Encouragement for Today - July 19, 2006


July 19, 2006

Encouragement for Today


Principle 1


“Disposable World”

Luann Prater, Proverbs 31 Speaker



Key Verse: 
Hebrews 10:35, “So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. “ (NIV)


We were standing at the kitchen sink.  She diligently scrubbed the pan.  When the nylon mesh pad proved too weak to handle the burnt-on stain, she reached into the arsenal waiting in the cabinet below.  It was if she was speaking to the pan, “You are not going to get me. This spot will come clean!”  Digging through the bottles, sponges and rags, her arm extended all the way to the back and with a smile she grabbed the secret weapon.  The confident smirk on her face told me she was sure of victory.  I peeked in to see what brought about such resolve in this tiny cleaning soldier.  As she rose, the tool was extended high as if displaying a trophy.  A Brillo pad donned her hand.  Immediately it was plunged into the soapy water and briskly ripped into the charred marks.   Triumphantly she lifted the pan to the sky for all to see….it was clean!


My brother and sister-in-law were on a very tight budget in their early years of marriage.   As a teenager, I was amazed to watch her save pennies at every turn.  She knew that pan had to last for years, so she was not about to let it get marred.  It had to remain clean and spotless.  I never saw paper plates or disposable diapers in their home.   She clipped coupons, made weekly menus and purchased only necessities. 


Our society now thrives on disposable products.  Disposable plates, cups, silverware; disposable lighters, pens, and even income!  Before drive-thru windows, families would occasionally splurge and go to the local restaurant, where they served fresh food on real plates.  The throw away mentality extends to bigger items every year.  While shopping for a car I was told some of the cheaper models are now considered disposable.  Don’t fix it, just drive it until it breaks and then get a new one.


Too often we regard our Christian life with a sense of disposability.  When facing hardships, guilt or persecution, we turn our backs and say, “Forget it.  It’s just too hard.  It doesn’t really matter.  I can’t take it anymore.”  But God says, “Hang on!  Your reward is just around the corner!  Don’t give up!  Stand firm in your faith!  I am here.  When you are weak, I am strong.  Have confidence…in Me.”


It’s been thirty-seven years since my brother said, “I do” to his wife. When I last visited them I was amazed again.  There in the cabinet was that sparkling clean pan.


My prayer for today: 
Father, take my eyes off what is temporary and keep me focused on the eternal.  When I am tempted to give up and give in, may your Spirit urge me to fight the good fight and finish the race. In Jesus’ name, Amen.


Application Steps:

Pray for a victorious spirit today.  When a defeated thought enters your mind ask God to capture it then replace it with His confidence. 


Reflection Points:

Am I walking in confidence with Christ? 


What choice can I make today that will keep me from being swayed by the circumstances of life?


What does it mean to stand firm?


What are the rewards of commitment?


Power Verses:

1 Corinthians 1:8 “He will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.”  (NIV)


1 Peter 4:12-13 “Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you.  But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.”  (NIV)


Isaiah 38:17b, “In your love you kept me from the pit of destruction; you have put all my sins behind your back.”  (NIV)


Hebrews 13:6, “So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid.  What can man do to me?”  (NIV)


Additional Resources:

The Ultimate Makeover - Sharon Jaynes



A Woman’s Secret to a Balanced Life – Lysa TerKeurst


P31 Woman - Monthly Magazine                                  http://proverbs31.gospelcom.net/woman.htm


Originally published Wednesday, 19 July 2006.