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Sunday, November 4, 2018

Live One Day At A Time - A Sermon

This is the manuscript of a sermon I preached at Christ Church, Los Angeles, CA on Sunday November 4, 2016.  We know that all things will eventually pass we should be comfortable and confident in living one day at a time. The only way to get through a storm is to look up, cry out for help, then take steps of faith...even on the days you don't feel like it. One step at a time,  minute by minute..then hour by hour..then day by day. To hear the audio click on the YouTube image at the end of the manuscript.  

Two weeks ago I said that while “this too shall pass” is not in the Bible it is true that everything will eventually pass in God's time and that one day everything will be brand new. 

Isaiah 65:17 NIV “See, I will create new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind.

Revelation 21:1-5 NIV Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”  He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”

Since we know that all things will eventually pass we should be comfortable and confident in living one day at a time. 

Matthew 6:25-34 NLT “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing?  Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are?  Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? “And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing,  yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are.  And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith? “So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’  These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs.  Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.

There is a story that a well- known evangelist was once preaching in Chicago on the first day of a series of Gospel meetings. At the end of the sermon, he felt the prompting of the Holy Spirit to give people an opportunity to invite Jesus into their hearts. However, since the meetings were scheduled to go on for many days, he apparently decided to make that invitation the following day. That night, the great fire of Chicago swept through the town, causing much havoc, destruction and loss of lives. As a result, the evangelist decided that he would never again close a Gospel message without giving people an opportunity to invite Christ into their hearts and to receive His salvation and eternal life.

A lot can happen in one day! That is possibly why the Lord Jesus said in Matthew 6:34 “Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own”.

That scripture brings me to the main thought for today’s message. Which is to live one day at a time, trusting God. 

Live one day at a time’, trusting God.

Today, I would like to share 4 thoughts around the simple, but meaningful topic of why we should ‘Live one day at a time’. They are, we can't control tomorrow, there's enough trouble for today, once today is over its not coming back, and God will meet tomorrow's needs

1) We Can’t Control Tomorrow

Proverbs 27:1 says,

Proverbs 27:1 NIV Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring.

Here's the way it's written in The Message paraphrase of the  Bible;

Proverbs 27:1 MSG Don’t brashly announce what you’re going to do tomorrow; you don’t know the first thing about tomorrow.

No one is assured of a tomorrow because God holds the times and seasons in His hand.

Proverbs 16:9 in The Message says

Proverbs 16:9 MSG We plan the way we want to live, but only God makes us able to live it.

That is why we need to commit our today and all our future plans into God’s hands. In fact, tomorrow will not come for you and for me, one day! I don’t want to sound morbid, but for thousands living today, tomorrow will not come!

Here's what it says in James;

James 4:13-16 NIV Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” As it is, you boast in your arrogant schemes. All such boasting is evil.

James is warning us that we should refrain from boasting or any form of arrogance when making plans for the future. He draws our attention of readers to the uncertainty of life and the uncertainty of tomorrow. I guess that’s something along the lines of what Jesus Himself was saying in the parable of ‘The Rich Fool’, found in Luke 12:16-20.

Luke 12:16-20 NIV And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest.  He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’   “Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain.  And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.” ’   “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’

The man in this parable was arrogantly planning for major expansion and savings, purely for selfish reasons. “Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry’ He said, with not a thought for either God, or his fellow-man. He received one of the strongest rebukes in the Bible as God said, “You fool”! He never saw tomorrow.

Remember what we just read in James which calls us to bring God into all our plans and pray for His will to be fulfilled in our plans for tomorrow. Only He can control our tomorrow.

What about your plans for tomorrow? Have you brought the Lord into them? Have you prayed for His will to prevail? Are you willing to let Him change your plans if needed? Of course, if God changes our plans, it will always be for our best. Remember what it says in Romans 8:28

Romans 8:28 NIV And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

I have a friend that always says, when I say something like I'll see you tomorrow or next week, she always says “if the Lord say so”. She is acknowledging that it's God who controls the future.

