Entries by YMI

ODJ: FOMO

August 20, 2018 

READ: Psalm 37:1-20 

Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires (v.4).

A well-known fashion retailer announced the opening of a new store that contains a spa, bar, hair salon and stylists who guide shoppers in selecting personalised wardrobes that can be ordered online. The store has everything—except merchandise. The retailer has removed its racks of clothes “to keep shoppers from feeling overwhelmed by too much choice”.

It’s hard to feel happy when surrounded by so many options. Psychologists call it FOMO, the fear of missing out. We fear committing to any one person, career or even weekend party, in case something better comes along.

How to be content in a world with so many choices? We can start by not seeking our joy in the stuff of this world. David encourages us to “take delight in the Lord” (Psalm 37:4). The Hebrew word for delight means “take great pleasure in”, and comes from a root that suggests soft, delicate luxury. Just as we might cheerfully sink into warm, billowy sheets and pillows, so we can take exquisite delight in the fine features of our God. When our heart desires nothing but Him, we find that He gives us our heart’s desires. He’s what we’ve been looking for.

David adds, “Commit everything you do to the Lord” (v.5), which can be translated “roll away your way to the Lord”, an intriguing metaphor that suggests giving all of our plans over to God.

Someday we’ll leave this life with nothing but Jesus. When we take delight in and commit our way to Him, we’re able to “be still” in His presence and “wait patiently for him to act” (v.7). Like children snuggling happily with their mother (Psalm 131:2), we don’t worry about what does or doesn’t come our way. Our joy is in the Lord, and we’re satisfied.

—Mike Wittmer

365-day plan: Luke 17:1-19

MORE
Read Isaiah 58:1-14. How do we find our delight in God? 
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When have you felt overwhelmed by the sheer number of your options? How can taking delight in God help put your possibilities in perspective? 

(Check out Our Daily Journey website!)

ODB: In Progress or Completed?

August 20, 2018 

READ: Hebrews 10:5–14 

For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy. Hebrews 10:14

 

It’s satisfying to finish a job. Each month, for instance, one of my job responsibilities gets moved from one category to another, from “In Progress” to “Completed.” I love clicking that “Completed” button. But last month when I clicked it, I thought, If only I could overcome rough spots in my faith so easily! It can seem like the Christian life is always in progress, never completed.

Then I remembered Hebrews 10:14. It describes how Christ’s sacrifice redeems us totally. So in one important sense, that “completed button” has been pressed for us. Jesus’s death did for us what we couldn’t do for ourselves: He made us acceptable in God’s eyes when we place our faith in Him. It is finished, as Jesus Himself said (John 19:30). Paradoxically, even though His sacrifice is complete and total, we spend the rest of our lives living into that spiritual reality—“being made holy,” as Hebrews’ author writes.

The fact that Jesus has finished something that’s still being worked out in our lives is hard to understand. When I’m struggling spiritually, it’s encouraging to remember that Jesus’s sacrifice for me—and for you—is complete . . . even if our living it out in this life is still a work in progress. Nothing can stop His intended end from being achieved eventually: being transformed into His likeness (see 2 Corinthians 3:18). 

— Adam Holz

Jesus, thank You for giving Your life for us. Help us trust You as we grow into followers whose lives look more and more like Yours, knowing that You are the one who makes us complete.

God is at work to make us who He intends us to be.  

ODJ: Being Content

August 19, 2018 

READ: Philippians 4:10-20 

At the moment I have all I need—and more! (v.18).

My life’s been enriched by a friend who’s consistently content. Rather than lamenting what she doesn’t have, she’s chosen to trust Jesus and find deep satisfaction in Him. Through her, I’ve gained a deeper understanding of this valuable quality, and I’ve experienced how wonderful it is to be around someone who displays such deep contentment with God, and with the life and circumstances He’s provided for her.

I’ve also further grasped that contentment isn’t merely a result of our environment or experiences but a state of heart, mind and soul that needs to be cultivated, as the apostle Paul explains in Philippians 4:10-20.

Giving glory to God, Paul humbly shared that he hadn’t always been content, but that he learned to be. To ‘learn’ means to acquire knowledge by studying. In this passage we observe that Paul’s contentedness (in all circumstances—whether in times of need or abundance) increased as He studied God and grew in understanding of “Christ, who gives me strength” (v.13).

Contentment in Christ prompted Paul to affirm the Philippians and say to them, “As you know, you Philippians were the only ones who gave me financial help when I first brought you the Good News and then travelled on from Macedonia. No other church did this. Even when I was in Thessalonica you sent help more than once” (vv.15-17). Instead of asking for more, he was content with what they’d given him.

When we’re content in Jesus, it gives us freedom to extend grace to others. And as we increasingly grasp that He’s the secret to finding joy “in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little” (vv.12-13) we’ll learn, like Paul, to be content in all circumstances.

—Roxanne Robbins

365-day plan: John 11:37-57

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What does Paul say is “great wealth” in 1 Timothy 6:6? Why? 
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How are you learning to be content? Why will you be even more satisfied with whatever you have as you draw closer to Jesus? 

(Check out Our Daily Journey website!)

ODB: Marvelous Maker

August 19, 2018 

READ: Psalm 104:24–34 

How many are your works, Lord! In wisdom you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures. Psalm 104:24

 

As an amateur photographer, I enjoy capturing glimpses of God’s creativity with my camera. I see His fingerprints on each delicate flower petal, each vibrant sunrise and sunset, and each cloud-painted and star-speckled sky canvas.

My camera’s powerful zoom option allows me to take photos of the Lord’s creatures too. I’ve snapped shots of a chattering squirrel in a cherry blossom tree, a colorful butterfly flitting from bloom to bloom, and sea turtles sunning on a rocky, black beach. Each one-of-a-kind image prompted me to worship my marvelous Maker.

I’m not the first of God’s people to praise Him while admiring His unique creations. The writer of Psalm 104 sings of the Lord’s many works of art in nature (v. 24). He regards “the sea, vast and spacious, teeming with creatures beyond number” (v. 25) and rejoices in God for providing constant and complete care for His masterpieces (vv. 27–31). Considering the majesty of the God-given life around him, the psalmist bursts with worshipful gratitude: “I will sing to the Lord all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live” (v. 33).

While reflecting on the Lord’s magnificent and immense creation, we can look closely at His intentional creativity and attention to detail. And like the psalmist, we can sing to our Creator with thankful praise for how powerful, majestic, and loving He is and always will be. Hallelujah!

— Xochitl Dixon

God’s works are marvelous, and so is He.