Just For Today
A Daily Approach to Prayer and Scripture
Saturday, July 30
“Let us not love with words…but with actions.”
1Jn 3:18 NIV
HOW TO IMPROVE YOUR RELATIONSHIPS
Here are five scriptural ways to improve the quality of your relationships: (1) Always show appreciation. Who are the people that really matter in your life? Let them know you love them, and do it often. Practice the ten-to-one rule: ten compliments to every one criticism! Many of us think the best way to help people is to “straighten them out.” No, the best way to help others is to look for the best in them. Dr. John Maxwell calls this “the 101 Percent Principle.” Look for one thing you admire in somebody, then give them 100 percent encouragement for it. That’ll help you to like them, and vice versa. (2) Put others first. “Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men” (Eph 6:7 NIV). If you adopt that mindset in your dealings with others, you will go far in life. (3) Serve others gladly. Talking about how difficult it is to hire and train people, an airline executive said, “Service is the only thing we have to sell, but it’s the toughest thing to teach because nobody wants to be thought of as a servant.” (4) Forgive it, resolve it, and move beyond it. If someone has hurt you and you need to address it, do it immediately. Then forgive it, resolve it, and move beyond it. And if it’s not worth bringing up, forget it and move on. (5) Make time for the people who matter. Don’t give away your time on a first-come-first-served basis. Don’t devote so much energy to “the squeaky wheel” that you shortchange the people in your life who matter most.
Sunday, July 31
“Then Judas, the one who would betray him, said, ‘Surely not I, Rabbi?’”
Mt 26:25 NIV
IS IT YOU?
In a sermon about commitment to Christ, the great preacher Charles Spurgeon said: “I’ve known some who preached the gospel with power, but lived to depart from it altogether. I’ve known others who discharged the duties of deaconship and eldership with considerable diligence, who have afterwards given way to their evil passions. I’ve thought some of them to be the holiest of men. While they’ve been praying I’ve been lifted up to the very gates of heaven; if anyone had said these would one day fall into gross sin, I wouldn’t have believed it. I’d sooner have believed it of myself. Those who seemed stronger than we have fallen, so why not we? Our Lord’s disciples who sat at the table with Him, when they were told that one of them would betray their master, each enquired: ‘Lord, is it I?’ That was a very proper question. There wasn’t one who asked, ‘Lord, is it Judas?’ Probably not one of them suspected him. And it may be that the worst hypocrite in this assembly is the one upon whom there doesn’t rest at this moment a single shade of suspicion. He has learned to play his part so well that his true character hasn’t yet been discovered.” If those words hit too close for comfort, don’t walk—run to the foot of the cross today! Run to the One who, with full knowledge of your struggles and temptations, loves you unconditionally; the One whose blood cleanses you from sin, whose grace can lift and sustain you, and whose power can help you live an overcoming life.