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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Monday, November 2, 2015
Today’s scripture reading:
The first verse of today’s reading can be understood to mean that the final outcome of the plans we make is in God’s hands. If this is so, why make plans? In doing God’s will, there must be partnership between our efforts and God’s control. He wants us to use our minds, to seek the advice of others, and to plan. Nevertheless, the results are up to him. Planning, then, helps us act God’s way. As you live for him, ask for guidance as you plan, and then act on your plan as you trust in him.
People can rationalize anything if they have no standards for judging right and wrong. We can always prove that we are right. Before putting any plan into action, ask yourself these three questions: (1) Is this plan in harmony with God’s truth? (2) Will it work under real-life conditions? (3) Is my attitude pleasing to God?
There are different ways to fail to commit whatever we do to the Lord. Some people commit their work only superficially. They say the project is being done for the Lord, but in reality they are doing it for themselves. Others give God temporary control of their interests, only to take control back the moment things stop going the way they expect. Still others commit a task fully to the Lord but put forth no effort themselves, and then they wonder why they do not succeed. We must maintain a delicate balance: trusting God as if everything depended on him, while working as if everything depended on us. Think of a specific effort in which you are involved right now. Have you committed it to the Lord?
This verse [The Lord has made everything for his own purposes, even the wicked for punishment.] doesn’t mean that God created some people to be wicked, but rather that God uses even the activities of wicked people for his good purposes. God is infinite, and we are finite. No matter how great our intellects, we will never be able to understand him completely. But we can accept by faith that he is all-powerful, all-loving, and perfectly good. We can believe that he is not the cause of evil; and we can trust that there are no loose ends in his system of judgment. Evil is a temporary condition in the universe. One day God will destroy it.
Pride is the inner voice that whispers, “My way is best.” It is resisting God’s leadership and believing that you are able to live without his help. Whenever you find yourself wanting to do it your way or looking down on other people, you are being controlled by pride. Only when you eliminate pride can God help you become all he meant you to be.
We want other people to like us, and sometimes we will do almost anything to win their approval. But God tells us to put our energy into pleasing him instead. Our effort to be peacemakers will usually make us more attractive to those around us, even our enemies. But even if it doesn’t, we haven’t lost anything. We are still pleasing God, the only one who truly matters. (NLT)
Proverbs 16:1-9 – We can gather our thoughts, but the Lord gives the right answer.
People may be pure in their own eyes, but the Lord examines their motives.
Commit your work to the Lord, and then your plans will succeed.
The Lord has made everything for his own purposes, even the wicked for punishment.
The Lord despises pride; be assured that the proud will be punished.
Unfailing love and faithfulness cover sin; evil is avoided by fear of the Lord.
When the ways of people please the Lord, he makes even their enemies live at peace with them.
It is better to be poor and godly than rich and dishonest.
We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.
Peg Foltz (Illinois) titled her story “GOING GOD’S WAY;” here is a portion of Peg’s story:
“. . . How many times have I tried to do things my way and not God’s way? How often, when I insisted on doing things my way, did the results blow back into my face, like the leaves in the wind that morning? But I have found that my progress is not hindered when I decide to listen to God’s words and to follow God’s ways.”
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – God shows us the way; all we need to do is follow.
Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for reminding us that we can trust you for guidance. Amen.
To read the rest of the story in The Upper Room, click on the following link: http://devotional.upperroom.org/
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