Sunday, February 17, 2019

Sunday Praise & Worship Message - Day by Day

One of the lessons I learned during my illness was also the most difficult for me to learn. It was remaining patient and living my life day by day or, put in another way, one day at time. Each day that I lived with the uncertainty of what was to come, I began to worry about everything. I worried about whether or not the infection would spread to other bones in my face. I worried about our financial issues that we faced due to the medical bills. As I sat quietly, my mind would start to think about tomorrow. I wondered what would be the next thing to come. Would I receive more bad news? That one question plagued me daily. What was going to be the next thing that would happen in the lives of my family and myself?

I am sure that many of you have faced similar situations in your life. You may have dealt with medical problems, financial issues or spiritual uncertainty. Each day seems like it brings more and more problems and you worry about the problems of tomorrow. As humans, we worry about a lot of things that come and go in our lives. But, we, as Christians, need to remember that the problems that we face are only temporary and that we should not worry about tomorrow. Jesus said it best in Matthew 6, “34 So don't worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today's trouble is enough for today.

For me, each day began and ended the same way. I would wake up with worries and woes on my mind and go to bed with more worries and countless woes. There would be nights when I would cry myself to sleep as I worried about everything and anything that came creeping into my thoughts. When I would tell my wife about my fears, uncertainties and doubts, she would remind me of Jesus’ words and I would soon find comfort and rest in those words.

As I thought about what he said, I began to truly understand his words. Each day will be filled with things that, if we allow them, will take our focus away from the Lord. We concentrate on those things that will not only cause us to worry but also ruin our moments with our Father.

I began to reflect on a particular story that brought me peace and comfort. It is the story of Martha and Mary. In Luke 10, Jesus in his travels with his disciples came to a small village. A woman, Martha, opened her home for him and prepared a meal. While she worried about the meal, her sister, Mary, spent her time at Jesus’ feet and listened to his words. Martha became upset by her sister’s lack of work and asked Jesus to tell her to help her. Jesus responded, “41 Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” 

Mary realized the most important thing that she could do was to spend her time with Jesus and not worry about the meal or all the things associated with it. While Martha scurried away worrying about the meal and the things in this world, Mary found her spiritual food in the words of Jesus. Mary truly understood the words of Deuteronomy 8. Moses told the Israelites, “3 Yes, he humbled you by letting you go hungry and then feeding you with manna, a food previously unknown to you and your ancestors. He did it to teach you that people do not live by bread alone; rather, we live by every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD.

When Martha worried about the food of this world, she became obsessed with the things of this world. Mary focused her attention on the things not of this world, the words of Jesus. We, like Mary, must not allow the things of this world to cloud our judgment or cause us to lose focus on our relationship with the Lord.

God takes care of our daily needs and we do not have to worry about anything. The psalmist writes in Psalm 37, “18 Day by day the LORD takes care of the innocent, and they will receive an inheritance that lasts forever.

By focusing our attention on the Lord, we know without a doubt that He will take care of us and that our inheritance does not come from this world but from the Father and it will last forever. The things that we face will soon come to an end. Our problems, whether they are medical, financial or spiritual, will pass away when we focus our attention on the Lord and not elsewhere.

As I began to realize the lesson that I was being taught and saw my needs met daily, I realized that I did not have anything to worry about. My anxieties went away. Remember the words of Peter in his first epistle, “7 Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.

By giving all of your worries and cares to God, you proclaim the power of the Lord. There is nothing too great for Him and nothing that He cannot do. He can overcome all things.

Peter further tells us, “6 So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor.” 

When we humble ourselves before the Lord, He will lift us up in honor. Think back to the story of Martha and Mary. Where was Mary? She was at the feet of Jesus listening to his every word and not worrying about anything else.

So when you face what you think is insurmountable or think that all is lost, remember things are temporary and they will change as long as we give our worries and cares to God. We know that He cares for us and that He will lift us up in honor and victory over the things of this world. Nothing should stand between the Lord and ourselves. No matter what happens, we need to live our lives “by every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD.”

As you go through this week, I challenge you to spend your time with the Lord and in His word. When the worries and woes of this world begin to creep into your mind, look to Him and know that He cares for you. If you do that one and only thing of looking to the Lord day by day, you will soon find that your life will be easier and that there is nothing that God cannot do to help you rise above all of the strife that you face.

If you do not have a relationship with the Lord, I ask that you reflect on the words of the Lord and allow them to be absorbed by your spirit. Let the words speak to your heart. If you do, I guarantee that you will find comfort, strength, peace and, most importantly, a love that surpasses everything that you have ever known.

Just remain focused on the Lord and rest assured that you can and will stand firm in His grace.

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.

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