Are the things of the Lord on your to-do list?

July 1, 2021


Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

“These are the things you are to do: Speak the truth to each other, and render true and sound judgment in your courts; do not plot evil against each other, and do not love to swear falsely. I hate all this,” declares the Lord.
(Zechariah 8:16-17 (NIV))

How many people make to-do lists? Are you one of them? What do you find yourself putting on these lists? Do you actually accomplish the things that you put on the lists? I realize that this is a lot of questions for what many people consider a simple thing, but did you realize that God has created a few to-do lists for us? God has told us what we are to do many different times in human history, but we have failed each time.

God only had one item on His original to-do list for us and Adam and Eve couldn’t do that. We all know the Ten Commandments and probably what stands out most about these is that eight start by telling us what not to do and only two directly tell us what to do. Of all the commandments and the laws that are recorded in the Old Testament, I love what Jesus answered to a question that was probably asked to trick Him.

One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”

“The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”
(Mark 12:28-31 (NIV))

The whole history of humanity is how God provides instructions on what we are to do and then we fail miserably or go in the opposite direction. Human history would not be complete without those who do try to do what God desires, but we still fail. These simple things that we are asked to do or not do are the things that God calls righteous. When we do not live up to these standards, we have missed the mark. We have sinned.

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
(Romans 3:23 (NIV))

We are not capable of completing a simple to-do list, but by the grace of God we have been given a way to overcome our shortcomings so that in God’s eyes every box is checked.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
(John 3:16 (NIV))

Once you check the box next to “Accept Jesus as my personal Lord and Savior,” God sees Jesus’ righteousness in place of your sin. Once you have made that choice, you will have a daily struggle to check the other boxes with what God desires of us, but the Holy Spirit will guide you. Some days you will check many boxes while other days you will be lucky to check one. No matter the outcome of the day, you must always turn to the Lord and repent of your shortcomings and pray that you can keep your eyes focused on Jesus.

Are the things of the Lord on your to-do list?

Copyright 1998 – 2021 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Do you see yourself in this list?

April 24, 2018


Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.
(2 Timothy 3:1-5 (NIV))

What is it about human nature that makes us want to make lists? What is it about human nature that makes us want to place ourselves right at the top of the lists that we make?

We like to classify and identify almost every aspect of our lives as well as the lives of others. Have you noticed that if someone likes to make lists of the faults of others, they are usually trying to hide their own faults? We like to think that by pointing out the problems in the lives of others, we draw attention away from our faults and make ourselves look much better than we truly are. In essence, we like to toot our own horn! We like to be the center of attention.

Does this sound anything like the characteristics listed in the passage above?

We are told the characteristics that people will possess in the last days. In today’s world, are people lovers of themselves and lovers of money? Are people boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient, ungrateful and unholy? Are people loveless, unforgiving, slanderous, lacking self-control and brutal? Do people love good or are they treacherous, rash, conceited and lovers of pleasure? If you answered yes to these questions, then by logical reasoning, what can you claim is true of the times in which we live?

As previously stated, people like to make lists. God also makes lists. He has defined the characteristics that He despises in humanity and how they will be very evident in the last days. These are characteristics that we do not wish to possess. This is a list that we do not wish to be on.

Do you see yourself in this list?

Copyright 1998 – 2018 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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