Sunday, September 14, 2008



Matthew 6:11 Give us this day our daily bread.
Luke 9:23 Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.
Acts 2:46 So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart,
Acts 5:42 And daily in the temple, and in every house, they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ.
Acts 17:11 These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.
I Corinthians 15:31 I affirm, by the boasting in you which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.
Hebrews 3:13 but exhort one another daily, while it is called “Today,” lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.

Yesterday will never be relived and tomorrow will never come but we will always have today. There is a truth in the word daily, which must be grasped, but is often neglected. Christ never intended for our strength to be met through a weekly service, or else we would be studying the word weekly or occasionally. Jesus said that today has its own problems (Mt 6:34), so then we must live for Christ today. The words associated with the Christian life, this incredible walk, are often military terms and words that stress diligence i.e. Continually, always, daily, persistent.
Indeed our spiritual needs are similar to that of our physical need, in the sense that we need daily replenishment. No matter how much you eat today, you will yet again be hungry tomorrow; the question is do you hear the hunger of your spirit? This word daily may arouse different thoughts; which should not be stagnant routine, predictable, but fresh, delightful, and fulfilling. As a parent wanting to witness a child’s firsts, or a lover content to listen to the voice of their lover over the phone for hours, is pale in comparison to pursing God daily. Many never find delight because they are creatures of methods, steps, programs, no no no it must not be that way with God. We must not think like the religions that profess an impersonal God. Our times with God should contain an element of spontaneity, as with spending time with an earthly lover. Our faith must be in the person of God, not principles, not the words we speak, nor the position of our bodies. John said that to love God means that His commandments are not burdensome; they won’t be something to be regretted of (1 John 5). Our time with God will not be a part of our ‘to do’ list when it’s of love, for the things that we truly enjoy we never limit! I must also say that there are exceptions; there are times when we will not ‘feel’ like pursuing God, of course this is not our spirit speaking but our flesh. In those times we must be like soldiers in the midst of a war; indeed we are in a greater war then history has ever witnessed. As soldiers we must hold our posts, we must watch, must stay focused, and must through much denial of ‘feelings’ fight and be ready to fight; for we know that we are often attacked when our guard is down for our adversary is like a lion seeking such opportunity.
Is there yet grace? Well of course, regardless of our repeated failures the Lord will still restore us, He will yet again give us ability and opportunity. Yet it must be understood that does not mean growth, for a man to be forgiven of his slack in the word of God is one thing but to be ready and equipped takes discipline. No lasting change will take place in your personal walk, your family, your ministry or your church until those means by which the Lord has instituted are pursued. Unless there are deposits there shall be no withdrawals, allow me to repeat that one cannot reap what one does not sow!
Make as many promises, read as many books, listen to as many sermons you like, nothing will change until you make a daily change. It’s often said “that it’s not about religion but about a relationship”. If that is true then how strong is a relationship that does not contain a daily work? That may be a true statement but is it a reality in your home? Would your children be equipped to walk this walk if they simply imitated this relationship that you present in front of them? Or would they equate Jesus with something that is done at church?!
Consider again the verses describing the lifestyle of those early followers; it seems that they were preoccupied with the things of God. Fellowship was not something that the church facilitated but was a daily enjoyment. It was normal to want to be in the presence of those who also served Christ, for they even remembered His death, burial, and resurrection daily. Even the ministers never clocked out from their calling, for they were ministers whenever and wherever they were, as with those who were worshippers of God. What a man is daily is who he is, never what a man is in the church! For even a shepherd is not one who stands behind a pulpit, no! what makes him a shepherd is the caring of the flock daily!
