MAY 1-31

January 1
May 1
FOCUS

“Cease striving and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”
Psalm 46:10

A driver cannot afford to get distracted by a text message. A moment of distraction can cause costly damage or even cost them their life or the life of another person. Drivers need to do all they can to deal with and avoid distractions to
perform well behind the wheel. For a Christian, it is even more important not to lose focus. A moment of distraction can cause a lifetime of pain and regret. Life is more important than a text message. There are many other distractions in this world: television, music, people, not to mention our own desires. What distractions are keeping you from your focus on God?
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Lesson 18
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READING PLAN:
Judges 13:1-14:20
John 1:29-51
Psalms 102:1-28
Proverbs 14:15-16

PRIORITIES
May 2
ENTHUSIASM

Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for there is no activity or planning or knowledge or wisdom in Sheol where you are going.
Ecclesiastes 9:10

 Have you ever done something over and over, to the point where it is boring?   Your heart is just no longer “in it.”  It takes enthusiasm on our part to take it to the highest level. It’s easy to see the difference.  The Bible tells us that if we deem anything worthy of doing, we should do it with enthusiasm.  God gave us the ability to care about what we are doing.  As Christians our actions testify of His greatness, so we should always seek to give our best.  Are you giving your all to what you are doing today?


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Lesson 18
_________________________________ READING PLAN:
Judges 15:1-16:31
John 2:1-25
Psalms 103:1-22
Proverbs 14:17-19

DAILY WORKOUT
May 3 Rewards

He chooses our inheritance for us, The glory of Jacob whom He loves. Selah.
Psalm 47:4

People invest hours working to obtain a paycheck that they don’t even appreciate. I have never seen anyone refuse to deposit their paycheck in the bank. People are often excited about payday because their family can go out to eat or maybe buy something they have waited to get. At that moment, the hard work not important; having gotten paid is. As Christians, we are will one day receive a custom-made paycheck just for us. It’s called a reward because it is more than we deserve. The God of the universe who loves us more than we can imagine is preparing a reward for us individually. This should motivate us. Are you excited about your reward?
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Lesson 18
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READING PLAN:
Judges 17:1-18:31
John 3:1-21
Psalms 104:1-24
Proverbs 14:20-21

January 1
May 4 A SONG WORTH SINGING

For God is the King of all the earth; Sing praises with a skillful psalm.
Psalm 47:7

Do you like listening to songs or singing along with the radio? Some songs remind us of our loyalty to our country.  Others remind us of a person dear to us.  Many others are frivolous and only serve to entertain us.  Have you ever considered how it makes God feel when we sing songs of love and devotion to Him?  When it comes time to declare our love and devotion to God, I want to sing something that reflects how I feel personally, not something frivolous.  How do you feel when you sing to Him?

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Lesson 18
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READING PLAN:
Judges 19:1-20:48
John 3:22-4:3
Psalms 104:24-35
Proverbs 14:22-24

PRIORITIES
May 5
PREPARATION

God is in her palaces; He is known as her refuge.NKJV
Psalm 48:3

Life is fun when things are going well. We all know that we should plan and prepare for when things don’t go well. Wise people work very hard to prepare for this. They know that even though things aren’t going well, it doesn’t mean life is over. By refocusing on their objectives, they can still achieve their goals. This concept is even more important spiritually.
Just because circumstances are not good does not mean that your life is a failure. In those times, we should get closer to God and refocus on His priorities. Our lives can turn around. Are you turning to God in your tough times?

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Lesson 18
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READING PLAN:
Judges 21:1-Ruth 1:22
John 4:4-42
Psalms 105:1-15
Proverb 14:25

DAILY WORKOUT
May 6 MOTIVATION

My mouth will speak wisdom, and the meditation of my heart will be understanding.
Psalm 49:3

One of the growing industries today is motivational speaking. The purpose is to help keep the audience motivated to pursue their goals, whatever they are. These speakers choose their words carefully. In our daily lives, we should also choose our words carefully. God’s word is full of encouragement and can give us purpose for our daily lives. The living Word of God should motivate us, and our words should encourage others in their lives as well. Discouragement lurks for us. Are we facing each day with motivation from God’s word?
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Lesson 19
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READING PLAN:
Ruth 2:1-4:22
John 4:43-54
Psalms 105:16-36
Proverbs 14:26-27

January 1
May 7 EXCUSES

If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have known sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin.
John 15:22

Have you ever had a big test at school? Teachers try to prepare you for every question you will encounter to do well on that test.  Occasionally, a question arises that you are not sure what to do, and it usually does not go well.  You didn’t know what to do, or maybe you didn’t study and prepare like you needed to. In our lives, God has provided His Word so that we can know what to do in every situation.  We also have the Holy Spirit to guide us. We have no excuse for doing the wrong thing. Are you trying to make excuses or preparing to pass the next test life gives you?

