Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Don’t Stop Thinkin About Tomorrow


 
“Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise: “For yet a little while, and He who is coming will come and will not tarry.  Now the just shall live by faith; but if anyone draws back, My soul has no pleasure in him.”“ – Hebrews 10:35-38


It’s funny the things that stick in your memory.  It was a Sunday morning and I was getting ready to go to church alone.  I was running late on time, and the dress was black.  I don’t remember the pendant on the necklace so much.  All I remember is the gigantic knot in the chain.  I’d gotten dressed and wanted to wear the necklace with the dress, which was really more like wearing the dress with the necklace (women will understand).  But when I pulled it out of my jewelry box it was tangled up with other necklaces into what I am certain was some sort of sailors knot, because it sure made me want to cuss like one!

Running closer and closer to out-the-door time, I finally had to make a decision.  I was either going to 1) have to change, 2) pick another necklace, or 3) go without one.  Which did I choose?  Option 4. I chose to stay home.  I sat there crying like a baby over a stupid knot in the chain, spent too much time trying to unravel it, and messed up my makeup and stayed home from church.  I’ll never know what the message was that day, how it might have affected my life, and what changes in me it could have made.  That’s not the only Sunday I’ve ever missed, but I’ve often wondered about that one.  Did I miss out on some key to life, some divine revelation that would have made my future easier?  It’s possible.

Hebrews 10:35-38 is part of a passage that begins by saying For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins”.  To receive God’s salvation, and ignore it as if it was free and without cost to anyone is a sin.  It’s taking it for granted, being ungrateful.  I had one of those ungrateful moments that day, and it ruined the day. I invited myself to a pity party, and I attended with all my tears and complaints!  

I think we all have those once in a while, days when we choose not to follow, not to endure what’s set in front of us.  Whether it’s a knotted necklace or an argument with someone we love, car trouble, financial crisis, or one of those lasting hurts received from church folks, there are two ways to see it.  It’ll either be a stumbling block, or a stepping stone. You choose.  It either causes us to fall, or we decide to just get over it. 

We sometimes allow the things of this life to overwhelm us and take us down, to make us stumbled in our Christian walk.  The passage in Hebrews 10 goes on to say “do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise”.  Endurance, through the fuel of confidence in who we are in Christ (Children of Almighty God!), should win out over the world.  When it doesn’t, it’s our own decision not to let it win.  No day is written in stone.  We do have the opportunity to change it.  I could have tossed that stupid chain in the trash and not let it win!         

The writer of Hebrews goes on to talk about the reward, and says “For yet a little while,
and He who is coming will come and will not tarry.  Now the just shall live by faith; but if anyone draws back, My soul has no pleasure in him.”
  He’s not saying your salvation is at stake, but that God has no pleasure in those who receive salvation and live as if they haven’t. He says that these have trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace”.  Read that part again!  When we choose to not live for Christ, we have trampled, walked on, stomped on Jesus. We have made His blood a common thing, disregarding the divine gift of that blood to covers all our sins.  We have insulted the “Spirit of grace”, which is the Holy Spirit, by living as if He was not dwelling in us.  And in doing so, we have displeased our Lord, and our Father God.    

It is hard to live for Christ some days.  On those days when your buttons are pushed, your last nerve is standing on end doing the cha-cha on your emotions, and when you feel like giving up - DON’T! Endure! Step over it!  We are stronger than anything thrown at us with the Helper within! When the car breaks down, the bills pile up, there seems to be no hope for that reward in sight – keep on keeping on!  Jesus is a promise keeper!

There’s an old Fleetwood Mac song that says “Don't stop, thinking about tomorrow. Don't stop, it'll soon be here.  It'll be, better than before. Yesterday's gone, yesterday's gone.  Why not think about times to come, and not about the things that you've done.  If your life was bad to you, just think what tomorrow will do!”  Jesus came to give us hope, hope for a better life.  And He will deliver what He promised in due time.  When we have one of those messed up necklace kinds of days, we have to look past it and move on.  When you have those other events in life that seem to knot things up, toss them away and move on.  Use them as a stepping stone to get to where God wants you to be – and walk with Him.    

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