How to Prepare for the Future

This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. Joshua 1:8

The notion of preparation is one parents teach their children. We need to study for a big test. We need to practice for a recital or performance. We need to practice healthy habits in order to develop our mind and body. Preparation is focused on the future. But how do we prepare spiritually for the future?

When Joshua was preparing to lead the Israelites into the Promised Land, God gave him a principle for preparing for an uncertain future: Meditate, day and night, on the Book of the Law. What was in the Book of the Law? It was a written form of God’s revelation at Sinai to Moses—the first five books of the Old Testament, in full or in part. Those books were passed on to Joshua by Moses before the latter’s death. And God’s instruction was, “Meditate on these books and you’ll have success.” That’s what Deuteronomy 28:1-14 says: Obey the covenant I established with Moses and you will be prosperous.

You have an unknown future. Prepare for it by meditating on God’s Word. He knows your future and can prepare you for it.

Meditate on the Word in the Word. John Owen

Advantages of Accountability

Hebrews 10:24

Far too often, people fall into a trap by ignoring wise boundaries of personal freedom. Then good situations can turn into bondage. But a godly accountability partner can help you enjoy privilege without abusing it. The benefits are plentiful:

Clearer direction. Honesty about faults and failures will open you to receive right counsel and encouragement. This process will increase your potential to do and become all that God has in mind for you.

Increased integrity. If you have to give an account to somebody, you’re more likely to live transparently.

Better stewardship. Accounting for the way you use your money, time, or talent makes you careful not to waste those resources.

Protection against excess. As believers, we’re free in Christ, but an accountability partner helps us to stay balanced and refrain from taking liberties.

Healthy self-examination. Another person can often point out what we cannot see in ourselves. When we allow someone to be an accurate mirror of our faults, we’re in a better position to make improvements.

Safeguard against unwise relationships. If you have to give an account of where you go and which people you spend time with, you’ll be more likely to avoid problematic places and relationships.

Unbridled freedom may seem like a great blessing, but it can be a recipe for disaster. Do you give account to anybody for the way you handle money, time, and relationships? If not, consider inviting a trustworthy Christian to fill that role. Taking this step reveals a heart that longs to please God.

The Riches of His Grace

“In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace.” (Ephesians 1:7)

The attributes of God are characterized by the “riches of His grace.” This amazing grace led Him to shed His blood as the price of our redemption.

No wonder men have developed the familiar acrostic for GRACE—“God’s Riches at Christ’s Expense.” “For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich” (2 Corinthians 8:9).

Paul seems again and again to try to find descriptions for these riches. To the Romans he wrote of “the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering” (Romans 2:4) and of His plan to “make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of [his] mercy” (Romans 9:23). Speaking of God’s mercy, he exclaims, “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God!” (Romans 11:33).

The inexhaustibility of these infinite depths of grace and mercy led Paul to call these attributes “the unsearchable riches of Christ” (Ephesians 3:8). Desiring that all believers might learn to appreciate the tremendous future they have in Christ, he prayed that “the eyes of your understanding being enlightened,” somehow we might come to appreciate even now “the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints” (Ephesians 1:18).

Yet, marvelously rich and full though His grace is now, there is much more to come. “God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, . . . That in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:4-5, 7). HMM

For His Glory Alone

And said unto me, Thou art my servant, O Israel, in whom I will be glorified. —Isaiah 49:3

The glory of God is the health of the universe; the essential soundness of things requires that He be honored among created intelligences.

Where God is honored fully is heaven, and it is heaven for that reason; where He is honored not at all is hell, and for that cause it is hell. Among men we see a mixture of honor and dishonor. Basically this is the cause back of earth’s tragic, confused history.

God has not finished with His saints till He has brought them to a place where they honor Him on earth as He is honored in heaven.

God gives away His full purpose in redeeming man when He says, “Thou art my servant, O Israel, in whom I will be glorified” (Isaiah 49:3).

If we can convince God that we are sold out to His high honor, the problem of unanswered prayer is solved. God will withhold nothing from that man who is determined to live to His glory alone….

God has said, “them that honour me I will honour” (1 Samuel 2:30). He can honor us only when He knows His glory is safe in our hands.

Lord, may I honor You today on earth as You are honored in heaven. Be glorified in and through me today. Amen.

Your Humility and Worship

Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God. (1 Peter 5:6)

Real worship is, among other things, a feeling about the Lord God! It is in our hearts, and we must be willing to express it in an appropriate manner.

We can express our worship to God in many ways. But if we love the Lord and are led by His Holy Spirit, our worship will always bring a delighted sense of admiring awe and a sincere humility on our part.

There must be humility in the heart of the person who would worship God in spirit and in truth. So, the proud and lofty man or woman cannot worship God any more acceptably than can the proud devil himself!

Unfortunately, many of us are strictly “Santa Claus Christians.” We need to go on from an elementary kind of love, in which we think of God as putting up a kind of Christmas tree and putting all our gifts underneath. We need, rather, to be delighted in the presence of utter, infinite excellence!

Such worship will have the ingredient of fascination, the personality captured by the Presence of God!

Look at thy possessions, O believer

Look at thy possessions, O believer, and compare thy portion with the lot of thy fellowmen. Some of them have their portion in the field; they are rich and their harvests yield them a golden increase; but what are harvests compared with thy God, who is the God of harvests? What are bursting granaries compared with him, who is the Husbandman, and feeds thee with the bread of heaven? Some have their portion in the city; their wealth is abundant, and flows to them in constant streams, until they become a very reservoir of gold; but what is gold compared with thy God? “Thou art my portion, O Lord.”—Psalm cxix.