40 Days of Joy - Ditch Empty Pursuits - Day 11

"Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice."  Philippians 4:4

Begin your time with God in prayer:

Praise God for who He is. Confess any sin so that nothing blocks your fellowship with Him. Ask God to use the Spirit and the Word to transform your life. Yield your will to God’s will.

Let God’s Word penetrate your head and your heart: 

I remember sitting in a high school physics class thinking, “You go to high school to go to college. Then you get a job, get married, have kids and die. It’s not worth it.” What do we tend to do when we hit points like this in our lives? We go in search of what will make us happy. Often, we come to the end of the journey and still have to admit that something is still missing. Hopefully, we’ll leave those empty pursuits and turn to God for our joy.

1 Peter 4:1-5 - Therefore, since Christ has suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same purpose, because he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, so as to live the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for the lusts of men, but for the will of God. For the time already past is sufficient for you to have carried out the desire of the Gentiles, having pursued a course of sensuality, lusts, drunkenness, carousing, drinking parties and abominable idolatries. In all this, they are surprised that you do not run with them into the same excesses of dissipation, and they malign you; but they will give account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.

With what are we to arm ourselves (vs. 1)?

What purpose did Jesus Christ have (vs. 2)?

What have you had sufficient time for (vs. 3)?

When we ditch our empty pursuits, what will our friends do (vs. 4)?

What should we be thinking when we are being maligned that will enable us to respond to them with compassion (vs. 5)?

Apply God’s Word to your life:

  • Ask God to examine your heart. What empty pursuits do you need to ditch?

  • How have these pursuits kept you from pursuing the presence of God?

  • What steps can you take to remove these pursuits from your life?

  • What will you do today in order to start?

Jesus, thank you for living on earth as a man and showing us what it is like to live for the will of God. Forgive me for all the ways I have tried to fill the emptiness in my life with everything but You. It’s time for me to live for Your will. Help me to start today by ditching my empty pursuits. Amen. 

Related verses to meditate on:

Luke 12:16-21 - And he told them a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man produced plentifully, and he thought to himself, ‘What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?’ And he said, ‘I will do this: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.”’ But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.”

Matthew 13:44 - The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.

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