A number of years ago, (wow, it’s almost 40), I sat under a teacher by the name of David T. Perry, PH.D. He taught me a number of really great principles. He also sent me ten rules to live by. Since then I have adopted them into the way I live and think. I’ve taught them a lot to teens and college students. I’ve also added a number of my own thoughts and stories. I’m going to list all ten and then expand on them over the next few weeks .
1. Think Strong
2. Walk Tall
3. Smile Big
4. Speak Right
5. Believe Deep
6. Fear Not
7. Sleep Well
I’m an early riser. Maybe it’s because I woke up throughout high school at 4:30 am to milk the cows before going to school. I would jump right out of bed because Mom would say, “I’m headed to the barn. If you don’t come, I’ll do what I can and then come back in when I’m finished.” I wanted her help, because she always put feed in front of the stanchions for the cows and fed milk to the calves. So it became a pattern to never hit the snooze button on the alarm. In fact, someone once said that Proverbs 6:10 spoke against using that snooze button. “A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest, and poverty will come upon you like a robber and want like an armed man.” He says the same thing again in Proverbs 24:33. I’m not so sure that’s what that verse means, but too much sleep isn’t good either.
Psalm 127:2 says, “It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for He gives His beloved rest.” That’s a great promise - “God gives His beloved rest.” He wants to give you a good night’s sleep every night. That promise can also be translated, “God gives to His beloved while (or in) their sleep.” He even gives to you and blesses you while you sleep. I know, for me, the solution to things I couldn’t figure out can often come to me as I sleep.
David also puts it this way in Psalm 4:8, “In peace I will both lie down and sleep, for you alone, O LORD make me dwell in safety.” In Psalm 3:5 he says, “I lay down and slept; I woke again, for the LORD sustained me.” David knew full well who his shepherd was; and that it’s his shepherd who makes him to lie down in green pastures because he was satisfied and could trust him. Solomon put it this way in Proverbs 3:21-24, “My son, do not lose sight of these (he’s talking about God’s Word) keep sound wisdom and discretion. And they will be life for your soul and adornment for your neck. Then you will walk on your way securely, and your foot will not stumble. If you lie down, you will not be afraid, when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.”
Psalm 127:2 also gives a warning to those of us who lay down, but lie awake worrying or work all the time and hardly ever rest or sleep. We fill our minds thinking about all the things we didn’t finish today and how will we get everything done tomorrow. We keep thinking about the problems we didn’t solve and those that will happen tomorrow. We become workaholics. Philippians 4:6 says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”
I’m not a sleeper. In fact, I hardly ever sleep in or go to bed early. I would tell kids when we were on trips, “Sleep is overrated - you can sleep when you get home.” I’d ask teens, “Why do you want to waste your life away sleeping in bed?” But I would also tell them that it’s important to get a good night’s rest, because if you don’t, you’re going to miss tomorrow’s treasures because you will just want to sleep. Work and play are important, but so is rest and sleep. We are more productive when we work and play out of our rest.
God gives to everyone He loves, sleep. So, does the way you live, work, and play give you that precious gift? In Matthew 11:28-29, Jesus said “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” If you work hard and play hard you will sleep well (medical conditions aside). God can be trusted with everything, even the things we can or cannot finish. Sleep well. It’s a gift from God.
8. Exercise Some
9. Praise Much
10. Keep Going
Standing on the promises of God, my Savior
I’m standing on the promises of God
The promises of God are unlike any that our human hearts could proclaim or make good on. (Numbers 23:19) The steadfastness of the promises of God are based upon his unchangeable, sure and steadfast character (Hebrews 6:13-20)
Like most gospel songs, the verses of “Standing on the Promises” are like spokes of a wheel that revolve around and point back to the words of the refrain (printed above). Several of the many promises of God are touched on throughout the words of the verses.
Verse 1: Standing on the promises of Christ, my KING
The very word used to mock Christ on the cross (John 19:19) is the same that has been used to praise Him throughout the ages. Like the crowds in Jerusalem on the day of His triumphal entry into the city, we sing “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord!” (Luke 19:38) We can stand on the promise of Christ as our King, our Ruler, who has dominion over all by right of His Father who created all.
Verse 2: By the living WORD of God I shall prevail
I Peter 1:23 calls the word of God “living and abiding”. It goes on to quote from Isaiah 40:8 “The grass withers, and the flower falls, but the word of the Lord remains forever.” We can stand on the promise of God’s living, unchanging word, knowing that we are children of a God whose word, unlike our words, unlike the words of those around us, is imperishable and alive in us.
Verse 3: Perfect, present cleansing in the blood for me; standing in the LIBERTY where Christ makes free
The promise of freedom through the blood of Jesus is ours. (Galatians 5:1) We can stand on the promise of freedom because we know the shackles of sin and yet we live in the liberty and love of Christ. “To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.” (Revelation 1:5b-6)
Verse 4: Bound to Him eternally by LOVE’s strong cord
I could cite hundreds of scriptures that describe the love of God and the strength of that promise. We can all attest to the love of God that is described in Hosea chapter 11. Like the Israelites, we are a people prone to wander, and yet God continually calls us back. He “leads us with cords of kindness and with bands of love”. We can stand on the promise of God’s love because it is made flesh in Jesus and is a love that never ends, and never stops calling us home.
Verse 5: RESTING in my Savior as my all in all
We rest “not in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.” (I Corinthians 2:5). True soul’s rest is not achievable through our strivings but through coming to Him. (Matthew 11:28-30). We can “rest in our Savior as our all in all” and can look forward to the promise of rest in Him, both here and in our eternal home. “Blessed be the LORD who has given rest to his people Israel, according to all that he promised. Not one word has failed of all his good promise, which he spoke by Moses his servant.” (I Kings 8:56)