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Bible Ballistics: Vol. 18 No. 22  You Can’t Get Yesterday Back???

A prayer that I wrote several years ago, and which I try to pray before The Lord each day, touches on what I want to share tonight.  We have “today”—no more, no less, in reality, we can have memories, we can have wonderful feelings of days gone by, we can have regrets that will haunt us beyond comprehension, but we can never second-guess God’s tomorrows, or bring back yesterdays of regret.  But we can live “today” in JESUS!

Father,

Your will for today—IS mine

Your pleasure for today—IS mine

Your work for today—IS mine—

Tomorrow IS yours alone to reveal—

Yesterday IS ours alone—

mine to release to you,

yours to weave into the image                                    of Jesus Christ my Lord!

The key to true “joy of The Lord” is living in the “todays” of life.  Even as Jesus commanded us to in the Model Prayer.

Give us this day our daily bread.”  Matthew 6:11

The Psalmist also calls us to consider our days with respect.

So teach us

to number our days,

that we may apply our hearts

unto wisdom.”  Psalm 90:12

Oh, that we can learn to live each day to God’s glory, and by His grace and wisdom.  I can’t tell you how many times I have wished to have certain occasions back to change my actions or behaviors, to get some time and life back, but that won’t happen; but God does often give opportunities to be restored, but sometimes—gone IS gone!  Yet Paul reminds us that when we have been born again by the power of God we have a different take on life—by dying to self, and living to Jesus in all I am and all I do, the world can see what Jesus can do in a life submitted to HIM (even when my heart is broken over missed, and lost opportunities, for some are still fresh on my mind some 2 ½ years after my dear daughter’s violent death, when a life is gone, we can never say those things we wish we had said, we can never see that smile again, we can never offer help or share that encouraging word that we wish we had…. BUT GOD—restores, heals and turns pain into sweet memories, if we let Him).  When I live for Jesus today, HIS provision is perfect!

I am crucified

with Christ:

nevertheless

I live;

yet not I,

but Christ liveth in me:

and the life which I now live

in the flesh

I live

by the faith of the Son of God,

who loved me,

and gave himself

for me.”  Galatians 2:20

I would like to speak to parents and grandparents, to all who hold a child’s life in your hands; for the lives we hold in our hands are there for such a short time.  Even though in those developing years they seem like such long years, with so much busy-ness of little minds and fast bodies, as we chase them all around the house and yard in perpetual motion it seems; then they are grown and gone in the flash of an eye.  Yet, oh I must tell you how often I have wished that I could regain those years for a “re-do”.  How I wish that I could have seen through the eyes of God’s Word, and taken those moments more seriously and with more love and commitment to doing things God’s way!  How about you?  Do have regrets?  What are we to do with those regrets?  We bring them to Jesus, and focus upon HIS Word, and His provision, redemption, and restoring grace.

Not as though I had already attained,

either were already perfect:

but I follow after,

if that I may apprehend

that for which also I am apprehended

of Christ Jesus.

13 Brethren,

I count not myself to have apprehended:

but this one thing I do,

forgetting those things which are behind,

and reaching forth

unto those things which are before,

14 I press toward the mark

for the prize

of the high calling of God

in Christ Jesus.

15 Let us therefore,

as many as be perfect,

be thus minded:

and if in any thing

ye be otherwise minded,

God shall reveal even this

unto you.”  Philippians 3:12-15

So, parents and grandparents, we can reclaim the future by the power of God and HIS Word; by determining to live for, with and through Jesus, and by joining the Psalmist in praying:

Order my steps

in thy word:

and let not any iniquity

have dominion over me.”  Psalm 119:133

And again:

The steps of a good man

are ordered by the LORD:

and he delighteth in his way.

24 Though he fall,

he shall not be utterly cast down:

for the LORD upholdeth him

with his hand.”   Psalm 37:23-24

We must be governed by God’s Word and know our children (as the scripture calls them) are a blessing, a heritage, and a gift from God, deserving of our love, time and effort:

Lo, children are an heritage

of the LORD:

and the fruit of the womb

is his reward.

4 As arrows are

in the hand of a mighty man;

so are children

of the youth.

5 Happy is the man

that hath his quiver full of them:

they shall not be ashamed,

but they shall speak with the enemies

in the gate.”  Psalm 127:3-5

How I wish that I had seen the import of the time that I put into my children—not just the clean house I provided for them, or the home-cooked meals that I provided, or even the clothing that was provided for them, but more importantly the time that I often neglected to spend with them, or the teachable moments that I missed because I was distracted doing my own thing!  To put it in a more modern example—I was too busy watching my “soaps”; or talking on the telephone (you know the one with the 25-foot cord so I could walk around the house while I conversed with my friends at will—we didn’t need “cell phones” ha ha ha), spending perhaps more time on my apps, my texts, my games, my communications with people much less important than my children!.  God gives the best advise that I could ever pass along; and while I shared some of it recently, I hope this review will help each of us reassess how we look at opportunities for “teachable” moments.

Hear, O Israel:

The LORD our God is one LORD:

5 And thou shalt love the LORD thy God

with all thine heart,

and with all thy soul,

and with all thy might.

