    [23] Buy the truth and do not sell it; get wisdom, discipline and understanding.

    What is offered out there in the world?

    V1-3 Power.

    V4-4 Riches.

    V6-8 Influence.

    V9 The ways of fools.

    V10-11 Wealth through underhanded practices.

    V17-21 The party scene.

    V26-28 Sexual addiction.

    V29-35 Substance addiction.

    Instead, let’s put our daily faith and trust in Jesus by “applying our hearts to instruction and our ears to words of knowledge (v12).”

    Let’s take our vow to Christ Jesus seriously and follow Him. Let’s worship Him in Spirit (communion with Him) and in Truth (no pretending on our part) today (Based on John 4:23-24).

    Proverbs 22 9-22-18

    September 22, 2018

    Taking inventory of our lives should be a daily affair. We do it every time we read His Word and apply it to our lives.

    [4] Humility and the fear of the LORD bring wealth and honor and life.

    Matthew 6:19-21 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. [20] But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. [21] For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

    Where do these verses intersect? The formula is the same for each, but the aim is different.

    Solomon believed that a humble heart mixed with the fear of the LORD resulted in physical and material blessings. To a great degree, he was correct. But Jesus changed our focus. He took it off this world and placed it on His kingdom, which is heaven. “My kingdom is not of this world…” (John 18:36).

    With this concept in mind, how then shall we live? As a freed people, as a forgiven people (ALL sin: past, present, and FUTURE!), a joyful people, a LOVED people.

    If we really want to know Christ, we will make Him a priority in our lives. Think about it: If spending time with Him in serious Bible Study DAILY will make a big difference in the quality of our lives (the fruit of the Spirit, for instance) and the caliber of our lives (making a kingdom difference in the people with whom we come in contact), doesn’t it make sense to DO IT?

    I pray Paul’s prayer to the Ephesians for you often:

    Ephesians 1:17-19a I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. [18] I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, [19] and his incomparably great power for us who believe.

    Ephesians 3:16-19 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, [17] so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, [18] may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, [19] and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure [the brim] of all the fullness of God.

    God is waiting for us. He wants to include us in what He is doing. Let’s “take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of us.” (Phil. 3:12).

    Proverbs 21 9-21-18

    September 21, 2018

    God has invited us to walk with Him. To take that invitation lightly is to hold our very salvation in contempt!

    [1] The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD; he directs it like a watercourse wherever he pleases.

    The way I see it, we have a choice to be a willing party or an unwilling/unwitting party to what God is doing. Staying close to Him, hanging on His every word, emulating Him in character–He will include us in His plans! What joy we feel, what peace we have when God talks to us! It is, indeed, a privilege.

    We have this passage from earlier this month:

    Proverbs 8:33-35 Listen to my instruction and be wise; do not ignore it. [34] Blessed is the man who listens to me, watching daily at my doors, waiting at my doorway. [35] For whoever finds me finds life and receives favor from the LORD.

    Jesus said it like this:

    Matthew 7:24-27 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. [25] The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.”

    Mary got it!

    Luke 10:39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said.

    Let’s sit at Jesus’ feet today; let’s be included in what God is doing. Be part of His process. Read, pray, listen, & obey!

    Proverbs 20 9-20-18

    September 20, 2018

    The more we walk with the Savior and read His Word, the easier it is to choose His ways. We gain His perspective!

    [3] It is to a man’s honor to avoid strife, but every fool is quick to quarrel.

    This verse is a typical proverb. It has a positive action and a negative action. I learned from a friend yesterday to “look at the root, not the fruit.” The reason we are not like God is because we are still living in our old sin nature. If we want to be like Jesus, we are going to have to work at it–or die, which makes us immediately transformed into His image. In the meantime, we must put some effort into it. It’s our decision every day.

    2 Peter 1:8-9 For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. [9] But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins.

    Paul tells us:

    Ephesians 4:22-24 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; [23] to be made new in the attitude of your minds; [24] and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

    If we walk with the Savior routinely, we will find that He brings up areas on which to work, insights to apply, and attitudes to have/lose. We will find out who we really are:

    Proverbs 20:27 The lamp of the LORD searches the spirit of a man; it searches out his inmost being.

    In our quest to become godly, let’s meditate on His Word today and listen to how the Spirit wants us to apply what we know. Let’s not worry about what we don’t know; He will guide us into all truth in His time and according to His plan.

    John 16:13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes [which He has!], he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come [our next step].

    Proverbs 19 9-19-18

    September 19, 2018

    We show our arrogance when we try to walk through a day without the Spirit’s guidance in the Bible.

    [2] It is not good to have zeal without knowledge, nor to be hasty and miss the way.

    I feel that this verse describes a lot of church people on Sunday mornings. It’s been a week since they last heard the Word–and they didn’t even read it for themselves! Can a person really be born again and be content with staying a baby in Christ?! Can we, once we have met the LORD of the universe, be content to stay acquaintances when He is inviting us to walk with Him and to know Him personally? It makes me wonder if their hearts are really with the Lord:

    Matthew 6:21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

    The phrase, “I’m too busy to spend time in God’s Word,” reveals an arrogant heart. That person is holding God and His Word in contempt and has become a mocker:

    Proverbs 19:25 Flog a mocker, and the simple will learn prudence; rebuke a discerning man, and he will gain knowledge.

    It’s only a matter of time before the enemy catches that person in a snare.

    [27] Stop listening to instruction, my son, and you will stray from the words of knowledge.

