Monday, January 9, 2012

Lesson 8 - Scaling the Mountain of Today

Matthew 6:34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

Do you tend to worry about getting through the work, handling the responsibilities, and meeting head-on the challenges that seem to arrive with each new day?

Set a goal to memorize Matthew 6:34.

This is part of Christ’s famous Sermon on the Mount. This verse is His calling of Christians away from worrying about tomorrow, which is the key cause of tension.

We must think on this verse and put it to use on a daily basis.

We must not worry about tomorrow and instead tend to first things first.

Guideline 1 is preparing for each new day. We do this the night before and in prayer first thing in the morning.

Guideline 2 is the preparation phase and is a two-stage process.

Long-range planning:
 Breaking large projects into day-sized bits and pieces
     o Birthday, anniversary celebrations
     o Weddings
     o Reunions
     o Parties
     o Vacations
     o Business or pleasure trips
     o Presentations, papers, articles, and dissertations
     o Redecorating, remodeling, building construction projects
     o Buying or selling property
     o Retirement or a job or family change

 Reduces the waste of time and energy on worry, fear, panic, or dread.
 With planning, we are more likely to meet life’s challenges head-on and reach our life goals.

Short-term planning:
 Pieces of the long-term plan
 Day-to-day items that are part of keeping a busy life going.
     o Filing
     o Cleaning
     o Organizing
     o Paying bills, ironing, washing clothes, etc.

Guideline 3 is praying for guidance for the day.

 Give God everything.

 Say it out loud: Lord, today I give myself anew to you.
     o Give God the things in my life
          My home
          My possessions
          My time
          My body
          My mind
     o Give God the people in my life
          husband, children, their spouses, Grandchildren, other family members

 Give God my Plan A for the day
     o My schedule for the day -- His day!
     o Means laying before Him the projects I want to get done and think I must get done.
     o Committing our plans to God will help us fight against impulsiveness and laziness.
     o Also helps us to follow Him if He leads us in a new direction.

 Give God Plan B for the day
     o Commit day, goals time and energies to Him
     o Will be ready, willing, and available if/when He moves us to do something different -- Plan B

Jesus commanded us to focus on today in Matt. 6:34 and prayer helps us to do just that. 1 Peter 5:7

Guideline 4 is to proceed with the day. When you prepare, plan, pray, and proceed with a heart that’s open to God’s plan, you’ll find yourself walking with God…with no worries about tomorrow.

This is the fruit of obeying the command of Matthew 6:34.

Guideline 5 is trusting God to provide.

We must trust God to provide. We will find that whatever the challenge, task, trial, crisis, or interruption, God provides for us every step of the way.

He provides His wisdom -- James 1:5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

His strength -- Phillippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
We have need of strength from Christ, to enable us to perform not only those duties which are purely Christian, but even those which are the fruit of moral virtue. We need his strength to teach us to be content in every condition.

Deuteronomy 33:25 Thy shoes shall be iron and brass; and as thy days, so shall thy strength be.
The day is often in scripture put for the events of the day; and, taking it so here, it is a promise that God would graciously support them under their trials and troubles, whatever they were. And so it is a promise sure to all the spiritual seed of Abraham, that God will wisely proportion their graces and comforts to the services and sufferings he calls them out to. Have they work appointed them? They shall have strength to do it. Have they burdens appointed them? They shall have strength to bear them; and never be tempted above that they are able. Faithful is he that has thus promised, and hath caused us to hope in this promise.

2 Peter 1:3 According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:

Knowledge of God, and faith in him, are the channel whereby all spiritual supports and comforts are conveyed to us; but then we must own and acknowledge God as the author of our effectual calling, for so he is here described: Him that hath called us to glory and virtue.

Whatever we need -- Philippians 4:19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

But still it is by Christ Jesus; through him we have grace to do that which is good, and through him we must expect the reward of it. Not of debt, but of grace; for the more we do for God the more we are indebted to him, because we receive the more from him.

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