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A Time to Shine-September 27, 2020

It's Autumn. The leaves are falling. It's time to Shine!

Monday Morning Devotion-September 28, 2020


A Time to Shine


Those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the firmament.  Daniel 12:3


            OK it's that time of year again.  As September fades into October while 2020 seems to be passing by too quickly, let's pause and think about what we experienced in this 9th month of the year.  First of all, September means it's time for school to begin again.  And all the parents said: "Thank you Lord "

              Summer is over leaving most of those steamy hot days behind as we begin to enjoy God's gift of autumn.  If you live in Florida, some days it's hard to notice the difference because the hot weather does not leave us completely.   Still there is a noticeable change and we welcome it.

            A sure way to tell it is September is when those pigskins start flying°not to be confused with when "pigs fly."  Due to the pandemic it was kind of a crazy start to the new football season but thankfully it got here anyway. 

            Yep football season has hit with full force again.  Now you're probably saying, "Oh no, here he goes again.  Jim is going to pull out that same old season opening football story from the Peanuts cartoon.

            You know the one where Lucy is holding the football for Charlie Brown to kick it and he refuses to because he knows that she will pull the ball away as he runs up to kick it and he'll miss the ball and fall on his back.

            No, I'm not going to pull that oldie out again because we all know that Lucy will sucker Charlie into thinking she won't pull the football away, but when he approaches, she does and once again he falls on his back.  I'm not going to pull that one out again, so rest easy. :)

            OK so I'm just messing with you because you know how much I love sports and I don't want to overload these devotions with sports stories because as hard as it is to believe, not everybody loves football in particular or sports in general.  And I want everyone to get something out of each of these devotions.  And, yes, they are all based on scripture.

            September is a month of change.  It's a month of transitioning weather-wise and other wise.  It is a time to shine.  A time to "become the best version of ourselves."  Oops, another football-ism slipped in.  That's what Coach Mike Norvell instructs his players to strive for.  I guess another way to phrase it is "get better at what we do, how we do it and who we are." In other words, it is a "time to shine."

            In Psalm 37:34 we are instructed how to do this: "Wait for the Lord and Keep His Way."   Hold on. Does that mean the we get better, i.e. that we "shine" by simply waiting?  Isn't that like, uh..doing nothing?   How does that work?

            In his devotion entitled "Active Waiting" Dr. Charles Stanley explains: "Waiting on God is anything, but idleness. It's doing all we've been given to do, yet fully trusting that God's answer is still to come.  As missionary Jim Elliot, said, 'Wherever you are, be all there."  Be 100% committed to God regardless of where you are on the path to receiving His promises.  Don't avoid responsibility or give in to despair---continue obeying Him."

            As Coach Norvell exhorts his players to become the best version of themselves he also realizes that this doesn't happen overnight.  So, he encourages them to plan and strive to get 1% better each day.  Stanley echoes this when he says: "Take small, trusting steps in the direction you believe God is leading you (each day)."

            If you do that you are moving forward.  Sometimes it may not seem it's going fast enough, but it is not standing still or going backwards.  And sometimes in trying to get 1% better you may get even better than that.  That best version of yourself starts to come into clearer focus.  You start to feel better about yourself and where you are headed. 

            We begin to understand that this progress is not because of how good you are but because of how good God is.  When we open up to His leadership then others will notice because we will be successful, maybe not necessarily in things like getting rich financially (although I am not ruling that out because there is no limit to what God can do) but becoming rich spiritually.

            This is not to say that there is anything wrong with making money through hard work and dedication.  It's just to say that it's something that is secondary, but can also be achieved as well when we become committed to doing things God's way

            So, remember.  Today is your day to shine.  Get out there and do it and as you improve by 1% you will become an even better version of yourself

Prayer:  Lord help each of us to get better each day as we trust you to lead us in your way.                                                                                                                          Amen!



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