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Good Intentions

By Alice Wong
July 20, 2020

Passages of the day: Click HERE ​to read today’s passages.

2 Chronicles 1:1-3:17
Romans 6:1-23
Psalm 16:1-11
Proverbs 19:20-21

When sheltering in place began, many of us vowed to use the time wisely. We were going to learn how to play a musical instrument, exercise more, homeschool kids, bake bread, organize closets, write a novel, [insert what you intended]. Over four months later, how is that going for you? Congratulations to those who have accomplished any of these things! My guess is that a lot of us started out with good intentions which have since sputtered out.

Solomon started out with good intentions when he began reigning over the kingdom of Israel. God asked him what he wanted and rather than asking for more wishes (kidding), he asked for wisdom and knowledge to govern. God was so pleased with his response that not only did he grant wisdom and knowledge, he gave him the bonuses of wealth, riches, and fame.

His good intentions of following God lasted for a while but…years later, they fell by the wayside and he ended up doing evil, turning his heart after other gods.

What about us? We learn in Romans 6 that Jesus gives us the gift of eternal life. Accepting that gift frees us from slavery to sin so we can live holy and righteous lives. And while that is our intent, we often slip up like Solomon did.

Ironically, it was Solomon’s father David who wrote Psalm 16, saying in v. 4, “Troubles multiply for those who chase after other gods”. To avoid letting our good intentions slip away, let us honestly recognize and reject the gods we chase after and prioritize over God, gods like pride, materialism, family, worry, education, beauty, comfort.

The Proverbs passage points us back to wisdom. Our good intentions can last a lifetime if we ask God for wisdom and commit our plans and lives each day to him. Thank God that with him right beside us, we will not be shaken!

To memorize:

You make known to me the path of life: you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.

— Psalm 16:11

Prayer to start with: Lord, open my eyes to see where I have been chasing other things or people instead of desiring you. Fill me with your joy as I face today with confidence because you are always right beside me! Here are my plans for today: ________. Help me to hold them lightly so that your purpose will prevail.