Thursday, September 24th

Thursday, September 24th

In the Devotionals for Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday we explore the four common sense reminders about "work" Pastor Ben covered in his message this past Sunday. Today's common sense reminder is: "Take the long view." The Scriptures below from Proverbs include both the ones from Sunday's message and additional ones that go along with them. There are so many things about "work" that these Proverbs speak to. To comment on all of it would be too much. Please read through the Proverbs and write down things that stand out to you. What is the one thing that resonates the most with you? Finally, identify one change you need to make in your life in regard to the common sense reminder: "Take the long view."

Good planning and hard work lead to prosperity, but hasty shortcuts lead to poverty. Proverbs  21:5

Wealth from get-rich-quick schemes quickly disappears; wealth from hard work grows over time. Proverbs 13:11

Lazy people don’t even cook the game they catch, but the diligent make use of everything they find. Proverbs 12:27

Lazy people want much but get little, but those who work hard will prosper. Proverbs 13:4

Those who follow the right path fear the Lord; those who take the wrong path despise him. Proverbs 14:2

Whoever pursues righteousness and unfailing love will find life, righteousness, and honor. Proverbs 21:21

The "now generation" term was coined sometime after world war two in the midst of an unparalleled age of prosperity that began and continues on even now. It is a term that captures a dynamic that no one in our present culture can escape entirely. The following statements are attempts to grasp and address this dynamic:

- We live in a culture of instant gratification versus investment in activities with rewards accruing over time or in the long term.

- Being able to find a meaningful role to play in communities via employment or service is a great counter- measure.

- Opportunities to feel ones contribution either in employment or volunteering are essential.

- The fact that things are more accessible than rewarding experiences is a real problem.

- Our sense of achievement is no longer based on a goal but on quick changes to the latest and greatest things.

Quite insightful stuff that helps us get a handle on some of what contributes to "now view" thinking and "long view" thinking in our approach to life. We need to know what makes us tick. We need to address the things that are true of us that interfere with our living lives that really count. Living for the "immediate" is unacceptable. Read back over the five statements again, but think in terms of living for Christ and his kingdom as you read. Self-centeredness, materialism, gratification, etc. can be countered but it requires a "long view" of life where our goal is Christ and his kingdom.

Lord, teach me how to persevere in my work. Each and every day, help me to care deeply about other people in the midst of everything you give me to do. May my life bless those around me in ways that impact them for your kingdom, Lord. Deliver me from the scourge of the "immediate" and fill my life with that which truly counts for the "long haul." Amen!

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