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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

{Guest Post} Tomorrow (don’t count on it)

Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.” 
                                                           -James 4:14
As much as I appreciate the blessing of tomorrow, I’ve also come to see it as a blessing too often abused. Though most people will readily admit their life could be snuffed out at any time, for some reason we continue to live as if there is always another page to be turned, another chapter to be written. Like the rich man in Luke 12 who fell into the lap of luxury only to “fall into the hands of the living God” when he least expected it (Heb. 10:31), many times we embrace unnecessary responsibilities today while postponing what God says is truly important until tomorrow.
What do I mean by unnecessary responsibilities? Well, let’s start with the obvious. Hunting trips, shopping ventures, and web surfing are all nonessentials. We could live without them if it became necessary. More subtle distractions such as extra-biblical literature and blogging may at times seem indispensible, but even these should be a distant second to our God and our family. We as Christians are called to demonstrate faithfulness, not just in the “big” things, but in the countless smaller responsibilities that shape our character and mold our relationships (Matt 25:23).
Of course that’s not to say whatever is unnecessary can also be categorized as sin. Solomon himself believed “there is nothing better for a man, than that he should eat and drink, and that he should make his soul enjoy good in his labor.” (Eccl. 2:24) Our lives are a gift from God and should be enjoyed in holiness (Heb. 12:14), but putting your family on hold to accommodate a self-induced busy schedule is a sacrifice no one can afford to make.
“Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.”
               -Matthew 23:23
Just like the Pharisees, how often have we allowed our zeal for God to tear us down rather than build us up? Peter cutting off Malchus’ ear when His Savior’s life was threatened revealed an inner passion worth emulating, but in the end he earned only a rebuke from the One he was attempting to defend (John 18:10-11). Is it any different when a Christian passionate about truth spends more time reading Bible commentary than the Word of God itself, or can quote their favorite theologian more fluently than their risen Lord? We procrastinate making the changes we know are needed but somehow always make room for the lesser things we could do without. Isn’t it true that “procrastination is the thief of time”1God calls us to redeem (Eph. 5:16)?
God has a special blessing in store for those who make Him, not religion or good works, the focus of their heart and the love of their life. We shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ”someday to answer for the decisions we’ve made (Rom. 14:10), and this reality should encourage God’s church in the pursuit of holiness and “faith unfeigned.” (1 Tim. 1:5) There’s no need to wait until the 1st of January to enact these commitments. Act now! Determine what you must do, put your hand to the plow, and don’t look back (Luke 9:62). It’s this kind of dedication we need to break the chains “tomorrow” can so easily ensnare us with.

About the Author
So you're probably reading this expecting that I have some kind of exciting life with all sorts of things to share with you about it. Nope. I'm just an 18 year-old guy who loves the Lord, enjoys writing about Him, His Word, and how to serve Him more fruitfully (Eph. 2:10). My favorite hobbies include memorizing Scripture, photography, hunting, fishing, and raising ducks.

You Can visit Dakota's blog here.

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