“I told you that I loved you when I married you. I’ll let you know if I ever change my mind.”
I hear that comment often used as a joke referring to the lack of daily love shown by an oblivious husband. What makes it funny is that so many of us guys tend to ‘resemble that remark.’ I know I don’t tell my wife how much she means to me nearly often enough, and I think it’s because I don’t really understand the way that each new day hits the reset button in my life. Each day is a fresh start. Neither good nor bad has yet occurred. Both good and bad have the potential to dominate my day. Often, I’m the one who can decide which has the reins.
As I was thinking through this article, this verse came to mind:
“This is the day which the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24 (NASB)
Which day? This one! Today. The one you are currently residing in. The only one that we can directly impact right now. God made it…we decide whether or not to rejoice in it.
Today is the only day that you and I can directly affect. Yesterday is gone. What’s done is done. Tomorrow is not yet here. It is still being formed in the mind of God. However, today is available. It is here and ready for us to make some decisions about what to do with it.
I’d rather just make decisions once and for all. I told Nancy that I loved her on April 27, 1985 and I shouldn’t have to keep repeating myself….right? (Of course, I’m wrong.) I told God that I was committed to Him on October 11, 1976, and I shouldn’t have to be so repetitious there either…right? Well, what do you think?
It’s funny though, it seems that the Bible has a different take on these things. It has something to say about stuff we should do DAILY. Here are some examples:
Matthew 6:11— “Give us today our daily bread.” (Rely on God daily.)
Acts 2:46 – Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. (Daily interaction with other Christians.)
Hebrews 3:13 – But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. (Build up one another on a daily basis.)
Luke 9:23 – Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.” (A daily decision to put the LORD first and deny our selfish desires.)
I’m sure there are more, but let’s just stop there for now…for today anyway.
What got me thinking this direction was some frustration with myself over a personal failure. (That’s church code for… uh… a sin.) The frustration is over the fact that I know I don’t want to lapse into that particular problem anymore…and I make repeated commitments to God to change.
It goes something like this: “I’m so sorry. I’ll NEVER do that again!”
The thing is that “never” is a long time, and my mind can’t seem to hang on to those promises indefinitely. Soon, other things begin to cloud my judgment, and before long…wham…I’m praying that prayer again. (Thank God for grace!)
What I’ve finally realized is that I need to make some DAILY commitments. I need to pursue God daily. I need to follow God daily. And, I need to deny myself daily. I can’t let three or four days (or weeks, or months, or years) go by without recommitting myself.
Daily commitment is the road to long-term change. One step (problem, issue, opportunity) at a time. That is the importance of that one little word that I think we tend to read right over.
I can’t really make a trustworthy commitment for next week, next month, next year…or forever. But, I can focus on today. I can deal with the here and the now.
Here’s something I’m going to implement…for now. (I make no promises as to how long I’ll keep this going because I can only promise what I can affect, and that is today.) Here’ the idea:
I will start each day with these six personal commitments to God:
1. I will tell God that I love Him today.
2. I will commit to being God’s servant today.
3. I will look for opportunities to share God today.
4. I will avoid doing (insert problem) today.
5. I will listen to God today.
6. I will grow in my (insert fruit of the Spirit) today.
These six things touch all of the primary targets in my daily walk with God. The Greatest Commandment. The Great Commission. Spiritual Growth. Taking up my Cross.
And, I’m promising only what I can affect….TODAY.
Are you willing to take the DAILY Challenge?
“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.” Matthew 6:34