Today I am reading day 322 of Rick Warren’s Daily Devotional:
God Smiles When We Obey
Psalms 119:33 Teach me your decrees, O Lord ; I will keep them to the end.
Psalms 100:2 Worship the L ord with gladness. Come before him, singing with joy.
James 2:24 So you see, we are shown to be right with God by what we do, not by faith alone.
John 14:15 “If you love me, obey my commandments.
God smiles when we obey him wholeheartedly. That means doing whatever God asks without reservation or hesitation. You don’t procrastinate and say, “I’ll pray about it.” You do it without delay. Every parent knows that delayed obedience is really disobedience.
God doesn’t owe you an explanation or reason for everything he asks you to do. Understanding can wait, but obedience can’t. Instant obedience will teach you more about God than a lifetime of Bible discussions. In fact, you will never understand some commands until you obey them first. Obedience unlocks understanding.
Often we try to offer God partial obedience. We want to pick and choose the commands we obey. “I’ll attend church but I won’t tithe.’ “I’ll read my Bible but won’t forgive the person who hurt me.’
Wholehearted obedience is done joyfully, with enthusiasm. The Bible says, “Obey him gladly.” (Psalm 100:2 LB)
This is the attitude of David: “Just tell me what to do and I will do it, Lord. As long as I live I’ll wholeheartedly obey.” (Psalm 119:33 LB)
James, speaking to Christians, said, “We please God by what we do and not only by what we believe.” (James 2:24 CEV)
God’s Word is clear that you can’t earn your salvation. It comes only by grace, not your effort. But as a child of God you can bring pleasure to your heavenly Father through obedience. Any act of obedience is also an act of worship.
Why is obedience so pleasing to God? Because it proves you really love him. Jesus said, “If you love me, you will obey my commandments.” (John 14:15 TEV)
Today I am reading day 317 of Rick Warren’s Daily Devotional:
When the Future Seems Uncertain
Jeremiah 29:11-13 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord , “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
Proverbs 16:1 To humans belong the plans of the heart, but from the Lord comes the proper answer of the tongue.
Matthew 6:34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Proverbs 27:1 Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring.
No matter what the pollsters, pundits, and prognosticators claim, no one can accurately predict all that is going to happen in the next year, let alone the next few days or weeks. Our best forecasts are just educated guesses.
Change is not only increasing in speed and intensity, but also in unpredictability. How can anyone succeed when the future is so uncertain?
The Bible suggests three timeless principles for facing an uncertain future:
Set goals according to God’s direction. The Bible says, “We may make our plans, but God has the last word.” (Proverbs 16:1 GNT) In other words, planning without praying is presumption. Start by praying, “God, what do you want me to do?”
Live one day at a time. Decide to make the most of each moment of your life to accomplish God’s will in your life. Jesus said, “Don’t be anxious about tomorrow. God will take care of your tomorrow too. Live one day at a time.” (Matthew 6:34 LB)
Don’t procrastinate. Do it now! “Don’t boast about what you’re going to do tomorrow, for you don’t know what a day may bring forth.” (Proverbs 27:1) Procrastinating is a subtle trap. It wastes today by postponing things until tomorrow.
What did you plan to get done last year that you didn’t do? When do you intend to start working on it?
Today I am reading day 119 of Rick Warren’s Daily Devotional:
Cure for Procrastination
Philippians 4:13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
The Bible gives us five actions we can take to stop procrastinating.
Stop making excuses — What have you been saying you’re going to do — one of these days? Things will never settle down. You must make a choice to priorities what is important.
Start today — Not next month, next week, or tomorrow. I want you to write down three things you know God wants you to do. Choose one of those three and decide to start today.
Establish a planned schedule — If you fail to plan, you’re planning to fail. You need to designate some specific time slots each week for the things you need to do.
Face your fears — We hate to admit we have fears because we think they are a sign of weakness. But fear is a sign of humanity. Only fools are not afraid.
Focus on what you gain, not the pain — There are very few things in life that are easy. You must push through the frustration and look at the gain beyond the pain.
Don’t ask, “What do I feel like doing?” Instead ask, “What does God want me to do?”
Jesus never said life would be easy. There will be sacrifice and commitment. But there is tremendous reward when we do the things he calls us to do.
Today I am reading day 118 of Rick Warren’s Daily Devotional:
The Cost of Procrastination
Proverbs 15:19 The way of the sluggard is blocked with thorns, but the path of the upright is a highway.
Proverbs 20:4 Sluggards do not plow in season; so at harvest time they look but find nothing.
When you procrastinate you’re saying one of two things to yourself, “It’s easier to avoid this than to face it” and that’s wrong. The other one is “It will be easier to handle this tomorrow (or later)” and that’s wrong too.
The Bible tells us that there is a cost to procrastination.
Procrastination causes problems — Procrastination takes a problem and makes it a crisis. The longer you wait to start, the harder it is to begin.
Procrastination wastes opportunities – “If you won’t plow in the cold, you won’t eat at harvest.” (Proverbs 20:4 LB) When opportunity knocks, open the door! Take the advantage while you’ve got it. If you don’t, you’ll miss it.
Procrastination hurts people — Laziness prevents us from being loving. Love requires commitment, energy, and work. A lot of people just don’t want to work at being loving; it’s easier to be lazy. Many marriages break up because one spouse — perhaps both spouses – are unwilling to make the effort necessary to save the marriage.
Prayerfully consider the price you may be paying for procrastination.
Today I am reading day 117 of Rick Warren’s Daily Devotional:
Why Do I Procrastinate?
James 4:17 If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.
James 1:8 Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.
Ecclesiastes 11:4 Whoever watches the wind will not plant; whoever looks at the clouds will not reap.
Proverbs 29:25 Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.
Proverbs 18:9 One who is slack in his work is brother to one who destroys.
Proverbs 13:4 A sluggard’s appetite is never filled, but the desires of the diligent are fully satisfied.
The Bible says you procrastinate for one of five reasons.
Indecision. “A double minded man is unstable in all he does.” (James 1:8 LB) Indecision causes you to postpone buying a car, choosing a college, getting married, buying new clothes, changing a job.
Perfectionism. “If you wait for perfect conditions, you’ll never get anything done!” (Ecclesiastes 11:4 LB) If you wait for things to be perfect, you’re going to wait a long time.
Fear. “The fear of man is a trap.” (Proverbs 29:25 LB) Have you been postponing going to the dentist? Or getting into marriage counseling? Ask yourself, “What am I afraid of?”
Anger. “A lazy person is as bad as someone who is destructive.” (Proverbs 18:9 GNT) Procrastination is passive resistance. I don’t want to do it because I don’t like you telling me to do what I have to do. Anger causes us to put things off.
Laziness. “Lazy people want much but get little, while the diligent are prospering.” (Proverbs 13:4 LB) One of the most popular words in America is “easy.” If it’s easy, we like it. If it’s hard, we don’t like it.
The next time you find yourself procrastinating, stop and ask yourself why. Then ask God to help you overcome it so you can move forward and do what you need to do.