Romans 1:1-6 (NIV) — “Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God — the gospel He promised beforehand through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures regarding His Son, who as to His human nature was a descendant of David, and who through the Spirit of holiness was declared with power to be the Son of God by His resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord. Through Him and for His name sake, we receive grace and apostleship to call people from among all the gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith. And you also are among those who are called to belong to Jesus Christ.”

Early in my days of Christian faith, I often heard the saying, “your walk of faith.” 

Perhaps you grew up with the same saying I did. “The journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step.” Naturally, since I speak sarcasm, my response is, “What if you have a rock in your shoe?”

Have you ever had a pebble in your shoe and put off dealing with it, saying to yourself, “Oh, it’s just a small one”? You acknowledge it’s there, but you tell yourself, “I’ve got a pebble in my shoe. Whew, it’s uncomfortable but I’m too busy to stop, I don’t have time to deal with it now.”

If you don’t stop and make the proper adjustments, you’ll have to pay the consequences.

First, it’s only an irritant, just a distraction. Then it becomes painful. Now it’s affecting your ability to walk correctly — bruised bone, perhaps torn skin — the results of neglect. (The definition of neglect is “fail to care for properly.”) Point being: Self-care is important!

Have you ever heard the expression, “The Golden Child”? It means someone who seems to just have natural talents. Have you ever been around someone who just seems to have the “Midas touch”?

Have you been around families where the children are “A” students? The parents have successful careers, and are involved in church and community activities — people who just seem to be living a charmed life.

You don’t have to be around them very long before you start wondering, “How do they do it?”

Of course … it doesn’t take all day to figure it out either, usually, they’re disciplined people!

Look at the contrast: There’s plenty of people on the other side of the coin. For me, all I have to do is look back over this last year. I see a string of setbacks, unfulfilled projects, small disasters that I allowed to derail me, to lose focus.

What is this pebble in my shoe?

Discipline, or the lack of it!

Ask someone who has been doing well and a calamity or a series of setbacks happen. Some recover, sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly.

Others have extreme difficulty getting back on track, and can’t seem to focus.

When asked what happened, of course the event of cause is mentioned. You may get, “Well, you know I quit going to church, my meetings.” 

I put off doing my homework. 

I didn’t push back from the bar.

I didn’t take care of myself.

I didn’t spend quality time with my family.

The saying is, “if you continue to do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always got.”

That also works in the positive as well as the negative. If things are going bad and you stop doing the good things — guess what the result will be?

Focus up!  Continue to do the good things you were doing that need to be done.

Romans 8:28 — “And we know that in all things God works for the good of all those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.”

1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 — “May God Himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful, and He will do it.”


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