Living NOW

A few days ago, on what would have been our 47th wedding anniversary, I put a picture of Bev on my cell phone screen.  It draws me into memories of days past. Yes, it can be bittersweet to remember, bringing both smiles and tears.  Remembering, I choose to life now because I know this – life goes on.  We must not forget yesterday for it is the fertile soil in which the present grows. However, if we want to be emotionally healthy and engaged with life we must not live in the past. Not all of my memories are beautiful!  Some bring regret. Time’s passing often brings us the realization of mistakes made, poor choices we desperately would like to change. While we may need to seek forgiveness or reconciliation, once again, it is important to face forward, to live now.

Paul, in his early years as a Pharisee, hated Believers in Christ and worked to destroy the Gospel message. He persecuted those who followed Jesus. But God met him on the road to Damascus, extending grace and salvation. Saul believed that day and was changed. The transformation was so profound, he even took a new name!

Had he lived in perpetual regret, he might have faded into obscurity, making tents in some Roman town, sorrowful ’til death for his persecution of those who loved the Lord.  Or, he might have settled down to pastor the church in Ephesus, where his message met with great success and tried to hold onto a moment of triumph. But, he didn’t do either of those things. Why?  

He tells us. “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:12-14, NIV)  With the Spirit guiding and the promise of heaven waiting, Paul lived fully engaged with the opportunities of each day. He left his sins to the grace of God, celebrated the triumphs with thanksgiving, and anticipated the glorious future in hope.

When you awaken each morning, boldly declare – This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” (Psalm 118:24, NIV)   We grow deeper in the things of the Lord as He shows us new challenges, new places for service, and presents us with new opportunities.  God is the Lord of this day.  In Matthew 6 Jesus invites us to live this way – “Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met. Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now.”  (The Message Matthew 6:33-34)

I leave you with this word from the Word, Jesus’ appeal to his friends. They were traveling through Samaria, a place they assumed was without value. But, the Lord invited them to see the opportunities that were all around them.  Hear His words for your life. “My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work. Do you not say, ‘Four months more and then the harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest.” (John 4:34-35, NIV)

What is ripe for harvest right now in your life?
Are your eyes open to what the Spirit is doing today?

(Video of this blog at this link)

Goodness Of God

(Let CeCe Winans lift you into God’s Presence)

I love You Lord
Oh Your mercy never fails me
All my days
I’ve been held in Your hands
From the moment that I wake up
Until I lay my head
I will sing of the goodness of God

All my life You have been faithful
All my life You have been so so good
With every breath that I am able
I will sing of the goodness of God

I love Your voice
You have led me through the fire
In darkest night
You are close like no other
I’ve known You as a father
I’ve known You as a friend
I have lived in the goodness of God

Your goodness is running after
It’s running after me
Your goodness is running after
It’s running after me
With my life laid down
I’m surrendered now
I give You everything
Your goodness is running after
It’s running after me

Ben Fielding | Brian Johnson | Ed Cash | Jason Ingram | Jenn Johnson

© 2018 Capitol CMG Paragon (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing)

SHOUT! Music Publishing Australia (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing)

CCLI License # 810055

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