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Lesson 19
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READING PLAN:
1 Samuel 1:1-2:21
John 5:1-23
Psalms 105:37-45
Proverbs 14:28-29

PRIORITIES
May 8 INTIMIDATION

They saw it, then they were amazed; They were terrified, they fled in alarm.
Psalm 48:5

 As a child, do you remember being afraid? That fear would vanish when we were with our parents. Maybe after school, walking home alone, a gang of kids yelled at you. The size of the crowd intimidated you. You knew if they came after you, there was no hope. But if your big brother or a parent were with you, it made all the difference. When Satan sees who is walking with us, he is intimidated.  What he has learned is sometimes we forget who is with us, and we approach life discouraged.  In those moments, he steals victories that should have been ours.  Are you walking in the confidence that the presence of God is in your life?

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Lesson 19
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READING PLAN:
1 Samuel 2:22-4:22
John 5:24-47
Psalms 106:1-12
Proverbs 14:30-31

DAILY WORKOUT
May 9
PERSPECTIVE

Why should I fear in days of adversity, When the iniquity of my foes surrounds me
Psalm 49:5

Have you ever been running late for an important appointment?  Then panic sets in, more mistakes are made, and more time is lost. When fear sets in, we want to give up.  When this emotion is controlled, it allows you an opportunity to get control of the situation.  Fear is a terrible emotion.  It can cause us to believe that we have failed when the initial circumstances aren’t favorable.  Perspective tells us that initial circumstances don’t always dictate the results, and we should continue.  Fear wants us to quit. As Christians, we are never alone, no matter how dark the circumstances. Are you trusting in God even when things aren’t looking good?
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Lesson 19
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READING PLAN:
1 Samuel 5:1-7:17
John 6:1-21
Psalms 106:13-31
Proverbs 14:32-33

January 1
May 10 PAYING ATTENTION

“What right have you to tell of my statutes and to take my covenant in your mouth? For you hate discipline, And you cast My words behind you.
Psalm 50:16-17

Every large business or company has managers.  They are usually one of the older or more experienced employees.  Their job is to be the owner’s representative.  Imagine what would happen if the manager did not listen to the owner and made decisions opposite the owner.  That person would not be a manager very long because he didn’t listen to the owner.  God, in these verses, is asking why do people pretend to be Christians when they don’t pay any attention to what He is asking them to do.  God has no patience for this type of living.  Do our lives reflect obedience to the God we claim to love?

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Lesson 19
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READING PLAN:
1 Samuel 8:1-9:27
John 6:22-42
Psalms 106:32-48
Proverbs 14:34-35

PRIORITIES
May 11 KNOWING YOUR LIMITS

No man can by any means redeem his brother or give God a ransom for him.
Psalm 49:7

As a person, it is important to know your limitations. Someone may be faster or smarter or taller than you. To be the best you can be, you must do what you do well. The surest way to failure is to try to do the things that are beyond your abilities. In the spiritual realm, this is even more important. To try to do for others what only God can do is a sure recipe for failure. Our value in our service to God lies in using our God-given gifts to serve others. Knowing our limits and our gifts are the key. Are you trying to do something that only God can do?




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Lesson 19
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READING PLAN:
1 Samuel 10:1-11:15
John 6:43-71
Psalms 107:1-43
Proverbs 15:1-3

DAILY WORKOUT
May 12
RETIREMENT

“What right have you to tell of my statutes and to take my covenant in your mouth? For you hate discipline, and you cast My words behind you.
Psalm 50:16-17

Something that most people don’t like to think about is life after work. But no one gets to work forever. Their career will one day come to an end. A failure to think about this and prepare for it will guarantee difficulty. There is no second chance to prepare for life after retirement. A wise person does it early in their career. A close parallel is that one must be prepared for the afterlife. Heaven or hell awaits. Many would like to go back and change things, but there are no second chances. Are you ready for this life to end?
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Lesson 19
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READING PLAN:
1 Samuel 12:1-13:23
John 7:1-30
Psalms 108:1-13
Proverbs 15:4

January 1
May 13
NEED HELP?

