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8:39 a.m. Daddy’s Day Off
We were at Mom’s house last night, and Steve went to put his feet on the coffee table (totally allowed in a Mahaney house), only it wasn’t there! Mom and Janelle had been reorganizing and moved the coffee table to another room (a new one is on the way). It never fails—January always inspires us girltalkers to rearrange and reorganize everything, and we want you to join us.
That means it’s time for our third annual “Pick One Spot” contest. Ok, the first one was actually in 2007, but we brought it back last year and it was such fun that we’re officially making it an annual thing. The transformations have been incredible—you can check them out here and here.
To enter the contest:
1. PICK ONE SPOT in your house that is in dire need of some TLC (closet, drawer, room)
2. Take a “before” picture
3. Proceed to give said spot some TLC
4. Take an “after” picture, and
The deadline is next Monday—that way you have a whole weekend if you need it. We can’t wait to see what spots you transform this year!
Sometimes, when battling fear, I am unable to effectively speak truth to myself. I try, but it just doesn’t stick. In such cases, I need others to talk to me. So I tell them about my fears and ask them to speak appropriate biblical truth to those fears.
God anticipates our need for community in fighting unbelief: “Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end” (Heb 3:13-14).
I need those who “have come to share in Christ” to help me “hold [my] original confidence firm to the end.”
It isn’t always easy to confess fear. We might fear what others will think of our fear! We might not want to appear weak. But in the very act of asking for help, we are opening the door of humility through which God promises His grace will always come rushing in (James 4:6).
So if you feel as if you are losing your battle against fear today, enlist an ally in the fight. Ask a friend who “shares in Christ” to help you hold fast to gospel truth.
We pick up our series on fear with the second half of Dr. Martyn Lloyd Jones’ counsel. We must not listen to ourselves, but we must also fill that space by speaking to ourselves.
Dr. Lloyd Jones explains:
“Our fears are due to our failure to stir up—failure to think, failure to take ourselves in hand. You find yourself looking to the future and then you begin to imagine things and you say: ‘I wonder what is going to happen?’ And then, your imagination runs away with you. You are gripped by the thing…this thing overwhelms you and down you go. Now the first thing you have to do is to take a firm grip of yourself, to pull yourself up, to stir up yourself, to take yourself in hand and to speak to yourself.”
“Talk to yourself out loud, if you have to” a pastor once advised me in the midst of one of my particularly intense battles with fear. So if you ever catch me muttering to myself, you’ll know why.
And what exactly should we say to ourselves?
“Faith reminds itself of what the Scripture calls ‘the exceeding great and precious promises’ says Lloyd Jones. “Faith says: ‘I cannot believe that He who has brought me so far is going to let me down at this point. It is impossible, it would be inconsistent with the character of God.’ So faith, having refused to be controlled by circumstances [or feelings!], reminds itself of what it believes and what it knows.”
Tell your soul—out loud if you have to—what it believes and what it knows.
This morning we received an email from one new club member, Kristin. Here’s a snippet:
Today is the second day for me in the 5 AM Club. By God’s grace, I have not hit the snooze yet, and that is a HUGE deal for me…seriously. I was so excited about this club that I sent out the idea to the women at our church. As of now, we have 17 college girls that are joining the club and waking up early to meet with Jesus. Praise God! It’s so encouraging to know that there are women all over the place fighting against laziness and pursuing holiness. Thanks SO much for initiating this club!
“Fighting laziness and pursuing holiness” might seem to be getting harder as the week goes on. The snooze button never looked so inviting as it did this morning!
We’re not sleep experts, but in our experience, those of you who’ve just joined The 5 O’Clock Club are at the most difficult point right now. The initial adrenaline has worn off and your body is rebelling against the change. But our experience is that if you push through, it will get easier soon. Your body will adjust to the new routine. In the meantime, we recommend an extra long nap or an early bedtime!
But just because rising early (or fasting) is hard, doesn’t mean we can’t do it or that it isn’t worth it. J. Alec Motyer explains in his comments on Philippians. 1:9-11 Read it carefully. Then read it again:
“And this is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.”
“Our obedience, discipline and hard graft are not insignificant or optional. On the contrary, they are the God-intended context for growth. But something else energizes the growth till the fruit is ready for harvest: all is done through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God (verse 11)….In this setting the daily task of obedience remains hard, but not fruitless. We are often neglectful, frequently failing, ever inadequate; yet the end is secure, for God is at work.”
Getting up early to sit at Jesus’ feet is hard, but not fruitless. We may fail, but the end is secure: God is at work. So let’s persevere in this “context for growth” to the glory and praise of His name!
—from the archives
“We should follow our Lord as unhesitatingly as sheep follow their shepherd, for He has a right to lead us wherever he pleases…
Wherever Jesus may lead us, He goes before us. If we know not where we go, we know with whom we go. With such a companion, who will dread the perils of the road? The journey may be long, but His everlasting arms will carry us to the end. The presence of Jesus is the assurance of eternal salvation, because He lives, we shall live also.
We should follow Christ in simplicity and faith, because the paths in which He leads us all end in glory and immortality. It is true they may not be smooth paths—they may be covered with sharp flinty trials, but they lead to the ‘city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God…’
Let us put full trust in our Leader, since we know that, come prosperity or adversity, sickness or health, popularity or contempt, His purpose shall be worked out, and that purpose shall be pure, unmingled good to every heir of mercy. We shall find it sweet to go up the bleak side of the hill with Christ; and when rain and snow blow into our faces, His dear love will make us far more blest than those who sit at home and warm their hands at the world’s fire…
Precious Jesus, draw us, and we will run after thee.”
—Charles Spurgeon, Morning and Evening, September 18, Evening