Our Daily Bread
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.—2 Timothy 3:16
My attempts at fixing things around the house usually lead to paying someone else to undo the damage I caused while trying to fix the original problem. But recently I successfully repaired a home appliance by watching a YouTube video where a person demonstrated step by step how to do it.
Paul was a powerful example to his young protégé Timothy who traveled with him and watched him in action. From prison in Rome, Paul wrote, “You . . . know all about my teaching, my way of life, my purpose, faith, patience, love, endurance, persecutions, sufferings” (2 Timothy 3:10-11). In addition, he urged Timothy to “continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures” (vv. 14-15).
Paul’s life demonstrated the necessity of building our lives on the bedrock of God’s Word. He reminded Timothy that the Bible is the powerful, God-given source that we need to teach and to demonstrate to others who want to be Christ-followers.
As we thank the Lord for the people who helped us grow in faith, we are challenged to follow their example of living out the truth as we teach and encourage others.
That’s the power of demonstration. —David C. McCasland
REFLECT & PRAY:
Lord, as others have demonstrated Your truth to us, may we in turn show it to others.
Growing up, I heard today’s verse interpreted in negative terms. Take sinful thoughts captive and keep them out of your mind. And that is half the battle. But if we focus on the negative implications while ignoring the positive possibilities, it becomes a half-truth. It’s also about capturing creative thoughts and keeping them in our minds. Simply put, it’s about stewarding every idea inspired by the Holy Spirit.
Every dream is created twice. The first creation is mental. Every invention, every business, every building, every painting is conceived in the right-brain imagination first. It’s nothing more than a single-cell idea at that point. The second creation is physical. You make it obedient to Christ via blood, sweat, and tears.
If your dream is a book, you make it obedient with a keyboard.
If your dream is playing professional sport, you make it obedient at the gym.
If your dream is making music, you make it obedient one note at a time.
Your dreams will never exceed your imagination. You can’t achieve what you don’t believe. So idea generation is important. But idea execution is where the rubber meets the road.
I like thinkers. They make me think. And I applaud their ability to plot. But I love doers even more. They inspire me to action. And it’s the plodders, not the plotters, who make things happen.
God isn’t going to say, “Well planned, good and faithful servant.” He won’t say well thought, well said, or well strategized either. There is one commendation: “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
Setting goals is fun and games. Going after them is another matter. Without perspiration to match your inspiration, your dream imagined will turn into a dream deferred.
What do you need to start?
What are you waiting for?
Maybe it’s a diet. Maybe it’s a graduate program. Maybe it’s a church or a business. Whatever it is, the hardest part of finishing is starting. Going after a dream is like riding a bike—you’ve got to get a little momentum to really get going.
Consider this your push.
Where do you stand on the road to execution of your God-given idea?
What if We Created Margin?
If you have ever consulted with a financial advisor, you have probably heard the word margin. In dealing with our money, if we spend less than we make, we create margin. The bigger the difference between what we make and what we spend, the bigger the margin. For most of us, having financial margin reduces our stress level.
Now let’s apply that margin principle to marriage. Marriage can be stressful. We can get into ruts and negative cycles, which over time can wreak havoc on a marriage. Instead, what if we created margin? For example, what if your spouse is always late and every time they are late you respond with a negative comment? “You are always late.” “Can’t you ever be on time?” “I am tired of waiting on you.” These responses will probably get a negative reaction from your spouse and definitely will not create any marriage margin.
What if instead you think of all the things your spouse has to do each day and have empathy for them? Instead of being critical of them when they show up late, you greet them with a hug and tell them how glad you are to see them. Instead of pouting, you set aside their lateness and focus on enjoying the time you have together. Now you are creating margin!
Today’s One Thing:
Creating margin in your marriage begins with you. Look for your opportunity today!
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