In all these things we are more than CHAMPIONS through Him who loved us. ROMANS 8:37
January 1
August 1
BLESSED

How blessed are those who keep justice, Who practice righteousness at all times
Psalm 106:3

One common temptation for athletes is to live to please their flesh. They believe because they work so hard, they should enjoy themselves. This type of thinking can lead to poor performance and an early end to careers. They are trading short term pleasure for long term loss. For a believer, we are taught to live for long term gain. Doing right always brings a reward both now and in the future. This consistency even blesses those around us. God promises reward for those who do right. Can God bless how you are living your life?


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Lesson 32
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READING PLAN:
2 Chronicles 30:1-31:21
Romans 15:1-22
Psalm 25:1-15
Proverbs 20:13-15

<strong>PRIORITIES</strong>
August 2
CORRUPTED

But they mingled with the nations and learned their practices,
Psalm 106:35

Athletes should be aware of where their decisions will take them.
The first step down the road to destruction is usually guided by one we would have called a friend. Be very careful who let get close to you.
Those who get closest to us have the greatest influence on our lives. Ask yourself if this person’s life is taking them somewhere you want to go.
Christians have long known the danger of allowing lost people to influence our lives—many examples in the Bible of this. Don’t let someone else’s sin to be your own. Are you being corrupted by your friends?


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Lesson 32
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READING PLAN:
2 Chronicles 32:1-33:13
Romans 15:23-16:9
Psalm 25:16-22
Proverbs 20:16-18

<strong>DAILY WORKOUT</strong>
August 3 COMPLAINING

But grumbled in their tents; They did not listen to the voice of the Lord.
Psalm 106:25

One thing that will bring a team down is complaining. When someone complains, their focus is on the negative, and eventually, it leads to why we should do what we are asked to do. Complaining leads to poor performance. No team wants a complainer on it. God also does not like complainers. When people complain about God, they then stop obeying Him. We need to trust God in tough times, take our requests to Him in prayer. Trust Him and not blame Him. Is there something in your life you are complaining about?

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Lesson 32
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READING PLAN:
2 Chronicles 33:14-34:33
Romans 16:10-27
Psalm 26:1-12
Proverbs 20:19

January 1
August 4 HERO

Then Phinehas stood up and interposed, and so the plague was stayed.
Psalm 106:30

Every athlete dreams of being the hero. The one who rises up when it seems all hope is lost and turns the tide. Heroes are ordinary people who prepare hard daily, and they are able to take advantage of the opportunity when it arises. They are not somebody who just walked in off the street. For a believer to be looked upon as a hero, he must be prepared and take advantage of opportunities as they come. Opportunities are risky, but they are worth it. Are you preparing to stand up for Christ?

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Lesson 32
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READING PLAN:
2 Chronicles 35:1-36:23
1 Corinthians 1:1-17
Psalm 27:1-6
Proverbs 20:20-21

<strong>PRIORITIES</strong>
August 5
THANKFUL-NESS

Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, for His lovingkindness is everlasting.
Psalm 107:1

Attitudes can lift an athlete up or bring him down. One of these is thankfulness. When an athlete thinks that people owe him something, he ceases to be thankful for what he has. This lack of appreciation leads to a breakdown in relationships with other teammates hurting the team. A follower of Christ should be thankful all the time. Everything we have came from him. We don’t get what we deserve; we get better. God is good to us. Are you thankful?
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Lesson 32
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READING PLAN:
Ezra 1:1-2:70
1 Corinthians 1:18-2:5
Psalm 27:7-14
Proverbs 20:22-23

<strong>DAILY WORKOUT</strong>
August 6
HE PICKED YOU

Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, Whom He has redeemed from the hand of the adversary 3 And gathered from the lands, from the east and from the west, from the north and from the south.
Psalm 107:2-3

An athlete experiences joy when he knows that he is wanted on his team. This feeling gives him the confidence to perform better and frees him from the fear of failure. When you know you are wanted, you are willing to sacrifice more for your team’s success. For a Christian, this concept of being chosen in spite of who we are and what we have done should bring great joy. This should give us the desire to perform better and sacrifice more. The God of the universe has chosen you. How does it feel to be chosen?
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Lesson 33
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READING PLAN:
Ezra 3:1-4:23
1 Corinthians 2:6-3:4
Psalm 28:1-9

Proverbs 20:24-25

January 1
August 7 SPEAK OUT!

Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, Whom He has redeemed from the hand of the adversary.
Psalm 107:2

An athlete is expected to speak out for his team every chance he gets. He is expected to say good things in public even when he is not sure all is well. This is part of the code that athletes live by. When an athlete doesn’t speak out or speaks negatively, someone will quickly remind him that that is unacceptable. For a Christian, we should speak up for the cause of Christ every chance we get. We have been given so much we should never be silent. Are you speaking out for God?

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Lesson 33
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READING PLAN:
Ezra 4:24-6:22
1 Corinthians 3:5-23
Psalm 29:1-11

Proverbs 20:26-27

<strong>PRIORITIES</strong>
August 8
HELP IN TROUBLED TIMES

Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble; He delivered them out of their distresses.
Psalm 107:6

For an athlete being on a team provides comfort. Knowing that your coach supports you gives you courage. Knowing that in those dark, troubled times, you are not alone is a gift. You know that help is on the way many times before you asked. God is all of this for Christians and even more. He sees troubles ahead and sometimes stops them completely. Other times he lets us ask and then sends the help we need. He is always there. He will help you. Do you need help?
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Lesson 33
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READING PLAN:
Ezra 7:1-8:20
1 Corinthians 4:1-21
Psalm 30:1-12

Proverbs 20:28-30

<strong>DAILY WORKOUT</strong>
August 9
TO BE WISE

Who is wise? Let him give heed to these things, and consider the lovingkindnesses of the Lord.
Psalm 107:43

To be a good athlete, you should behave wisely. Eat right, rest well, exercise, and practice skills. Doing these things can help make you a better athlete. You can learn them from watching others and be wise yourself. To be wise as a Christian, we should look at what God is doing and join Him in His work. When you see His blessings, it makes your heart full of joy. If you want to be wise, you should pay attention to what the Lord is doing. Do you want to be wise?
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Lesson 33
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READING PLAN:
Ezra 8:21-9:15
1 Corinthians 5:1-13
Psalm 31:1-8

Proverbs 21:1-2

January 1
August 10 WHAT’S IMPORTANT

My heart is steadfast, O God; I will sing, I will sing praises, even with my soul.
Psalm 108:1

An athlete will let you know what’s important to them by what they talk about the most. They might talk about their team, the game, their city, their friends. All you have to do is be around them enough, and you will know. This is also true outside of sports. If I say I am a Christian and that God is more important to me than anything else, you can tell how true it is by what I talk about. What I talk about the most is what is on my mind. So what would your friends say is important to you?

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Lesson 33
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READING PLAN:
Ezra 10:1-44
1 Corinthians 6:1-20
Psalm 31:9-18

Proverbs 21:3

<strong>PRIORITIES</strong>
August 11
STEADY

I will sing, I will sing praises, even with my soul.
Psalm 108:1

A characteristic of a successful athlete is a steadfast focus. You have a goal, and you are constantly working towards it. This focus leads to improvement. If you have one goal today and a different tomorrow, you will not be able to achieve much because you will be working towards too many things. For a Christian, when our heart and mind are set on Him, it allows us to work towards knowing Him. We will grow spiritually and be able to bless others. Is your focus steadily on Him?
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Lesson 33
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READING PLAN:
Nehemiah 1:1-3:14
1 Corinthians 7:1-24
Psalm 31:19-24
Proverbs 21:4

<strong>DAILY WORKOUT</strong>
August 12 WHAT HE SAID

He also loved cursing, so it came to him; and he did not delight in blessing, so it was far from him.
Psalm 109:17

Some athletes are quick to praise others. Other athletes wish bad things upon their competitors. They rejoice when bad things happen to their competition. They are even glad when injuries happen to other players. This tendency is just a poor character. Those who follow Christ should be quick to praise others. They also understand that God has the power to return their curses upon them. God rewards those who wish well, not wish harm to others. What do you say about others?
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Lesson 33
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READING PLAN:
Nehemiah 3:15-5:13
1 Corinthians 7:25-40
Psalm 32:1-11
Proverbs 21:5-7

January 1
August 13
REPUTATION

But You, O God, the Lord, deal kindly with me for Your name’s sake; Because Your lovingkindness is good, deliver me;
Psalm 109:21

Athletes are known for their reputation both by their in-game actions and lifestyle actions. It’s really rather simple to do well and have a good reputation or do poorly and have a bad reputation. You make your reputation through your daily decisions. God is concerned about His reputation, so He always does what He says He will do. He always does good. As a follower of Christ, we should be as concerned about our reputations as God is. What does your reputation say about you?

