"To be conscious that you are ignorant of the facts is a great step to knowledge." Benjamin Disraeli. In most everyone's life, there is a time when you think you know everything. A time when for some reason you believe that you have figured things out. This is dangerous and rooted in all evil. This is also a danger that is becoming increasingly common. The reality is that compared to the amount of knowledge and experience that exists, we know almost nothing. I remember when I was 19 years old I came to a shocking realization. I was sitting in a coffee shop, next to a man who was advanced in years. We began a conversation, and I quickly became aware that this man had not only been to many places but that he was very wise. After just a few minutes of discussion, I had a wave of humility come over me. It hit me like a pie in the face. The thought entered my mind, "I am nineteen years old and feel like I know a significant amount of information and I have had a lot of experience. This gentleman in his eighties obviously had a great deal more knowledge and experience than I." In that moment, the reality sank in, that I had much to learn. When we think we have all the information in any given field we are at a loss. There will always be more knowledge, and there will always be someone who knows more. When we realize we have much to learn, we then can be ready to grow.
Pray: Today ask God to give you the heart of a student. Willing to learn, and humble in your heart. Pray that God will put people in your life that will help you be humble and willing to learn.
Read: Proverbs 4
Journal: What is God trying to tell you through Proverbs 4? Do you need to stop learning? What can you commit to doing to increase your understanding?
Oh, my! Oh, My! Today is the day my friends. It is the day of Love. On Sunday my stunning wife and I went to a valentines dinner at our children's school. It was sure to be a good night until we got there. We got out of the car and there was the teacher's husband, rose in hand. I immediately commented, "Sure why you gotta make us all look bad." See I did not have flowers for my wife. He was probably looking pretty good in his wife's eyes that night. Are you ready for this yearly consumer driven holiday? We speak of this day as a day of love, but what does love really mean? Does it mean chocolates in a heart shaped box? Does it mean teddy bears? I would say not even close. Yes, romantic gestures are helpful in a relationship, but it is hardly those gestures that keep loving growing. Love is a choice, made over and over throughout time. You choose to love. Love is....
Read: 1 Corinthians 13, Ephesians 5:1-14; 25-28
Pray: Pray with your loved ones today. Pray for your loved ones today. Thank the Lord for those people that you love, that he brings into your life.
Journal: Think of 5 things you can do today to show others that God loves them, whether random or focused on a specific individual. Show God's love today.
Has our morality gone to the toilet? Has society lost its mind? I think about the things that have happened over the last decade. The wars, the school shootings, the problems with sex trafficking, I think about the shows on TV, the Movies that are being made, the difference in video games since, even I was a kid, and I am not even that old. 36 is hardly what I would call old. It makes me wonder, is our society falling apart? You are what you eat right? If our minds are soaking in all this stuff, its no wonder things are becoming so crazy. When I was younger you would never find nudity or profanity on TV, but now it is common if you are up after 9. So what do we do?
Read: Proverbs 4:20-27
Journal: What does this section of this little chapter tell us? What is God trying to tell us through these verses? Focus on vs 23 for just a minute or too. Ask God to speak to you. What does this make you think about? How does this make you feel? What are you going to do about it?
Pray: That God will help you come to understanding about what you are going to do?
Read Philippians 4:6-8
Epic thought: On my blog this morning, we talked about an experience of peace that I had. The peace came from God. We look to many things to find peace and some can help, but the only place that you will find lasting rest is in Jesus. One of the things that I have found helpful in my walk is to separate myself from the things that cause stress. If Facebook is stressing me out, I take a break. If there are two many things to think about at work, find a place of solitude, and pray. The daily grind in our world is so busy, from traffic to social media, sometimes we just need to slow things down. We have too much time clutter. It's time to take it easy.
Today find a place of quiet for at least 30 minutes. Spend at least five minutes enjoying the peace, quiet, and boredom. Enjoy this restful moment. Then read.
Read: 1 Peter 5:7
Read: Slowly read Psalm 25
Journal: Look for peace in this Psalm 25. Ask God to show you peace. What do you find?
Pray: Today ask God to guide you to find peace, to help you remove the things from your life that are making you stressful and anxious.
Blessed are those who dwell in Your house;
The Bible tells us that the body is the temple, (the house) of God. If God is dwelling in your temple you will find rest. Today ask God to live in you, and to bring you peace.
