Everyday Living!

Speaker: Rev. Shine P. Thomas

Introduction:

God wants us to lead joyful and successful lives. But too often the thoughts and issues of life grip us. Some people live their lives bitter about the past, some live concerned about their future. Yet, there are some people who rush through each day. The end result is that none of them are able to enjoy their present day.

How to live today happy for a better tomorrow? Well the Bible has answers for that.

I. Three things the Bible says not to do.

1. Don’t presume about tomorrow.

Proverbs 27:1 Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring.

Ecclesiastes 8:7 Since no man knows the future, who can tell him what is to come?

The Bible tells us, “Don’t be pound about your plans for tomorrow or the future because life is uncertain. You do not know about tomorrow, so don’t be presumptuous.”

James 4:13-15 13Now listen,you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.”14Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. 15Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will,we will live and do this or that.”

James is talking about merchants in his time who travel around the world. One business voyage by ship could take over a year. Now their mistake was not that they were engaged in business, we all need to do work or do business to survive but their mistake was they were presumptuous, boasting on the profit without recognizing God who controls the future.

 Remember the parable of the rich farmer who had an abundant harvest? Luke 12:17-20 17He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’ 18“Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain.19And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”’ (There was no God in his plan.) 20“But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’

We’re presumptuous when we do something without praying about it. We’re presuming that we will be successful. Planning is important but planning without God is presumption. Now, most people are presumptuous isn’t it? Don’t presume; put God in every plan of your life.

2. Don’t worry about tomorrow.

Matthew 6:34 Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.

Matthew 6:25-27 25“Therefore I tell you, do not worryabout your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?26Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.Are you not much more valuable than they? 27Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

Worry gets you nowhere. Trust God, if He gave us our life he will sustain it. Look at the birds of the air. Birds don’t plant any crops. Birds do not store any food in barns. Birds do not shop at supermarkets and they don’t use refrigerators. Each new day they must gather food, yet they don’t seem to worry. They are up early every morning singing joyfully.

Can you imagine one night Momma Bird asks Papa Bird, “What’s wrong Papa why aren’t you sleeping?” Papa bird says, “I’m worried. We have three newly hatched chicks in the nest. What we will do if I can’t find any worms tomorrow?”

You see, the birds do not store anything and God takes care of them each day. If God cares for the birds, how much more he cares for you? You were made in the image of God. God formed you and has a special purpose for you. So do not worry, trust God.

3. Don’t procrastinate until tomorrow.

Procrastinate – Delay or postpone something.

Ecclesiastes 11:4 (TLB) If you wait for perfect conditions, you will never get anything done.

I wonder how many of us have taken decisions and postponed it for tomorrow. The problem is tomorrow never comes. If you want a better tomorrow, do what you have to do today. Maybe God is asking you to do something; take up a course, do God’s work, work on your relationship. Start working on it today, don’t wait until tomorrow.

II. Three things the Bible says to do.

Think about Joshua and the Israelites. Moses has just died, and now Joshua is the leader. They are on the eastern side of the Jordan River. On the other side is the Promised Land. They have to cross Jordan at flood time and fight at least 7 enemy nations to possess the promise. Here Joshua is probably worried, confused, and discouraged.

So God appears to him & says, “Joshua, let me tell you 3 things to do. And if you will do these 3 things, I guarantee you success.” Let’s look at those 3 things.

Joshua 1:2 Moses my servant is dead. Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give to them to the Israelites. See carefully what God is telling Joshua.

1. Let go your past.

God is first addressing Joshua to take his focus off from his past. Moses my servant is dead. Moses was God’s chosen man to lead them out of Egypt. Now, Joshua has to fill his sandals. You can imagine the fear Joshua must have felt. So God says to Joshua, “Listen. Moses is dead, but I’m not. I have a plan for your life and your people. So let’s get on with the plan.” Get ready.

God is looking at our lives today and asking us to let go the past, get ready for a fruitful tomorrow. This is so important that God addresses it in many places in the Bible. Let go your past pain, suffering, failures, experiences. If you want to see the work of God, you need to look ahead.

2. Stay in the Word.

Joshua 1:7 Be strong and very courageous. Be very careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or the left, that you may be successful wherever you go.

God says, “Joshua, I’m guaranteeing you success if you’ll be careful to stay my Word. And the way to do that is not to turn from it either to the left or to the right.” In other words, Don’t become sidetracked in your Christian life.

Now Christians can easily become sidetracked. It might be a promotion in your job, a marriage, a new relationship, a child is born, it maybe a sickness etc. Suddenly you’re so busy that you don’t have time for the Word of God, to pray, or even to come to church. The enemy makes you so busy that you have no time left over for God. Because the enemy knows if you obey the word you have success.

Joshua 1:8 Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. The Bible is the key to prosperity and success. Here God told Joshua 3 ways to stay in the Word.

a. Talk about it.

Joshua 1:8 Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth. It is not enough just to read the Word. We need to talk about it, discuss it, and learn from it.

Illustration: Many times in our family when I am meditation on a word, Glory comes up with different portions from the Bible and it soon becomes a conversation. Soon the children join in and put in their input of the word of God. We need to talk the word in our homes. Such families will never be a failure.

Church services, cell meetings and fasting prayers are also opportunities to mediate the word meetings.

b. Think about it.