6 And these words,

which I command thee this day,

shall be in thine heart:

7 And thou shalt teach them diligently

unto thy children,

and shalt talk of them

when thou sittest

in thine house,

and when thou walkest

by the way,

and when thou

 liest down,

and when thou

risest up.”  Deuteronomy 6:4-7

We are to be open for every opportunity to teach our children the ways of God, His laws, principles, and His longing to have a relationship with us–not just ‘religion’ (a practice of a set of rituals) but a relationship.  God wants to extend to us, and us to our children the truths of the forgiveness of sins and eternal life that Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection purchased at Calvary.  All this means that my children are to be one of the most important things in my life, not just an add on for the future; we are to teach them by sharing truth at every opportunity, teaching by example as well as speaking the truths of God’s Word; we are to live out our relationship with Jesus (and this portion of scripture reminds us that we can only share what we possess!) in all our ways—from the inside out—not just teaching with our words; but by talking and living out the Word of God– when we sit around, when we walk around/or drive around, when we get ready for bed (a most teachable time for our children as we share their day’s activities with them), and when we rise up to get them ready for a successful day “in the Lord”, be that at home with mom or to a school environment!

God gave Moses such an amazing picture of the home which I think we have lost sight of (I know I did all those years ago, and I so regret not making better use of my time to make a greater difference in the lives of my children and grandchildren [especially my daughter who is lost to me through a violent death] and been a more effective witness in their lives)!  So, I encourage you to live a life without regrets by wisely, and diligently using the time that you have—for you can’t get it back– heeding the plan of God from Deuteronomy 6! For God says if we live it, our children (and others) will ask, Why are we living this way?”, then we can share what God has done, and is doing in our lives.  But to share a testimony, we have to have one!!!

And thou shalt bind them

for a sign upon thine hand,

and they shall be as frontlets

between thine eyes.

9 And thou shalt write them

upon the posts of thy house,

and on thy gates…

….. 20 And when thy son asketh thee

in time to come, saying,

What mean the testimonies,

and the statutes,

and the judgments,

which the LORD our God

hath commanded you?

21 Then thou shalt say unto thy son,

We were Pharaoh’s bondmen in Egypt;

and the LORD brought us out of Egypt

with a mighty hand:

22 And the LORD shewed signs and wonders,

great and sore,

upon Egypt,

upon Pharaoh,

and upon all his household,

before our eyes:

23 And he brought us out from thence,

that he might bring us in,

to give us the land

which he sware unto our fathers.

24 And the LORD commanded us to do

all these statutes,

to fear the LORD our God,

for our good always,

that he might preserve us alive,

as it is at this day.

25 And it shall be our righteousness,

if we observe to do all these commandments

before the LORD our God,

as he hath commanded us.   

Portions of Deuteronomy 6:8-25

Will we live for Jesus today…and today….and today?  You’ll never get one back—no, not one!  But you can build memories without regret!

Then he said unto them,

Go your way,

eat the fat,

and drink the sweet,

and send portions unto them

for whom nothing is prepared:

for this day is holy unto our Lord:

 neither be ye sorry;

for the joy of the LORD

is your strength.”  Nehemiah 8:10

I can have this joy because Jesus gave His life for mine, and yours!  And when He gives us “new birth”, God imparts to us, HIS righteousness, then we are enabled to make a difference in the lives of our posterity, and others!  Let’s live each “today” and make a difference in the lives of those whom God brings across our path—kin or not!

Therefore if any man be in Christ,

he is a new creature:

old things are passed away;

behold, all things are become new.

18 And all things are of God,

who hath reconciled us to himself

by Jesus Christ,

and hath given to us

the ministry of reconciliation;

19 To wit,

that God was in Christ,

reconciling the world unto himself,

not imputing their trespasses

unto them;

and hath committed unto us

the word of reconciliation.

20 Now then we are ambassadors

for Christ,

as though God did beseech you by us:

we pray you in Christ’s stead,

be ye reconciled to God.

21 For he hath made him

to be sin for us,

who knew no sin;

that we might be made

the righteousness of God

in him.”  2 Corinthians 5:17-21

Now in closing, there are many who read this article who are like me, of an age when we don’t have the opportunities we once did, but I want to remind us all, regardless of your age, God is a gracious and merciful God, and even if you’re like me, with many regrets, the God of mercy gave me a “word from HIS word” long ago, one that may bring as much comfort to you as it has to me!  And I must say, I praise God today for answering many of my prayers in that regard!  I praise HIM for His restorative love and mercy to bring life, and resurrection power in so many ways to that which the “locusts” had eaten.  So, take heart my friends, Satan may come to “steal…kill….and destroy..”, but Jesus can bring LIFE and restoration to “stolen” relationships!  But don’t wait too long—for while we can’t get “yesterday” back, we can live in Jesus’ power TODAY, and watch God restore “the years that the locust hath eaten” as we walk with HIM today and each day that He gives us.  And believe me, I have learned that each day is truly a gift from God to be used to bring HIM glory and benefit those around us—especially the children!

And I will restore to you

the years that the locust hath eaten,

the cankerworm, and the caterpiller,

and the palmerworm,

my great army

which I sent among you.”  Joel 2:25

Amen and Amen!!!