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Lesson 34
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READING PLAN:
Nehemiah 5:14-7:73a
1 Corinthians 8:1-13
Psalm 33:1-11
Proverbs 21:8-10

<strong>PRIORITIES</strong>
August 14
WORTH STUDYING

Great are the works of the Lord; They are studied by all who delight in them.
Psalm 111:2

Athletes can learn from other athletes. The biggest decision is who do you want to learn from. The wise answer is you want to learn from someone you want to be like. You learn from someone by spending time with them. A follower of God wants to learn from God. And he knows that to be more like God, he must spend time with Him. This decision is made daily. You won’t become more like Him without spending time with Him. Does your life reflect that you have been studying God?
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Lesson 34
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READING PLAN:
Nehemiah 7:73-9:21
1 Corinthians 9:1-18
Psalm 33:12-22
Proverbs 21:11-12

<strong>DAILY WORKOUT</strong>
August 15
TURN AROUND

Let them curse, but You bless; When they arise, they shall be ashamed, But Your servant shall be glad.
Psalm 109:28

Athletes have their character tested in public more than most others. When their opponent does something wrong or says something that upsets them, they have a choice. You can respond like the offender and become like him or choose to ignore or respond with kindness and rise above him. God has set an excellent example when people speak curses. He responds with a blessing. To become like Christ, we should not resend to evil with evil, but with kindness. How do you respond to bad treatment by others?
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Lesson 34
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READING PLAN:
Nehemiah 9:22-10:39
1 Corinthians 9:19-10:13
Psalm 34:1-10
Proverb 21:13

January 1
August 16
NOT FORGOTTEN

He has made His wonders to be remembered; the Lord is gracious and compassionate.
Psalm 111:4

Athletes want to be remembered for winning championships. They seek to win awards because those players are remembered. Those who don’t win are soon forgotten. No one plans on being forgotten. God has done truly wonderful works that will be remembered. If we walk closely with Him, He will do things through our lives that will become treasured memories. I don’t want to live a forgettable life. Will your life be remembered or forgotten?

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Lesson 34
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READING PLAN:
Nehemiah 11:1-12:26
1 Corinthians 10: 14-33
Psalm 34:11-22
Proverbs 21:14-16

<strong>PRIORITIES</strong>
August 17
TRUTH

The works of His hands are truth and justice; All His precepts are sure.
Psalm 111:7

Most athletes dread that after the game, the coach will look at each player’s contribution to the team. His work will be judged on following the game plan and doing the things he should be doing. It’s either good or bad—no middle ground. For a believer, our lives will be looked at like this one day. Did we contribute to God’s plan and do the things we should be doing. There is no middle ground. Our works should be truth and justice because this is how God’s works are. Do your actions reflect God?
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Lesson 34
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READING PLAN:
Nehemiah 12:27-13:31
1 Corinthians 11:1-16
Psalm 35:1-16
Proverbs 21:17-18

<strong>DAILY WORKOUT</strong>
August 18
UNDERSTAND-ING

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; a good understanding have all those who do His commandments; His praise endures forever.
Psalm 111:10

For an athlete to achieve his full potential, he needs to understand how his sport functions. Many details affect outcomes. He also needs to understand the importance of his relationship with his coach and with the other players. Without this understanding, the player will end up frustrated. For a Christian, this is a great picture. You need to understand how life operates. It is vital to have a good relationship with God and with other believers. Are you becoming successful or frustrated?
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Lesson 34
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READING PLAN:
Esther 1:1-3:15
1 Corinthians 11:17-34
Psalm 35:17-28
Proverbs 21:19-20

January 1
August 19 WISDOM

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; a good understanding have all those who do His commandments; His praise endures forever.
Psalm 111:10

A characteristic that leads to success for athletes is wisdom. It can’t be taught because it really revolves around a decision. Wisdom involves recognizing the truth that someone else has and then being willing to give up our plans and base our decisions on it. As long as we seek to do our own thing, we can’t be wise. A true follower of Christ knows that acknowledging who God is the first step towards wisdom. Will, we lay down our plans and show wisdom by following His?

