Hugged Your Family Today?
Did you hug your children before you left for work today? How about telling your spouse that you love him, or her? If you don’t have children or are not married, did you tell a friend how much you value their friendship?
If you didn’t, you missed a wonderful opportunity to strengthen your relationships with them. Perhaps you were just too busy or something else had your attention. Yes, this happens to all of us at one time or another. However, can we ever justify being too busy or too distracted to focus for a few moments on a loved one? Just maybe your day would have been better if you had taken the time to tell someone how much you love them.
It’s a good thing that God is never too busy or too preoccupied to tell you how much He loves you. Even when you don’t think that you deserve it you do, for His love is unconditional!
Give it a try this week and see what happens; you might be surprised.
Scripture: John 3:16
This Year, Whose Time?
Who will control your actions this year – the world, you or God?
On the surface the question seems trivial but it’s not. We do well when we operate according to God’s plan for us but not so well when we allow ourselves and/or the dictates of the world to control our actions and how we spend our time.
The issue here is two-fold. The first is discernment. We have to know His will for us and we do this by asking for it in prayer. The second is patience as we wait for Him to unfold that will.
So, how did you do last year? Was it a year of seemingly constant struggle? If so, then why not try a different approach? Try making God a part of your plans and see what happens.
Life In The Balance
There is no doubt that we live in difficult times. There are forces, sometimes self-imposed, that tend to throw us off balance. We’re living and breathing but that’s about all.
So why is this? How have we let our lives get so out of control? Perhaps we’re chasing after the wrong things – things that we think will bring peace and contentment but can only fail to deliver.
Jesus spoke of the danger of doing this. He said that man cannot served mammon (that which separates us from God) and God at the same time. He further said that if we attempt this, we will wind up serving one and hating the other.
He’s saying that we can’t have everything. We are free to decide which one, but serving both is out of the question!
So, if you find yourself just existing then perhaps you need to decide – mammon or God. Who should I serve and why? A little prayer might just be in order here.
Scripture: Deuteronomy 5
How Large Is Your Plate?
A question that each person must constantly ask is: how large is my “plate” not in terms of that amount of food that the dinner plate can hold but in terms of how I can use my time and talents.
It’s not uncommon to take on too much in the way of commitments. After all its just a little request, and I can tough it out for a while. We tend to forget at times that we need to prioritized our resources in order to remain healthy.
If we don’t, or are unwilling to do so, then something has to give way. All-to-often its relationships with family, loved ones, and God. We allow one, or more, of our relationships to suffer thinking that we can go back later and repair the damage; but do we?
The solution is a simple one – reduce the size of your plate. Prioritize what needs to be there and be selective as to what can, or should, be added. Allow nothing on that will result in something more important to be pushed off.
Need help in doing this? Go to God in prayer.
Scripture: Exodus 20:1-17 (noting the order in which He presents His commandments.
We live in a world in which technology is as much a part of the fabric of living as breathing. We’ve come a long way from the technology days of David’s sling that slew Goliath.
This technology by itself is neutral – neither good nor evil. It just exists, ready to be put to use. While God doesn’t speak to its existence, He does speak to how it is to be used – for good or evil.
It can be used in either realm – benefit or harm, good or evil. The computers that are the heart of the diagnostic tools available to your physician are certainly well within the realm of benefit. Those same computers, however, can be used for evil, doing harm and causing us to step away from God.
The point here is that this technology, no matter how powerful it is or will become, is only a tool. Therefore, the question is not the technology but the intent of the one who uses it. Do I use it to glorify Him or the world?
Scripture: Matthew 25:31-46
Over the years you’ve been blessed by the many relationships that you’ve encountered. As you look back over them, you see that they are a living reminder that life is all about relationships.
Most of our relationships are transient and for the most part enjoyable. However, there is one relationship that is permanent, joyful and by far the most important of all – our relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ. He brings a love to the relationship that is strong. So strong, that He willingly died on the cross so that you and He can continue your relationship for all of eternity.
So, the next time one of your relationships is not going as well as you think that it should, think back to what He did to ensure that His relationship with you went the way that it should. He gave everything to make the relationship with you work; can you say that you’ve done the same?
Scripture: Acts 10:43
Life’s Only Constant
The only constant in life is change, or so a very wise man once said. At first-blush you might think that he was just being funny, but history teaches us that he was spot-on with his observation. The world of today is no longer the same world as it was even a few short years ago.
There is one aspect of life, however, where his observation is not spot-on. In amongst the changes in our lives, there is one facet of life that has not changed – God’s word and His love for His children.
Our understanding of right and wrong, good and bad, acceptable and unacceptable may have shifted over time, but His word and His love for His children has not!
His love for each one of us is the same now as it’s always been: at times soft and comforting and at others, hard and demanding. Yet, in all of His dealings with us, this foundation has never changed.
Scripture: 1 John 4:19
Time For Your Children
When was the last time that you took the afternoon off to spend with your kids? Been a while has it!
As important as your work is, spending time with your kids is by far more important. We need to play with them, to read to them, and to show them what is important to us. We call this teaching and it’s important because if you don’t teach them, who will? If you don’t teach your kids, there are those who are more than willing to do so; most likely with lessons that you do not want them to learn and over which you have no control.
Jesus took time as a part of His public ministry to be with His disciples. Indeed, these were important times in His ministry. It was during these times that the disciples came to know Him, not just as a Rabbi, but as a fellow human being. They came to know what was important and what was not, what was acceptable and what was not.
He was investing in the future of His Church by investing time in these twelve men. Isn’t this what we do when we take time away from work to be with our children? Aren’t we investing in their future as well as ours?
Scripture: Proverbs 5:7; 7:24; 22:6
Communication, THE Problem in Marriage
If you were asked the question of what is the most commonly found and frequent problem in any relationship, what would you say?
The answer is poor, or nonexistent, communication. It takes time and effort to build a strong and vibrant relationship; and most, if not all, is best spent in building open and strong paths of communication. The only way for you to truly accomplish this is always be there and “plugged-in.”
But I’m always texting and communicating. Well, you may be passing information, but you are not communicating. You need to hear the other person’s voice and see his, or her, body language. You need to be present in the same space for the meaning of what is being said is not found just in the words alone
Just keep in mind that being present and “plugged-in” is how Jesus communicated. Don’t you think that the other party in your communication deserves the same?
Scripture: 2 Peter 3:1-12