Tuesday, August 12, 2014

A Good Day

I’ve recently begun my seventh decade of life.  That’s right.  I turned 60 years old this summer.  As I get older, it seems that the years pass more swiftly.  I’m getting older, but my wife isn’t.  I feel the pain and stiffness of arthritis occasionally.  I take medication for diabetes and elevated triglycerides.  And I have to admit that I am now on the downside of my life expectancy. 
        So what’s next?  Some adventure, probably.  Each morning we get to peer into the unknown, a treasure chest of possibilities and adventures.  Each day we are given an ocean of possibilities which might include blue skies and bright sunshine OR a few storms with howling winds and monstrous waves.  We must not fear the storms so much that we stay on the dock and miss the adventures that God has in store for us.  We CAN navigate the seas of a new day with confidence by following a few simple guidelines.
       First, welcome each day as a God-given opportunity.  James 4:13-14 says that our lives are but a vapor appearing briefly and then vanishing.  None of us is promised a tomorrow, so it’s extremely important that we see each day as a gift from God and use it appropriately.  Live each day as if it were your last.  Love deeply, give generously, laugh hysterically, forgive quickly, and do an act of kindness for someone who can do nothing for you in return. 
      Second, begin each day with prayer.  This isn’t a call for an early morning prayer marathon.  It’s an encouragement to spend some time every morning, perhaps even before getting out of your bed, acknowledging God’s greatness, His lordship over all of your activities that day, and submitting to His authority over your life.  Just as doctors have discovered that brief intervals of exercise can be as beneficial as extended workouts, you might discover that a few minutes of prayer several times a day keep you more attuned to God’s will for your life.
      Third, spend some time in the Bible each day.  Again, it’s not necessary to read eight or ten chapters a day.  What is important is that you spend some time in God’s word daily asking Him to speak to you through your reading.  You will find that it becomes easier to hide God’s word in your heart when you’re consuming it in smaller bites and your motivation is simply to have God speak to you.
      Finally, seize opportunities to invite others to experience the joy that Jesus brings to your life.  People will probably take more notice of your faith when you weather the storms that will inevitably come.  When you emerge from those storms battered but intact, you’ve earned the right to tell others about the Source of your strength and hope. 

      Every morning, remember!  We have not passed this way before, but God has.  So we can claim His promise to Joshua in Joshua 1:9 – “. . . Be strong and of good courage; be not frightened or dismay; for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”  That always makes it a good day!

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