Observations from today’s readings and today’s S-WOD, Wednesday, 23 June 21:
Ephesians 5:15-16 – “Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.”
Look carefully how you walk, one step at a time. Romans 8:29 points out that our goal is to grow in Christ-like character. Character is formed over time one decision at a time, one step at a time. What you choose to think, say and do in the moment both reveals your current character and shapes who you are becoming – thoughts become decisions; decision become actions; actions become habits; and habits become character, which in turn shapes your thinking. Some people are on a virtuous cycle of Christ-like character development, and others are on a vicious cycle, one step building upon another. Today’s readings say, rather than just envisioning your final destination or who you hope to become one day, watch your step today. Carefully examine the decisions you are making right now, in the little things which become big things over time. The steps you are taking today reveal the direction you are heading and who you are really following.
Make the best use of the time by focusing on today. “Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” (Matthew 6:34) Rather than worrying so much about where God is taking us in life, we need to concentrate on being faithful today. The past is behind you, and the future is yet to be revealed, but today is yours to influence in order to promote a brighter future. Not that we shouldn’t plan, but even long-range plans require daily discipline to succeed. An infantryman’s focus on a long march to battle changes significantly when he knows he is crossing a minefield – no careless steps. Today’s readings warn, “Watch your step!” So, how do we do it? “Be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” (Ephesians 5:1, 2) To walk through today’s minefield, we need to follow Jesus’ lead, and step in his footprints. Jesus, said, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” (Luke 9:23) Denying self, taking up your cross, and following Jesus isn’t a general principle, it is a continuing action. Just as your physical bodies require that your mind never stops working and your heart never stop beating, your spirit requires that you never stop following, one step at a time – “If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit.” (Galatians 5:25)
- Genesis 5:24 — Enoch walked with God….
- Genesis 6:9 — Noah walked with God.
- Deuteronomy 8:6 — So you shall keep the commandments of the LORD your God by walking in his ways and by fearing him.
- Psalm 86:11 — Teach me your way, O LORD, that I may walk in your truth; unite my heart to fear your name.
- Psalm 116:9 — I will walk before the LORD in the land of the living.
- Psalm 26:3 — For your steadfast love is before my eyes, and I walk in your faithfulness.
- 2 Chronicles 6:14 — “O Lord, God of Israel, there is no God like you, in heaven or on earth, keeping covenant and showing steadfast love to your servants who walk before you with all their heart….”
- Micah 6:8 — He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?
- John 10:27 — My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.
- Proverbs 28:26 — Whoever trusts in his own mind is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom will be delivered.
“Cross” Fit S-WOD (Spiritual Workout of the Day) – 23 June 21: Today, keep in step with the Spirit and follow Jesus, one step at a time – one thought at a time, one decision at a time, one word at a time, and one action at a time. Partner with others who are equally committed to walking with Him today.