He who offers a sacrifice of thanksgiving honors Me, and to him who orders his way aright I shall show the salvation of God.”
Psalm 50:23

In the medical field, some doctors have interns and training to be a doctor someday. One of the requirements of a doctor for his intern is to follow all of his instructions. The intern better not talk badly about the doctor or not follow his instructions.  If an intern fails at one or both of these, the doctor will no longer try to mentor him into a doctor. Why would we think any less of God working in our lives? We should only speak well of someone we are trusting to help us.  If we truly want help, we will follow the instructions we are given.  God is willing to help you; are you willing to follow His commands?

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Lesson 20
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READING PLAN:
1 Samuel 14:1-52
John 7:31-53
Psalms 109:1-31
Proverbs 15:5-7

PRIORITIES
May 14 RELY ON HIM

Save me, O God, by Your name,
And vindicate me by Your power.

Psalm 54:1

We all have somebody we rely on when the going gets tough.  These are your stars and your heroes.    What a comfort to know they are constantly on your side, and you know you can count on them.  God fills the same role in our lives.  He is constantly there for us.  He looks out for us and protects us.  When the going gets tough, we don’t have to wonder who to turn to, or where to look for help.  He is already there for you.  Are you relying on Him in your daily life?
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Lesson 20
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READING PLAN:
1 Samuel 15:1-16:23
John 8:1-20
Psalms 110:1-7
Proverbs 15:8-10

DAILY WORKOUT
May 15 FOOLISH THINKING

The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God,” They are corrupt and have committed abominable injustice; There is no one who does good.
Psalm 53:1


Some people have such confidence in themselves. They think that they can not take care of their bodies without any consequences. At first, they notice no difference. Over time, their performance goes down, and it is rare to turn their lives around. If we think we can live as we please and ignore God’s instructions and not have consequences, we are engaged in foolish thinking. Once we start down this road, we can’t go back and undo the damage we have caused to ourselves and others. With God’s help, we can make changes and begin to live a better life, and avoid creating more problems for ourselves and others. Are you living your life like there is no God?

 

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Lesson 20
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READING PLAN:
1 Samuel 17:1-18:4
John 8:21-30
Psalms 111:1-10
Proverbs 15:11

January 1
May 16
THE AVENGER

Behold, God is my helper;
The Lord is the sustainer of my soul. He will recompense the evil to my foes; Destroy them in Your faithfulness.

Psalm 54:4-5

There are moments in our lives when we feel someone has intentionally wronged a friend or us
and gotten away with it. We are tempted to try to avenge ourselves or our friend.  What normally happens is that it backfires.  Then we are left with the frustration of our injustice and with our attempt at vengeance that failed.  There is a better way.  When we have been wronged, we should appeal to a higher power.  An attempt to get vengeance ourselves puts us in the role of playing God.  We should leave vengeance in His hands and focus on living our lives.  Have you surrendered your desire for vengeance to God?
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Lesson 20
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READING PLAN:
1 Samuel 18:5-19:24
John 8:31-59
Psalms 112:1-10
Proverbs 15:12-14

PRIORITIES
May 17 STAYING POWER

Cast your burden upon the Lord, and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken.
Psalm 55:22

Occasionally, someone we know has some personal tragedy, whether it be a divorce or the death of a family member. Sometimes, they never seem to recover, and their careers and lives go downhill. What happened to them did not affect their physical ability or talent but their mental and emotional ability. This impacts their total life. No one is exempt from tragedy. But God promises that if we will cast our burdens on Him and live according to His principles, He will help us get through the tough times. Now is the time to put your trust in Him before tragedy strikes. Are you trusting Him today?

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Lesson 20
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READING PLAN:
1 Samuel 20:1-21:15
John 9:1-41
Psalm 113:1-114:8
Proverbs 15:15-17

DAILY WORKOUT
May 18 WHERE IS YOUR HELP?

When I am afraid, I will put my trust in You.
Psalm 56:3

Life has some dangerous moments.  Anytime there is the potential for a dangerous situation, such as bad weather, people are briefed ahead of time and told where to go for protection.  Then they depend on the meteorologist to let them know when to seek cover.  When the signal is given, they run quickly to their protected area.  As Christians, we have a place to turn to when the situation gets dangerous.  We can turn to God. He is near, and He is watching out for us constantly.  When the going gets tough, where do you turn for help?
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Lesson 20
__________________________________ READING PLAN:
1 Samuel 22:1-23:29
John 10:1-21
Psalm 115:1-18
Proverbs 15:18-19

January 1
MAY 19 ARE YOU LISTENING?

God will hear and answer them—Even the one who sits enthroned from of old— Selah.
Psalm 55:19

Has the coach ever asked you, “Are you listening to me?” That is an embarrassing moment. His concern is not with your embarrassment but that you take what he is telling you and use it in the game. Not emphasizing what the coach asks you to do shows a lack of respect for him. So the question is, really, do you have enough respect for the coach to do what he asks you to do? God asks the very same question. He expects you to have enough love for Him to obey Him. God is asking you today, “Are you listening?”

