Monday Motivation: You Can Only Wear One Pair of Shoes at a Time

You should see my closet.  Actually, you should see both of my closets.  I have one of my own and share half of my daughter’s just to have enough room to hold all my clothes.  Now, I will be honest and say that when I worked in the golf business, I got a lot of free clothes.  But I still have far more than I really need.  What’s really embarrassing though is how many pairs of shoes I own.  Everyone gives the ladies a hard time for having closets full of shoes, but I’m sure my collection surpasses most.

It may seem obvious, but I’ve come to realize that you can only wear one pair of shoes at a time.  The others just sit there taking up space in the closet, and in some cases, collecting dust because they haven’t been worn in so long.  It’s overconsumption at its finest.

I’m willing to bet I’m not the only one with this problem.  It may not be shoes, but I’m sure many of you have far more of something than you really need.  A far bigger and more expensive house than is necessary.  A huge garage full of over-priced cars that you don’t really need.  A long list of expensive hobbies that you participate in and then stop after only a few months.

Our culture says, “more, more, more.”  When are we going to say, “enough is enough!”  The Bible teaches about the Christian’s attitude towards contentment, and it’s a teaching we would be wise to adhere to.

“But godliness with contentment is great gain, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.”

(1 Timothy 6:6-10)

-Joe

Monday Motivation: Every Day is a Day to Worship

 Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice,
    and let them say among the nations, “The Lord reigns!”
32 Let the sea roar, and all that fills it;
    let the field exult, and everything in it!
33 Then shall the trees of the forest sing for joy
    before the Lord, for he comes to judge the earth.
34 Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
    for his steadfast love endures forever!”

(1 Chronicles 16:31-34)

Today and every day, worship the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength.  You don’t have to wait for a Sunday worship service to glorify God.  While public acts of service are wonderful, you don’t have to do some amazing thing in order to honor Him.  Lift up his name in everything that you do each and every day.

“Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth!
    Serve the Lord with gladness!
    Come into his presence with singing!

Know that the Lord, he is God!
    It is he who made us, and we are his;
    we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
    and his courts with praise!
    Give thanks to him; bless his name!

For the Lord is good;
    his steadfast love endures forever,
    and his faithfulness to all generations.”

(Psalm 100:1-5)

-Joe

Monday Motivation: Grace

“God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”

(Ephesians 2:4-10)

God is rich in love and mercy.  So rich that he sent his only Son to be a sacrifice for us, making us alive for all of eternity.  That grace, that gift is far beyond what our feeble minds can imagine or dream of, and it’s that grace that should cause us to act.  God not only created us, he not only saved us, he has prepared for us good works that we should do in order to glorify him and his goodness.

What are doing today and the rest of this week to show gratitude to God for all that he’s done for you?

-Joe

Monday Motivation: Even if You Don’t

God, I know I don’t trust you the way I should at times.  You’ve asked for my faith and called for me to offer my life in obedience to your will.  You’ve shown your goodness and faithfulness time and time again, and you’ve given me no reason to doubt that you will take care of my needs.  I know you are stronger and wiser than men (1 Corinthians 1:25) and need no one to tell you how to order your creation.

And still, sometimes I find it hard to act in faith in my daily life.  Sometimes, I have fear of the unknown, I have worry about your plan for me and whether or not I’ll ever live up to your expectations.  Occasionally, I’ll act like I have it all together when on the inside I’m stressed beyond belief.

I know I’m not alone.  I know there are other children of you, God, who struggle when facing the trials of this world.  I’m aware that many of us Christians are not carrying on the intimate relationship with you that you so strongly desire.   I know that you long for your children to trust you and to live out our faith in our daily lives. I know that you wait there, offering a shoulder to cry on, making the promise that you will bless us beyond what we could ever imagine.  I know that you wish for us to present every request to you, believing that you are powerful enough to make them happen (Philippians 4:6-7).

