Thursday, April 3, 2008

Tomorrow…

This is THE DAY that the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it. Yesterday I talked about TODAY. Today I would like to talk about TOMORROW.

It is so difficult at times for God's people to trust Him TODAY. I started discussing the Israelites and manna yesterday. Please allow me to continue that discussion. God gave clear instructions to them on how to collect the "bread from heaven" that was called manna:

Exodus 16:4 Then the LORD said to Moses, "I will rain down bread from heaven for you. The people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day. In this way I will test them and see whether they will follow my instructions.

They were to collect ONLY enough for TODAY. God told them not to worry about tomorrow. Tomorrow will take care of itself! In other words, the same God that is caring for you TODAY will take care of you TOMORROW. Because by the time you get to TOMORROW, it will be TODAY, and THIS is the day that the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it. In what? TODAY! We have a hard time enjoying TODAY because we are so concerned about how we are going to make it TOMORROW.

Matthew 6:34 So do not worry or be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will have worries and anxieties of its own. Sufficient for each day is its own trouble.

However, so many have a hard time enjoying TODAY, because they are so concerned about how they are going to make it TOMORROW. We don't enjoy and appreciate TODAY enough. Savor the moments of TODAY, because all too quickly it will be YESTERDAY. I have talked with so many parents that have mentioned how much they miss having their kids at home now that they are grown. They inevitably tell me, "Pastor, I didn't appreciate the moments that I had them at home enough." Why is that? Because we become so enamored with TOMORROW that we miss out on TODAY.

A couple of years ago I read a story about a father who was riding a roller coaster with his son. As they made the first big dip and curve the son was having a blast, while the dad was critiquing the ride. The son continued enjoying the MOMENT, while the father was missing out on the MOMENT because he couldn't get past his critical eye. As the ride ended with the father saying, for about the tenth time, "they should have done this different" the son looked at the father and said, "Dad, I enjoyed the ride, you missed out on the fun of the ride because you were too busy finding fault." Wow! How many times have I missed out on the MOMENT because I can't get into the moment because of fault finding, worry, doubt, etc. Friends, God gave you TODAY to enjoy it. He taught us to pray "give us THIS DAY our daily bread." He promised to take care of us TODAY. Then why are we missing so many TODAY'S? Because our mind and attention is already into TOMORROW.

In Deuteronomy 28:66-67 God is telling His people what was going to happen to them if they didn't OBEY His Word. Read these verses slowly, and think about them…

Deuteronomy 28:66-67 You will live in constant jeopardy, terrified of every shadow, never knowing what you'll meet around the next corner. (67) In the morning you'll say, "I wish it were evening." In the evening you'll say, "I wish it were morning." Afraid, terrorized at what's coming next, afraid of the unknown, because of the sights you've witnessed.

I don't want to live like that…however, I have at times. How many today's have I said, "I just can't wait until tomorrow." I heard a story about a pilot and co-pilot that flew the same route for many years. Every day when they would fly over a certain area, the pilot would smile. One day his friend asked him why he smiled every time at this point of their trip. The pilot said, "when I was a boy, I used to fish at that little pond down there. As I would fish, planes would fly over and I would think to myself, 'boy I wish I could fly a plane someday.' And now that I'm flying a plane, every time I fly over that pond I find myself thinking to myself, 'boy I wish I could fish at that pond again.'" You see my friend, that is what happens if you don't live IN THE MOMENT. Enjoy TODAY, trust in God's provision TODAY.

Let's get back to the children of Israel. God told them to only take enough manna for TODAY, to not worry about tomorrow just yet. He was teaching them to TAKE ONE DAY AT A TIME. This was a test to see if they would obey. Why was it a test? Because we have a natural tendency to worry about TOMORROW when we should be enjoying TODAY. But did you know that when we FOCUS on tomorrow that it will hinder the blessings of TODAY?

Exodus 16:19-20 Then Moses said to them, "No one is to keep any of it until morning." (20) However, some of them paid no attention to Moses; they kept part of it until morning, but it was full of maggots and began to smell. So Moses was angry with them.

Some of the Israelites refused to heed the command of God and instead of being content with TODAY'S blessings; they became overly concerned with TOMORROW's provision. When they did that, the BLESSING of God began to reek with a bad odor. The same thing happens to us today. When we refuse to thank God for His DAILY blessings and provision, because we are so worried about TOMORROW, then we are resenting today's blessings. We take them for granted. Let me give you an example: Have you thanked God today that everyone in your family woke up this morning? Have you thanked God today that your car started this morning? Have you thanked God today that you didn't have a flat? Have you thanked God today for your job? Have you thanked God today for your health? Have you thanked God today for your breath?

These are just a few things that God has blessed us with TODAY. Listen to what else He has given us TODAY:

Lamentations 3:21-23 But there's one other thing I remember, and remembering, I keep a grip on hope: (22) GOD's loyal love couldn't have run out, his merciful love couldn't have dried up. (23) They're created new every morning. How great your faithfulness!

God's merciful love is created new every morning, God is FAITHFUL today. So why do we worry about TOMORROW? Did God provide for you yesteryear? How about yesterday? Is He providing for you TODAY? By the time that TOMORROW gets here, it will be TODAY, and you start all over again enjoying God's FAITHFULNESS!

Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

Jesus is THE SAME today as He will be TOMORROW and as He was YESTERDAY! Even if the doctor tells you that you "only have six months to live" remember that he isn't the author of life, nor is he the one who makes the call of when you are going to die. So…ENJOY TODAY and know that the God that provides for you TODAY will care for you TOMORROW. Don't be like the Israelites that allowed TODAY'S blessings to lay dormant and putrefied because they couldn't get their minds off of TOMORROW!

Notice a few more things about tomorrow:

#1 God keeps renewing His promises TODAY to you

Hebrews 4:7 God keeps renewing the promise and setting the date as today, just as he did in David's psalm, centuries later than the original invitation: Today, please listen, don't turn a deaf ear . . .

So why become overly concerned with TOMORROW? When tomorrow comes, God will UPDATE his promise into that day, which will become TODAY.

#2 Don't wait until TOMORROW to encourage someone. Do it TODAY, while there is still time. There will come a day for all of us when TODAY will be our LAST DAY.

Hebrews 3:13 But build one another up every day. Do it as long as there is still time. Then none of you will become stubborn. You won't be fooled by sin's tricks.

So, live like TODAY will be your last day on this earth. You will be more productive and touch more people's lives, TODAY. If you wait until TOMORROW, you may never do it.

#3 Today is the day of SALVATION. If you do not have a relationship with God through Jesus Christ, then do it TODAY.

2 Corinthians 6:2 In the Scriptures God says, "When the time came, I listened to you, and when you needed help, I came to save you." That time has come. This is the day for you to be saved.

#4 Stop PROCRASTINATING on your deliverance. Ask God to deliver you TODAY, then do your part.

Exodus 8:8-10 Then Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron, and said, Entreat the Lord, that He may take away the frogs from me and my people; and I will let the people go that they may sacrifice to the Lord. (9) Moses said to Pharaoh, Glory over me in this: dictate when I shall pray [to the Lord] for you, your servants, and your people, that the frogs may be destroyed from you and your houses and remain only in the river. (10) And [Pharaoh] said, Tomorrow. [Moses] said, Let it be as you say, that you may know that there is no one like the Lord our God.

Pharoah was sick and tired of all of the frogs in his land. So he cried out to Moses and said, "ok, I'm ready for these frogs to be gone. Cry out to your God and ask Him to deliver me." Moses said ok, when do you want me to ask God to remove them by? And Moses said, "TOMORROW." That is one of the most puzzling and frustrating things in the Bible for me. He was MISERABLE but chose to spend one more night with the frogs! How many times do we do the same thing? We can have deliverance TODAY, but choose to wait until TOMORROW. Why not cry out to God TODAY and enjoy His deliverance and provision? You don't have to spend another night in bondage. Give it to God TODAY.

#5 Don't wait until TOMORROW to help out someone in need. Do it TODAY.

Proverbs 3:28 Don't tell your neighbor, "Maybe some other time," or, "Try me tomorrow," when the money's right there in your pocket.

There are times the Holy Spirit will nudge us to do something, but it is so easy to wait until TOMORROW. Then when tomorrow comes, we tell ourselves that it probably wasn't God anyway. God tested the children of Israel to see if they would live for TODAY, or would they live for TOMORROW. Some of them failed and paid for it. Please, live in TODAY, and stop worrying about TOMORROW.

#6 You don't know anything about TOMORROW, so make the best of TODAY

Proverbs 27:1 Don't brashly announce what you're going to do tomorrow; you don't know the first thing about tomorrow.

#7 If you trust God TODAY, then you will be better prepared for TOMORROW, when and IF it comes.

James 4:13-14 And now I have a word for you who brashly announce, "Today--at the latest, tomorrow--we're off to such and such a city for the year. We're going to start a business and make a lot of money." (14) You don't know the first thing about tomorrow. You're nothing but a wisp of fog, catching a brief bit of sun before disappearing.

Please, stop worrying about tomorrow, so that you can enjoy TODAY. This is the day that the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it! How about you? Blessings!

Pastor Rusty

Today's "Through the Bible in a year" reading: Thursday, April 3, 2008: 2 Chronicles 21:4 – 2 Chronicles 24:27

This week's memory verse to "Hide in our hearts": 2 Chronicles 20:22

v. 22 And when they began to sing and to praise, the Lord set ambushments against the men of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir who had come against Judah, and they were [self-] slaughtered;

5 comments:

Bill said...

This has blessed my life...TODAY!!!

May your day be filled with joy and peace.

-bill
a spiritual oasis

Beth said...

Pastor Rusty,
Your posts are always an encourgement! Thank you for taking time every day to share God's Word with us. I really appreciate it! I am so blessed to be on your staff.

Pastor Rusty said...

Thank you Bill for taking the time to comment! Blessings to you and yours TODAY.

RLB

Pastor Rusty said...

Beth, thank you for your words of encouragment. You are a blessing!

RLB

DeniseB said...

Pastor Rusty,
Thanks for reminding me about living for today & rejoicing in it. I've been worrying too much about tomorrow to enjoy my today & God's many blessings in it. I definitely am encouraged by God's word.

Denise Bax