Thursday, July 14, 2016
Download MP3 (right click to save)
Some years ago, my wife had a very serious case of hepatitis. Later, the specialist told her that the battle for her liver was so acute he could hear the blood rushing to save it; just like Niagara Falls, he said. Thank God, she recovered fully with no trace today of that disease or any of its effects. But it took a while – seven months of bed rest. That was an interesting time for Daddy – suddenly known as Mr. Mom – and for our three children. Thankfully, our church brought dinner to our home almost every night. God bless them! It's a good thing. I mean, if it had been up to me to feed the kids, they probably would have been on the cover of something like World Vision magazine. But tough as it was, my wife said she had so much to praise God for in her recovery from hepatitis. For one thing, no one could really look to her or count on her for seven months. Here's what she said about it. "God gave me the gift of cleansing my schedule!" He had weeded out a lot that she said didn't matter after all and left only what did.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Priorities You'll Never Regret."
If you look at many of our calendars, they're packed on the edges. Some days the date book boxes are just too small to write everything in. Our life is congested with places to go and things to do and we're overdosing on stress. We could all use a priority check. We could all use a little schedule cleansing so we can focus our time on the things that really, really matter.
Now I'm no magician. I can't make your responsibilities disappear, but I can give you a simple grid that may make your life a little more doable. It's not my idea. It's actually Martin Luther's idea. He said he had only two days on his calendar – one of those is Judgment Day. He tried to evaluate everything in light of the Judgment Day that's coming for all of us. God actually talks about that great values-clarifier in 1 Corinthians 4, beginning with verse 2, our word for today from the Word of God.
Paul writes: "It is required that those who have been given a trust (I just want to add, "we all have") must prove faithful. I care very little if I am judged by you or by any human court...It is the Lord who judges me. Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait till the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men's hearts. At that time each will receive his praise from God."
If it's not going to matter there, how much should it matter here? Earlier, Paul talked about things that are just "wood, hay, and straw" that will burn on that day when we see Jesus. That's a priority check.
Luther said he had only two days on his calendar: Judgment Day and this day. It's the only day I can live right now. I don't need to be weighed down with yesterday. It can't be changed. I don't need to be fretting about the future. I'm not there yet and I can't control it anyway.
What I have is today, one 24-hour slice of life in which to honor my Lord in everything I do. So this day will count on that day! Maybe that's what Paul had in mind when he said: "Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 3:14) Keep your eyes on the prize, all day long and each new day.
God will take a life that you have lived for Him with His priorities, one day at a time, and He will stitch that together and make a life out of those days that will fulfill you and glorify Him. It's a great way to live – two days on your calendar: Judgment Day and this day.