Just For Today
A Daily Approach to Prayer and Scripture
Monday, September 29
“Two people are better off than one.”
Ecc 4:9 NLT
CHOOSE THE RIGHT FRIENDS (2)
Jesus looked at Judas in Gethsemane and said, “Friend, do what you came to do.” It’s hard to imagine what Jesus saw in Judas that made him worthy to be called friend. But Jesus sees something good in every bad situation. And it would help if we did the same. How? Again, Jesus gives us guidance. He didn’t place all the blame on Judas. He saw another force at work: “This is…the time when darkness rules” (Lk 22:53 NCV). Judas wasn’t acting alone—and neither are your attackers. Paul says, “Our fight is not against people on earth but against the rulers and authorities and the powers of this world’s darkness, against the spiritual powers of evil in the heavenly world” (Eph 6:12 NCV). Those who attack and betray us are victims of a fallen world. We can’t place all the blame on them. Jesus found enough good in Judas to call him a friend, and He can help us do the same with those who hurt us. Even though Judas didn’t understand or intend to, he played a vital role in ushering Christ into His destiny. Of the ninety-eight words Christ spoke at His arrest, thirty were about the purpose of God. “It must happen this way to bring about what the Scriptures say…‘All these things have happened so that it will come about as the prophets wrote’” (Mt 26:54-56 NCV). Jesus understood that His immediate struggle was part of a greater plan. He saw the hand of God at work in it. And if you pay attention, you’ll see His hand at work in your struggle too.
Tuesday, September 30
“He will give you the mighty inner strengthening of his Holy Spirit.”
Eph 3:16 TLB
A lady flew across the nation to tell a talk show host how her husband had left her for another woman. The lady, who was young, vibrant, and beautiful, pulled out a photograph and said, “Just look at her. He left me for that!” The host concluded, “Sadly, we’ve been conditioned to think that ‘looks’ are all-important, when, in fact, they’re not.” Nevertheless we keep measuring, comparing, and beating ourselves up because we fall short. If you can’t enjoy who you are because of what you’re not, you’ll never be happy. Advertisers spend billions of dollars getting us to decorate a shell that’s in a losing battle with Mother Nature and Father Time—all in an effort to create what we think will attract others. And when it doesn’t work, we get depressed and wonder what went wrong. Sure, it’s important to look your best, but when you’re obsessed with your appearance you become superficial. And others lose respect for you because they discover that although the box is beautifully wrapped, it’s empty. If you want to know what ultimately wins hearts and attracts the right people, read these words: “I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love…And may you have the power to understand…how long, how high, and how deep his love [for you] is…Then you will be made complete” (vv. 16-19 NLT). That’s the secret to inner beauty!