Pearl 270: More

TOPIC: Organization and Wisdom

"Wisdom has built her house,
She has hewn out her seven pillars;
She has prepared her food, she has mixed her wine;
She has also set her table" - Proverbs 9:1-2.

As stated in this devotional many times, you need more wisdom in your life if you are going to have purpose and build on that purpose. Building requires an orderly plan, and having a dinner party does as well. How do you get wisdom? You get it by asking the Lord, by listening, by learning from experience, by learning from others and by making some mistakes. Ultimately, it is a gift of God but He gives this gift so you can do something and that will at some point require you to organize your life's work and ministry. What house are you building? What dinner party are you preparing? In other words, what project or work are you involved in that requires more insight and wisdom than you have today?

Lord, today I ask You for wisdom - wisdom to build the house in which my purpose will reside, wisdom to prepare a meal that will bless many people. To get to that point tomorrow, I need more today, more of You, more of Your insight and more of Your love for others. Lord, I suppose I just need more!

Pearl 269: Clutter

TOPIC: Organization Defined

"How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked,
Nor stand in the path of sinners,
Nor sit in the seat of scoffers!
But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
And in His law he meditates day and night" - Psalm 1:1-2.

Here is a definition of organization for you to consider: the removal or ordering of all clutter, whether physical or mental, in order that you may give attention to your highest priorities at any given point in time. If you are going to meditate in God's law day and night, your mind has to be free and clear of clutter, which includes worry, stress from procrastination, and anger. Does your world reflect today's definition? Is your focus focus on God's word and will, or on putting out fires and managing stress from your disorganized world? What can you do to streamline your world to better focus on what's most important?

Lord, I know my world is too cluttered, and that hinders me from serving You. In some sense, I use my disorganization as an excuse not to do certain things, promising myself I will change - but seldom following through. I ask Your forgiveness for when my mess has hindered Your work in my life.

Pearl 268: Carry Forward

TOPIC: Organization and Priorities

"For you hate discipline,
And you cast My words behind you" - Psalm 50:17.

All it takes for you to cast God's word behind you is to get a word, not have a system to maintain and then to walk away. That 'word' stays behind you no matter how good your intentions, which points out the most important reason you organize your world: To honor and keep before you God's will and purpose for your life. That takes discipline and the will to stay on top of your world, which must include God. Do you have a promise or word from the Lord that is now far behind you because you did not bring it forward with you? Is your poor organizational world the problem? What changes do you need to make to bring the word of the Lord with you as you go?

Lord, I don't want to give you second best. I want to organize my world with the top priority to carry Your will forward with me wherever I go, so that it is my main focus. Help me to eliminate distractions and especially give me wisdom to organize on a daily basis for the right reason and that reason is You.

Pearl 267: Your Signature

TOPIC: Organization and Service

" . . . and the face-cloth which had been on His head,
not lying with the linen wrappings, but rolled up
in a place by itself" - John 20:7.

Jesus did not come back from the dead only to throw off his grave clothes. Instead, he neatly folded his face-cloth and left it where He had been laid. That could have been a personal habit of Jesus, for the disciples recognized this detail when they entered the tomb and were assured that Jesus was alive and had not simply been removed. In other words, Jesus had certain organizing traits that brought comfort and reassurance to others! What is your organizing signature that others would recognize? Does that fact that Jesus was personally neat and organized inspire you to be and do the same? Are your organizational habits a blessing to others?

Lord, I want to have an organizing 'signature,' something that distinguishes my work style from that of others. Help my organizational efforts be consistent with my values and life philosophy so that my habits may be a blessing and comfort to others. And ultimately, may my signature bring You glory!

Pearl 266: Precautions

TOPIC: Organization and Extra Effort

" . . .taking precaution so that no one will discredit us
in our administration of this generous gift . . ." - 2 Corinthians 8:20.

Paul organized the benevolent offering in a special way because it involved money, and because he knew it would be too easy for someone to accuse him of mismanagement. Paul knew that disorganization in this case would be painful and would bring disrepute on the Lord'w work. The more public your work - the more people it touches - the more attention you must pay to detail and organization. Do you recognize when organization is more important in the work you do? Are you organized enough to prevent needless blame or controversy where money and people's lives are concerned? Do you take precautions when organizing for the Lord's work?

Lord, I want to insure that the work I do for You, whether in church or business, is not discredited due to sloppiness or neglect. Give me wisdom to know when to go the extra mile where organization is concerned, taking the correct precautions to make sure opportunities from You are not squandered or lost. 

