Sunday, December 11, 2011

Why Not Today?

Good morning. I pray your weekend was filled to overflowing with God, family, peace and happiness. I want to share a quick word of praise with you. God strengthened me enough to be able to make a trip with a friend to pick up his daughter from college.  It is the second longest trip I have taken since my wreck.

Why not day??? Are you a procrastinator? Do you have so much on your plate, that you don't know where to start or which way is up? Have you said, "I will do this or that when I get a round tuit"? Are you so consumed with daily activities that you cannot find time to fit God, family, church, service, or friends into your day? Can you remember the last time you just stopped for a moment and told someone you cared about them, what they mean to you or maybe gave a hug to someone in need of one?

This weeks topic was sparked by a conversation I had with a dear elder saint in my church.  This lady had just had a pace maker put in her chest. She was close to death and this had to be done for her to live. We talked about her brush with death and the several I have had over the past few years, and how that had effected us and how we look at things today. I am far from perfect and will never be perfect while in this body and alive, but I am light years from the person I was 12 to 20 years ago. This is in no means meant as a brag, but rather as a praise as to where God had to reach way down to get my attention and move me from.

I started drinking at the age of 6, to best of my faded memory. I broke the law and hung out with the "bad" crowd. I bullied and intimidated others to manipulate them to do as I wanted, or else. I became a power drinker, not caring about my new young wife and son. Working, friends, family, God, church and most of everything else did not matter to me. I knew of God because of my dear grandmother, but I thought He was just for the old people and I would live life as I wanted and when I got old, then I would work something out with Him. Boy was I wrong. In 1993 everything came to a head. I was totally out of control. I had sold almost everything I had of any value to buy booze with. I was separated from my wife and my son was with her. My home was in foreclosure. My lights had been turned off. I had been fired from my job and there was nothing to eat. I had seen hard times before, but I was at the point, that all I could do was look up and cry out to God for help. It would take about 2 more years for me to get into a church and be baptized and about 8 years later to answer the call to serve Him. In the past 10 to 12 years I have grown a great deal. In the past 2 years I have learned much. After speaking with my sister in Christ and she being a good bit older than I, we realized just how truthful James 4:13-17 is and how it applies to all ages. James 4:13-17 says, "13 Look here, you people who say, "Today or tomorrow we are going to a certain town and will stay there a year. We will do business there and make a profit." 14 How do you know what will happen tomorrow? For your life is like the morning fog – it's here a little while, then it's gone. 15 What you ought to say is, "If the Lord wants us to, we will live and do this or that." 16 Otherwise you will be boasting about your own plans, and all such boasting is evil. 17 Remember, it is sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it." The old King James calls our lives a "vapor"

With this being said, does it really matter what we did or didn't do for God yesterday? No. We cannot live a life of regret of what we should have done, nor can we become complaisant and say I have done my part yesterday and I am not going to do anymore. By the same token, we cannot rely on whatever good intentions we may have about what we think we will do tomorrow. What if there is no tomorrow? John 15:16 says, "16 You didn't choose me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using my name". Hebrews 3:7 says, "7 That is why the Holy Spirit says, "Today you must listen to his voice." 2 Corinthians 6:2 says, "2 For God says, "At just the right time, I heard you. On the day of salvation, I helped you." Indeed, God is ready to help you right now. Today is the day of salvation."

I have said all of this to ask you this, "Why not today?" If you are in need of a Savior, why not today? If you are saved and need baptized, why not today? If you have been saved and baptized, then you are a child of the King and as we read in John 15:16, we have been appointed to produce fruit, are you today? Matthew 3:9-10 says, "9 Don't just say, 'We're safe – we're the descendants of Abraham.' That proves nothing. God can change these stones here into children of Abraham. 10 Even now the ax of God's judgment is poised, ready to sever your roots. Yes, every tree that does not produce good fruit will be chopped down and thrown into the fire."

Why not today, to become a child of God, or do what He wants you to do? Will it take a near death experience for you to turn to Him? What if it is not a "near death" experience, and you die. There is no second chance after death. Why not Today?

Remember:  We cannot relive yesterday and we cannot make promises to do something tomorrow when we are not guaranteed to see tomorrow.  So, whatever you are going to do, DO IT NOW, TODAY!

Until next time, pray for each other and me, as I continue to pray for each of you. Love in Christ,

Brian Hanvey
Associate Pastor
Bethel Baptist Church

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