Monday, May 2, 2016
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Your fortieth birthday! I understand it's one of those milestone birthdays, especially for women who don't necessarily welcome it I guess. They dread hitting that forty mark. That's what I understand. Now, when my wife hit her fortieth, no big deal, man. She was cool. No trauma, no counseling, no plastic surgery, no sobbing. I just hope I can handle my fortieth birthday that well. (It's a good thing I'm not talking about integrity today.) Well, it was our son who threw the curve ball. Yeah, he was about 12, and a few weeks after Mom's big 4-0, he announced a calculation that he had, for some reason, just concocted. He said, "Hey Ma, did you know you've been alive for 14,686 days?" What! Forty years? She could handle that, but 14,686 days? That sounds prehistoric!
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "The Purpose-Driven Day."
Our son's announcement actually reminded both of us of a perspective that kids have almost instinctively and which many of us adults need to remember. This big thing we call life is really days. We don't live a life. We live a day. Right now, for example, we're trying to do a Monday. We're designed to cut this massive assignment called life into bite-size chunks called days. Jesus said we should pray about our daily bread (Luke 6:11); take up our cross daily (Luke 9:23). The 23rd Psalm says, "Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life." God says, "Your strength will equal your days" (Deuteronomy 33:25).
There's a lot to be said for taking life, not just as years or months or even weeks, but as a day-one 24-hour assignment from God at a time. That's the perspective that Moses gives actually in our word for today from the Word of God in Psalm 90. He starts the psalm with the big picture when he says, "Lord, You have been our dwelling place for all generations...from everlasting to everlasting, You are God." God's the One who's got the whole life perspective-the generation to generation perspective. So how should we live so we line up our life with His great eternal purpose? Well, it says, "Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom."
If you want to live smart, you do life as purpose-driven days. Rick Warren's book, The Purpose-Driven Life, was a giant bestseller and touched millions of lives. But it's important to remember that the way to have a purpose-driven life is to have a purpose-driven day today. God takes all those days lived His way and then He weaves them into an awesome life! You do the day. God does the life. That makes life manageable instead of overwhelming. It makes it doable instead of undoable.
None of us knows how many days we have left. Psalm 139 assures us that "all the days ordained for me were written in Your book before one of them came to be." But we don't know when those days are going to run out. So there's not a day to waste. My goal needs to be to make this day count for the things that matter to God. A purpose-driven day begins in the personal presence of God as you spend non-negotiable time with Him in His Word, the Bible, looking for His direction and experiencing His love.
Each day, start with Jesus. Each day, look for people who need you, not people who can meet your needs. Each day, confess and renounce the sin that may have brought you down yesterday. Each day, give each member of your family all of you, even if it's only for a short time. Each day, you pray for God to give you an opportunity to tell someone about your relationship with Jesus. Each day, make some progress on your long "to do" list, putting the most important ones first. And each day, at the end, sign off with God, crowning Jesus the Lord of what you didn't get done today.
Some years ago, Billy Graham was asked by a reporter what the biggest surprise in his life had been. He said, "The brevity of it." He's right. Every day needs to count. This day needs to count. And one day you'll be able to stand before Jesus and lay at His feet a whole life lived for Him-one good day at a time!