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power in obedience to...
February 09, 2022

Obeying God: Not always easy for singles

Let's face it. Obeying God doesn't sound like much fun. We think He's constantly saying "Don't do this, and don't do that."

And there's a lot of truth in that notion. Read the Ten Commandments and you do find a lot of "You shall nots."

But wait. Who is wiser, you or God? In fact, who is God? You're not, and I'm not the God over my own life either. We answer to a Power greater than ourselves.

Here's a lesson many people grow old and never learn: You'll enjoy life much, much more when you put a stop to self-destructive behavior. God wants to help you do that.

Learn the superpower of the saints in February's feature: "The benefits of obeying God."

Oh what a gift!

I would not trade it
for a mountain of gold,
nor for all of the jewels
my two hands could hold.

This gift so lavish,
it drove me to tears.
And I shall enjoy it
for the next trillion years.

Oh what a gift!
But oh what a cost;
the price that He paid
to redeem the lost.

The outrage of torture,
dishonor and shame.
Nailed there to die
because He took the blame.

The debt's paid in full,
not a penny remains.
With one act of love,
he shattered sins' chains.

My heart bursts with thanks,
though I cannot repay.
But with the Spirit's help,
I can try to obey.

~ Jack Zavada,, 2022 ~

Do these newsletters speak to you?

If you like the practical advice in these newsletters, you'll love Jack's paperback book, Hope for Hurting Singles

Jack Zavada discovered, when he was in his 20s, that it was smart to listen to older people. First, it was a matter of respect, but second, their experience helped him avoid a lot of misery.

Hope for Hurting Singles continues that tradition. Learn the important principles Jack came upon over the past 40 years.

Here's a wise strategy: Why go through the painful lesson yourself when you can avoid it by taking Jack's hard-won advice?

Get Hope for Hurting Singles on Kindle edition is only $3.99.

QOTM: Why should you obey God?

February's Quote of the Month from Independent Baptist pastor and author Jack Hyles gives one of the best reasons why we should obey God:

You express love by obedience.
    ~ Jack Hyles (1926-2001) ~

There are many reasons to obey God, but the best is that it's a way to show God we love him.

We singles have a lot of freedom. Many of us are not accountable to anyone—or at least that's how it seems. But in reality every person on earth is accountable to God. God has a realistic view of us. He knows we're incapable of perfect obedience, but he does expect us to make our best effort to obey him.

When you're confronted with a choice, temptation may be strong, but you have the Holy Spirit living within you for help. Choose obedience. Love God.

How to take a giant leap forward in maturity…

We see it every day in the news, we watch our friends and relatives do it, and maybe we even do it ourselves: saying or doing something that backfires on us in a painful or expensive way.

At the risk of repeating a story I've told you before, I was a young boy of 8 or 9 years and told my Dad about a perplexing misdeed one of my classmates had done. Confused, I asked, "Why would he do something like that?" My Dad looked at me a few moments, and in his straightforward way answered, "Well, everybody's not smart."

That profound explanation has served me well for over 60 years. How do we get "smart?" By remembering every action has consequences.

Look at the celebrities and politicians who have to apologize for their thoughtless statements. Look at the thousands of people in prison and addicted to drugs and alcohol. They ignored this inescapable truth: Every action has consequences.

Learn how to think ahead. Get good at imagining the repercussions of what you say and do. Learn how to censor yourself before blurting out something hurtful.

And check out this article showing why every action has consequences.

And yet another Valentine's Day…

Sometimes it seems as if we don't have control over much. We even war with our own emotions at times. Let's try not to do that this Valentine's Day.

If you currently don't have a "sweetie," don't let it drag you down. One lesson I learned long ago, which comes in handy on Valentine's Day: I don't have to beat myself up over it.

There's a ton of unfairness in life, and some people wouldn't know a Good Thing if it smacked them upside the head!

So this Valentine's Day, don't let anyone or anything convince you you're not a worthwhile person because you're not romantically involved. Instead, remember, The One-Who-Knows-How-to-Spot-a-Keeper is fiercely, passionately in love with you:

"This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us." (1 John 3:16, NIV)

Singles and the ever-present danger of idolatry

One of the curious themes of the Old Testament is the ancient Israelites' attraction to idolatry. Time after time, we see them turning to false gods such as Baal, Asherah, Chemosh, Dagon, and Molech.

Those idols have been forgotten today, replaced by career, relationships, fame, wealth, possessions, personal appearance, our favorite political party, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. In our case, we can even make an idol out of our desire to get married. I know I did.

Like those ancient Israelites, we're drawn to false gods because we believe they can give us what we want. That idea is just as wrong now as it was then. There's a good reason the First Commandment says "I am the LORD your God…you shall have no other gods before me." (Exodus 20:2-3, NIV)

When we worship any god other than the LORD, we start doing things to serve that god. We pour our time and thought into it. We sacrifice our money to it. And worst of all, we put our hope in it. As we learned in the January Inspire-O-Gram, our hope should be focused on Jesus Christ alone.

It's early in the year yet. It's a good time to take stock of your life. Are you worshipping any false gods? Has an idol grabbed your loyalty to the exclusion of Jesus? Are you looking for fulfillment in anything besides the Lord?

I'll confess to you: I've had to reorder my priorities several times in my life. It's not easy, but it's the right thing to do. God has a heaven waiting for us where every one of our needs and desires will be satisfied. And he loves us. No idol does that.

Want to drop me a line about this newsletter? You can get your email into my personal inbox by using our hack-proof contact form.

Thanks once again for reading, single friend. I appreciate being able to visit you every month.

I hope you'll take some time to meditate on the suggestions in this month's newsletter. We serve God by serving people, and we love God by obeying his commands. May he bless your life richly as you do both.

Jack Zavada

PS: Not a Christian? Find out how to become one!

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