I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed. —Michael Jordan
Where do you need to step out and become uncomfortable?
One of the first Christian principle I learned was the exchanged life based on Galatians 2:20. Bottom line, I have exchanged my dead body for Jesus’ alive body. Because of that, my old self has no rights, but my new self has the riches of heaven. One way my old self will rise up is in the area of justice and making things right. That is not my job.
This proverb tells us that the liar will not go unpunished and his lies will cause him to perish. I need to die to myself and my desire to distribute justice on my timetable and trust that in due season, this proverb will be fulfilled. Many times, I fail but when I do trust in the Holy Spirit and not myself, the truth comes out. May I have the patience and the faith to keep in my lane and trust the Judge to do His work.
And if it still doesn't work, keep working.
In 2005, I had the honor of spending a weekend with 50 or so amazing women. One of those women was Vonette Bright, co-founder along with her husband, Bill, of Cru (formerly Campus Crusade for Christ.) At one point in the weekend, I asked her, “How can I pray for you?” Her immediate response was, “Please ask the Lord for continued favor.” Since that time, it has been my #1 prayer request as well. When we have favor, life just seems to go easier. Not all problems are taken away, but the challenges of life are reduced. May we all live lives that prompt the Lord to bestow favor upon us with Him as well as those we encounter along the way.
As one who has the gift of persuasion, I have to be ever mindful of this verse. Is what I am saying truth or just flattery? Am I just buttering someone up to get what I want but do I truly believe what I am saying?
May my lips be used to edify and encourage others and at times speak truth in love but never used for manipulation.
Definition of insanity comes to mind as well.
Whenever I read this proverb, I think of baseball pitching legends, Roger Clemens and Andy Petitte. Both men were accused of using Human Growth hormones (HGH) during their time as Major League players. Petitte confessed that it was true and though his name was sullied just a bit he continued on without much fanfare. Meanwhile, Clemens denied it and ended up going to trial on perjury charges which lasted 10 weeks. In the end he was found not guilty but there is still a cloud around his name and the supposed use of the HGH. Regardless of whether or not Clemens used HGH, I see the value of just confessing my transgressions and deal with the fallout. I have learned that owning up to it is better than deflecting or denying.
Do it afraid!
In the Bible, the king represents the authority in your life. In this proverb, the writer is saying that God controls the heart of your authority and He does it in the same way He turns a river. A river is turned through time and pressure.
Often, I will say, “God, give me the time and I will put on the pressure.” But usually His response back is, “You give Me the time and I will put on the pressure.” This is always the wiser course.
I probably quote this verse at least once a week. When relationship difficulties happen, or the challenges of ministry occur, or the hassles of traffic frustrate me, this verse (if I am being Spirit led and not fleshly led) will pop into my mind.
I wouldn’t have any difficulties if I did not have people in my life that I loved and cared for and whom feel the same way about me. Ministry challenges would disappear if I didn’t have any ministry. Traffic would not be frustrating if I didn’t have a car or a place to go.
No oxen, no problems but the oxen are what brings in the crop. We sometimes have to deal with the manure to get to abundance.
You will be so glad you did!
Last month, I heard a definition for insight that was well, rather insightful. Insight is information that is beyond the obvious. As I read this verse, I immediately thought of that definition. What a blessing it is when we go to our trusted advisors and tell them our problem and they are able to clearly communicate a solution that we never even considered. This is insight.
I call these moments “golden ticket” moments and they sometimes happen not even when you are seeking advice. We are in a meeting talking about business and someone says something that is exactly what we need to hear concerning an issue at home. We are listening to a podcast on one topic and the teacher casually mentions something and the proverbial light bulb goes off and you can apply it to a totally different situation.
May we strive to be people with golden tickets for others.
Review your habits today and stop some and start new ones.
There is a good chance that despite it just being Halloween, the Christmas decorations are out at the store and the sales circulars are already arriving in the mail. And if we are not careful, the commercialism may just take over the true meaning of the season. Jesus came in the first advent because we all were poor…poor in spirit. We were lost and needed a Savior. I am so glad He saw my need and chose to meet it.
Several years back I learned about theAdvent Conspiracyand its mission to celebrate Christmas more humbly, beautifully and generously. In 2016, thisvideoreally grabbed my heart. (Note: the number is now $600B.) Check it out and let’s start today making sure we keep our hearts in tuned to the first Advent and our poverty apart from Christ. And may I be the first in 2018 to wish you Merry Christmas!
Go do right now what you have procrastinated on for weeks.
In this proverb God does not say, “I will rescue them, or I will hold back those who are stumbling.” He expects us to do it. Now we know that we can only do anything for Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit but we are the hands and feet that actually do the work.
Today, look around you and see what work you need to be doing for Him. Seek His face to find out what work He planned for you before the foundations of the earth and then go about doing it. You are in this generation and at your specific geographic location for a reason. Take full advantage of it!
Let’s get started on greatness!