Just For Today
A Daily Approach to Prayer and Scripture
Monday, November 24
“He…saw…evidence of the grace of God.”
Ac 11:23 NIV
EVIDENCE OF GOD’S GRACE
Where there’s grace, there’s growth. And where there’s growth, there’s clear evidence of it. The church at Jerusalem sent Barnabas to the church at Antioch, and “when he arrived and saw…evidence of the grace of God, he was glad.” As believers, we should be growing in “grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior” (2Pe 3:18 NIV). And there should be evidence of it! When you accept Christ, He “[equips] you with everything good for doing his will” (Heb 13:21 NIV); you become “a new creation…old things have gone; everything is made new!” (2Co 5:17 NCV). Grace makes you more caring and compassionate, and less critical and judgmental. It makes you slow to speak and quick to consider the other person’s point of view. You’re less likely to react in anger when things don’t go your way, and more likely to put the good of others ahead of your own (See 1Co 10:24). Jon Walker says: “When you become a believer your role changes. You no longer have the job of looking out for your own interests; your job is to represent the interests of Jesus. You are the face of Jesus; showing up in the lives of others on His behalf…in hospitals…at funerals…at weddings…across the table as you share coffee with a friend…You’re on the job for Jesus, and the more you serve others in love, the more you’ll influence them toward Christ.” Paul wrote, “Though I am free…I make myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible” (1Co 9:19 NIV). That’s what it’s all about!
Tuesday, November 25
“Don’t try to disclaim responsibility.”
Pr 24:11 TLB
A woman went shopping one day and came home with a very expensive dress. Her budget-conscious husband was very upset and demanded to know what on earth possessed her. “The Devil made me do it,” she replied sweetly. He asked, “Well, why didn’t you say, ‘Get thee behind me, Satan’?” “I did,” she replied. “But he said it looked great from the back as well—so I had to buy it!” Satan is an expert at distorting the truth by getting us to blame circumstances and other people for our mistakes; that way we never have to take responsibility. But as Albert Ellis observed: “The best years of your life are the ones in which you decide your problems are your own. You don’t blame them on your mother, the ecology, or the president. You realize you control your own destiny.” Florence Nightingale, hero-nurse of the Crimean War, said, “I attribute my success to one thing: I never gave or took an excuse.” When a winner messes up, they admit they were wrong and ask for forgiveness. When a loser makes a mistake, they immediately look for somebody or something to blame. The Bible says, “Don’t try to disclaim responsibility by saying you didn’t know…God…knows you knew! And he will reward…according to [your] deeds.” David constantly prayed about his shortcomings, and his honesty helped make him “a man after [God’s] own heart” (1Sa 13:14). Instead of denying and defending your mistakes, take responsibility, learn from them, and move on. That’s how you grow!