Just For Today
A Daily Approach to Prayer and Scripture
Independence Day – Saturday, July 4
“Remember the Lord your God.”
Dt 8:18 NIV
TODAY, LET’S REMEMBER THAT!
On March 3, 1863, anguished by the ravages of civil war, Abraham Lincoln declared a Proclamation Appointing a National Fast Day: “Whereas it is the duty of nations as well as of men to own their dependence upon the overruling power of God, to confess their sins and transgressions, in humble sorrow, yet with assured hope that genuine repentance will lead to mercy and pardon; and to recognize the sublime truth announced in the Holy Scriptures and proven by all history, that those nations only are blessed whose God is the Lord…We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of heaven. We have been preserved these many years in peace and prosperity; we have grown in numbers, wealth, and power as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace, and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us! It behooves us then to humble ourselves before the offended Power, to confess our national sins, and to pray for clemency and forgiveness.” God warned Israel: “When…your silver and your gold are multiplied, and all that you have is multiplied…you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant” (Dt 8:13, 18 NKJV). Today, let’s remember that!
Sunday, July 5
“He restores my soul.”
Ps 23:3 NKJV
PRACTICE SOUL CARE
David said, “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul” (vv. 1-3 NKJV). Today car engines are computerized. A light on your dashboard will let you know something’s wrong and that it’s time for a checkup. Your soul will do that too. But you’ve got to pay attention to the signals! Don’t wait until you have a spiritual, moral, emotional, or relational breakdown before you stop and pay attention. When your soul’s thirst is not quenched and its needs are not met, it will seek relief some other way, often a way that will hurt you. You must know when to say “when.” Most of us don’t take breaks that enable us to “restore our souls.” We’re ensnared by guilt, as if stopping would somehow be irresponsible. Or we fear losing ground because we took a minute for ourselves. One of the hardest things in life to achieve is not success, but a sense of balance. So in all your goal-setting and “go-getting,” don’t forget your soul. Even God rested (See Ge 2:2). And if He did, then you need to also. The power of rest is that it allows you to enjoy the journey of life and not just the destination. Indeed, if you don’t learn to walk in the park by choice, you may end up in the hospital by necessity. When God “makes you lie down in green pastures,” enjoy them. When He “leads you beside the still waters,” it’s to refresh and restore you. So practice soul care!