Just For Today
A Daily Approach to Prayer and Scripture
Tuesday, July 29
“Through love serve one another.”
Gal 5:13 NKJV
SIMPLY SERVING (5)
In his book The Pursuit of Excellence, Ted Engstrom writes: “I was cleaning out a desk drawer when I found a flashlight I hadn’t used in over a year. I flipped the switch but wasn’t surprised when it gave no light. I unscrewed it and shook it to get the batteries out but they wouldn’t budge. Finally after some effort they came loose. What a mess! Battery acid had corroded the entire inside of the flashlight. The batteries were new when I put them in and I’d stored them in a safe, warm place. But there was one problem. Those batteries weren’t made to be warm and comfortable. They were designed to be turned on—to be used. And it’s the same with us. We weren’t created to be warm, safe, and comfortable. You and I were made to be turned on.” You must constantly remind yourself that first and foremost you’re called to be God’s servant. That way, interruptions won’t frustrate you. “Whenever we have the opportunity, we have to do what is good” (Gal 6:10 GWT). Be sensitive and spontaneous; otherwise great opportunities to serve God will pass you by. “Never tell your neighbors to wait until tomorrow if you can help them now” (Pr 3:28 GNT). Look for small tasks nobody else wants to do, then do them as if they were great things—because God is recording it all. Make yourself available. Don’t fill your time with other pursuits that limit your availability. Be ready to jump into service at a moment’s notice. Allow God to change your plans without becoming resentful. As a servant, you don’t get to choose where you’ll serve. God does.
Wednesday, July 30
“He that believeth shall not make haste.”
DON’T ACT ON IMPULSE!
As twins go, Jacob and Esau were very different. But they quickly learned to negotiate. Have you ever watched children make a deal that favored one over the other? For example, one offers the other a candy bar in exchange for an expensive video game. Well, that same dynamic was at work between Jacob and Esau. Esau had been out hunting and came home exhausted and hungry. Nothing mattered to him except food—and certainly not something as remote as a future inheritance. In a moment of weakness he said, “I am about to die…what is this birthright to me…So…he…sold [it] to Jacob…[for] bread and stew” (Ge 25:32-34 NKJV). It was a decision Esau would live to regret, and couldn’t undo. Recovering addicts are taught the importance of observing their H.A.L.T. sign. When they’re Hungry, Angry, Lonely, or Tired, they’re in danger. And so are you! Acting on impulse will cause you to: (1) buy stuff you don’t need at prices you can’t afford; (2) react before you get all the facts, resulting in a loss of respect, opportunities and good relationships; (3) compromise your character for a few moments of sinful pleasure; (4) quit in the middle of the race, or worse, on the threshold of victory. The Bible says, “He that believeth shall not make haste.” When you make choices based on short-term gratification rather than life-long convictions and goals, you always lose out in the end. So don’t take the deal; don’t trade your God-given destiny for momentary gratification. Be patient and hold fast. When you do, God will bring your dreams to pass in ways that honor instead of diminishing them.