Bible Ballistics: What Will You Do With TODAY??? Vol. 7#06
“This is the day
which the Lord hath made;
we will rejoice
and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24
As we enter upon a new year of 2016, I am reminded that we often get so busy rehearsing the past, or planning and anticipating the future that we often forget to “live” today. As the old adage says, “Are you so busy making a living, that you forget to make a ‘life’?” Or as the younger generation puts it, “Get a life”, in other words “live” in the here and now—because it is truly all we have.
Yesterday is gone, and tomorrow may never come, so what will we do with “today”? Scripture is replete with challenges to live the life that God has given us and to do it in the ‘here and now’—in fact ‘now’ is all we have!
“Boast not thyself of to morrow;
for thou knowest not
what a day may bring forth.” Proverbs 27:1
But what are we to do with today? Remember that each day is a gift from God, to be given back to Him through our love and service (to God and others).
“But seek ye first the kingdom of God,
and his righteousness;
and all these things
shall be added unto you.
34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow:
for the morrow
shall take thought for the things of itself.
Sufficient unto the day
is the evil thereof.” Matthew 6:33-34
Jesus isn’t calling us to be irresponsible or flippant about living or caring for the matters of life, but He is calling us to seek God primarily as the provider for each day as it comes. When we put God first in everything, then all else will be taken care of in the proper time and season. Jesus even reveals this mindset in the model prayer, but we often just overlook the simplicity of what He teaches us about prayer. Prayer isn’t just a checklist, or a wish-list that we hand to God expecting Him to meet “our desires”, but a line of communication through which we open ourselves to the heart and mind of God. Let’s examine what Jesus tells us about prayer (not what to pray but how!!) in Matthew 6:9-13.
“After this manner therefore pray ye:”
In “this way”. Jesus gives us a wonderful pattern of how we are to seek the face of God. We are to pray in “this manner”, and while there is nothing wrong with repeating the words of the “Lord’s Prayer”, Jesus gives it to us as a pattern to use in our praying, not as the ‘words’ we are to speak to God.
“Our Father which art in heaven,”
Just as Jesus depended on His Father God, so are we to know and be confident in the total sovereignty and dependability of our Father God. But He is only “Father” to those who trust in Jesus.
“But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: 13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” John 1:12-13
He is the One to whom we cling, along with His only begotten Son–Jesus, our Redeemer, Savior and Lord—the one who gives us the “new birth”. And when we begin by calling on God, we are not only acknowledging Him, but honoring Him and who HE is–God:
“Hallowed be thy name.”
We are to acknowledge and adore the Holy God whom we serve, with a heart that is ready and willing to seek “HIS” kingdom and “HIS” will, not our own. In contrast to the popular teaching of today that says we can simply “name it and claim it”, or just “speak” our greatest hearts desires ‘positively’ to God in order to receive them (although much of what our ‘heart’ desires is pure worldly lust). Jesus reminds us that our heart is to be seeking what He sought, even as He approached the cross;
“Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.” Luke 22:42
Likewise our prayer is to continually be:
“10 Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done
as it is in heaven.”
Our prayer should always seek to be in tune with God, seeking to know the heart of God, not trying to twist God’s arm to accomplish our will. While we live in a “selfie” world that is trying to make God into “man’s image” rather than acknowledging that we were made “in the image of God”, we are attempting to create “God in your own image”. But what we should be desiring is for God to make us more “conformed to the image of His Son” (See Romans 8:28-29). To be like the son—not like the world.
Jesus shows us that our focus should be on “today” and a lifestyle of “selflessness” not “selfish” obsession with yesterday and/or tomorrow.
“11 Give us this day our daily bread.”
God desires that we depend on Him for today’s provision. We are to prepare for the future with a heart of trust in God’s total sovereignty and dependability! Today we are to focus on God, on others and our ability to serve both God and man. Our attitudes will reflect our confidence:
“12 And forgive us our debts,
as we forgive our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil:”
We are to forgive because we are forgiven:
“And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” Ephesians 4:32
I don’t forgive because I have to, I forgive because I can—I have been forgiven, therefore I can forgive others because the “love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us” (See Ro. 5:5).
And why do we do all of this? We can live in “today” because we belong to Jesus, and we can only share what we have received. God’s kingdom is coming in Jesus, but it should also be here right now—Today—in our lives!!! May others see Jesus in us—Today!!! But how:
“For thine is the kingdom,
and the power,
and the glory,
Amen.” Matthew 6:9-13
We belong to God Almighty—ruler of heaven and earth. We can trust Him with today, rest in His forgiving grace and restoring mercy for yesterday, and have confident hope for tomorrow. Will you live for Him today? My prayer for you is that God will grow you in His grace and truth—today and each today!
“For this cause we also, since the day we heard it,
do not cease to pray for you,
and to desire
that ye might be filled
with the knowledge of his will
in all wisdom
and spiritual understanding;
10 That ye might walk worthy of the Lord
unto all pleasing,
being fruitful in every good work,
and increasing in the knowledge of God;
11 Strengthened with all might,
according to his glorious power,
unto all patience
12 Giving thanks unto the Father,
which hath made us meet
to be partakers
of the inheritance
of the saints in light:
13 Who hath delivered us
from the power of darkness,
and hath translated us
into the kingdom of his dear Son:
14 In whom we have redemption
through his blood,
even the forgiveness of sins:” Col. 1:9-14
May we share a great new year—ONE DAY AT A TIME!!!