Hebrews 13:8 (TLB) Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
Today. It is finally here. Our daughter is coming home for a visit. The girls are loading up tomorrow and headed down south to see Taylor Swift in concert. Excitement is not the word. Secretly it was totally worth the ticket to see an artist who I am not that enamored with to spend time with my daughters. How many parents who endure Walt Disney world wonder why adults have to pay to chase children all day long? The same ones who fight back tears of joy when their little ones storybooks come to life and take their breath away. We have been counting the days for this one. Now it is finally here. It is today.
We live for certain days in our life. Those times we have deemed just a little more important than the rest. Making it through the monotony of life to that special occasion or vacation trip. Like a bride waiting to marry her true love or a pregnant mama waiting to fall in love all over again, life is a series of steps from one circled date on the calendar to the next. But what about all the days in between? They should matter right. The Lord goes before us and follows close behind with His Hand of Blessing on our heads every single day that we are alive so there must be more potential in the routine weekdays then we sometimes give credit. Today becomes precious when tomorrow is not guaranteed. Think about it. We would all live differently if we knew today was the last day of our life. If we knew the exact date and time of our departure, the moments leading up to that day would be filled with more meaning then they do when we think our time on earth is endless.
I used to be a huge procrastinator as a young person. I would put stuff off and put it off until it was too late many times. Like checking the oil in my car, my dad asked me almost daily warning me of the ramifications if I did not maintain it. Well, driving to visit my grandparents, the check oil light glared and so naturally I decided to keep going and let my grandad take care of it for me when I got to his house. About an hour into the journey, I heard the awful sound of “throwing a rod” I think the mechanic completely destroying the engine in my car. Routine maintenance just became almost $1,000 repair because I kept putting off what I needed to do today until tomorrow.
Jesus is the same yesterday, TODAY, and forever. He never changes. We remember what He did for us yesterday. The day that He died on the Cross for our sins. The one when He rose again handing us the Keys to His Kingdom. What about the day that He released His Spirit to all mankind? Yes, we remember the Jesus from yesterday. We want to know the Jesus of forever, too. We come to Him with our heart in our hands in hope that He will welcome us into forever. Not interested in going to be with Him today, we still want to be saved and the guarantee that we will one day be welcomed. But what about Jesus that is the same – TODAY? Are we thinking about Him today? Are we living for Him today?
Luke 23:39-43 (TLB)
One of the criminals hanging beside him scoffed, “So you’re the Messiah, are you? Prove it by saving yourself—and us, too, while you’re at it!” But the other criminal protested. “Don’t you even fear God when you are dying? We deserve to die for our evil deeds, but this man hasn’t done one thing wrong.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your Kingdom.” And Jesus replied, “Today you will be with me in Paradise. This is a solemn promise.”
Today you will be with me in Paradise. Imagine if you were the man hanging next to Jesus who experienced salvation moments before your death. You could not do a single thing for Christ in that moment just die with Him. We deserve death for our sin. The Cross that Jesus hung on that day was indeed for us not the Son of God. It is from this perspective that the Lord reminds me that although I am not dying on a Cross next to Him or even bedridden near death, I cannot do anything on my own for my salvation, but I can live crucified with Christ each day. It sounds so morbid. It is not a pleasant sight. I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live but Christ lives in me.
Galatians 2:20-21 (TLB)
I have been crucified with Christ: and I myself no longer live, but Christ lives in me. And the real life I now have within this body is a result of my trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I am not one of those who treats Christ’s death as meaningless. For if we could be saved by keeping Jewish laws, then there was no need for Christ to die.
I do not want to be one who treats Christ’s death as meaningless. To honor His Death and the fact that He lives in me is to allow Jesus to have His Way in my life today. To be the same “TODAY” as I one day hope to honor Him forever. See we want to be saved but fail to endure to the end because people are not conscious that salvation is a now decision not a reservation in forever but to exist in God’s Kingdom today. That is why we become foreigners and temporary residents of this world. Before attempting to “do” anything for the Lord today, we must learn to live in Him and be crucified with Him. To do so is to surrender our way for His Way, each moment in every single day even this one that we call “today”.
Deuteronomy 30:15-16 (TLB)
“Look, today I have set before you life and death, depending on whether you obey or disobey. I have commanded you today to love the Lord your God and to follow his paths and to keep his laws, so that you will live and become a great nation, and so that the Lord your God will bless you and the land you are about to possess.”
We do not choose to make Jesus our Savior unless we are willing to make Him our Lord. He must be our Savior and Lord to successfully make it from death to life. We decide if today will be the day we obey or disobey God’s Commands. We strive to follow the Ten Commandments although we struggle with the one Jesus added to “love one another”. We are instructed to think about God’s Instructions every day. (Deuteronomy 6:5-7) We are to obey His Words each day. (Deuteronomy 8:1) Blessing and cursing are presented in each decision and we decide what we will hold on to. (Deuteronomy 11:26-27) We have the potential to live a life of blessing and success when we live crucified with Christ. See we tried it on our own “yesterday” just like the men and women of the Old Testament and failed tremendously. The future is secure for those who endure to the end but what about today? What are we doing with today? We need to successfully navigate today to make it into forever.