Epic thought: Is Facebook our societies soapbox? Do we feel as though our rants are building our society up? Or has the divisiveness segregated us as a people? I find myself having to turn down the Facebook noise and focus on things that are uplifting. It is almost as though we have to develop some kind of filter that sifts through the things that make us mad. Sometimes I have actually found posts stressing me out to the point where it may even be hard to go to sleep. Fortunately, I have never had a hard time falling asleep. For me having a hard time is lying awake for 15 minutes. I find the verses below give us amazing guidance in situations like the modern social media rat race. It is good however to be able to learn to block out many of the things that the world puts in front of us. Instead, I try to realize that there is one way to always be lifted up.
Read: Psalm 31:1-7
Read over it once. Then read it again, slowly, ask God to show you what he wants you to see in each verse.
Read: Psalm 121 (My favorite)
Journal, what do these two psalms say about God, and our perspective?
Pray: Today would be a great day to pray for added peace. I don't know what your situation is like. But it does seem like we all could use more peace. Almost everyone I talk to is too busy. Today focus on slowing things down and having a day of rest. A day of peace. Lord give us rest in you. Peace be still.
Epic Thought: There are defining moments in our lives. There are times when the decisions we make change everything. Sometimes those decisions are made quickly, and sometimes they are made with time. However they are made, they change our lives forever. I remember several moments in my life that changed everything.
When I decided to follow God's call and switch my college major to theology, (the study of God) it changed everything. When I first talked to a girl from North Carolina on the phone, that I had met on the internet, I felt as though she would be the woman I would spend the rest of my life with. I could have turned and ran (she could have turned and ran). When I met her in person for the first time, I said in my heart, this girl is worth it. When my wife and I decided to have children it changed our lives forever. There is one decision that will always be rooted in me as the one that made me who I am. Wrapped up in a life of drugs, one bad decision after another was made, then one day I made the first good decision I had made in a long time. I called out to God for help. He saved my life. Since then has given me the happiness and the fulfillment that you can only find in Him. These are the decisions that change everything. As we talked about earlier in the last week Noah made a decision to trust and obey God. Today may be a day that you make a decision to change your life. Will you do what it takes?
Read: 1 kings 19:19-21, Matthew 13:44-46
Journal: Elisha leaves his rich farming family, and gives up that life for a life of faith. In order for Him to really let go of that life, he had to destroy his other path. In your life is there something that is keeping you from fully committing to God. Are you holding on to anything you should not be? In the stories from the book of Matthew, the two people sold all that they had to invest in the ultimate treasure. What does this mean in your life?
Pray that you will be willing to let go when asked? Pray that God will give you a chance to serve Him completely. Pray for 5 people who you know need prayer today.
Disclaimer: Before you start reading this I want to warn you that this Daily walk entry may challenge you. If you don't want to be challenged you may be in the wrong place. Are you up for a challenge?
I am Canadian, to most people, this means I love hockey, and snow, to some it may even mean I grew up in an igloo. When many think of Canadians, they think of dog sleds. Yes, we say, "eh!" and ouwt (Canadian pronunciation of the word out), yes we are an accepting people. Yes, we say sorry and are known as a polite people. Many of these are just stereotypes. Yes, I love snow and hockey, but I never even saw a real igloo until I learned how to build one in college (Yes they teach that in college). It was a course on winter camping, for an outward pursuits minor I was taking when I got my B.A in Theology. I bring this up to you, as we all stereotypes. This is the sad reality of the world we live in. Is it terrible to stereotype, it can be. However sometimes it a good thing if you agree with it and its right. But if it's wrong, it can be insulting. Do I care if you think all Canadians love hockey? No, not really. But someone who is Canadian and hates hockey may be disturbed by it. The reality is we live in a broken world but does this excuse us from our wrongs? Of course not. The beautiful thing is that one day soon Jesus is coming back to make all things new, and there everyone will be Canadian. Just kidding. But yes things will be made right. Jesus came in the first place to right our wrongs, to show us how to love each other. This is what He was about.
Pray: Today, pray that God will guide you to understand what it means to look at people for who they are, and not for the stereotype that we may want to put on them. Pray that God will help you to look at them as loved children of God. American, Canadian, Syrian, Mexican, Kenyan, French or Russian. Pray for 5 people today that you have been praying will come closer to Christ. Pray for one person that you have a hard time loving.
