Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Tis So Sweet To Trust In Jesus"1 (Lyrics)
I love a good checklist! Checklists are so … functional. They are neat and orderly, systematic and defined, satisfying my mostly orderly mind and soul. Some days when I don't have a specific list of errands or chores to tackle, I could almost persuade myself to create a to-do list: Wake up, get out of bed, make a cup of tea, have my quiet time, get dressed, eat breakfast, brush my teeth … just for the pleasure and satisfaction of checking off the completed items one by one.
Lists do serve many purposes in real life, however. They are instructional, motivational, functional, and clarifying. They can help to serve as a memory device. They can help to simplify and keep in order large amounts of material. They make searching for individual items among many far easier.
It may surprise you that the Bible is full of lists. It surprised me when, in a stack of used books, I once found an actual book of Bible lists. Imagine enough lists to fill a book! Let me give you — in list format — just a few of the many, many lists that are found in the Bible:
- Days of creation
- Tribes of Israel
- Plagues of Egypt
- Ten Commandments
- Genealogies of the people of Israel
- Kings of Israel and Judah
- Furnishings of the tabernacle
- Lineage of Jesus
- Twelve disciples
- Lamb's Book of Life (my favourite, knowing that my name is on this list!)
Let me anticipate your question, "So what? What's the big deal about lists anyway?" In answer, let me focus on a specific list in the Bible that exhorts us in how to live:
Galatians 5:22-23 – But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. (NIV)
This list encapsulates what is good for me — and will likely result in good for you as well — as I choose to live out these commendable attributes. Each day as I grow deeper and stronger in my Christian life, these attributes become more and more a part of my character. This checklist is a blueprint for strong, loving relationships. Because it will never be a checklist to be completed and then put aside, it is, indeed, a checklist for us all to live by — each and every day.
Prayer: Dear Father in heaven, may we see the fruit of the Spirit as qualities to be lived out day by day. Please give us strength and grace to grow in these character traits throughout our life's journey. Amen.
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Thanks for the good word, Gail.
Thank you, Gail, for sharing this devotional with us. Blessings.
Thank you, Gail. I love lists. And I am listed in the Book of the Lamb.
Many thanks for such a refreshing devotional.
Very fine, Gail.
I especially joined in the prayer.
Good Morning Gail,
Thank you for sharing today’s devotional with us, and may you have a very wonderful day.
Good morning Gail, Thanks for sharing your thoughts on lists. I found it very interesting – all the lists in the Bible.
God bless and keep you.
Thanks, Gail. Well-written and well-said. Another list is in Phil 4:8 and I created an acronym to remind me: PLANTREP…pure, lovely, admirable, noble, true, right, excellent, praiseworthy.
I’m sharing your article with two list makers in my family. They will be interested in the Bible lists. We didn’t know that. Enjoy your beautiful city. See God’s amazing presence in that rose park. Thank you for writing.
Thank you for your great advice! I think I’m going to start doing this. It’s never too old to learn
I love how you have pointed out the lists in the Bible. I have never thought of it that way. Lovely devotional!
God bless you.
I much enjoyed your devotional this morning as it brings to light the importance of daily living by “the fruit of the spirit” A great check list to follow in our daily lives!
Blessings for this devotional.
I’ve been doing just that for more than a couple of weeks now. In fact, right now I’m doing some tweaks and twists on my early morning rituals as well as my daily Bible reading. It seems my niece, who forwarded the email to me, had a mental telepathy going that I might just need this. Which I certainly do! This is perfect timing! Thanks Gail, Thanks PresbyCan, and Thanks to my niece.
As I read the first 2 paragraphs of your devotion this morning, I thought “I could have written this!” I could relate so well. I made lists for everything and my husband often says he hates it when I am list-less.
I was also interested to read your list of lists in the Bible, especially your fruits of the Spirit checklist. Thanks for writing. Blessings.
Thank you for your message this morning…. just what a grumpy soul struggling to adjust to and cope with increasing chronic pain needed! A wonderful reminder to me. The word ‘joy’ stood out and is a timely reminder of Christ’s love for us all….and to remember that at all times, my ‘cup is still half full’ not ‘half empty’! I give thanks and praise for all that I still can do, rather than dwelling on my limitations.
O Gail, This powerful devotional has more clarity to move me than any I have ever read! What a delight! All the parts seem to come together and sing when I read it this morning. This nine part list is echoed in so much, not only of scripture but in self-help books that are constantly being published (without ever telling us HOW these blessed attributes are to be attained – only through our Lord Jesus Christ!) Reading it causes me to quickly take inventory of my own life, every single time. And then the miracle when these nine virtues actually come true! Yay and Yay again!
Thank you Gail for this wonderful Devotional this morning. We organized people are notorious for our lists.
Gail, I would love to get a copy of the book that your refer to… where you found the lists in the Bible.
I lead a Ladies Group Bible Study and I know we would find a book such as this interesting and helpful. I have forwarded your devotional this morning onto these ladies. We are retired women of many ages, walks of life, and we all love the Lord and each other.
God Has Blessed you with the gift of writing, and I so enjoy reading your Devotionals.
From one list maker to another, well done.
Very well done, Gail. You are certainly an excellent writer. Maybe you should think about publishing a book!
So fun to see your name as the author of this devotional. I loved it and could almost audibly hear your voice.
Thank you for your devotional. I too am a person who keeps lists, I almost need a list to keep track of the lists.
I enjoyed your writing, keep up the good work.