Thursday, October 30, 2008

This is the day that the Lord has made!

"This is the day that the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it. I hope you will as well." I start every blog, every email, and every letter that I send with those words. They are powerful words and they contain the attitude that I strive to live by. Let's talk about it.

This is the day the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24 NKJV

Some days the road seems too long and the climb too steep.

Max Lucado describes them as days when "Hope is Hindenberged by crisis. You never leave the hospital bed or wheelchair. You wake up in the same prison cell, the cemetery dirt is still fresh, the dismissal letter still folded in your pocket, the other side of the bed still empty. 'This is the day' includes divorce days, final-exam days, surgery days, tax days, sending-your-firstborn-off-to-college days. God made this day. He knows the details of each wrenching moment. He isn't on holiday. He still holds the conductor's baton, sits in the cockpit, and occupies the universe's only throne. "We will rejoice and be glad in it!" Oops, there's another word we'd like to edit: in. Perhaps we could swap it for after? Or through, or over. 'I'll rejoice when this day ends!' Paul rejoiced in prison. David wrote psalms in the wilderness; Paul and Silas sang in jail; the Hebrew children remained resolute in the fiery furnace; John saw Heaven in his exile, and Jesus prayed in the garden of pain. You no longer have yesterday. It slipped away as you slept. You don't yet have tomorrow. You can't spend its money, celebrate its achievements or resolve its riddles. Days are bite-sized portions of life: 84,000 heartbeats, 1,440 minutes, a rotation of the earth, a sunrise and sunset, a gift of 24 unlived, unexplored hours. And if you can stack one good day on another, you'll link together a good life. 'This is the day', live in it."

Life has a way of accelerating as you get older; the days get shorter and the list of promises gets longer. Then suddenly you wake up one day and all you have to show is a list of 'I'm going to's' or 'I plan to's' or 'some day when things are settled down a bit.'

Seize the moment! Live in the present! Take a moment and ask yourself, "Is this how I live?" If not, make some changes!

Just for today, I'll enjoy each moment to the fullest and try not to tackle my whole life's problems at once. Just for today, I'll try to improve my mind by learning more than I know; I'll read God's Word faithfully for it's my source of wisdom and strength. I'll be particularly sensitive to those Scriptures that require personal obedience, corrective action, and greater commitment.

Just for today, I'll be agreeable, try to look my best and make sure my words are "seasoned with grace." Just for today, I won't find fault or try to change or improve anyone - except myself. Just for today, I'll have a plan and a goal. I might not follow them exactly but I'll have them nonetheless. By doing that I'll save myself from two enemies - hurry and indecision! Just for today, I'll develop my character. I'll do someone a good turn and keep it secret; if anyone finds out it won't count. Just for today, I'll do something I don't naturally want to do, thereby train my spirit to rule my flesh and my will to rule my emotions. Just for today, I won't be afraid to love or to risk; I'll take steps of faith that stretch me beyond my present comfort level, try to enjoy all God's blessings, and believe that every seed I sow in His Kingdom will be multiplied back to me many times over. This is how I'll live - just for today!

Three of the biggest mistakes you can make are:

(1) Longing for yesterday. A lady wrote to a newspaper editor, "Your paper is not as good as it used to be." He replied, "It never has been!" Learn from the past, but don't put a halo on it. The Bible says: (a) "Do not say, 'Why were the old days better than these?' For it is not wise" (Ecclesiastes 7:10 NIV). (b) "Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?" (Isaiah 43:18-19 NIV).

(2) Longing for the right somebody. It's better to want what you don't have than have what you don't want. The 'somebody blues' can cause you to finish up like the lady who said, "I never knew what real happiness was until I married my husband; now it's too late!" Two dysfunctional people usually don't make one happy couple. When you're by yourself, at least you know who you're dealing with. God knows what you need better than you do, and "No good thing will He withhold from them that walk uprightly" (Psalm 84:11). Instead of finding the right person, strive to become the right person!

(3) Longing for some future destination. It's a mistake to believe that when you arrive at a certain point you'll be happy; when you retire, take that trip or reach that goal. In this earthly life your happiest moments are along the way, so don't miss those precious memories. When it comes to living you can't improve on the Scripture "This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it". Blessings!

Pastor Rusty


Sharon said...

I was here earlier, and forgot to comment, and came back to let you know I read your blog today. :0)

A Hoosier Family-
Assembly of God Blogs-

Jennifer said...

Amen! Good stuff Even though, it is hard to do sometimes...we have to move forward in faith, trusting Him all the way.

Anonymous said...

good word.

Pastor Rusty said...

Jennifer, you are right. There are some days that takes more faith (and fight) than others. Thanks for your comment.

Pastor Rusty said...

Thanks LH!