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Simple Truths

Before we can accomplish the most significant achievements in our lives, we must be committed to living out the simple truths. We had breakfast with our 16 month old granddaughter this past weekend. I watched as she dove into a muffin which couldn’t have been more than two inches in diameter. I know she got some of it in her mouth because I saw her do it but I am not sure how that one muffin was able to produce such a mess. Crumbs littered two feet of the table. The floor under her seat looked like an explosion had taken place in the kitchen. Her clothes were dusted and her face was decorated with muffin shrapnel. It was one of the cutest things I have seen in a while because she is sixteen months old. If, however, she was sixteen years old, it would have been a different story. Her life is guided by a very simple truth—get more mature as you get older.
When Paul was wrapping up his letter to the church in Corinth (1 Corinthians 16:13-14), he gave a rapid fire list of simple truths that form the foundation for anything significant we want to accomplish. Our goals are more sophisticated than these simple truths but they are not possible without them. As I reviewed them this morning, I thought to myself, these are the equivalent in my spiritual life to taking a shower, getting dressed and brushing my teeth. I want to do more than these today but I need to do these first.
• Be on your guard. I will hear things today that are not true. I may meet people whose motives are not pure. I may encounter an opportunity I have been praying about for a while. To have the proper amount of discernment and urgency I must remain alert and watchful.
• Stand firm in the faith. My faith will be challenged by competing philosophies in this world and some things in life will not turn out the way I want them to. I must wrestle with the questions on my heart and the disappointments of life from a position of standing firm in what I know is true.
• Be courageous. This literally means “to deal with life in a manly way.” Life requires appropriate risk and strategic competition. I will face challenges today which must be met with willingness, resolve and unwavering focus.
• Be strong. Life requires physical, emotional, spiritual and relational strength. It is a journey and a pursuit that cannot be realized in front of the TV. It must be met with goals that require strength.
• Do everything in love. Everything works best when we look out for the best interests of others. Salvation was accomplished because Jesus loved us enough to sacrifice on our behalf. He didn’t do that so we could live selfish, lazy, or mediocre lives. He set us free to be our best. We live like Him when we sacrifice to help others be their best also.
It is always possible that today will turn out to be one of those spectacular days that live forever or it may be a perfectly normal day with few memories. Either way, it will go better if I stick to the simple truths.

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