Dear Precious Friends,
I pray you are waking up to this beautiful new day praising God for this gift and armoring up for the day. I love todays reminder and am so grateful for all God has done to reveal His truth to me and my family & friends, yet there are many whose eyes have not been opened. My heart is broken for what is happening in Afghanistan and we must all unite in prayer for our brothers and sisters to be protected and get out. I just read there are 24 California Students there for a summer trip along with some parents and they are stranded. Please lets all unite in prayer for them as well as all who are stranded there. Also, we pray for the devastation in Haiti and those precious people who had nothing and now so many deaths and so much destruction. Most recently the flooding in our country has left many homeless and devastated. There are so many things happening right now and those who are fighting for their lives... many have perished and were isolated... leaving their loved ones absoluteley heart broken... and our health care workers are taxed beyond belief. I can not imagine what they are experiencing and then having to continue caring for patients... Friends, we need to cover everyone in prayer and especially that they know Jesus as their Lord and Savior.
We started our year focused on the scripture "Teach us to number our days, so we can gain a heart of wisdom". (Psalm 90:12). In this short phrase we are challenged to face the reality of our mortality. Our days are numbered. Only God knows the length of them for each and every one of us. We know objectively that our lives are short in the great expanse of time, and certainly in eternity. Subjectively, this thought sometimes causes us discomfort. But, it is our reality. We are going to die one day. When? We cannot know.
As Christians, we have the advantage of our faith. We believe in “the communion of saints, the resurrection of the body and the life to come” . In faith, this is enough for us. With this faith, we look upon life’s shortness without fear, but with faith, hope, and love. The psalmist’s faith only had the hope of the Promise that had been given to Abraham and his children. Because of the birth, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, we have seen that Promise fulfilled and we live within it, here and now.
That is why, as Christians, we are to live as fully as possible in the present moment. As C.S. Lewis tells us in his Screwtape Letters, the present moment is where we encounter the Infinite and Eternal God. The “NOW” is where he is found. The past is real, but it no longer is, except as memory and lessons learned. We are to let go of our anxieties over our past failures by giving them over to God. His forgiveness, his mercy, and his grace are enough for us to find peace with our past. To fear the future is foolishness. As Christians, the fear of the still-not-here-future is no longer there for us. We know that we are going to die, but we also know that God’s kindness and mercy follows us every day of our lives. We know that he has prepared a place in heaven for those who have remained faithful to his love and his commands. And we know that he has called us to follow him. We can only do that now, today, in each moment.
It is our faith in Jesus Christ that teaches us this, and it also makes it possible for us to “number our days aright.” My friends, we gain the wisdom of living each day in the now moment, for Christ, for his sake alone. We believe that, “THIS is the day the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad” (Psalm 118:24). How do we rejoice and be glad? By living his commandments faithfully in the here and now. By being present to God and to one another fully, here and now. When we live with this consciousness of the presence of God and of his will for us we are more alive than when we sleepwalk through our days, or spend inordinate amounts of our time worrying over our past errors, or being afraid of what is yet to come in some future time, that may not come, given the shortness of our days on earth. We know that the Holy Spirit is with us, in this moment. Let us stop and be with him in this moment. Let us listen to his guidance and his encouragement to us, in this moment. Let us live fully with him in our hearts, right now, in this moment. Then we will have learned to number our days aright.
This day is the day that God has given us, that he sustains and supports in every moment. If this moment is a time of difficulty, lean into his presence for assurance and strength. If this moment is a time of joy, praise him and thank him for his immeasurable graces. If you see someone in need, meet that need lovingly and generously, in that moment. This is the day he has made with and for you. Live it! Live it fully, in his name.
Paul says "To live is Christ, To die is Gain"... WOW this is blissful certainty whether to stay here on earth or to go home to heaven is a win win... everything we do in this life as Christians is to be for Christ.
To die is gain – What could be better than living for Christ, shining light and winning people to the kingdom of God? As crazy as it sounds, death is better. Look how Paul states it in verse 22-24.
Lord, It is one thing to be able to contemplate your presence and your graces, but to live in them, to actually be what you want us to be, is difficult for us without your generous grace. We desire in the depths of our hearts to live fully in you today. Bless us with the gift of attentiveness. Help us to be and to stay fully awake in each moment, for you, and for our neighbors. Help us to live in such a way that others want what we have... the greatest and most precious treasure on earth... YOU LORD!!! Only one life twill soon be past, only what's done for Christ will last... May this day count for you Lord.
We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen!