Daily Devotional for Monday September 16, 2013
It is the Start of a New Week
(1 Peter 5:7; 1 Chronicles 29:15; James 4:14)
***ASK BILL: Pastor Bill, it seems like there are an increasing number of books coming out by people who were supposedly pronounced dead, got a short tour of Heaven, and then were brought back so they could tell their story. Are any of them for real? What does the Word of God have to say about this?
ANSWER: The Bible, our only source of Truth, says "the dead no longer have part of this life." That clearly means dead people don't come back as ghosts or spirits, and it also means that while these people may honestly have had an "experience," they were not in Heaven or hell as they claim. They could have been pronounced clinically dead, but their brains were never "dead." After we die, we will not be bound by time/space or the finite limitations of our minds. It will be an entirely and completely different existence, where the only thing we know definitively from the Word is that we will know, worship, and serve Jesus!
It is the start of a new week. Are you excited? Monday is traditionally the start of a new week for most people. Another week of school, another week of work, the normal Monday through Friday grind of dealing with all of the various aspects that are part of living life. As you begin your new week, are you dreading the days ahead or are you excited about them? That is a very legitimate question because every day I deal with many people who literally dread tomorrow and what it will bring. Today, I want to challenge you and encourage you to get excited about this new week!
The difference between dreading a new week and being excited by a new week is how you deal with the problems of life. Those out of work or who have problems on their job dread the start of each new week. Those who don't enjoy school dread Monday when it is time to go back to classes. Those who are having problems in their marriage or relationships dread another new week of pain and drama. Those who are having financial difficulties dread a new week of dodging bill collectors and just trying to meet the basic necessities.
Those who have children living in rebellion to God dread another week of waiting to see what new problems there will be. Those who have health issues dread a new week of pain, or having to fight each day just to physically make it through the day, or simply waiting to find out what is wrong with their body. Those who have lost a loved one dread another week of dealing with the fact your loved one is gone and is never coming back. Those in bondage to drugs, alcohol, gambling, smoking, food, sex, shopping, or anything else dread another week of the nightmare your life has become.
THE REALITY IS, TODAY, ON THE DAY MOST START A NEW WEEK, A LARGE PERCENTAGE OF PEOPLE ARE ACTUALLY DREADING TODAY AND THE REST OF THIS NEW WEEK!
One of the keys to living a victorious life in Christ is to never dread a new day but to look forward and be excited by each day God gives you. Listen to me for a second. Even if you live to be 80, that means you will only live apx 29,200 days! If you are 16, you've already lived over 5,800 days. If you are 30, you have already lived just under 11,000 days. If you are 50, you have already seen over 18,200 days. The point I am trying to make is that LIFE IS SHORT, VERY SHORT!
The Bible actually tells us that tomorrow is promised to none of us. We all think about what we have to do tomorrow, about our plans next month, what we want to do next year, where we want to be 10 years from now. There is nothing wrong with thinking ahead, planning ahead. However, the reality of this life is that tomorrow is promised to NONE OF US! Each day is literally a gift from God! You never know when you wake up one morning if you will even make it through the day. No doubt we have all been touched by the sudden and tragic loss of a family member or friend that drives home the reality each day is a very special gift from God and is not to be taken for granted.
So for those who are struggling with the trials and tribulations of living life in this sin-filled world, who are battling some of the issues that cause people to dread a new day, what is the answer? The answer is your relationship with the Lord. You see my friend, that is the ONLY THING that can not only sustain you during the trying moments of life we all have to live through, but keep you looking forward to and being excited about each new day. It is your relationship with Christ that allows you to handle the pain and heartache of day-to-day life while maintaining the peace, and the joy, and the abundance Christ promised us during this brief journey.
That peace, that joy, that abundance, comes from knowing that no matter what your trials may be, no matter what the problems in your life may be, no matter what obstacles you may be facing, the Lord is not only going to see you through those troubled times but continue to bless you as you are going through your trials. This is deep so follow me closely. The Lord will continue to bless you even when you are deep in the pit of life's problems. YOU are robbing yourself of those blessings when you are only focused on the problems in your life and not the problem solver!
This is too important to miss so let me say that one more time. Open your heart and receive this today. YOU are robbing yourself of the blessings God has for you even while you struggle through the problems you face in life because you are so focused on the problems, you have taken your eyes off the One who will solve those problems for you. You are so consumed and distracted by your problems, you are missing the blessings God is trying to bestow upon you. That is the reason too many of you on this Monday are dreading this new week instead of being excited!
I love you and care about you so much. How can you be exited about the new week when you are dealing with so many problems? Here is how. Our purpose is to serve and glorify God with our lives. When we are fulfilling our purpose, we not only find the peace, and joy, and abundance of life, we see the blessings of God in our life. In most cases, the problems you are facing are things you have no control over. So rather than miss the joy of a new day and treat it as the gift from God it is, give those things out of your control to the Lord and spend the day honoring God with your life. It is the old adage that if we will be about our Father's business, He will be about our business.
In those things you do have some control over, map our a strategy to get victory over your problems, commit it to the Lord, be faithful each day to following that strategy, and move forward with your life. DON'T LET THE DAY-TO-DAY PROBLEMS OF LIFE ROB YOU OF YOUR PEACE AND JOY! Don't get so focused on whatever your problems are that you forget to live! When you put your faith in the Lord, trust Him with your problems, that frees you up to serve Him, be productive, enjoy your life, and bask in God's blessings!
This just in...there will always be problems! That is a reality of living life in this evil and sin-infested world. So learn how to handle your problems while still being productive in your service to the Lord since it is in our service we are fulfilling our purpose in life, it is in our service we find that peace and joy in life, and it is in our service that we open our lives up to God's blessings! *If you will be faithful each day to the Lord, you will quickly realize that your blessings far outweigh your problems!!!
Today is the start of a new week. Take a few moments right now and pray. Commit whatever your problems are to the Lord. Pray and ask God to help you be obedient and faithful in these coming days to serve Him and bring glory to His name through your life. Know that each day as you serve and follow the Lord, God will not only give you His peace and joy, but you will know the abundance of this life and enjoy His many blessings. This life is very short my friend. It will end suddenly and with great finality.
Tomorrow is promised to none of us. Each day is a gift from God. Today is a day like none other. It is never coming back. When it is over it is over. Instead of dreading this new week, get exited about this new week!!!
Plan of Salvation: http://www.liveprayer.com/plan.cfm
In His love and service, Your friend and brother in Christ,