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Lesson 34
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READING PLAN:
Esther 4:1-7:10
1 Corinthians 12:1-26
Psalm 36:1-12

Proverbs 21:21-22

<strong>PRIORITIES</strong>
August 20
RESPECT FOR AUTHORITY

Praise the Lord! How blessed is the man who fears the Lord, Who greatly delights in His commandments.
Psalm 112:1

A forgotten tool that is key to being a successful athlete is respecting authority. Not respecting the referees will only lead to continued problems in the game. Not respecting the coach will affect the athlete’s playing time and cause problems with other players. Respecting authority comes with the benefits of that authority. Following God brings the blessings that only God can give. Not following Him brings problems. Are you walking in the blessings of respecting His authority?
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Lesson 35
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READING PLAN:
Esther 8:1-10:3
1 Corinthians 12:27-13:13
Psalm 37:1-11
Proverbs 21:23-24

<strong>DAILY WORKOUT</strong>
August 21
NOT AFRAID

His heart is upheld, he will not fear, Until he looks with satisfaction on his adversaries.
Psalm 112:8

For every athlete, there comes the moment of testing when things do not go right. At this moment, fear wants to move into your life. It will say that they won’t want you on this team anymore. They often feel like their lives are over. When this happens, what you trust in will either give you the strength to endure or let you down. As a follower of God, there are no letdowns. He will not abandon us in our moment of trial. No matter what happens, He will stay the same. Are you trusting in Him?
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Lesson 35
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READING PLAN:
Job 1:1-3:26
1 Corinthians 14:1-17
Psalm 37:12-29

Proverbs 21:25-26

January 1
August 22
GOD IS WATCHING

Who humbles Himself to behold the things that are in heaven and in the earth?
Psalm 113:6

Every athlete knows that during a game, he is being watched. The referee is watching to make sure he follows the rules. The coach is watching to make sure he follows the game plan. The fans are watching because they want to see their team win. Nothing he does will go unnoticed. For a follower of Christ, this is a great reminder. God sees all of our actions. He humbles Himself and takes time to be involved in our lives. He is looking for opportunities to reward us for doing well. Would God reward you for how you are living today?

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Lesson 35
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READING PLAN:
Job 4:1-7:21
1 Corinthians 14:18-40
Psalm 37:30-40

Proverbs 21:27

<strong>PRIORITIES</strong>
August 23
A GOOD MAN

It is well with the man who is gracious and lends; He will maintain his cause in judgment.
Psalm 112:5

A significant achievement for an athlete is also to be known as a good man. This will be the legacy of his career. Some athletes are known as good athletes but not as good men. Athletes that are also known as good men receive more respect. God’s plan is for all of his followers to be known as good people. His pattern for that is dealing with other people with grace and helping those who have needs. We would all like to be treated this way as well. Based on your life, would you be called a good man?
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Lesson 35
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READING PLAN:
Job 8:1-11:20
1 Corinthians 15:1-28
Psalm 38:1-22

Proverbs 21:28-29

<strong>DAILY WORKOUT</strong>
August 24 CREDIT

Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to Your name give glory because of Your lovingkindness, because of Your truth.
Psalm 115:1

Nothing will make an athlete more unpopular than to take credit for his team’s success. Even star players need other players around them to make them successful. A wise athlete knows that it is a combination of athletes and coaching that makes any team successful. As a follower of Christ, we should always make sure that God gets the glory. Every good thing we do was His idea. All we do is follow His leading. He alone deserves credit because He also gives us the ability. Are you giving credit to God?
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Lesson 35
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READING PLAN:
Job 12:1-15:35
1 Corinthians 15:29-58
Psalm 39:1-13

Proverbs 21:30-31

January 1
August 25 REPUTATION

Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to Your name give glory because of Your lovingkindness, because of Your truth.
Psalm 115:1

One thing that follows an athlete is his reputation. Words like proud, arrogant, self-centered, selfish, and lazy are things that you hope to avoid. We would like to be known as humble, unselfish, thoughtful, and supportive of others. These things are tied to our actions. Our actions should reflect on how we want to be known. God’s reputation is based on his actions. As followers of Christ, we should be conscious of the reputation that our actions are earning us. Does your reputation speak well of Jesus?
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Lesson 35
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READING PLAN:
Job 16:1-19:29
1 Corinthians 16:1-24
Psalm 40:1-10

