A Cue 4 You

motivational-sticky-notes-subway-cartoon-cat-october-jones-thumb290To get to where you need to go, with what you need to have, so you can say or do what needs to be said or done, you most likely use a cue or two. These come in different forms, fashions, and shapes.  They can be as simple as an alarm clock to nudge you out of bed, a sticky note to budge your memory, or an inspirational quote to encourage your daily trudge on the treadmill.

Whether it’s a day planner, an app on your smart phone, or something as simple as a string tied around your finger, these reminders help you develop the habits that lead to a productive life. habitSome of these are as simple as ABCD, and they will help you grow in your relationship with Jesus:

  • A—Always pray. Instead of prayer being an after-thought, make it a priority. Paul instructed believers to “pray without ceasing,” and to not “worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.  And the peace of God, which surpasses every thought, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:6-7).”
  • B—Take time to read your Bible: “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 (Acts 17:11).”
  • C—Make the commitment to trust God: “Delight thyself also in the Lord: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass; and, he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday (Psalm 37:4-6).”
  • D—Learn to discern: “For by the grace given to me I say to every one of you not to think more highly of yourself than you ought to think, but to think with sober discernment, as God has distributed to each of you a measure of faith (Romans 12:3).”

The underlying principle of these steps is the need to trust God, and Solomon outlines the process:

Trust God from the bottom of your heart;

    don’t try to figure out everything on your own.

Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go;

    he’s the one who will keep you on track.

Don’t assume that you know it all.

    Run to God! Run from evil!

Proverbs 3:5-7 ~The Message

How Valuable Are Your Values?

values_1After reading the conversation Jesus had with His disciples in Matthew 16, a question popped into my head:  “How valuable are my values?”

Jesus said, “Those who want to come with me must say no to the things they want, pick up their crosses, and follow me.  Those who want to save their lives will lose them. But those who lose their lives for me will find them.  What good will it do for people to win the whole world and lose their lives? Or what will a person give in exchange for life?  The Son of Man will come with his angels in his Father’s glory. Then he will pay back each person based on what that person has done (Matthew 16:24-27).”

The verses above allow a person to draw several conclusions:

  • Jesus has a greater concern for the size and character of my heart than He does for the square footage and décor of my house.
  • Jesus wants me to focus more on the compassion I display and less on my social status.
  • Jesus isn’t worried about the promotions I’ve received, but He does want me to be pro-motion in the help I give.
  • Jesus will not judge me based on the way I’ve protected my rights but on the way I helped those who have been wronged.

To make a difference in the day and hour in which you live, you need to be different in the way you craft each second of your life.   You need to pick up your cross and follow Jesus.  By losing your life in Him and for Him, you discover the purpose He has for you; and, your values become valuable.

A Compassionate God

psalm34Do you ever have those times when your life looks bleak, and you feel sort of weak?  Seek the Lord is the suggested remedy and advice of Moses for such times:  “You will seek the Lord your God, and you will find Him (Deuteronomy 4:29).” How much comfort do you find in these words of Moses?

Before you get to feeling too warm and fuzzy, let me share the rest of the verse: “You will seek the Lord your God, and you will find Him if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul.”

Just when you think you are about to enjoy life on Easy Street, you have to run into the pothole of obedience.  That’s right:  Obedience is the qualifier to the promise.  According to old Moses, you’ll need to seek God with ALL your heart and ALL your soul if you are going to find God.

Does this remind you of what Jesus said in response to a question about the greatest commandment?  Jesus said it is to, “Love the Lord your God with ALL your heart, with ALL your soul, and with ALL your mind.”

None of this half-hearted saccharine sentimentalism will do.  Jesus said obedience is an absolute essential (John 14:23):

“When a man loves me, he follows my teaching. Then my Father will love him, and we will come to that man and make our home within him. The man who does not really love me will not follow my teaching. Indeed, what you are hearing from me now is not really my saying, but comes from the Father who sent me.”

Obedience is tough work, so when you stumble, fail, and fall you might want to know the rest of what Moses said:

“When you are in distress and all these things have happened to you, you will return to the Lord your God in later days and obey Him.  He will not leave you, destroy you, or forget the covenant with your fathers that He swore to them by oath, because the Lord your God is a compassionate God.”

To help you get through the day, I encourage to you to keep these last two words on your heart, in your mind, and on the edge of your lips:  “compassionate God.”