Day 16: Trust

All I have seen teaches me to trust the Creator for all I have not seen. Ralph Waldo Emerson

Think back to when you were young. Did you worry about food or clothing or a place to live? Chances are you did not, for you trusted your parents. Your parents may have had all sorts of doubts as to their own capability to provide you with all these things, but you did not worry. They had always taken care of you and you had no reason to believe that would change. This is the way we need to be with God, if we are to make a real change in our lives. He has never let us down - not one time, and He never will. His way and His word are perfect... so trust Him.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6, NIV

Day 17: Trust but Verify

Trust, but verify. Ronald Reagan

The former president's advice on how to deal with Russia is also excellent advice for how to approach this new life that we seek. Men are fallible! One of the greatest concerns that I have in writing these articles is that some one might rely on what I say without proving every word by Scripture. The fact is that anyone seeking God who relies on the advice of strangers, or of preachers, or parents, or any source other than the Bible, is taking a chance that very likely will prevent them from finding the truth. It's okay to listen to others when seeking God, but if you trust anyone other than God and the truths revealed in His word for how you should live, you will most certainly fail!

Do not put your trust in princes, in mortal men who cannot save.

It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man.

Psalms 146:3  & 118:8, NIV

Day 19: Goodness

 Goodness is the only investment that never fails. Thoreau

One of the ways you will know that you have really changed for God is in the goodness that begins to take over every aspect of your life and which begins to impact the lives of those around you. You will begin to think of how you can help others, how you encourage others, how you can become a truly positive influence on others - in fact, you will begin to have a goodness in your life that literally overflows to the benefit of everyone around you. In short, your life will have changed from an existence of selfish pursuits to one that meaningfully transforms the lives of others. This is goodness and it defines the Christian way of life.

But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce acrop. Luke 8:15, NIV  

Day 18: Faith

To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith, no explanation is possible. Thomas Aquinas

Now, putting faith on day 18 may seem a bit strange to some, but I believe that our faith does not come automatically. Some people believe that you either have faith in God or you don't - that you just can't help whether you have faith or not, but I believe that this philosophy is ridiculous.  Faith is an educated belief, not some sort of helpless superstition. Paul tells us in his letter to the Romans that what may be known about God is plain because God has made it plain through His creation (Romans 1:18-20). In other words, we believe in God by what He has created because there is no other logical explanation. If you want to change your life for God, you will have to have faith sufficient for the task. This type of faith does not come through blind ignorance, but from educated observation.

Without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek Him. Hebrews 11:6, NIV

Day 20: Knowledge

A thorough knowledge of the Bible is worth more than a college education. Theodore Roosevelt

The next "key" to effectively changing your life for God is in the area of knowledge. People have many different opinions about the word of God, but opinions on how to serve God are about as worthless as opinions when it comes to diffusing a bomb: Get either one wrong and you are likely to be very, very disappointed with the results. This life that God has blessed us with is filled with many tests. As with any test, knowledge of the subject is crucial to being able to pass the test.  Do you have the knowledge you need to properly serve God?

The fear of God is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline. Proverbs 1:7, NIV