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Lesson 20
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READING PLAN:
1 Samuel 24:1-25:44
John 10:22-42
Psalm 116:1-19
Proverbs 15:20-21

PRIORITIES
May 20 WHAT’S THE WORST THEY CAN DO?

In God, whose word I praise, In God, I have put my trust; I shall not be afraid. What can mere man do to me?
Psalm 56:4


For an athlete, panic is not an option. Understanding situations helps us to handle them well. Sometimes we need to ask ourselves, what is the worst thing that can happen? Knowing this guides our reaction. A player with an excellent chance to score against your team should get a stronger reaction than one who has a poor chance to score. As Christians, we should know that God is there for us and that the worse thing the devil can do is cause us to lose our physical life.
No one can take our salvation away from us. We should never panic or act in fear because what is the worst our enemy can do?

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Lesson 21
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READING PLAN:
1 Samuel 26:1-28:25
John 11:1-54
Psalm 117:1-2
Proverbs 15:22-23

DAILY WORKOUT
May 21 KNOW WHO TO CALL

I will cry to God Most High, to God who accomplishes all things for me.
Psalm 57:2

As an athlete knowing your teammates helps you do well in tough situations. You wouldn’t want your worst player to take the game-deciding shot; you would want your best player to do it. You put your best defender out there to stop their best offensive player. Knowing their abilities guides your decisions. You know who to ask, depending on what you need. As Christians, we have a much easier task. We don’t have to decide from a multitude of options. There is only one God, and He is the best at everything. So no matter what your problem, who are you going to call?
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Lesson 21
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READING PLAN:
1 Samuel 29:1-31:13
John 11:55-12:19
Psalm 118:1-18
Proverbs 15:24-26

January 1
May 22 REWARDS

And men will say, “Surely there is a reward for the righteous; Surely there is a God who judges on earth!”
Psalm 58:11

For athletes, there are temptations to take shortcuts to success. People try to break the rules in such a way as not to get caught. While there may be some short-term benefits, your reputation will eventually catch up with you, and your reputation will be bad. What you thought would get you ahead has only served to bring you down. As a Christian, there are temptations to take shortcuts to get what we want instead of trusting in God to provide for us. We begin to look just like lost people. True rewards come from doing the right thing. Do you trust God enough to do the right things and wait for His rewards?

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Lesson 21
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READING PLAN:
2 Samuel 1:1-2:11
John 12:20-50
Psalm 118:19-29
Proverbs 15:27-28

PRIORITIES
May 23
STABILITY

My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast; I will sing, yes, I will sing praises!
Psalm 57:7

As an athlete, you cannot allow a difficult situation to make you quit. You have to reach down and recommit yourself to playing as hard as you can. How you respond to the adverse situation can determine if the game is won or lost. We should never lose heart or give up in difficult circumstances. As Christians, we should value determination as well. We have a great God on our side, and no situation is over until He says it’s over. He can and does do miracles at times in this world. Knowing this, we should never give up. Do you have the staying power to keep going because of your relationship with God?
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Lesson 21
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READING PLAN:
2 Samuel 2:12-3:39
John 13:1-30
Psalm 119:1-16
Proverbs 15:29-30

DAILY WORKOUT
May 24 MY HELPER

O give us help against the adversary, For deliverance by man is in vain.
Psalm 60:11

There are moments in games when you know that you need help. You look over to the bench and see who is going to come into the game to help. When you see certain players move towards the field, your spirits lift, and you feel excited because help is on the way. As Christians, we don’t have to worry about who will come and help us because we know that we can count on God. Because He is God, He can do things that people can’t. It is great to know that we can depend on God. Are you allowing God to help you?
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Lesson 21
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READING PLAN:
2 Samuel 4:1-6:23
John 13:31-14:14
Psalm 119:17-32
Proverbs 15:31-32

January 1
May 25 CONFIDENCE RESTORED

Through God, we shall do valiantly, And it is He who will tread down our adversaries.
Psalm 60:12

When a team’s best player leaves the field injured in sporting events, there is usually a letdown that the other team tries to capitalize on. Yet even when they are down if they look up and see their star player running back onto the field, their confidence returns, and their level of play improves. In life, if we try to face problems alone, it is easy to get discouraged and feel like we are losing the battle. Yet when we sense the presence of God, and He shows His power in the situation, our confidence soars because we know victory is at hand. Are you putting your confidence in God to win the victory?

