Category Archives: Chuck Lawless

06/13/18 The Days of Your Youth

READING: Ecclesiastes 7-12

“Remember also your Creator in the days of your youth, before the evil days come. . . .”

Ecclesiastes 12:1

I tell folks that we become walking evidences of the fall as we age. We think little about the aging process when we’re young, most assuredly because we see only a strong future in front of us. We look forward to positive things of aging – we will start driving, we’ll finish college degrees, we’ll get married, we’ll have kids, we’ll have a good career, etc. . . .  All is good as we mature as human beings and have families of our own.

But then something happens. It’s almost imperceptible, but it happens. As the writer of Ecclesiastes describes it, we begin the process of decline. Our limbs (the “keepers of the house”—Ecc. 12:3) begin to tremble. Our muscles in the back and legs weaken (“the strong men are bent”—Ecc. 12:3). Our teeth (“grinders”—Ecc. 12:3) become fewer, and our eyes lose their power (“those who look through the window are dimmed”—Ecc. 12:3). Our ears seemingly close, and fears increase. All in all, it makes sense why it is best to start serving the Lord at a younger age.

That is not to say that those with graying hair bring nothing to the table; in fact, the wisdom of the aged is often celebrated in the scriptures. Rather, it is simply an honest recognition of the value of serving the Lord in the days of our youth. I became a Christian at the age of 13, which means that I’ve now had the privilege of serving Him for more than 40 years. I love learning more and more about Him today, but I’m deeply grateful that I was privileged to meet Him in my youth. I’m certain my early conversion has saved me from some heartaches over the years.

ACTION STEPS:

• If you became a believer at a young age, thank God.

• Pray by name for a young person today.

PRAYER: “Father, thank You for drawing me to You in my young age. Help me lead other young people to follow You.”

TOMORROW’S READING: 1 Kings 10-11, 2 Chronicles 9, Proverbs 30-31

Source: 06/13/18 The Days of Your Youth

06/12/18 Idolatry of Aloneness — ChuckLawless.com

READING: Ecclesiastes 1-6

“Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil.”

Ecclesiastes 4:9

Ecc. 4:9-12 “Two are better than one because they have a good reward for their efforts. For if either falls, his companion can lift him up; but pity the one who falls without another to lift him up. Also, if two lie down together, they can keep warm; but how can one person alone keep warm? And if someone overpowers one person, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not easily broken.”

The writer of Ecclesiastes speaks of the vanity of a person who is always alone, who works to gain riches, yet who has no one to leave his riches to when he dies (Ecc. 4:7-8). He lives for much “stuff,” but he shares life with no one. This life, the writer says, is futile.

Indeed, God created us to be in relationships with others, and we deal with life together in the context of the Body of Christ (1 Cor. 12:26). If we choose not to develop strong friendships, we miss the value of combined efforts, the power of companionship when struggling, the comfort of shared emotional strength in a cold world, and the strength of protection in numbers. In fact, if one friend makes us stronger, it is even better to have more than one (Ecc. 4:12).

I freely admit that I can tend to be a loner who is far too self-dependent. I grew up leaning on myself for support, and that trait has continued to this day. Some days, I could be the one who “falls alone without another to pick him up.” Hence, I need to live a “three-strand” life that more readily welcomes others into my world.

ACTION STEPS:

  • Thank God for the friends who “lock arms” with you in your work.
  • Reach out to a loner today.

PRAYER:“Lord, I don’t want to be a man who lives as a loner. I don’t want to miss all the benefits of having genuine Christian friends. As usual, I need your help.”

TOMORROW’S READING: Ecclesiastes 7-12

via 06/12/18 Idolatry of Aloneness — ChuckLawless.com

04/28/18 Integrity — ChuckLawless.com

READING: Psalms 89,  96, 100, 101, 107

“I will live with a heart of integrity in my house.”

Psalm 101:2

I wonder what intentional commitments to holiness we make. Perhaps some of us made such a commitment several times during our teenage years, but I’m not convinced that most believers commit themselves fully to godliness. Our commitment is sometimes more surface level than deep, evidenced by our lifestyles that are often much like the world.

David, on the other hand, committed himself to godliness as he reigned as king. He did not always live up to his commitment, but the commitment of this psalm was surely genuine at the time. Note his commitments:

  1. He would sing of God’s faithful love and justice, knowing that God’s love is still far beyond his understanding.
  2. He would be a man of complete integrity in the public eye, in his home, and ultimately in his kingdom.
  3. He would not be swayed by false teaching or anything other than God to lead him.
  4. He would not allow sin to cling to him.
  5. He would not live a life of sin; he would not be associated with evil.

As noted, David failed some of these commitments. One would be tempted to ignore what he said here because of his own sin, but that response is not legitimate. Another man’s fall never grants us permission to go in the wrong direction ourselves. Instead, we should consider our own responsibility to God, state our commitments as the psalmist did, and choose to follow Christ fully.

ACTION STEPS: 

  • Put in writing what your commitment to God is.
  • Ask God to help you to follow Him more fully and passionately.

PRAYER: “God, I make my commitment to You again. Make me a follower of complete integrity.”

TOMORROW’S READING:  Review and catch up

via 04/28/18 Integrity — ChuckLawless.com

04/23/18 Worship Him — ChuckLawless.com

READING: Psalms 81, 88, 92, 93 “It is good to give thanks to the Lord.” Psalm 92:1 Yesterday, many of us worshiped the Lord in our various churches. We heard prayers, sang songs, gave offerings, listened to sermons, and fellowshipped with others. I wonder, though, if we truly realize the blessing of doing what we did. I…

via 04/23/18 Worship Him — ChuckLawless.com

04/22/18 His Wondrous Works

READING: Psalm 78

“. . . tell a future generation the praiseworthy acts of the Lord.”

Psalm 78:4

The psalmist understood something I’m not sure we North American believers understand well enough: we need to make sure our children know our spiritual history. Here’s how the psalmist expressed this mandate in Psalm 78: “We will not hide them [God’s works] from their children, but will tell a future generation the praiseworthy acts of the Lord, his might, and the wondrous works he has performed” (Psa. 78:4). In fact, the Hebrews were to teach their children, who would then teach the next generation “so that they might put their confidence in God and not forget God’s works, but keep his commands” (Psa. 78:7). In that way, future generations would not be like their fathers, who had been “a stubborn and rebellious generation” (Psa. 78:8).

Here are some of the things I wonder if our children and grandchildren know:

  • stories of other ancestors who were believers
  • when and how we became believers
  • when and where we were baptized
  • the sweetest experience we ever had with the Lord
  • the toughest struggle of our spiritual walk
  • significant times of answered prayer
  • how we live out our spiritual disciplines

There is so much we can tell our children and grandchildren! I fear, though, that we seldom get to these stories. We talk about everything else—and I’m grateful for any real conversation between generations—but we don’t take the initiative to talk about what God has done in our life. Most of us need to hear this word again from the psalmist: “We will not hide them from our children.”

ACTION STEPS: 

  • In prayer, meditate on God’s great works in your life.
  • Perhaps by using something from the list above, tell somebody what God has done in your life.

PRAYER: “Father, I commit to telling my children and grandchildren about Your wondrous works.”

TOMORROW’S READING:  Psalms 81, 88, 92, 93

Source: 04/22/18 His Wondrous Works