~ Do You Know Whose Terms They Are? ~
Background ~ (1) In one sense yesterday, today, and tomorrow are all God’s terms. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Hebrew 13:8). (2) In a different sense none of these terms are Gods terms since He is eternal—there is no time, as we understand it, with God. (3) There is a third concept that is important to recognize; “today” is God’s word while “tomorrow” is Satan’s word.
Amplification ~ Satan seeks to have us procrastinate on eternal matters! First, this is absolutely true regarding salvation for those who don’t believe—he desperately seeks to keep individuals from seeking truth [Jesus Christ]. Second, he strives hard to have Christians procrastinate in all aspects of obedience to Jesus Christ.
On the other hand now is God’s word. “Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:2b). “Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says: ‘Today, if you will hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, in the day of trial in the wilderness, where your fathers tested Me, tried Me, and saw My works forty years. Therefore I was angry with that generation, and said, “They always go astray in their heart, and they have not known My ways.” So I swore in My wrath, “They shall not enter My rest.”’ Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; but exhort one another daily, while it is called ‘Today,’ lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end, while it is said: ‘Today, if you will hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion’” (Hebrews 3:7-15). “Again He designates a certain day, saying in David, ‘Today,’ after such a long time, as it has been said: ‘Today, if you will hear His voice, do not harden your hearts’” (Hebrews 4:7).
Quotation ~ Between God’s command and our obedience is the wasteland of Satan. When we hear what God tells us to do, we should say, “I will obey today.” If we don’t say that, we will hear “tomorrow” ringing in our ears. And one of those days our tomorrow will be gone!
When D.L. Moody first started to preach the Gospel in Chicago, he would say at the end of each service, “I want you to go home tonight and think about what I’ve said and come back tomorrow night ready to make a decision.” For years that was his standard procedure.
On the night of the Great Chicago Fire, he gave the same instruction. And many of the people who were in his congregation that night perished in the fire, never having responded to Moody’s message.
From that day until he died, Moody never gain said those closing words. He learned the power of today. He realized that the message of the Gospel usually comes home to our hearts when we first hear it. Maybe a light goes on. Maybe we realized, I’ve known about Jesus, but I’ve never trusted Him as my Savior. When that happens and you know God is speaking to you, the time to do something about it is not tomorrow, not the next time you meet with God’s people, but today. ~ I Never Thought I’d See the Day! – Culture at the Crossroads, Dr. David Jeremiah, page 89.
Application ~ (1) For Christians: Is your Christianity ancient history or current events?
(2) For those who do not know Jesus Christ personally: How about today? You may not be given any tomorrows! “Seek the Lord while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the Lord, and He will have mercy on him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon” (Isaiah 55:6-7).
~ Robert Lloyd Russell, ABUNDANT LIFE NOW
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