Sing to the Lord, all the earth! Tell of His salvation from day to day. 1 Chronicles 16:23
Do you sing to the Lord where you are planted in your everyday life? Are you preparing well for the future by being faithful in the work of today? The right here, right now?
Upwards of half of Americans make New Year Resolutions during the month of January. I am among them; perhaps, you are as well? While such resolutions have some foundation in religion, today it seems most simply want to improve an area of life, grow in faith, pour more deeply into relationships, and the like. We resolve to do better in the new year.
Not surprisingly, researchers report that 88% of such resolutions will fail by the end of February. Nearly all my personal resolutions follow the pattern and have not been sustained. Several years ago, I resolved simply to sit still and quietly for 10 minutes per day. To contemplate, think, meditate, and to rest. How difficult could that possibly be? It turns out, very. I made it 4 days. 4 days! It seems resolving is easy – sustaining is not. It takes work. The everyday kind of work.
A second scenario. Last evening, I spoke with several recent graduates of Southern Seminary. Both have advanced theological degrees and are aiming at lives of ministry. They are exactly the types of men and women that we in the church pray for in considering who we will one day hand the baton. They are gifted, affirm the calling upon their lives, and want to be employed mightily in God’s work. They yearn for tomorrow and searchingly seek “how to get there”. Yet, they are stuck and tempted to miss the possibility of today.
Lastly, I know a man who is the son of a Pastor. As the son tells the story, his father was always about imagining the day the church would be much larger, doing bigger things for the Lord, maybe even personally going into overseas missions. And then my acquaintance recalls, “Never once in all of my upbringing did Dad read us kids the Bible. Not once. I am not kidding.” This father missed the possibility of his todays.
The learning of all three scenarios is this – the enemy of today is oft the dreaming of tomorrow. While we desire doing big things for God, God measures our readiness by the faithfulness of our doing the work He has allocated to us this very day:
His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ Matthew 25:21
I made resolutions for 2020. I want to succeed in them and be a little bit better because of it. This much is certain – if I should be among the 12% that will accomplish resolutions this year, it will be because I have been found faithful in the work of 365 days. Today is a gift and its work is enough (Matthew 6:34). Such truth permeates New Year resolutions, calls to ministry, and a father’s priority of the home too.
Grace, Pastor Jeff