Romans 8:36-39 (TLB)
No, for the Scriptures tell us that for his sake we must be ready to face death at every moment of the day—we are like sheep awaiting slaughter; but despite all this, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ who loved us enough to die for us. For I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from his love. Death can’t, and life can’t. The angels won’t, and all the powers of hell itself cannot keep God’s love away. Our fears for today, our worries about tomorrow, or where we are—high above the sky, or in the deepest ocean—nothing will ever be able to separate us from the love of God demonstrated by our Lord Jesus Christ when he died for us.
No one is guaranteed tomorrow…no one. The innocent die every day at the hands of evil. Good people experience death just as much as bad people. Sometimes godly people meet the Lord before their time in man’s opinion. We think we will live forever. Death is a requirement of Eternity. It is appointed to man, woman or child once to die. “For the Scriptures tell us that for his sake we must be ready to face death at every moment of the day.” We must be ready to face death and be with Jesus every single day even today. This is the day that we must be fully convinced of God’s Love for us so much so that we turn our entire existence over to Him. We want to know and believe that nothing can separate us from the Love of God but until we live crucified with Christ and joined at the hip – how can we be sure unless we learn to love Him enough to trust Him? We must trust the Lord today for tomorrow does not come with a guarantee but you have today, right now, this moment.
I love my daughter. I was heartbroken when she and her husband moved away. For months, I cried at the thought of separation voicing my pain to anyone who might listen. When she came to visit, I cried. When she left, I sobbed for days. I love my daughter. I want to be near her. I want to share life with her. But I have noticed recently that the Lord is answering my prayers and healing my heart in this area so it is not a raw and gapping wound continually soaked in salty tears, but now I don’t cry that often or talk about her coming back all the time. I am getting used to the distance between us. Today she is coming home for a visit. It has made me think. Have I gotten used to Jesus living in forever? Have I forgotten that He is here today? Do I live in careful consideration of His Coming or more importantly His Great Love?
“For I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from his love. Death can’t, and life can’t. The angels won’t, and all the powers of hell itself cannot keep God’s love away. Our fears for today, our worries about tomorrow, or where we are—high above the sky, or in the deepest ocean—nothing will ever be able to separate us from the love of God demonstrated by our Lord Jesus Christ when he died for us.” My heart and mind are reminded that today is the day of my salvation all over again. I am crucified with Christ and now He lives in me. All those things that try to distract me like “fears for today”, “our worries about tomorrow”, where I am going, what will I do and every other thing that seems more important than thinking about His Love is distracting me from what is important… the Love demonstrated by our Lord Jesus Christ when He died for (ME). I am just like the thief who hung next to Jesus. He affords me the same grace. I have been set free to serve Him today.
Matthew 6:9-13 (TLB)
“Pray along these lines: ‘Our Father in heaven, we honor your holy name. We ask that your kingdom will come now. May your will be done here on earth, just as it is in heaven. Give us our food again today, as usual, and forgive us our sins, just as we have forgiven those who have sinned against us. Don’t bring us into temptation, but deliver us from the Evil One. Amen.’”
When I came to Jesus, I gave Him my past. The big mess that I had made it, He gladly took it and dropped it in the sea called forgetfulness. I want to be with my Savior and Lord forever. I long to see His Face. I must not forget Him in today. When there are so many things that seem so important, life will keep us busy. Our families, jobs and responsibilities will overtake every moment of every day if we do not set aside time for Jesus. I love the Lord’s Prayer. It is the simplicity of surrender in a single prayer. The man on the Cross next to Jesus did not beg or plead with the Lord to save Him. He simply acknowledged Him that day. Have we overcomplicated the Gospel? Made it too hard to follow even for ourselves. This is the simplicity of surrender in a single prayer. Lord, have your way in my life today. May it be with me as it is in Heaven. You are my provider. You forgive all my sins. Deliver me from those things that will try to dissuade or distract me from spending time with You … today!
Psalm 95:6-7 (TLB)
Come, kneel before the Lord our Maker, for he is our God. We are his sheep, and he is our Shepherd. Oh, that you would hear him calling you today and come to him!
The Lord invites you to share today with Him. He wants to be an active participant in all that you do and your partner in all things. Will you acknowledge Him today? Will you communicate with the Lord? Will you give Him today and allow Him to bless it? The choice to live in Christ is moment by moment and day by day. We cannot commit our life to Christ and then ignore Him or our dedication was in vain. 2 Corinthians 6:1-2 (TLB) calls us God’s Partners. It goes on to warn us not to toss this marvelous message aside for another time. God’s Great Kindness is for today. He opened the doors of salvation wide and without hesitation. What is keeping you from entering in and living there every day including today? I took many todays for granted along the way of life until the day I realized that there is no guarantee. It changed my life forever. I take full advantage of the days filling them with the love and laughter of my family and doing those things that I used to put off but most importantly spending time with my Jesus. I know the Jesus who is yesterday and the One who waits in my forever but I want to be every conscious of my Lord who lives in me today!
Hebrews 3:6-8 (TLB)
But Christ, God’s faithful Son, is in complete charge of God’s house. And we Christians are God’s house—he lives in us!—if we keep up our courage firm to the end, and our joy and our trust in the Lord. And since Christ is so much superior, the Holy Spirit warns us to listen to him, to be careful to hear his voice today and not let our hearts become set against him, as the people of Israel did. They steeled themselves against his love and complained against him in the desert while he was testing them.