GOD OF HOPE

Daily Stop & Thinks

Stop & Think: September 22, 2022

Direction

Coddiwomple: to travel purposefully toward an as-yet-unknown destination. (English slang)

That’s a word that you’ve probably never heard. But it does seem to fit with the definition, doesn’t it? It doesn’t make much sense to start on a journey without knowing where you’re going. That might be okay for a fun vacation, but for a real-life purpose, it isn’t helpful at all. If you aren’t sure where you’re going, seek counsel and ask God for direction.

I cry out to God Most High, to God who will fulfill his purpose for me (Psalm 57:2).

You can make many plans, but the Lord’s purpose will prevail (Proverbs 19:21).

Stop & Think: September 21, 2022

Legacy

If we had to vanish tomorrow, what would we want as our legacy? (Randy Pausch, late educator)

Your legacy is much more than the material things you include in your will. Even the largest of inheritances will not guarantee the success of your heirs. But what will last longer than any material possessions are the character traits exhibited and passed on to your families and friends. Leave a legacy that will last.

Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal (Matthew 6:19, 20).

Stop & Think: September 20, 2022

Focus

Where your focus goes, your energy flows. (Tony Robbins, author and coach)

A lot of us try to multitask, but few seem to be able to do more than one thing at a time. Robbins also says, “Whatever we focus on expands and intensifies.” It isn’t just that you favor one project over another, it’s that the current project just gets bigger, and it requires more and more of your time and resources. Focus on what is really important, giving it full attention until it’s completed.

Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be (Matthew 6:21).

Stop & Think: September 19, 2022

Team Play

If being a team player requires doing what is wrong, you’re on the wrong team. (Source unknown)

We don’t know who said this originally, but it is certainly a suggestion that ought to be understood by every reasonable person. Yet the thought that winning is everything too often overrules a sense of what’s right and fair. Unfortunately, this trend goes far beyond sports teams. But the person with integrity will work hard to bring unity around truth and justice.

What partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? (2 Corinthians 6:14)

Stop & Think: September 18, 2022

Today

Today is more than a square on a calendar. It’s an adventure . . . a quest for character that may determine your destiny. (Charles Swindoll, pastor and author)

Calendars are part of normal life for just about everybody. Whether it’s hanging on the wall by your desk or recorded on your portable device, it’s always there to tell you what’s coming up on your schedule. But Swindoll encourages us to see every day not just as time to schedule events and appointments, but as a gift to be used to learn and experience: simply, to grow.

I am teaching you today—yes, you— so you will trust in the Lord (Proverbs 22:19).

Stop & Think: September 17, 2022

Common Sense

Without the common sense that there is common truth, there won’t be common justice. (Charles Colson, founder of Prison Fellowship)

Many people are asking, “Whatever happened to common sense today?” Whether it’s in politics, education, or society in general, it seems that logic has given place to personal preference. Before his conversion, Colson had practiced a really tough life in the White House, later acknowledging the wrongdoing of his career. Finding absolute truth in the gospel, his changed benefitted us all.

[The Lord] grants a treasure of common sense to the honest. He is a shield to those who walk with integrity (Proverbs 2:7)

Stop & Think: September 16, 2002

Forgiving

To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you. (Lewis B. Smedes, late Reformed theologian)

You have probably discovered the reality of Smedes’ observation. You remember that relieved feeling that came over you when you finally forgave someone for his or her wrong against you. Author Jonathan Lockwood Huie put it this way, “Forgiving is your gift to yourself–the gift of happiness.” Don’t wait for an apology; take the first step to reconciliation and forgive.

Make allowance for each other’s faults and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others (Colossians 3:13)

Stop & Think: September 15, 2022

Love

He whom love touches not walks in darkness. (Plato, 4th-5th  century BC, Greek philosopher)

In the confusion of a fast-paced society where old, familiar terms are re-defined, it’s good to be reminded of values that last century after century. In our time love is most often identified with feelings. “Follow your heart” is the advice frequently given to people torn between love and responsibility. Genuine love, however, considers duty and loyalty as well as deep devotion

Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions (1 John 3:18).

Let love be your highest goal! (1 Corinthians 14:1).

Stop & Think: September 14, 2022

Being Good

No man knows how bad he is till he has tried very hard to be good. (C. S. Lewis, British writer)

The standard for good no doubt varies considerably. But even when we try to be good by whatever measure we choose, we most often discover that we have missed the mark. And the harder we try, the more difficult it seems to really be good. It ought to be evident, then, that we need help to achieve this goal.

For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard . . . For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 3:23; 6:23).

Stop & Think: September 13, 2022

Hurry

Hurry is the great enemy of spiritual life in our day. You must ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life. (Dallas Willard, late university professor)

It’s more than just your spiritual life that suffers from undue haste. How many times have you discovered an error—whether it’s simply a typo in your manuscript or missing an important appointment—because you were in a hurry? In today’s hectic pace, it’s difficult to slow down, but your physical and emotional life as well as your spiritual well-being will benefit if you do.

Enthusiasm without knowledge is no good; haste makes mistakes (Proverbs 19:2).

 

Stop & Think: September 12, 2022

Community

Community is not something you find; it’s something you build. (James Emory White, pastor and author)

White continues: “Community is not something discovered; it is something forged . . . all relationships of worth are products of labor.” Finding the right partner, the right job, or neighborhood is often our goal, but to have any sense of belonging requires effort and perseverance. Finding friends is one thing, molding a community of mutual benefit is another.

Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony (Colossians 3:14).

Stop & Think: September 11, 2022

Perspective

Man is affected not by events but by the view he takes of them. (Epictetus, 1st century B.C. Greek philosopher)

Difficult events do affect us, but our response to them is of great importance. The human spirit can overcome tragedies when people see their trials as opportunities to apply wisdom, experience, and skills directly and decisively. To see circumstances as unjust or beyond our ability is to be defeated. Prayer, work, and determination can go a long way in overcoming.

Jesus: “On earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

The Lord knows how to rescue godly people from their trials (2 Peter 2:9).