What would happen if you were to drop a delicate piece of china onto a cement floor eighteen feet below?
“This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works.” – Titus 3:8a
What does it mean to maintain good works?
A friend and I were discussing New Year’s Resolutions the other day, and he challenged me not to make many bold resolutions to fix all the problems in my life at once. Instead, simply focus on one or two areas that the Lord is leading me to change and take the time to build them into lifelong habits.
What I love about Titus 3:8 is the idea that those who have entered the kingdom (“believed in God”) must be faithful in the kingdom (“maintain good works”). Remember, God is searching for faithful followers, not necessarily saints with success stories (Proverbs 20:6).
So what is the key to investing good works in the Kingdom?
To Invest Faithfully in the Kingdom Requires Cultivating Consistent Disciplines.
Here are a few questions the Lord has been asking me as I ponder my goals for 2013:
- Have I settled on a Bible reading plan to keep me in the Word every day?
- Do I have a place to journal daily insights and testimonies as I apply what I read?
- Have I identified what verses the Lord would have me memorize and meditate on this year?
- Have I established a method to review these verses once they are memorized?
- When was the last morning I got up immediately (without pushing snooze ;-), eager to spend my quiet time alone with The Lord? When I am always dependent on my alarm clock, my body rarely feels fully rested.
- By what time should I aim for “lights out” each night? The key to getting up early is going to bed early!
- At the end of 2013, what do I want to look back on and say, "This is what I accomplished for the Kingdom of God this year"?
When looking at a list like this, it can be easy to fall into the trap of thinking, “Oh my, I should be doing more,” when really we should be doing less. Often all we need to do is sit down and determine what we are aiming for, set our sights on a goal we know is achievable, and trust the Lord for the grace to achieve it. More is not always better.
There are many things I set out to do, but because I do not think through the time and place in which they would fit into my schedule, they never happen. I keep saying to myself, “Surely I will get around to that next week,” but unless I set a deadline and follow through on it, I am only deceiving myself. We know what is important to us by what we make time for. And there is always time for what you do first.
By the way, to answer the question—please experiment as much as you like—but in my experience the china will always dutifully obey the law of gravity and shatter when it hits the cement floor. Every time. Without fail. In fact, there has not been a time that I’ve tried it that it didn’t. How consistent are you in faithfully applying the disciplines of the Kingdom?
A little thing is a little thing, but faithfulness in little things is a great thing. – Hudson Taylor
~ Daniel S.