But even if you don’t, I still want to obey you.  Even if you don’t, I still long to worship you.  Even if you don’t, I still wish to follow you.  Because, when it come right down to it, God, where else can I go?

Amen.

-Joe

Monday Motivation: Dressed Like Christ

Have you seen Jesus?  That was kind of a trick question because if you are reading this then you’ve never seen Jesus in the flesh.  Even though we’ve never physically seen him, we still have an opportunity to show Jesus to the world around us.  The Bible teaches that Jesus had an unassuming appearance, nothing that would draw our attention to him (Isaiah 53:2).  And yet, he was able to draw multitudes!  How?

I’m sure the miracles had something to do with it, but I think it was more than that.  I think it was what he wore.  Before you think I’m going to discuss the merits of appropriate clothing, it’s actually not Jesus’ choice of attire that I’m speaking about.  I’m talking about what Jesus wore on the inside and how we clothe our hearts and attitudes today.  In Colossians 3:12-15 it says,

“Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, 13 bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 14 And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.”

I believe people were drawn to Jesus for the same reasons they should be drawn to us today.  If we are clothed with Christ, with his demeanor and attitude, others can’t help but notice the difference between us and the world.  Being clothed with Christ means we show…

  • compassion
  • kindness
  • humility
  • meekness
  • patience
  • forgiveness
  • love
  • peace
  • gratitude

Let’s not be the person who may dress in expensive clothing but is only judgmental and downright selfish.  Let’s be the person who has a Christian heart.  If we do, the world will get to see the reflection of Christ which is the way it’s supposed to be.

-Joe

Monday Motivation: Stay Focused

My weeks are so busy.  Every day at work, my schedule is packed so full that I barely have time to think.  I suppose that’s good because it makes the workweek go by a little faster, but it also produces a tremendous amount of stress as well, and I find myself mentally exhausted come Friday.

The other bad part about such a busy schedule is finding time for God.  Even the phrase “finding time” implies that I give God my leftovers instead of my first fruits.  And work isn’t the only distraction in my life.  Just about everything in life competes against God for my attention, and more often than not, God loses out.  He ends up taking a backseat to chores, hobbies, entertainment, and family.  An entire week will go by before I realize that I was so busy with my own agenda that God was nowhere to be found.

“We all want to spend ETERNITY with God.  We just don’t want to spend TIME with him.  We stand and stare from a distance, satisfied with superficiality.  We Facebook more than we seek his face.  We text more than we study The Text.  And our eyes aren’t fixed on Jesus.  They’re fixed on our iPhones and iPads- emphasis on “i.”  Then we wonder why God feels so distant.”

(Mark Batterson- “All In”)

Maybe God feels distant, not because of anything he’s done, but because we’re too busy to include him in our life.  This week, stay focused on God, even in the midst of your busy schedule.  Maybe consider letting a few things go for a while so you can dedicate some more time to worship, Bible study, and prayer.  There’s only so much time in the day.  Make sure God is at the center of how you use it.

-Joe

Monday Motivation: The Majesty of Jesus

“He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.”

(Hebrews 1:3-4)

God speaks to us.  Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.  If you don’t believe me, just read the first four verses of the book of Hebrews.  God has spoken to us in the clearest way possible, in the form of his Son and our Savior Jesus.  Jesus is the exact representation of the being of God made manifest in human form.

Do you want to know what love looks like?  Study the life of Jesus.  Do you want to know how to forgive?  Study the life of Jesus.  Ever wonder what it takes to follow God?  Just take a look at the example of Jesus.  Everything about his life is like looking at God.  That’s because he is God.  The Creator of this entire universe and everything you know in it has walked in your shoes.  He knows exactly what it’s like to have tough days, to face temptation and persecution.  He knows what it’s like to have victories and defeats.  And on top of it all, he gave up a place in heaven (Philippians 2:6-8), to die on the cross for you.  FOR YOU!!!

I can’t think of a better way to start a Monday that to be reminded of what a mighty, majestic God we serve.

-Joe