Just For Today
A Daily Approach to Prayer and Scripture
Wednesday, August 16
“Let the wise listen and add to their learning.”
Pr 1:5 NIV
In order to keep growing, you must understand three principles: (1) You grow to the extent you give. By giving out, you create more room to grow on the inside. So give until it hurts, and keep giving until it feels good. Always endeavor to leave people better off than you found them, and you’ll be better off too. Solomon said, “The liberal man shall be rich! By watering others, he waters himself” (Pr 11:25 TLB). This epitaph on a tombstone says it all: “What I gave, I have. What I spent, I had. What I kept, I lost.” (2) To accomplish more, you’ve got to grow more. Do you feel stuck spiritually, relationally, career-wise, or at home? You won’t get unstuck by making external changes, like pursuing a new career, leaving your family, or changing churches. Nobody’s keeping you down but yourself. The lid on your life is—you. So if you’re serious about getting unstuck, instead of looking for quick fixes take a long hard look at yourself, accept responsibility for what you see, pray, and decide to do something about it. (3) It’s not enough to dream; you must do. The Tartar tribes of Central Asia are reputed to have used a particular curse against their enemies. They didn’t call for their swords to rust or their people to die of disease. They simply said, “May you stay in one place forever.” If you don’t work daily to improve yourself, that will be your fate too. You’ll end up stuck in the same place, doing the same things, dreaming the same dreams, and never getting anywhere. So keep growing!
Thursday, August 17
“God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid.”
Isa 12:2 NKJV
PASSING THE FEAR TEST
How much of a factor is fear in your life? Go ahead, take the fear test. Circle the number that best corresponds to how you feel. (1) I don’t remember the last time I was really afraid. (2) I am afraid rarely, and only when I or someone close to me is in physical danger. (3) I am a little more fearful than I’d like to be. (4) Fear is a significant factor in my everyday life. I avoid anything risky or dangerous. (5) I’m afraid of many things on a daily basis, and it changes the way I live my life. If you circled number one you’re an unusual individual who doesn’t experience normal fear. You may have to temper your actions with greater discernment and wisdom. If you circled number two, you have a healthy attitude toward fear and you’ve got a handle on it. You should try to encourage others who have a more difficult time with fear than you do. If you circled number three or four, you’re in an excellent position to improve your life by changing your attitude. Begin by identifying the source of your fears, and determining to turn your fear into faith in God (See Ro 10:17). For each area of fear, figure out a positive opposite, and create a plan of action to cultivate that quality. Then focus on what you can control today. If you circled number five, chances are fear is getting the better of you and you’ll have a difficult time overcoming it on your own. So pray and reprogram your mind with God’s Word (See 1Ti 1:7). And don’t be afraid to seek help from a trusted friend or counselor.