June 4 / Proverbs 4 / Luke 21

dr. suess---brains & feet

Proverbs 4:23

Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life. [NRSV, ESV]

Be careful what you think, because your thoughts run your life. [NCV]

Every person is really what he or she secretly admires. If I can learn what you admire, I will know what you are, for people are what they think about when they are free to think about what they will.

Every one of us is the sum of what we secretly admire, what we think about, and what we would like to do most if we became free to do what we wanted to do.

-A.W. Tozer

Proverbs 4:26

Ponder the path of your feet, then all your ways will be sure. [ESV]

Make straight the path of your feet, and all your ways will be sure. [NRSV]

I can’t get over how much I read in the Bible about paying attention. About awareness, focus, vigilance. It just keeps popping up all over the place. Even modern brain science keeps confirming the efficacy of this simple admonition to pay attention to what you’re paying attention to. Think about your thinking. Take a moment to ponder where you are and where you are going. Consider what path you are currently on. Stay awake by thinking about what you are doing. Don’t fall into sleepwalking mode.

I always go back to that brilliant article I read in The Onion years ago entitled, “Studies show That All Of America’s Problems Would Be Solved If They Just Stopped And Thought For Two Seconds.” HAHAHA! Still cracks me up, and yet so true in many ways. We’re so darn busy moving “forward” that we miss the moments and forget what the Gehenna we are even here for.

Take time today to stop and think for two seconds, maybe even three if you’re feeling sassy.

AWARENESS.

How vital I am finding this in ministry.

LISTENING.

Goes hand in hand.

Take a day to just listen. Not only to people, but to God, the birds, the wind, and everything around you.

The word translated “ponder” has the connotation of rolling out, as in a road. Thus some translations render it as “Make straight.” So if we take our own advice and think about this for two seconds………what does the Holy Spirit say to us in this?

To me, I think of the focus and effort required to take the time to remove things, like say, 1st & 2nd grade girls’s toys, from my path so that I can walk straight without stepping on a sharp-edged toy that causes my eyes to pop out of my head and filthy words to emanate from my mouth.

Take the time to ponder your path, where you are going, what’s in your way. Patiently remove the obstacle, the encumbrances. As I consider what is keeping me from walking a straight path to kiss my daughters goodnite, I also think of “What is keeping me from a straight path to following God with all of my life?”

Stop and think for two seconds.

“What is the point of my entire life?” -Sam Blandina

Ask yourself this regularly everyday.

Ponder.

Pay attention.

Luke 21:3-4

He said, “I tell you the truth, this poor widow gave more than all those rich people. They gave only what they did not need. This woman is very poor, but she gave all she had to live on.” [NCV]

“For they gave a tiny part of their surplus…” [NLT]

widows-mite

Following Jesus is not so much difficult as it is costly.

God doesn’t make it especially hard, so that only the strong or smart can do it. It’s simply costly. To whomever, no matter how smart, dumb, rich, or poor they may be. It will cost them.

But worth it.

It costs everybody. And the kingdom of God is available to everybody who wants it. Whoever is willing to count the cost and pay it. And by cost we just mean your time, desire, energy. Jesus already paid the ultimate cost that you could not possibly pay.

So what is it costing you?

If you feel no cost, you may re-evaluate if you are really following Jesus. Because it will always be costly. Just something to think about….

for two seconds….

or three…..

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