What are your goals today?
If you are like most people, some of them are to go to work, maybe you have a project or two to get started on, you need to pay some bills, since school is about to start, maybe you need to purchase some school supplies etc….
But what, is the most important thing to you? For all of us, it should be to seek and glorify God. In the book of II Chronicles 19:3, the Bible says of King Jehoshaphat, that he had “committed himself to seeking God.” I love that verse! Jehoshaphat was hungry for God.
In Psalm 1, the Psalmist says, “How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the path of sinners nor sit in the seat of scoffers. His pleasure, is the in the law of Lord” (Psalm 1:1-3).
What is your pleasure in today? Like Jehoshphat, are you seeking God? Ok, you might ask, “what do I need to do to seek God?” First, commit yourself to the Lord. Second, read God’s word. Third, get involved in a local church.
I encourage you today… put God first. Make seeking God the priority of your life.
Years ago, I was talking with a Minister that I greatly admire. We were talking about an issue and he said, “A fighting man always has to have a fight.” He was right.
I have known some people that just always seem to be upset about something. They always seem to be protesting something. And, while there are times to take a stand on something, we shouldn’t be arguing, protesting constantly.
Proverbs 20:3 says, “Avoiding a fight is a mark of honor; only fools insist on quarreling.”
Notice the verse says “Only fools insist on quarreling.” Jesus said the world will know we are His disciples if we love one another. Let’s take a stand when we need to do but, let’s focus more on loving one another.
Today, each one of us will have thoughts & will say things. Hopefully, most of our thoughts will be good but, because we are human, some of them may not be as good as they should be.
We also will say things. Hopefully, most of those will be good but we may slip & be critical of someone that we shouldn’t be. And, some may even let a profane word fly & immediately regret it.
The Psalmist said, “Let the words of my mouth & the meditations of my heart be acceptable in Thy sight, O Lord my strength & my redeemer” ( Psalm 19:14).
Today, let’s ask the Lord to guard our words & thoughts.
It was Thursday night in Lafayette, La. There were kids finishing summer school at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette. There were people mowing their lawn. There probably were some watching a kids baseball game while others were at home. But there were some that wanted to take in a movie so, they went to the local theatre, purchased a soft drink and pop-corn, went into the theatre and took their seats.
They watched the ads scroll across the screen… they saw a couple of ads reminding them to turn off their cell-phones. They watched some previews. Then, the movie began.
Somewhere around this time, movie-goers heard shots. Some thought the shots wer part of the moview but, they were not. A man who had purchased a ticket like everyone else stood up and was shooting. Before he finished, one was dead and others were wounded. One more died later that night. The killer tried to escape but the police responded faster than he anticipated so, reports are that he took his own life.
As I listened to the news last night, I realized as did many others, that what happened in Lafayette, LA could have just as easily happened in Emerson, Ga where I live or, in the town where you live. Think about it.. if you are sitting in a theatre and this kind of thing happens, where do you? What do you jump behind?
This is a terrible, tragic thing and it’s happening more and more. I remember after 9/11 a government official saying that terrorism was the “new war.” Innocent civilians going about their daily lives are now the target.
This is a reminder to us that life is short. This could happen to any of us. Today, are you certain if this were to happen to you, that would go to heaven? Have you asked Jesus Christ into your heart? If not, please do it today!
Is there someone you need to make peace with? Someone you need to resolve some old problems with? Do it today!
It was just a normal Thursday night in Lafayette until a man opened fire in a theatre… a place people go to relax. It could happen anywhere. We need to be ready.
A thought… on sports…
About an hour ago, I was eating in Chik Fil A. I saw a man standing at the counter and I thought, “That guy looks like the Falcons Head Coach.” He had on large black sunglasses… Yeah, he was kind of trying to go in incognito… until a Baptist preacher busted it.
He took his seat with his wife and daughter. We chatted briefly. Talked about Todd McClure… former Falcon and former LSU Tiger. Then, I asked his daughter, “is it tough being an NFL Head Coach’s daughter?” She smiled a little and nodded. I said “yeah, I understand… my 3 kids are preacher’s kids.” Coach Smith smiled and nodded at that.
Then, I said “But probably tougher on you, ma’am… (looking toward his wife)”… She smiled and said “Well.. I have a box to sit in…”
As I walked out… I thought about Coach Smith. Yeah, like other NFL Coach’s… he did well financially… and yeah, in today’s world, it’s win or move on. But, he’s not just a football coach. That man has a family.. he has a wife… a daughter… who, based on the look on their faces have endured some not pleasant remarks about their Dad and husband.
Now, someone may say, “Well… you know… it comes with the turf.” Really? It does? I’ve been too critical of coaches. I need to back off….maybe more of us do. Yes, I know… you got to win… I understand that. And there are times when coaching changes need to be made.
But we all need to remember… I need to remember… that these guys are human and they have families just like we do. Maybe we need to remember that more.
How do you treat your parents? How do you speak to your parents?
Proverbs 19:26 says, “Children who mistreat their father or chase away their mother are an embarrassment and a public disgrace.” When God created the home, God put parents in the home to provide for and direct children. One of the most basic character traits that everyone needs to learn is respect for authority and parents are in positions of authority in the home. Parents need to teach their children to have respect and children need to be disciplined if they fail to have respect for their parents In fact, parents; if you fail to teach your child to have respect for you, you are sending a child into the world who will have problems with anyone in a position of authority.
Frequently I hear children refer to their parents by their first name. Mom’s & Dad’s… MAKE your kids say “Yes sir & No sir” and “Yes ma’am and No ma’am.”
My Daddy was Robert Earl Potts. I most definitely NEVER called him “Robert Earl.” If I had, I would have probably needed plastic surgery.
Parents… teach your children to have respect. Kids… respect your Parents.
Do you remember playing “ring around the rosy?” It went like this;
“Ring around the rosy, Pocket full of posey’s,
Ashes, ashes, we all fall down!”
I can identify with that because, as a Christian, I fall down We all do.
Have you ever done something that you knew you shouldn’t do… you told yourself not to do it… but you did it anyway? Have you ever failed to do something that you knew you needed to do, it was the right thing to do… but you didn’t do it? I think most of us, if not all of us, have been there.
Paul talked about that in Romans 7. Paul said, “So the trouble is not with the law, for it is spiritual and good. The trouble is with me, for I am all too human, a slave to sin” (Romans 7:14). Did you catch that? Paul said the problem wasn’t with the law… the problem was with him. I can identify.
We are all human. We all slip. We all make mistakes. But, Satan can use that to get in our heads. Satan can whisper, “Are you SURE you are a Christian? A REAL Christian wouldn’t be making that mistake. Are you SURE you are a Christian?”
Maybe you have heard those whispers. If so, we all need to know that just because we are Christians, we are most definitely not perfect. We will slip. We will make mistakes.
There is an old bumper sticker I remember seeing years ago. It was; “Christians aren’t perfect, just forgiven.” Remember that today. Yes, we most definitely should live for Christ and bring glory to His name. But, when you slip, know that you aren’t perfect. Genuinely ask the Lord for forgiveness, get up and move on with the assurance of God’s love for you.