That was the first thing I want us to  remember is that we can't control tomorrow.  The second is;

2) There Is Enough Trouble For Today

We Should take one day at a time because there is enough trouble for today so why worry about tomorrow.

W already read that Jesus said do not worry about tomorrow,… Each day has enough trouble of its own”.

Not only can’t we control tomorrow,  we don’t even know what may happen today. There are two possible ways people could wake up in the morning. One group cheerfully says, ‘Good morning, Lord”, while the other says, ‘Good Lord, it's morning’! Therefore, let’s place our todays in God’s hands for He is always in control.

It is interesting that God identifies Himself in the scriptures in the present tense, as ‘I am’. He is therefore a God of the present; a God of today. Jesus endorsed that thought further with His own many declarations of ‘I am’.  There are seven instances in the book of John;

John 6:35 NIV Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.

John 8:12 NLT Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.”

John 10:9 NLT Yes, I am the gate. Those who come in through me will be saved. They will come and go freely and will find good pastures.

There are four more in the book of John you may want to do some research this week and find them.  The point is that God is a God of the present of today this specific day.

Sadly, many people are either living with regret over the past or with anxiety over the future.

Here is something for those with regret over the past;

Philippians 3:12-14 NIV Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

This for those worrying about the future;

Philippians 4:6-7 NIV Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Yes, each day has troubles of its own, but remember;

Psalm 68:19 NIV Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens.

Jesus taught us to pray that God meet our needs daily;

Matthew 6:11 NIV Give us today our daily bread.

A quote I read says, “Do not let the worries of tomorrow, affect your relationship with God today”.

 Huge changes have happened in one day. In one day, Esau lost his birthright.

Genesis 25:29-34 NIV Once when Jacob was cooking some stew, Esau came in from the open country, famished. He said to Jacob, “Quick, let me have some of that red stew! I’m famished!” (That is why he was also called Edom. )  Jacob replied, “First sell me your birthright.”  “Look, I am about to die,” Esau said. “What good is the birthright to me?”  But Jacob said, “Swear to me first.” So he swore an oath to him, selling his birthright to Jacob.  Then Jacob gave Esau some bread and some lentil stew. He ate and drank, and then got up and left. So Esau despised his birthright.

In one day, a vicious persecutor named Saul was miraculously transformed and started his journey towards becoming the Apostle Paul.

Acts 9:1-6 NIV Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples. He went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem. As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”  “Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked.  “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied. “Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”

In one day, a prisoner named Joseph, falsely accused and unjustly sentenced for attempted rape, became the second highest ruler of the Egyptian empire.

After Joseph interpreted Pharaoh's dreams and then told him how to survive the drought

Genesis 41:39-41 NIV Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since God has made all this known to you, there is no one so discerning and wise as you. You shall be in charge of my palace, and all my people are to submit to your orders. Only with respect to the throne will I be greater than you.”  So Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I hereby put you in charge of the whole land of Egypt.”

In one day, the entire world was shaken by the events of 9/11.

In one day the history of this nation was changed with the election of Barak Obama.

Therefore, let’s place each day in God’s hands!

Ok first remember we can't control tomorrow, next remember that today has enough trouble of its own for us to worry about tomorrow tomorrow, now number three;

3) Once today is over its not coming back

A day that ends can never be reclaimed.

Let’s say someone deposits $86,400 a day to  your bank account.  The only catch is that you have to spend it all the same day. If you don't spend it they will take it back. Now most of us won't hesitate in spending the money every day. Well God blesses us with 86,400 seconds every day, which can never be re-claimed. So let's use the time wisely.

A few practical things we can do daily;

• Spending quality time in God’s presence

• Spending quality time with our family and friends

• Making at least one person happy

• Praying for somebody

• Living each day as if it were your last.

Let’s use our time profitably today to glorify the Lord. It can never be reclaimed!

