|Good morning everyone,|
Our theme for this month: “Steadfast and immovable”
Our Bible verse for today: “As long as I have life within me, the breath of God in my nostrils, my lips will not say anything wicked, and my tongue will not utter lies.” Job 27:3-4 (NIV)
Our thought for today: “A long obedience in the same direction”
One of my favorite Christian authors is Eugene Peterson. One of his best and most helpful books was, “A Long Obedience in the Same Direction: Discipleship in an Instant Society”. As the name implies, the purpose of the book revolves around the truth that discipleship is a discipline that takes time. In fact, it takes a lifetime. A person must want to grow in Christ, and then that person must apply him or herself every day to the basic disciplines of prayer, Bible study, worship, service, and the other practices that the Holy Spirit uses to mold and shape us spiritually. It is “a long obedience in the same direction”. It takes determined effort, applied consistently, over a lifetime.
This morning I want to return us one more time to the example of Job from the Old Testament. He is a study in being steadfast and immovable – but not just during his time of suffering. Job was steadfast and immovable before and after the circumstances which are the focus of most of the book. Remember what the author said about him in 1:1, “This man was blameless and upright; he feared God and shunned evil.” And in 1:8 God Himself said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.”
Job had obviously been diligent and resolute in the practice of his faith long before he was ever faced with the major trial of his life and therefore, he was ready for it when it came upon him. The editors of the “Every Man’s Bible noted, “God’s presence is so penetrating in Job’s damaged life that he can still conclude that God lives and redeems his own.” They were referring to Job’s declaration in Job 19:25-26, “I know that my redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand on the earth. And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God.”
If we live long enough, each of us will face major trauma and trials in life, probably multiple times. Are you ready for it? Will you be steadfast and immovable in the middle of it? As people observe how you handle it will the synonyms for steadfast and immovable come to their minds, “steady, intent, constant, dedicated, reliable, grounded, uncompromising, unyielding, tenacious, resolute, anchored, unflinching, unwavering, determined.”?
Now is the time to prepare for then. A long obedience in the same direction when times are good, helps us to be ready for when times are not so good. I encourage you to be prepared.
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