How can we measure devotion, worship, and commitment? By what terms of value, certainly money may play a part but that isn’t always the case, especially for a destitute man. It must be something that we all have, something that all can give, something that evens the odds; that thing is time. Time is something we all have, no man has more, no man has less; the opportunities are limitless when that priceless gift of time is offered! God sees this commodity as very valuable, for a worker is never on his own time, one who has been bought with a price has no time to call his own! Certainly there are necessities and God understands that just like a child understands the difference between neglect and necessary duty, but to add to that is to take away from what is due to God. These things that are often added are what the bible calls idols or even stumbling blocks; what would be thought of a man that chose to go bowling every night after work then on his way to bed tells his wife how he wishes he had the time to spend with her. Would you tell him of ways to squeeze it all in, perhaps a phone call on the way to the alley, a short coffee break for two, maybe a solid five minutes of heart to heart conversation while eating breakfast and so on? Of course not! You’d tell him that he’s going to lose her if he doesn’t make a sacrifice; you’d ask him what’s more important bowling or his wife. Yet when it comes to God, we completely change our approach to building a vibrant relationship; we have a smorgasbord of teachings on how to get the most out of little, how to fit God into our agenda. Simply a well organized diet to meet our physical, mental, emotional, spiritual and carnal desires: the 21st century believer is certainly purpose driven, that is to say driven by his own purposes.
Can we get practical though? For what purpose do you read such things, have you any more desire to change? It must be admitted that wishes don’t become realities. Time doesn’t come to you, things never slow down; what you do with your time is by choice. What has to be cut, what has to be put aside? As long as your time with the Lord is given to chance, it will be sporadic and unfruitful. It would be better to look at all else and make those items up for grabs; time with God first, then if you have time for the non-essentials.
It is a pitiful thing to hear a believer who’s been saved for more than a decade, speak with extensive knowledge about sports, politics, and history yet barely the word of God or even experiencing God. What pity, a believer who’s been saved longer should with ease be able to lead new believers in the knowledge of daily devotion to God. Oh how many find this life one of strife, not simply the inner struggle but an unnecessary attitude of weariness. How few know of the strength Isaiah speaks of:
Isaiah 40: 31 But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.
The word wait used in this instance means waiting, certainly not a rush! Oh but how many find it so hard to just wait before the Lord, to be silent before the Lord: a depth of silence not just a silent moment.
We are so inclined to be in a rush, yet we never get to intimacy in a rush. Consider many passing relationships, especially younger ones they are built around the rush; yet when things slow down the relationship falls apart. Every date is filled with excitement, going to this movie, to that theme park, to this club to that party and so on. Filled with busyness, yet this could go on for years and it is no proof for a strong relationship; because life will slow that rush down and intimacy will become awkward thus the relationship breaks. It’s common to hear a mate ask to spend time together, now is that person talking about time in front of a TV, is it just your presence? Weren’t you in each others’ company at the grocery store and in the car? Get a clue men, she’s talking about intimacy, undivided attention, sharing of thoughts and experiences. Yet we may know this, but find it so easy to occupy ourselves with things of no value whatsoever.
As with children, they need more than a driver and fan for sports events, they need more than a host for birthday parties, they need more than someone with a credit card, or someone who can throw a football! Teens often isolate themselves because they feel as though they can’t be open with their fears, hurts, and struggles. If only they could have grown up in an intimate relationship through undivided communication instead of busy activity.
What has to change? What is worth you losing time with the lover of your soul?
Too many are flying through life with no progress whatsoever, simply entertaining themselves to death. TV, internet, work, hobbies, and even church events; are they stealing your time with the Lord? If you think they're not idols then consider giving them up for a week, then you will know if it is an idol or not! Time in the presence of the Lord will never be regretted of, no for in His vine you will bear fruit. Let us not forget that Jesus said that unless we abide in Him that we cannot bear fruit, it is God working through you daily. The Lord gives you just enough if you are willing to take it. We must not allow ourselves to trust in our flesh, we must be fearful of self rising up; daily we must realize our frailty and absolute dependence upon God! Never will there be shortcuts, never will there be lasting fruit without devotion, and never will you find a substitute for time with the Lord!


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