The Gaither family recorded a Gospel song called ‘We Have This Moment’.  Now I'm not a fan of the Gaither family however the words  of this song speak to this message of taking one day at a time. Here are the words;

Tender words, a gentle touch and a good cup of coffee,

And someone who loves me, and wants me to stay,

Hold them near, while they are here, don’t wait for tomorrow,

And look back and wish for today.

For we have this moment to hold in our hands,

And to touch as it slips through our fingers like sand,

Yesterday’s gone and tomorrow may never come,

But we have this moment today.

So far we have said; we can't control tomorrow, today has enough trouble of its own, once today's gone it's not coming back, and my final thought is:

4) God Will Meet Tomorrow’s Needs

This is so true if we are willing to give Him the first place in our lives. Matthew 6:33 says, “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well”.

Our future is totally secure in Jesus!

God usually doesn’t show us what tomorrow holds. Maybe it’s simply because He wants us to trust Him for tomorrow.

Let’s learn to live “one day at a time”, completely trusting our Lord Jesus Christ!  Let's not miss the opportunities God gives us every day. Let us ask, “Lord, what will You have me do today”?

A quote I read says, “Never put off for tomorrow what you can do today”.  That's not in the Bible but it's a good thing to do because today may be the only or last chance you get.

I want to end with the lyrics of another song this one written by LeAnn Rimes who I'm not a fan of either but it's lyrics ring true and really sum up why we should live one day at a time. The title of the song is “I Know Who Holds Tomorrow

I don't know about tomorrow
I just live from day to day
And I don't borrow from the sunshine
'Cause the skies might turn to grey

And I don't worry about the future
'Cause I know what Jesus said
And today I'm gonna walk right beside him
'Cause he's the one who knows what is ahead

There are things about tomorrow
That I don't seem to understand
But I know who holds tomorrow
And I know who holds my hand

Let's plan as if Jesus isn't coming for a thousand years but live as if He's coming today, because He just may.

In 2013, the nation watched in heartache and horror as scenes of a major tornado in Moore, Oklahoma were played and replayed on the news. The aftermath was devastating.

The morning of the tornado, people had no idea impending tragedy was about to rip their lives, families, homes, and towns apart later that day.

Life was typical that morning. People went to work, children went to school, meetings at work took place. Many woke up, got ready, and had breakfast...having no idea they'd never see their home again. More heartbreak, some kissed their loved ones goodbye that morning and said, "I love you"...without realizing it would be the last time to see their loved one alive.

In 39 minutes flat, the tornado caused billions of dollars in damage...costing 25 people their lives and 377 people were injured. The family and friends of the lives lost would forever be dramatically changed. In fact, every person who lived in Moore, OK...and the surrounding towns who also were affected...were all forever changed in an instant on that horrible day.

Loss after a major natural disaster is horrendous.
Tornadoes. Tsunamis. Lightening. Floods. Earthquakes. Hurricanes. Fires. Mudslides. Etc.

Lives are lost, homes and businesses are destroyed, jobs are lost, disabilities occur. Belongings...and prized possessions such as photo albums, home videos, heirlooms, and sentimental gifts...are forever gone.

Natural disasters leave devastating life changes for everyone affected.

How do you get through all of the devastation and loss?

One-Step-At-A- Time,  minute by minute..then hour by hour..then day by day.

The only way to get through a storm is to look up, cry out for help, then take steps of faith...even on the days you don't feel like it.

Psalm 121:1-2 NIV I lift up my eyes to the mountains— where does my help come from?  My help comes from the Lord , the Maker of heaven and earth.

If your life is in a mess today and you have never invited the Lord Jesus into your heart as your Savior, why don’t you make that decision right now? Only He can bring true meaning and purpose to your life! Only He can cleanse and forgive you of sin, because He gave His precious life on a cross to bring salvation to you and all mankind. He can make your tomorrow secure!

Sermon Audio

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