Read: 1 Corinthians 13:4-8, 1 John 4:8, 2 Corinthians 5:17-21
Journal: Ask God in your journal today how He can help you to be the loving person that He created you to be. Write down a characteristic that you have that may be keeping you from loving someone you know. Ask God to deliver you from this characteristic. Write down Psalm 51:10 in your journal. How does God speak to you through this verse?
You will make it. A few days ago, in the blog post about Noah, we discovered that God remembered Noah. We also discovered that Noah was determined to obey God even though the flood was a long time coming. I guess you could call Noah an overcomer. He beat the was faithful until the end. A few days ago, we witnessed something that has never happened before. The New England Patriots were losing the Super Bowl. Not just by a little margin, but by a great margin. No team had ever comeback in a Super Bowl with a deficit of more than ten points. Well at halftime, the Patriot's were losing 21 - 3. I almost turned the game off. However, it is important to stick things through until the end. But things only got worse, by the third quarter they were down by 25 points. However great the deficit, you must stick through, stay faithful until the end. New England came back to win the game in overtime by a final score of 34-28. Be faithful until the end my friends. Sure, that was just a football game. But in life, it is true as well.
Read: Genesis 32:22-32
Journal Questions: Jacob was an overcomer. Why? In the book of Revelation, there is a Greek word which is translated, Overcomer, it is used in different ways throughout the book, 11 of the 17 times its used it means overcomer. Why would Jesus use this word to describe His last day people? Read Revelation 21:7
Pray: Ask God to give you the focus and guidance that you need to walk with Him. Pray that he will lead you to be ab overcomer. Revelation 3:20
Epic Thought: I remember in the late 90's there was a movie called "Jerry Maguire" There was a romantic relationship that was weaved through the entire movie, and after he, "the leading role" hurt his wife, he comes back to try to make things right. He says's to her in a memorable way, "you complete me." She in turn response by asking him to stop talking. (In a not so polite way) And responses to him with, "you had me at Hello." The power of this scene is that her love was enough to accept him back into her life, even though he was a failure. I remember the tears in Renée Zellweger's eyes as she said it. There was a feeling that she meant it.
Have you made mistakes in your life? I know I have. Often I identify well with the story that Jesus told in Luke chapter 15 about the son that leaves his father and takes his inheritance, wastes it and then comes home in hopes that he can just be but a hired servant.
Read: Luke 15:11-32
Pray: Today, pray that you will see God's acceptance of you, that you will know that in His eyes you have worth. Thank Him for His acceptance of you, and realize that this sets you free from your past failures.
Journal: Luke 4:18 You have been set free by God. How does this make you feel?
Maybe you feel like you don't deserve His love. God knows you. God wants you. Luke 7:41-43 Perhaps God is waiting for you to let Him into your life. Perhaps He is waiting for you come home. I am sure that Jesus is looking at you, arms open wide saying with longing on his face and tears in His eyes, "you complete me." How can you show him your thanks, today? Revelation 3:20
Epic thought: In our society, many are feeling a lack of purpose and hope. Many feel like there is nothing to live for. The National institute of Mental Health says, "Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting 40 million adults in the United States age 18 and older, or 18% of the population." But is there hope. In the most recent blog post, we talked about Noah building a boat. He dedicated 120 years to building the boat. What happened after the boat was finished. How did Noah find hope? God promises us hope also. If we trust in God, He will give us a purpose and a hope.
Read: Genesis 7-8
Pray: Today spend some time asking God to be your source of Hope. In Genesis 8:1 it says that God remembered Noah. What does this mean for you, or for those that follow Him?
Journal: Read John 14:1-3, Revelation 14:12, and Jeremiah 29:11-13, Write down how these promises can give you hope. Spend some time today thinking about your priority list from yesterday, and what you can do today to put your list in the right order.
Psalm 147:11 (NIV) the Lord delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love.
How often do we wonder, "Where am I going? or What is my purpose?" In our day to day life, in our inner walk, many of us are looking for a purpose. You may be here because you want answers. You may be here because you truly want an Epic Walk. For whatever your reason, I am glad you are here. Read on. Enjoy our daily homework and hopefully, you can find more purpose, and begin an Epic Walk.