Ecclesiastes 11:7-9 (NLT)
Light is sweet; how pleasant to see a new day dawning. When people live to be very old, let them rejoice in every day of life. But let them also remember there will be many dark days. Everything still to come is meaningless. Young people, it’s wonderful to be young! Enjoy every minute of it. Do everything you want to do; take it all in. But remember that you must give an account to God for everything you do.
Each new day is God’s Promise that there is more to come. Otherwise, there would be no point in waking up and He would sweep us into Heaven to be with Him forever. There is something meaningful with great potential left unfilled that requires our immediate attention. Jesus died so that you and I could be free to live life abundantly not religiously. A release from the bondage of sin was not imprisonment in another set of rules. The Lord gave us His Spirit to cultivate in us everything needed to live a satisfied, content and complete life. Too often we take it for granted due to ignorance of what God has provided to us and is doing in us or naivety that traps us in the enemy’s lie that we must make our own happiness. To live for Jesus is complete fulfillment from start to finish. We can do everything we want to do. We can live life to the absolute fullest. The only thing that we need to remember is that we give an account to God for everything we do. This is accountability for the sin that has been washed away in the Blood of Jesus. Not at all, it is like the parable of the talents. The Lord gave us our life back. What are we going to do with it? As believers who are saved and have fully accepted Jesus as their Savior, we are made right with God in that moment. God handed our life back to us with all the promise and potential that He created in His Plan. His Inquiry on Judgment Day will be what you did with it.
It is spring break for colleges all over the country. Many flock to our state to take a break from the rigorous routine of academics to blow off some steam and have some fun. However, the news doesn’t really talk much about the revelry but rather kids who have died in the name of fun. Every year drownings, assaults and deaths are reported from senseless activities. Young lives wasted on alcohol, drugs and foolishness. I know, I know. I am old now and don’t get it. Truth is back then I didn’t get it either. I wonder if every single human being young and old was aware of the great possibility and potential locked within them would they live differently. Would they face each day with excitement? Would they let momentary setbacks and foolishness squander their time? Would they keep going? I do not fall in the category of youth anymore nor would I want to. I am now in the middle of my life. Children are leaving the nest. Priorities are changing. I am mellowing. It is a time when you can look back on your life but still have enough time to live to make some better choices. I do not miss the last forty or so years in that I would have to go through a difficult childhood, troubled divorce, give birth five times, and watch our son battle cancer. But in the same retrospect, I wouldn’t have missed it for anything because there were a lot of good times mixed in like when I finally met the love of my life and married my best friend. Most importantly, I met Jesus Christ who has promised that I will just live my life for Him that He will make good out of every single detail of my life. (Romans 8:28) It is with that promise in mind that I encourage you friend to live your life. Really live.
Psalm 118:24-28 (NLT)
This is the day the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it. Please, Lord, please save us. Please, Lord, please give us success. Bless the one who comes in the name of the Lord. We bless you from the house of the Lord. The Lord is God, shining upon us. Take the sacrifice and bind it with cords on the altar. You are my God, and I will praise you! You are my God, and I will exalt you!
As I remind myself today to live my life, I begin with the choice to rejoice. My heart has been very heavy ever since our daughter and son-in-love moved to New Hampshire. They left a couple days ago and through the tears I called out to the Lord. I did not want them to go. I know that it is His Plan and Call on their life that led them away but it wasn’t what “I” wanted or the way that “I” planned for things to be. My heart broke to say goodbye to my daughter who has grown into one of my very best friends. The separation has been agonizing. I have forced myself to rejoice. This is tough when the flesh and spirit do not agree because the whole time one must fight to make it happen. To rejoice in the Lord each day is to choose life over death. Words of praise, worship and affirmation to the Lord and for the things that He is doing declare our faith and discard our doubt. It is a mind over matter decision because it often must look past pain, change and uncertainty to take hold of confident hope by faith. Those who do this will live their life to the fullest. It is not a comfortable choice all the time but when you make it – it changes the atmosphere and outcomes. “You are my God and I will praise you!” Make this your daily declaration before you check the weather, Facebook or even put one foot out of bed.” Before life hits you and you get wrapped up on routines, decide that “THIS” is the day God made and that “YOU” (I) will rejoice in it!
2 Corinthians 4:16-18 (NLT)
That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.
This life is temporary. Your trials are temporary. Your hurt is temporary. You live in the midst of constant change for the better as a believer. This too shall pass. Say it out loud, “This too shall pass.” Write it on your hand. Tattoo it on your body. Put it on your mirror. To focus on the future, you must release the past and keep moving through today. We get so wrapped up in what we want and what we think is best that we forget there is a greater plan working in our life. We have everything we need to succeed if we simply follow Christ. Unmet expectation keeps us locked in the moment. It takes our expectancy from the Lord and puts it back in us. Well, that didn’t work out the first time so I don’t think it will work out now. God is doing more in our life than we could even think to ask for so what makes us so sure that we would recognize it anyway other than by faith and hope. We must never give up in our pursuit of Jesus Christ and His Will, Way and Word for our life. His New Mercy is given to us each morning to renew us and equip us to keep moving even when we do not understand or fully comprehend all that He is doing in us and through us. Stop looking so intently at what the Lord is not doing and decide to put all your confidence in what He promised to do. This is tough. The world is in living color. But it is faith that makes all things possible.
Jeremiah 29:11-13 (NLT)
For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.
God has a plan. Even when my plans are not working out as I would like, God’s Plan never ceases operation. Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever. God is constant. He is Sovereign. Even when I choose to live life my way today, He is still intent on having His Way in my life. God wants me to prosper. He sees my potential. Even when I want to give up on it, He keeps working His Plan to perfection. What an awesome God we serve that even when I don’t want His Will – He still keeps trying to give me His Best. There are some days when I get down, discouraged, and wonder what the point is. Don’t you? It is on those days that I must stop trying so hard and rest in His Grace. Those are the times when all I can do is give Him my heart and ask the Lord to do something with it. There are days when I have to hand it to Jesus in pieces, but somehow He figures out a way to put it all back together. If you are struggling today, try to remember God has a plan for your life. It is a good plan no matter how things appear to be going. It contains a future filled with hope so just hang on. Pray and He will listen. Choose to seek Him wholeheartedly even if all you have is a broken heart. He will heal your heart again. Live your life today even if all you can do is call on Jesus.
Matthew 10:38-39 (NLT)
If you refuse to take up your cross and follow me, you are not worthy of being mine. If you cling to your life, you will lose it; but if you give up your life for me, you will find it.
You and I will never really live until we give up our life to follow Jesus Christ. How does this represent freedom? Because those who give up this life will obtain everlasting life. They will live forever in the Presence of God. To really live is to give our life away. It is a painful process of surrender and renewal lived day by day and moment by moment. Through each step when our choice is to hand our life over to God, we learn to really live. Beyond our mind, will and emotions, our souls begin to prosper like never before. To live for Christ will begin to transform our natural life and we will live supernaturally today. Even when we forget that God is at work doing wonderful things, He keeps going. Today Lord, I release my life to you…again. I don’t want to lose it or anyone in it. You know that. By giving my life to you today, I secure the desires of my heart forever. You are a Good God. You have a wonderful plan. I want it.
Psalm 86:11-13 (NLT)
Teach me your ways, O Lord, that I may live according to your truth! Grant me purity of heart, so that I may honor you. With all my heart I will praise you, O Lord my God. I will give glory to your name forever, for your love for me is very great. You have rescued me from the depths of death.