Practical Proverbial, from Hebrews, 3 November 2016

But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.  Hebrews 3, verse 13.

When is Today?

Ok, let’s not get TOO metaphysical here, but if you think about it, life is lived in one-second increments.   Sure, we can dissect time into even smaller increments.   But for the sake of discussion, let’s agree that one second is as small as we’ll go.  Knowing that, one second ago you were born, and in one second you’ll die.  In fact, one second ago, Adam and Eve were standing buck naked in the Garden admiring a piece of fruit.   And one second from now Jesus will be coming back on the clouds.

There are 60 seconds in one minute, 3,600 seconds in one hour, and there are 86,400 seconds on one day.   Today there will be 86,400 seconds from midnight to midnight, just like there were yesterday and, God-willing, just like there will be tomorrow.  Yet today is all we know, all we have, and we have it one second at a time.   Every person on this planet has that same increment of time, even Donald and Hillary.  Right here, right now is all we know, so that’s live it up!   Yet at risk of being vulgar, let’s do so within a few rules of discretion.

First off, let’s take the advice of the verse and encourage one another.   A friend of mine pastors a church in Carlsbad, CA.   Years ago, he told me that Barnabas, Paul’s companion, was one of his role models because Barnabas focused his ministry on encouraging others.   That’s a wonderful thing.   If you think about it, it’s one of the best of all things.  When we encourage each other, we show faith in each other.   We empathize, we love, we share, we support.   We get to be Jesus for someone who needs Him there and then.   Right now, today, this very second.

Then let’s focus on just now.   Yes, it’s a good thing to mourn and let go of things that mattered to us.   And, yes, it’s a good thing to plan for tomorrow.   But let’s keep our eyes on the fact that it’s this very second today when we’re living.   The people in our lives now are in them for reasons, sometimes transient, sometimes permanent.  But whether it’s the folks beside us in the checkout line, the annoying person in the cube beside you, that spouse who thrives on quality time, or just the face you see in the mirror, focus on living life fully with, for, and about the people God has in our lives right now.   They’re there for a reason.   They need our encouragement, our attention, and each second of our time.   It’s what Jesus would do.  Today.

Finally, let’s do these things being mindful that sin is deceitful.   Sin’s WHOLE purpose is deceit.  From that time, one second ago in Eden, sin has always sought to deceive us by lying to us.   Every sin we choose is a combination of that lie, idolatry, and something else.   That whatever else we’re doing only compounds the deceit.  In a world hardened by the harshness of that deceit, let’s be mindful that whenever we choose deceit we’re choosing to harden ourselves just a little bit more.  Choosing to accept anything other than Jesus puts a shell on the softness of our hearts.   Accepting the lie that something other than Jesus is just as good as Him puts layers on that shell.   And then whatever other action we’re doing in our sins just deepens it.  Right now there’s a better way.

Let’s live life by turning from one sin at a time.   Let’s replace the sin with hearts and eyes on Jesus, focusing on where we are now by seeing through His eyes.  One second at a time today.   Not just yesterday, maybe not tomorrow, but definitely in the here and now of today.  Today is now.

For more reading:   Hebrews 10:24-25, Jeremiah 17:9, Ephesians 4:22.

Lord God, I praise You for today and thank You for another day here on Planet Earth.   Guide and bless me through it.



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