Week of January 28

Living Different

How To Walk Securely

Day 1: Proverbs 10:9 says, “People with integrity walk safely, but those who follow crooked paths will be exposed.” Regardless of where you are at in your spiritual journey, most of us can agree that it is better to be honest than to be a liar. We all want to be the good-guys in our own life story. We can all acknowledge that we aspire to lives of integrity, but all too often we fall short. There are two paths to Integrity: making good decisions and owning up to bad decisions. Read Genesis 3. When we make a bad decision and do something we’re not proud of, our first response can be to blame someone else or to try to cover up and hide from our sin. However, in the end we are very likely to be found out, and the consequences will be worse as a result. Is there anything in your life that you are afraid maybe found out? What if your boss, parent, spouse, or children knew? Be brave; take time to pray and reveal your secrets to God first. Then take some time to be still and listen.  


Day 2: Read Ephesians 5:1-14. Because of Christ we no longer live in darkness but in light. Before knowing Jesus, we followed our own paths possibly afraid to be exposed to the light. But now we have been raised up from the darkness and filled with God’s light. We are freed now to walk with integrity. Is there a step you need to take in order to make right a wrong? Is there someone you need to confess or apologize to?  Write it down. Make a plan. What step can you take this week to make things right and come into the light? If so, confess and come back into right relationship with God.  


Day 3: Read Proverbs 10:9. People of integrity walk safely. That sounds great, but does this mean that if we live in integrity daily, we won’t have any problems? Of course not. Jesus Himself lived a life of complete integrity, yet He was arrested, beaten, and sentenced to death. Instead, integrity is how to live life best, even in hardship. Psalm 119:9 says, “How can a young person stay on the path of purity? By living according to your word.” God’s Word is not just a long list of rules. Rather, it shows us how life is best lived. Even more than that, it reveals a person to have a relationship with. As we enter into a real relationship with Jesus, He will begin to make us more like Himself. Integrity will be a side effect of spending time with God in His Word, and the side effect of having integrity will be a life of security even in the midst of hardship. What step can you take this week to intentionally hear from and be shaped by Jesus? Do you talk with someone daily or weekly about what God is teaching you? Are you in a small group? If you are in a group, when have you last discussed how Jesus is shaping some part of you?  


Day 4: Most of the important events along life’s path are marked by a sense of insecurity and uncertainty: leaving for college, finding a job, a first date, getting married, moving, losing a parent or spouse, etc. Sometimes it is ‘crooked path’ decision that cause this uncertainty. Whatever the case, it is possible to have joy, peace, and security in all circumstances. Read James 1:2-4. Is there anything in your life robbing you of joy and freedom due to some, ‘crooked path’ decisions: financial issue, secret desire, judgmental heart, sexual sin, pattern of lying, or uncontrollable anger. Who or where can you turn to help you? The support of another can help us find our way back and an honest heart before God reminds us that He has never left us.  


Day 5: Read Matthew 11:28-30. In this passage, Jesus uses the metaphor of the yoke. A yoke is a wooden harness for two oxen. When they are yoked together and attached to a cart, oxen can pull a tremendous load. Furthermore, it was the common practice to put a strong adult ox who knew how to carry a heavy load with a young untrained ox. When yoked together, the young ox would slowly learn how to pull the heavy load. Jesus knows that our load is too heavy for us on our own, and we don’t know how to carry it. Instead, He invites us into His yoke, to learn from Him as we grow in His strength. And, when we enter into Jesus’ yoke, the burden will feel light even though a great load is being carried. This is the life of integrity spoken of in Proverbs 10:9! As we live our lives alongside Jesus, yoked together, our paths will be safe and secure even in peril or hardship. Today as you get ready for work, school, taking care of children, or whatever He has for you, tell Jesus that you accept His offer to take His yoke and walk alongside Him. Memorize Matthew 11:28-30 or reflect on these verses during the day.  

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