When Benjamin Franklin was twenty-two he was living in Philadelphia after escaping an oppressive apprenticeship. He was, as they say, "trying to find himself." One question burned in his heart: "What are the greatest priorities of my life?" In answer, he developed twelve "virtues"—values that would govern his life. They were temperance, silence, order, resolution, frugality, industry, sincerity, justice, moderation, cleanliness, tranquility, and chastity. Franklin took his list of virtues to an old Quaker friend and asked his opinion. His friend read them and said, "Benjamin, you've forgotten the most important one." Surprised, Franklin asked which one. The old man replied, "Humility." Franklin immediately added it to his list. He organized his life into repeating thirteen-week cycles, focusing on one of those virtues each week. At seventy-eight years of age, he began reflecting on his life and the qualities he'd built it around. Though he felt pretty good about having achieved most of them, here's what he said about humility: "I cannot boast of much success in acquiring the reality of this virtue; but I have had a good deal with regard to the appearance of it." The Bible says, "Humility and the fear of the Lord bring wealth and honor and life." Humility is an interesting virtue; you're supposed to show it—but not know it! Jonathan Edwards said, "Nothing sets a person so much out of the Devil's reach as humility." If there's one thing in this world your ego will neither seek nor strive for, it's humility. Yet true and lasting success depends on it.
"And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God." (1 Corinthians 6:11)
Our lives prior to our personal redemption consisted of various backgrounds—some of which were very carnal (see the list in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10). Yet as Christians, those are now things of the past and should no longer control us. We have been washed! When we became Christians, we were cleansed of our sins. Sanctification is the process of setting us apart for God and growing in righteousness. Lastly, we were justified because of Christ's work and atonement. Our destination is not eternal bondage of sin and grief, but by the grace of God, we have a heavenly destination! A place of eternal joy and everlasting peace!
Week #40 Schedule for reading the Bible
This schedule will take the Bible student through the Bible in one year. Just click on the text to read and get started today.
Sunday: (Law) Numbers 22-24
Monday: (History) 2 Chronicles 11-15
Tuesday: (Psalms) Psalms 117-118
Wednesday: (Poetry) Proverbs 28
Thursday: (Prophecy) Jonah
Friday: (Gospels) Acts 3-4
Saturday: (Letters) Hebrews 5-7