January 1, 2016

Essentials Not Non-Essentials

Written by Boyd Bailey

Essentials Not Non-Essentials 1.1

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – January 1, 2016 

See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. Ephesians 5:15-17, NKJV

It’s good to have options and opportunities because it helps us get to God’s best. It’s bad to have options and opportunities because it can hinder getting to God’s best. Conflicting questions either confuse my mind or clarify my thinking. Questions like: Is it necessary for me to say yes to a particular meeting invitation? Or, can I risk saying no and trust the other meeting attendees will respect my decision? Do I increase my work travel? Or, do I limit my trips for the sake of being more accessible to my family in this season of life? Essentials are a wise, best use of my time.

What does it mean to walk circumspectly? In the south we say, “Measure twice and cut once.” Wise life decisions are measured by prayerful planning that discerns the essentials for success. A successful hiker prepares for uncharted terrain. She learns from those who have experienced the best and worst trails to follow. Her backpack is supplied for the unexpected, maps are up to date and she is dressed in seasonal apparel. Similarly the wise redeem the time with a sense of measured focus to follow Jesus. Wisdom budgets time as God’s gift—we either use it or lose it.

“We have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives” (Colossians 1:9).

What are God’s essentials for your life? Are you focused on following what your heavenly Father has just for you? Think of spiritual essentials like vitamins for your soul. Vitamin D- Devotion to Christ. Vitamin C- Community with believers. Vitamin E- Eternal perspective on storing up treasures in heaven. The Lord’s essentials compel you to love Him and to love people. Essential living means you intentionally follow the Lord’s design, not default to inferior options. For further study on the topic of defining your essentials read Essentialism by Greg McKeown.

Like a cluttered closet you can keep adding activities and appointments to your life without cleaning out unnecessary commitments. A cluttered life is either frustrated by the undisciplined mess or it can’t find opportunities lost in an overly busy schedule. Start by letting your Savior Jesus clean out your heart. Confess procrastination and ask Christ to give you decisiveness. Replace random activities with productive projects. Most of all schedule time for prayer and people. Trust Jesus with the non-essentials and calendar a few essentials for the most results.

“Don’t overlook the obvious here, friends. With God, one day is as good as a thousand years, a thousand years as a day. God isn’t late with his promise as some measure lateness. He is restraining himself on account of you, holding back the End because he doesn’t want anyone lost. He’s giving everyone space and time to change” (2 Peter 3:8-9, The Message).

Prayer: Heavenly Father, show me the essentials You have just for me while I trust You to take care of the non-essentials.

Application: What are two or three life essentials I need to give attention to this year?

Related Readings: Psalm 111:10; Amos 5:4-6; Acts 15:28-29; Romans 2:1; 1 Corinthians 4:2

Post/Tweet this today: Trust Jesus with the non-essentials and calendar a few essentials for the best results. #essentials #WisdomHunters

Worship Resource: 6 minute video- Bethel: You Make Me Brave

Check out Boyd’s newest devotional book Two Minutes in the Bible for Men. Pre-Order now!

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© 2015 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

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