Joshua 1:8 Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. 

When we hear the word “meditation,” we often think of someone sitting cross legged, hands straight, in some kind of a trance. Meditation is a good Biblical word. Mediation is what you have in your mind always.

God wants us to meditate on his word. “Worry is negative meditation.” It is constantly thinking about all the bad stuff that could happen. That’s negative meditation. Positive meditation is thinking about what God can do, and how God can work in your life. So God tells Joshua, “Read my word, talk about it, and mediate about it.” Let my words be your thought day and night.

c. Put it into practice. Do it.

Joshua 1:8 Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. 

Now, take the teachings and principles out and live them every day. Someone said, “Sin will keep you from reading the Bible, but reading the Bible will keep you from sin.”

3. Step out in faith.

Joshua 1:10-11 10So Joshua ordered the officers of the people: 11“Go through the camp and tell the people, ‘Get your supplies ready. Three days from now you will cross the Jordan here to go in & take possession of the land the Lord your God is giving you for your own.’”

Joshua 3:8 The Lord said to Joshua, “Tell the priests who carry the ark of the covenant: when you reach the edge of Jordan’s waters, go and stand in the river.”

If you want to be successful, set God’s plan into action today. Some of you say, “Pastor I do not know what to do.” If you do not know what to do, just pray about it. Remember, Elijah in Kerith Ravine was in the presence of God, but when God asked him to go to Zarepheth, he responded by going there in faith.

Proverbs 16:9 (TLB) You should make plans, counting on God to direct you.

Application: What is it that God is asking you to do? What is your call or passion in life? God is saying, “Put your dream into action trusting in God today. I will help you succeed.”

Now in-between Joshua and the Promised Land was the Jordan River in flood stage, & Joshua was afraid. Likewise, you may have great challenges. You may go through circumstances of uncertainty but don’t stop, step forward in faith.

See how God is leading a man who is willing to step in faith. Joshua 1:9 God says, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid, do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” God says 3 times to Joshua, “Be strong & courageous.” If God has spoken something, he will fulfill it, be strong, don’t waiver. Notice those words afraid and discouraged.” These are 2 of Satan’s tools. When you start something there is always fear and discouragement brought in by the enemy.

Fear will keep you in the desert. Do you realize that the Israelites could have traveled from Mt. Sinai to the Promised Land in about 3 weeks? But it actually took them 40 years getting there because they were caught in the grip of fear. But God says, “Don’t be afraid.”

When you move against your fear courageously, the next thing that often happens is that Satan unleashes discouragement. So God says do not be afraid, do not be discouraged.

I do not know what you are fearful of today. I do not know what your discouragements are in life. I come against every fear and discouragement in Jesus’ name. Step forward!

Joshua 3:15-16 Now the Jordan is at flood stage all during harvest. Yet as soon as the priests who carried the ark reached the Jordan and their feet touched the water’s edge, the water from upstream stopped flowing. It piled up in a heap a great distance away.

Picture this scene: Here come the priests carrying the Ark. The moment the feet of the priests touched the water, God did his work, at one side the water dammed up.

Listen, When Moses led the Israelites to the Red Sea, God made them cross on dry land. The moment Moses lifted the staff the waters heaped up on both sides, & the people crossed on dry land. But that’s not what happened here. Here the water dammed up only upstream. Moreover, it is flood time. There is water all over in the land, there is water in the river bed. Still they had to deal with a great amount of water, only the water upstream was stopped.

Now they take another step, & they’re knee deep in the water. What happened? Isn’t God going to do something? They take another step, & they’re waist deep in the water, & it appears that God hasn’t done anything yet. Then they take another step, & they’re chest deep in the water. And I can just imagine that the priests are thinking, “How far does God expect us to go before He does something?”

You see, God was testing their faith. Now they are walking in the water, God had stopped the upstream water but they were getting deeper and deeper in the flood waters.

What’s the point? The point is when we walk in faith it is a slow walk step-by-step. It took 25 years for Abraham for his promises to be fulfilled. Remember the first step is always the hardest one. First, Abraham had to leave his house. Here they had to step their foot in flooding Jordan. Immediately God stopped the upstream. Now they had to trust God and move forward step-by-step.

Keep stepping out in faith even though the water is getting deeper. I do not know how many of you are looking at your circumstances and are discouraged. God is telling move on by faith. God is with you. He is able and will do the miracle.

Isaiah 43:2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. 

By the time they exercised the faith and reached the middle of the river, it became dry ground. Joshua 1:17 The priests who carried the ark of the covenant of the Lord stopped in the middle of the Jordan and stood on dry ground.

I do not know what circumstances you are going through today. You may feel like all is over, you are going to be drowned, or flooded but God is faithful to bring you to dry ground provided you trust in him today and move forward.

But in the meantime, how much faith do you have? Will you walk day by day in faith?

Conclusion:

God has already won the victory on Calvary. But some of you are still worried about your past. Some of you are afraid of your future and wasting your present opportunities. God is telling: Don’t panic about your future. Every day with God is your answer for tomorrow. Remember, if you spoil your today you are automatically ruining your tomorrow.

So, forget the past, meditate on the word, and keep stepping up in faith. Live your best life today. Amen!


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