Proverbs 22:1

<strong>PRIORITIES</strong>
August 26 ASKED FOR

You who fear the Lord, trust in the Lord; He is their help and their shield.
Psalm 115:11

For an athlete, it is one thing to know who to turn to when you need help, and it’s another thing to do it. You can have the player on your bench who can turn the game around, but he has to be in the game to make a difference. You have to ask for his help, or you won’t get it. It works that way with God. Only God is truly capable of turning our lives around. But He is waiting for us to turn to Him and let Him do it. God has to be put in charge of your life to make a difference. Have you asked for His help?
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Lesson 35
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READING PLAN:
Job 20:1-22:30
2 Corinthians 1:1-11
Psalm 40:11-17

Proverbs 22:2-4

<strong>DAILY WORKOUT</strong>
August 27
RELIABLE

Why should the nations say, “Where, now, is their God?”
Psalm 115:2

Every athlete dreams of being the “go-to” guy. The player, his team, relies on when the game is on the line. Other teams will challenge you to step up and make the tough shot. The goal is to be reliable, to make the play that makes the difference continuously. No matter how reliable you are, people will still challenge you to make the play. It is no different with God. Most people continue to challenge Him. He has never disappointed. For Christians, we should rely on his 100% consistency. Are you relying on God?
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Lesson 36
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READING PLAN:
Job 23:1-27:23
2 Corinthians 1:12-2:11
Psalm 41:1-13

Proverbs 22:5-6

January 1
August 28 WHILE THERE’S TIME

The dead do not praise the Lord, nor do any who go down into silence;
Psalm 115:17

In the back of every athlete’s mind is the desire to take advantage of their opportunities because they never know how many chances they will have. They want to be known as the player who took advantage of the chances they were given. The same should be true in our relationship with God. We should seek to live it to its fullest every day and take advantage of every opportunity the Lord gives us. After we are dead, it will be too late. Are you taking advantage of the time the Lord has given you?

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Lesson 36
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READING PLAN:
Job 28:1-30:31
2 Corinthians 2:12-17
Psalm 42:1-11

Proverbs 22:7

<strong>PRIORITIES</strong>
August 29
LISTENING

I love the Lord, because He hears my voice and my supplications.
Psalm 116:1

When a timeout is called in sports, players gather around their coach and listen intently. They pay attention to everything that is said because they understand it could impact who wins the game. They know the value of listening. One blessing of being a follower of Christ is that God listens to us just as intently as those athletes do their coach. He values what we have to say. No one will listen as carefully to what we have to say. He understands us when we don’t make sense to others. Have you thanked the Lord for listening to you?
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Lesson 36
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READING PLAN:
Job 31:1-33:33
2 Corinthians 3:1-18
Psalm 43:1-5

Proverbs 22:8-9

<strong>DAILY WORKOUT</strong>
August 30
PAYBACK

What shall I render to the Lord for all His benefits toward me?
Psalm 116:12

Everyone understands there are rewards for hard work and dedication. Other family members appreciate it when we come in and work hard.
We will not be criticized for our efforts in our family. Criticism belongs to those who don’t give their best effort to the family. No one has ever given more and sacrificed more than Jesus did for humanity. Knowing this to be true, we should not be critical of God. Our question should be, What can I do for Him?

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Lesson 36
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READING PLAN:
Job 34:1-36:33
2 Corinthians 4:1-12
Psalm 44:1-8

Proverbs 22:10-12

January 1
August 31 BE AT PEACE

Return to your rest, O my soul, For the Lord has dealt bountifully with you.
Psalm 116:7

For an athlete to perform at his peak, he must be at peace. He can’t be worried, distracted, or troubled by a situation in his life. One thing that can help provide this inner peace is knowing that someone else is taking care of a situation. This allows them to focus on the game. For a Christian, this inner peace should be a constant possession. God is always there for us, taking care of situations better than we could ourselves. Knowing this, we should be more able to focus on living each day for HIm. Are you living at peace, knowing that God is on your side?

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Lesson 36
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READING PLAN:
Job 37:1-39:30
2 Corinthians 4:13-5:10
Psalm 44:9-26

Proverbs 22:13

<strong>PRIORITIES</strong>



<strong>DAILY WORKOUT</strong>