Make today count, don’t live for tomorrow

Published 9:06 am Friday, January 26, 2007

By Staff
We live yesterday and tomorrow. Today is when we either remember better days in the past or long for future events. Today is what we have. The past is gone; tomorrow may never come.
Stewardship of time and especially the present time is a big deal with God. He knows the future, He knows the past, but He is working in the present.
In Psalms, chapter 118, verse 24, the Psalmist declares, "This is the day the LORD has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it." The Psalmist could have been speaking of a certain time and circumstance, or of a literal day; but the point is, God made it, He controls it, and we need to rejoice and fill it with positive work.
Jesus said in the gospel of Matthew, chapter 6, verse 34, "Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble." Today is huge and is all we can handle. If we do not focus on it, we will lose the opportunities before us.
James warns of looking and boasting about tomorrow in James, chapter 4, verse 14: "You do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away."
In some ways, everything that happens today will matter. Necessary changes we need to make should start today. Any good outcome the future promises rests in a big way on what we do today.
Living today to the fullest for some will mean making the most of some bad circumstances. This is nothing new. Life is filled with things that confuse, hurt and frustrate. It is pushing through these things energized by the grace of God that lifts us above the ordinary.
In Old Testament days before the advent of Jesus Christ, the nation of Israel was at times prominent and powerful. Israel had God's hand of blessing. The people turned from God to their own ways. God's judgment followed. The nation of Israel was overrun by Assyria first and then Babylon.
The people of Israel were taken captive and exiled to Babylon. They were slaves in Babylon, but had enough freedom to have their families and houses and engage in the commerce of Babylon. God had put them there (Jeremiah 29:4), yet it was God's desire that the people involve themselves, be godly, and exert the influence of the Living God of Heaven on this pagan land.
When we are surrounded by seeming impossibilities, we tend to choke on the difficulties. We can let bitterness creep in, we can give up, we can conjure up a dream world, or we can face reality, realize God is alive and seek Him out in the worst of circumstances.
It was God's exact plan that the exiles in Babylon would make every day count and live in the present. God's commands were, "Build houses and dwell in them; plant gardens and eat their fruit" (Jeremiah 29:5). He continues in verse 6 telling them to marry, have children, so that their children may marry and have children. They were to increase their population even while in slavery.
In Jeremiah, chapter 29, verse 7, God through Jeremiah further commands the people to invest in their present circumstances: "Seek the peace of the city where I have caused you to be carried away captive, and pray to the LORD for it; for in its peace you will have peace."
There may be some tension in our minds in applying this command of God to every circumstance, for in some circumstances, God raised up deliverers and led the people to fight against tyranny. But, for Israel, God made it clear that their attitude would determine their environment.
We are not in Babylonian captivity, even though we may feel we are slaves to difficult circumstances. Seek God in them (Jeremiah 29:13). Make today count for God's glory.