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Lesson 21
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READING PLAN:
2 Samuel 7:1-8:18
John 14:15-31
Psalm 119:33-48
Proverbs 15:33

PRIORITIES
May 26 RIGHT REWARD

Do not trust in oppression and do not vainly hope in robbery; If riches increase, do not set your heart upon them.
Psalm 62:10

There are times that athletes make plays or perform far above their skill level. We rejoice at their exceptional performance at a critical time. But it would be wrong to expect that kind of performance from them all of the time. This expectation would lead to frustration and disappointment. In life outside of sports, people find other things to trust that are just as unreliable. One of those is money. Some believe that if they just had more money, then all of their problems would be solved. This hope would again lead to frustration and disappointment. Are you trusting in God?
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Lesson 21
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READING PLAN:
2 Samuel 9:1-11:27
John 15:1-27
Psalm 119:49-64
Proverbs 16:1-3

DAILY WORKOUT
MAY 27
DAILY WORKOUT

So I will sing praise to Your name forever, That I may pay my vows day by day.
Psalm 61:8

Athletes know and value the importance of daily exercise. They are aware that even a few days without training will make a difference in their performance. Even on days when they don’t feel like it, they go and work out because they want to avoid the consequences. They know to perform at their highest level, they must exercise daily. What is right in the physical is also true in the spiritual. It only takes a day or two of missed time with the Lord before we are susceptible to temptation, and our witness shows the effects. Are you daily working to keep yourself spiritually sharp?
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Lesson 22
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READING PLAN:
2 Samuel 12:1-31
John 16:1-33
Psalm 119:65-80
Proverbs 16:4-5

January 1
May 28 FALSE HELP

And lovingkindness is Yours, O Lord, For You recompense a man according to his work.
Psalm 62:12

Athletes are motivated by awards. Whether it be a championship or being named the Most Valuable Player, these awards keep athletes working longer and harder than they would if they did not exist.
Unfortunately, there are times in sports when it seems like the wrong player received the reward. These things cause arguments, but there is nothing that can be done about it. We all say that we want fair judging of our work. God is the only impartial judge. Knowing that He will judge our work should both make us nervous and make us happy. He will judge correctly. What would God say about your life?

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Lesson 22
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READING PLAN:
2 Samuel 13:1-39
John 17:1-26
Psalm 119:81-96
Proverbs 16:6-7

PRIORITIES
May 29 EARLY START

O God, You are my God; I shall seek You earnestly; My soul thirsts for You, my flesh yearns for You, in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
Psalm 63:1

When an athlete focuses on improving his performance, he will be working out while the other athletes are still in bed. You won’t have to ask them to come early; they will willingly be there early and often stay late after practice. When something is important, getting up early no longer seems like a burden; it becomes a joy. As believers in Christ, if we want to grow spiritually, we must take the same approach. One way that we can get more time in our days is to get up earlier. Is your time with God important enough for you to get up early?
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Lesson 22
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READING PLAN:
2 Samuel 14:1-15:22
John 18:1-24
Psalm 119:97-112
Proverbs 16:8-9

DAILY WORKOUT
MAY 30
FOLLOW THE LEADER

My soul clings to You; Your right hand upholds me.
Psalm 63:8

There are certain players that when we watch them play, we want to play like them. We will watch them play, listen to them talk. If we can, we will practice with them. We would do anything to become more like them. This motivation can sometimes help a struggling player to become better. For a believer in Christ, our Leader should be Jesus. We should read about Him, talk to Him in prayer, and even try to live our lives like Him. There should be no sacrifice too high for us to make in our pursuit of being like Jesus. We become like who we are following. Are you following Jesus?
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Lesson 22
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READING PLAN:
2 Samuel 15:23-16:23
John 18:25-19:22
Psalm 119:113-128
Proverbs 16:10-11

January 1
May 31 FALSE HELP

When I remember You on my bed, I meditate on You in the night watches.
Psalm 63:6

The night before a big game, many athletes don’t sleep. Instead, they are mentally thinking of the game and the plays they hope to make. This mental walkthrough of the game and performance is called meditation. Some athletes believe they perform better because of meditating on their performance. A Christian should also meditate at night. Their thoughts should be focused on the goodness of God.
Another thing to meditate on is thinking about obeying the Lord in tough situations. This can help us to live better lives. Do you spend your nights worrying or thinking about your great God?

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Lesson 22
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READING PLAN:
2 Samuel 17:1-29
John 19:23-42
Psalm 119:129-152
Proverbs 16:12-13

PRIORITIES



DAILY WORKOUT