    Proverbs 22:5 In the paths of the wicked [those who are willfully disobedient] lie thorns and snares, but he who guards his soul stays far from them.

    Proverbs 19:29 Penalties are prepared for mockers, and beatings for the backs of fools.

    God corrects His children. Pray that He would correct us today through His Word and the Church.

    2 Timothy 3:16-17 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, [17] so that the person of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

    Proverbs 18 9-18-19

    September 18, 2018

    What does it take to live a Christ-like life? Christ! We need Him to show us how. Not interested? Well…

    [12] Before his downfall a man’s heart is proud, but humility comes before honor.

    And, sooner or later, our mouths betray us:

    [18:2] A fool finds no pleasure in understanding but delights in airing his own opinions.

    Then,

    [6] A fool’s lips bring him strife, and his mouth invites a beating. [7] A fool’s mouth is his undoing, and his lips are a snare to his soul.

    If we will humble ourselves, He can teach us. If not, then why did we become Christians in the first place? Christ’s work on the cross was to pay for our sin debt so that we could be re-established in a right relationship with the Father. Upon salvation, we receive a NEW NATURE, one that seeks after God’s own heart so that “we might be to the praise of His glory (Eph. 1:12).” In other words, we are to be like Christ!

    [15] The heart of the discerning acquires knowledge; the ears of the wise seek it out.

    Let’s be wise today and seek God by discerning the Spirit’s voice within us and obeying Him. Let’s use our salvation wisely!

    Proverbs 17 9-17-18

    September 17, 2018

    Awareness and discernment are key to learning. The Spirit gives us both through His Word and conversation with Him.

    [10] A rebuke impresses a man of discernment more than a hundred lashes a fool.

    This verse is a life verse for me. I memorized it ages ago and God has used it in my life to shape me more and more into His image (I still have a long way to go!). He gives me truth from His Word, like:

    Ephesians 4:26-27 “In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, [27] and do not give the devil a foothold.

    It’s easy to read, but impossible to do without the assistance of the Holy Spirit. I am protected in Christ by His Spirit, but I know I have “chinks in my armor” from my own sin nature. My flesh has a predisposition toward sin; my new nature has a predisposition toward godliness. His Spirit gives me both the desire and the power to do His will and to become more and more like Him!

    Philippians 2:13 for it is God [through His Spirit] who works in you to will [my want-to] and to act [the power to do so] according to his good purpose.

    Another favorite of mine is:

    Hebrews 12:11-13 No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.

    My days in track made this verse very real. Hours spent running bleachers and using that sprint machine, then all the practice at the track jumping hurdles paid off during the races. The next two verses were my mantra:

    [12] Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. [13] “Make level paths for your feet,” so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed [capable].

    How do we strengthen and how do we make level paths? By walking in step with the Spirit,

    Galatians 5:25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.

    Let’s accept criticism as constructive and His discipline as life-giving. We want to be as much like Him as we possibly can!

    Psalms 141:5 Let a righteous man strike me—it is a kindness; let him rebuke me—it is oil on my head. My head will not refuse it.

    Proverbs 16 9-16-18

    September 16, 2018

    Satan is the father of lies. He would have us believe that he is strong and that he is right. We know better!

    Proverbs 16:16 How much better to get wisdom than gold, to choose understanding rather than silver!

    Satan offered Jesus all the riches of the world, but He turned them down (Matt. 4:8-10). He knew the One who gives true riches–His Father!

    Proverbs 16:20 Whoever gives heed to instruction prospers, and blessed is he who trusts in the LORD.

    It is the same for us. We may not gain worldly wealth, but we will grow in wisdom and stature even as Jesus did (Luke 2:40). We begin to think like Him, which leads to acting like Him. WE BECOME LIKE HIM! We live our lives with Him in mind. Who knows: maybe we will have the privilege to die for Him even as He did for us!

    Have you counted the cost of following Christ (Luke 14:25-35)? Are you willing to lay down your daily life to follow Him? How about giving your life for knowing Him? Who knows? It may come to that! We must hold loosely to the things of this world and “hold onto Jesus for life.” – SCC

    Let’s ask Jesus to open our hearts and minds to Him today. Knowing Him personally makes all the difference in this world–and the next!

    Proverbs 15 9-15-18

    September 15, 2018

    It’s simple: Guys, use loving words, tone and look; gals, use respectful words, tone and look. Why is it so hard?!

    [1] A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.

    Many times, we get impatient, we have expectations, or have a history, and speak unlovingly/disrespectfully. The recipient of such action then has the choice of responding correctly or to create “the Crazy Cycle.” Thank you, Dr. Emerson Eggerichs for that apt description! Solomon says,

    [4] The soothing tongue brings healing and is a tree of life, but a deceitful [spiteful, angry, cruel, etc] tongue crushes the spirit.

    Our tongues reveal just how immature we are spiritually and emotionally. James called it:

    James 3:2 We all stumble in many ways. If anyone is never at fault in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to keep his whole body in check.

    In other words, it’s next to impossible! But, God wants us to learn and to grow, so He coaches us to break bad habits, let go of the past, and to not have unrealistic expectations of each other, especially if they are unspoken or unmet. What is the standard by which He calls us to live?

    Ephesians 5:33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

    He Himself is the example. For Him, it’s all about the Church, His Bride (Eph. 5:25-27). It is for us, too!!! If we ask Him, He will give us the desire and the power to do His will (Phil. 2:13). The question is: DO WE REALLY WANT TO BE LIKE JESUS?

    Let’s commit to be obedient in this area of our lives. I think that we will see that it pervades EVERY area! Let’s finish well.