Pearl 265: Neatnik

TOPIC: Organization and Purpose

". . . and not only this, but he has also been appointed
by the churches to travel with us in this gracious work,
which is being administered by us for the glory of the
Lord Himself, and to show our readiness . . ." - 2 Corinthians 8:19.

Paul had collected and now was organizing the distribution of the benevolent gift for Judea in a way that would expedite the distribution and bring glory to God. That is a great summary of why you should organize. It is not just that you can be a 'neatnik' but rather it is to make your work effective and efficient so that people will glorify God! What is your motive for organizing your world? Can you see how an organization style can bring God glory? Is your organization increasing and growing as your world grows?

Lord, I want to glorify you in all that I do. Therefore, I want the way I organize my tasks and work to reflect Your goodness and love for order, and not just to satisfy my 'neatnik' personal preferences. Help me to do things right, as Paul did, so that Your work will be furthered and reflect Your love for those around me.

Pearl 264: Planning

TOPIC: Organization and Planning

"Then David gave to his son Solomon the plan
of the porch of the temple, its buildings, its
storehouses, its upper rooms, its inner rooms
and the room for the mercy seat" - 1 Chronicles 28:11.

The Temple did not just happen or appear one day. A building that large and elaborate had to be the result of much planning and deliberation. After many meetings and consultations, David had something concrete to hand Solomon, something that was an expression of both creativity and planning. His creativity was the source and his planning the means by which he made his vision a reality. What could you help produce if you applied yourself to sustained planning and organization? What elaborate plans have you developed for some creative project in your heart?

Lord, I see planning, which is one expression of organization, throughout the Bible. While You are the source of all good things, I must still diligently apply myself to ensure that my dreams become reality with accuracy and excellence. Give me grace to be true to my creativity by organizing it to the fullest.

Pearl 263: Good People

TOPIC: Organization and People

"Solomon had twelve deputies over all Israel, who provided for the king and his household; each man had to provide for a month in the year" - 1 Kings 4:7.

Once again, we see Solomon's God-given wisdom helping to organize Israel, this time by designating 12 deputies to provide for the kingdom's needs, which of course makes one think of Jesus who appointed 12 apostles. Organization is not just attention to detail and structure, but also the attention to putting the right people in the right place so as to obtain the right results. This includes being in the right place yourself and making sure that others are as well. Are you functioning and flowing in the right position at the right company? Are you functioning with a team of people, each one hitting on all cylinders to produce good results?

Lord, it seems that Solomon not only had good structure, he had good people in that structure. I want to be a 'good people' in my current structure, and support the other 'good people' around me. Help me to contribute to my organization's health by contributing the results that come doing what You created me to do.

Pearl 262: God's Idea

TOPIC: Organization and Teamwork

"Now King Solomon was king over all Israel. These
were his officials: Azariah the son of Zadok was the priest;
Elihoreph and Ahijah, the sons of Shisha were secretaries;
Jehoshaphat the son of Ahilud was the recorder . . ." - 1 Kings 4:1-3.

When David's administration was described, it took two or three verses. When Solomon's was described, it took an entire chapter! Solomon took the kingdom to another level and he did so through an elaborate organizational scheme that empowered him and his team to build, teach, establish peace and relate to the surrounding nations. What's more, this organization was a product of Solomon's great wisdom, which means it had its source in God Himself! Do you ask God for organizational wisdom, of what and who to put where? Do you see that you can organize even big events and teams with God's help? What could you do that's in your heart if you involved others in the process?

Lord, You included Solomon's organization in Your word because it was important to You and as an example for me. Help me to take the principles in this chapter to heart and then allow me to draw on Your organizational wisdom and apply it to the things in my heart that I would like to do!

Pearl 261: The Team

TOPIC: Organization and Flexibility

"Then Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, who was over the
household, and Shebna the scribe and Joah the son of Asaph,
the recorder, came to Hezekiah with their clothes torn
and told him the words of Rabshakeh" - 2 Kings 18:37.

Hezekiah had his own trusted organizers, who not only oversaw the palace and the office, but who also had access to him to report good and bad news. The king had built a leadership team and that team kept his world in order. In this case, however, organization was suspended, for the kingdom was under attack and the need changed from normal operations to crisis. What's more, these organizers had names and were not faceless, anonymous contributors. Do you have a team of organizers with whom you work or minister? Could that be your family? Do they know their duties? Do you? Are you flexible enough to adjust organizationally according to the season and need of the moment? 

Lord, I want to be part of a team that contributes to the success of the organization or team of which I am part. Help me build with wisdom and also help me carry out my role and my part with the same wisdom. Help me to know my team and allow them to know me as well.  Amen.