It’s Saturday, but it’s still a busy day. Wake up early, wake up the teenager, get him ready for his soccer game, search his room for a long sleeve shirt (and clean up a month’s worth of dirty clothes along the way), drive the shirt down to him before his game, cheer him on at the soccer game, do two loads of laundry when we get back home and try to figure out what we are going to do for dinner.
Time to sit down and open the Bible, before the day gets away from me (again):
Take care, brothers, that none of you may have an evil and unfaithful heart, so as to forsake the living God. Encourage yourselves daily while it is still “today,” so that none of you may grow hardened by the deceit of sin. We have become partners of Christ if only we hold the beginning of the reality firm until the end, for it is said:
“Oh, that today you would hear his voice: ‘Harden not your hearts as at the rebellion.’”
As I read this, one sentence kept jumping out at me: Encourage yourselves daily while it is still “today,” so that none of you may grow hardened by the deceit of sin.
I am trying to make the Bible part of my daily encouragement, but I do not always succeed. It is so easy to let the day slip away, so easy to get caught up in living, so easy to focus on doing what the world says we need to do, instead of focusing on God. And when I fail — I can feel it. I need daily encouragement. The more we get away from God, the more we open ourselves up to the deceit of sin. Sin is sometimes easier and we can convince ourselves, deceive ourselves, that it is ok, even when we know it is not. We need the daily encouragement so that we do not become hardened or numb to the lure of sin, to the lure of living selfishly and satisfying our current wants, rather than living for God.
In this sentence, one phrase jumps out even more: “while it is still ‘today'”. We do not know when today will end, when our time on earth will end. Will we be with God? Or will it come when we have pulled away? I have heard many times the saying: “don’t go to bed angry.” We don’t want the sun to go down on our relationship with our spouse while we are angry with each other because we know that the longer we allow those feelings to fester the harder it is to pull back together, to keep the relationship strong. Yet, how often do we let the sun go down on our relationship with God?
It is not always easy to follow you. Sometimes, like any relationship, it is hard work. I need your encouragement. I need it daily. Sometimes I need it hourly. Help me to live every day like it is my last. Help me to do the good “today” and not put it off for a tomorrow that may never come.