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News and views from the German-language region of Europe

December 16, 2016

Our first thoughts each day

Filed under Sabbath Thoughts

While it is true that we learn the importance of preparing for the foreseeable future from the ant (Proverbs 6:6-8), we live our lives – including that preparation – now, not yesterday or tomorrow, but today. "Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble", Jesus tells us in the sermon on the mount (Matthew 6:34).

In an article for the "San Francisco Journal" author Herb Caen wrote: "In Africa a gazelle wakes up every morning and knows that it must run faster than the fastest lion, or else its life will end that very day. And every day a lion also wakes up and knows that it must run fast enough to catch the slowest gazelle, or else it will starve. So it doesn't matter whether you are a gazelle or a lion; when the sun rises, you have to run."

We might not like to think about it, but every day we have to "be able to stand against the wiles of the devil" (Ephesians 6:11). Peter reminds us that our "adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour" (1 Peter 5:8). And like the lion in Africa, Satan does that every day.

Like the gazelle we have to stay a few steps ahead of the devil, and we can't do that just by our own ability to run fast. We also need God's help: "Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you" (James 4:7-8). James establishes a cause-and-effect relationship between resisting God and being close to God: If we draw near to God, we can better resist the devil.

We should never start off a day without the awareness that we need God's help and support. King David knew that. He prayed: "My voice you shall hear in the morning, O Lord; in the morning I will direct it to you, and I will look up" (Psalm 5:3).

Today has already begun. Tomorrow a new day starts, and when we wake up Satan the lion will already be on the prowl, looking for victims. What will our first thoughts of the day be?

With these thoughts I wish everyone a rewarding Sabbath!

Paul Kieffer's blog with personal insights and news from the German-language region in Europe.


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