Live for Today!
I remember when I was young, there was a movie out called Highlander. One of the characters at one point yelled out, “It’s better to burn out than to fade away!” When we look at the way life seems to work out, it’s not hard to understand what the character was meaning. If I am going to die, I am going out with a bang! I mean why not? When we consider the wisdom in this phrase we must agree. I have even spoke with some who quote the Bible where it says, “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.” (Matthew 6:34)
I know of some who use this verse as an excuse to just give up on life. They have been diagnosed with a fatal illness, or have simply just given up. Their hearts are defeated and so injured that they don’t care what tomorrow may bring, mainly because they have no hope in tomorrow. Why should they take care of the things they need to, why pay bills, or seek out new relationships, or repair old ones, they are just going to die anyway. I might as well as have a good time while I can, because the ride is going to end soon anyway. Don’t bother slowing down or stopping the car, I will just jump from here and enjoy the breeze till I hit the pavement. Adrian Rogers put it like this, “It is like a man who jumps form the top of a skyscraper and as he passes each floor he says, ‘Well so far, so good.’”
We are a worldwide society who is driven to possess more, covet what we cannot have, and to never be content with what we possess in our own two hands. This attitude combined with the desperation of the sense that time is quickly running out drives us to desperate measures. This builds up pressures from perceived failures and feeds the hunger to be remembered for something, even if it is bad. So why not escape? Especially if the Bible tells us that we don’t need to worry about tomorrow. Why not go out in a bang? Why not just drink all the alcohol I can? Why not take all the drugs I can and party until I finally drop dead? Then everyone will know… wow that guy really knew how to live! But really, no one wants to be that guy.
Deep inside we know that the “live for today” slogan is a lie. Alcoholism does not hide the shame. Drugs to not remove the hopelessness. Buying everything we see does not fill the emptiness inside of us. We cannot please ourselves or others enough to convince our hearts that we are “good” inside. We know what we are like inside. Jeremiah explains it like this, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? (Jeremiah 17:9). In truth, it does not take the Bible to tell us how wicked our hearts really are. We know who we really are. There are only two people in the whole world that know what the very intentions of our heart is. One is ourselves, the other is Jesus Christ.
In the book of Hebrews we read, “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12). John describes Jesus as the Word of God who became flesh and dwelt among us. This same Jesus, knows the very intentions of your heart. He knows the selfish desires you have, how every “good” thing you have ever done in your life, was really another way to appease your own selfishness.
So then let’s take another look at this verse. , “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.” (Matthew 6:34). We can agree on some things in looking at this verse. It does talk about a person’s needs. It also does say not to worry about tomorrow. It also says that we have enough to worry about today. There is enough to deal with today.
We can agree on those things. However; we must be sure to never take one verse and use it to support our own materialist view of our situation. We cannot use this verse especially to do evil and point the finger at God and say, “Hey, I just did what you told me to do!” Pulling scripture out of context is dangerous to us. You see if we look a few verses back, Jesus is talking to a specific audience. Jesus is talking to his followers. He is speaking to those who are seeking a real relationship with God. He tells them first to seek God with the right intentions. Don’t seek God for your own vanity. Don’t seek God just for what you can get out of Him. Be sincere when you seek God.
God already knows that things that you need. You need, air to breath, food to eat, water to drink, and a place of refuge for rest and recuperation. God knows these things and he provides those things already, as a gift. It does not matter if you deserve it or not. God in his mercy provides. So when we go to God we don’t need to ask for what he is already providing. We need to recognize that he has provided already and thank him for his provisions. We also know that since he provided those things before we knew him, then we know that he will provide greater things know that we know him.
In this we are set free of worry for the things that we need to survive, because God is our provider. We can have confidence in him. Now that we are set free we can concentrate on what God needs us to do. We can take full advantage of what we need to accomplish for the kingdom of Heaven, today. Are we still suffering from diseases and poor decisions we made earlier in life… yes. There are consequences to what we do. Are we still suffering from the shame, regret, and hopelessness that when we die we are condemned to an eternity away from God and our loved ones, to suffer in hell? No!
I mentioned earlier that John referred to Jesus as the Word of God that was made flesh and dwelt among us. This means that God himself put on flesh and blood, and lived as one of us. He knows what it is like to be hungry, and thirsty, and to be tired. He knows what it is like to not have a place to lay his head at night. He knows what it feels like when the cold wind blows, and you don’t have a jacket. He knows what it is like to not have one red cent in your pocket.
He endured all the things we endured. He wept when his friend Lazarus died. He knows what if feels like to be betrayed by his closest friend. He knows what if feels like to be abandoned by his family. Jesus felt the injustice of being brought before a judge and being found guilty for a crime he did not commit. He was even executed for things he did not do. He was executed for things we did. He gave the ultimate sacrifice for you and for me.
Because of this sacrifice we have been set free of the curse of sin. We no longer are stuck on the outside trying to appease God. Jesus took care of that for us. Now, we can not only speak to God, but we have been forgiven of everything we did. All of those selfish things we did that hurt others, that hurt God have been forgiven and removed from us. We can never be held accountable for those again.
Knowing this we are now set free. Not only from the material, but in a very real spiritual side also. We don’t need to worry if we are going to go to Heaven. We don’t need to worry if we are good enough to pass the test. You know why? We don’t have to even take the test. God provided all of that in Jesus Christ. So now we are set free to live life to the max! Today we can take advantage of the gift that God has given us today! We can lift up our heads, we can give thanks to Christ. We now have a hope in not only this life, but in the life to come. Because of this hope in Christ, for the life to come, we can take full advantage of today to honor God, like there is not tomorrow. We need to live our lives like this is the only day we have to give thanks to God for what he has done. There is an old country song by Garth Brooks that says If tomorrow never comes… Well, If tomorrow never comes, would you have done everything today that you could have to share the truth about Jesus with someone you love?
You see we don’t need to be anxious about food or clothing because life is more than just the material things in this world. This present evil age would keep us distracted from that. There are more pressing things that go on in this world, that are more important than our material needs. There are allot of hurting people out there who need to hear about Jesus.