Just For Today
A Daily Approach to Prayer and Scripture
Tuesday, December 6
“Make every effort to add to your faith…self-control.”
2Pe 1:5-6 NIV
If you’ve the faith to believe, the moment you pray for salvation you receive it. It doesn’t work that way with self-control. Yes, you should pray for it, but Peter writes, “Make every effort to add to your faith…self-control.” It only becomes a reality when you “make every effort” to practice it daily. And here are three areas in life that will test you: (1) Your temper. Having red hair and Irish ancestry is no excuse for a short fuse and an explosive temper. The Bible says, “Better a patient man than a warrior, a man who controls his temper than one who takes a city” (Pr 16:32 NIV). When you lose your temper, you lose respect and credibility with others. (2) Your time. Time is the stuff life is made of, and wasted time really is wasted life. It takes time to build relationships, learn skills, execute meaningful actions, achieve goals, and fulfill plans. A mismanaged life is often the result of mismanaged time. (3) Your tongue. The Bible says, “Let your speech be always with grace” (Col 4:6). Every day brings new opportunities to control your tongue; if you’re wise you’ll take them! And if you must speak, let this scriptural principle govern what you say: “Be gracious in your speech. The goal is to bring out the best in others in conversation, not put them down, not cut them out” (v. 6 TM). Benjamin Franklin put it this way: “Would you live with ease, do what you ought and not what you please.” The word for you today is “make every effort” to control your temper, your time, and your tongue.
Wednesday, December 7
“He made him a coat of many colours.”
HOW DO YOU COME ACROSS?
God gave Joseph a dream of future greatness—one in which his brothers would bow down to him. But when he announced his dream, his brothers hatched a plan to kill him. And to make things worse his father “loved Joseph more than all his children…and he made him a coat of many colours.” Try to see it from Joseph’s brothers’ perspective: “How come he gets special treatment? What’s wrong with us?” There are important lessons here: (1) Be careful how you come across to others; your enthusiasm can be interpreted as arrogance. (2) When God blesses you, it’s always for the benefit of other people. One day Joseph would wear a royal robe and ride in Pharaoh’s chariot, but that was just a fringe benefit. His true calling was to preserve his family lineage, from which would come the Redeemer of the world. (3) You must be generous toward those who have less than you. Joseph’s brothers worked hard and deserved their father’s love too. The coat Joseph wore didn’t mean he was better than they were; it simply marked him as having a different destiny. (4) The coat of his father’s favor didn’t exempt Joseph from hardship. Actually, he suffered more than all of them because of it. Why? Because the level of your assignment determines the level of Satan’s attack. (5) Joseph’s character, not his coat, sustained him through years of betrayal, temptation, accusation and imprisonment. How do we know that? Because he was able to look back and see the hand of God at work: “You meant evil against me, but God meant it for good” (Ge 50:20 NAS).