The Intent of This Blog

This blog is intended to be a tool for the growth of whoever wants to use it. It is a daily journal intended to help us be more introspective. Every day I will do my best to supply a motivational quote, a Bible verse, a vocabulary word, and a personal message from myself. Use these if you like as motivation to improve yourself. Then, simply answer the daily questions provided honestly and see if it has an impact on your life. Zig Ziglar said, "If you don't have daily objectives, you qualify as a dreamer." Lets not be just dreamers but doers. Remember Martin Luther King Jr not only had a dream, he also had an objective. Thanks for reading, Jake

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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Stop Trying To Be Good

“Earthly wisdom is doing what comes naturally.  Godly wisdom is doing what the Holy Spirit compels us to do.” - Charles Stanley

Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.  As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” - 1 Peter 1:13-16

Holy: “(of a person) devoted to the service of God” - New Oxford American Dictionary

Stop trying to be good?  Be holy?  This seems a little confusing I know.  But hopefully you’ll get what I mean in just a minute or two.  God wants you to live for Him.  The devil wants you to live for anything else.  So what does that mean?  That means that in everything you do, you should live to be set apart for the purpose of God.  That’s what it means to be holy.  Well, doesn’t that mean we should be good?  You might ask.  And I would say of course.  Than why would I say something like, “Stop trying to be good?”  Because trying to be good is often the first step the devil would like you to take away from God.  Because the devil knows you can’t be good by trying.  God is the one who holds the power of goodness in us.  If we could call it that?  Believe me, there are times when simply “being good” sounds like a relief from living for the Lord.  There are times when I, “Just want to be a good person.”  Nothing more, nothing less.  But who am I to judge what “good” is?  If I were to judge the character of another person I would soon be exposed as a hypocrite.  How good am I going to be at judging myself, who has a lot to lose by my judgements?  Just a little indulgence here and there never hurt anyone, right?  It’s good to have fun, right?  No one is perfect, right?  Those are the sort of things my brain says to my temptations.  Those things are true, but they’re not helpful in many situations.  Ask most anyone who lives for themselves and they’ll tell you they’re a good person.  That would include rapists and murderers.  They view themselves as decent, because they judge their intentions and see past their depravities.  But before we get on our high horse, we all do the same thing.  Andy Stanley once said, “We judge ourselves by our intentions, while others judge us by our actions.”  Intentions can justify and hide a lot of actions.  And actions don’t tell the whole story.  It’s a good thing God judges the heart.  “For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.” - 1 Samuel 16:7b  Jesus said in Matthew 6:21, “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”  That’s why God asks us to be holy.  He’s asking us to set aside our hearts for Him.  To treasure Him.  When He has our hearts, He has something to work with.  He can make a life good through a heart.  He can change a mind through a heart.  He can effect actions through a heart.  That’s why I say, “Stop trying to be good.”  Instead give your heart to God.  It won’t always be easy, but if I may say; it’s the only way to any sort of goodness in us.

Daily Journaling Questions:
How did I help someone in kindness today?
What did I learn today?
What am I thankful for?
Who did I love today?
What am I dreaming of?
What about today do I want to remember forever?
What are my goals for tomorrow?
Thanks for reading,

Jake

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