Worship, Worry, or Indifference?

             It was the season of new, special taxation – a hardship and inconvenience for everyone under Herod’s rule.  Many had to travel to get to the required location of their birth to pay these taxes.  Mary was not exempted because “the time was accomplished that she should be delivered” of her first-born child.  These were some of the circumstances surrounding God’s “fullness of time” when He “sent forth His Son.”     (Gal. 4:4)

               Jesus’ birth was announced to some shepherds who came quickly to the stable to welcome and worship this miracle Son of God.  Most people went about their business as usual until more important people – wealthy wise men from the East – stirred Herod’s court with inquiries concerning where to find this long awaited King of the Jews.  They had seen ‘His Star’ and had come to worship Him with precious gifts – not for Herod, but for the Baby King. This incited the jealous Herod to commit infanticide throughout the region in an effort to destroy the right one.  All baby boys, two years old and younger, living in or near Bethlehem, were destroyed by his decree.

               The shepherds and wise men worshiped Him, Herod tried to kill him, many parents mourned the loss of their own beloved sons, but most people continued to go about the normal activities of their daily lives.

               Where do you fit in?  Are you worshiping, worrying, or just indifferent?  Remember, though we can now choose how we respond, “One day every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus is LORD, to the glory of God, the Father.”  – even Herod’s knee will bow, along with yours and mine.  (Phil. 2:10-11; Rom. 14:11; Isa. 45:23)

Would you rather receive Him now as your Savior, or wait to face Him as your judge?  It’s your choice.

Don’t Live Tomorrow Today

     Worrying and planning for “tomorrow” are natural tendencies but done unchecked can wound us spiritually.  Look, today was tomorrow yesterday and will be yesterday tomorrow which makes today the pivotal day.  The sullen truth is tomorrow is beyond us – out of our control – and yesterday is history.  We can live in “today” only and that must be our focus.  That is the wisdom of the Bible.

      There are two main areas in which we project our thoughts for tomorrow.  One is life’s necessities and the other is planning our future.  We will first address life’s needs.  In Jesus’ renowned Sermon on the Mount He explained how God provides for all His creatures but for man there is life which basic sustenance is not sufficient.  Jesus said,

     “Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on.  Is not the life more than meat, and the body more than raiment?”  Matthew 6:25. Jesus emphasized that true life amounts to far more than food and clothes.  A few statements later He identified what was more needful than life’s necessities.

     “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”  Matthew 6:33. God promises provisions to those in His kingdom and having His righteousness.  This promise does not apply to those outside His kingdom but for those in His kingdom God provides beyond need or expectation.  See Ephesians 3:20

     The other area in which we can be overly diligent is planning for tomorrow.  The wise King Solomon put it this way:  “Boast not thyself of tomorrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.”  Proverbs 27:1. Events may occur tomorrow that ruin our plans.  Then also there is the possibility that we might die on the morrow.  What then of our proud plans?

     James gave a sharp rebuke to the rich people and their greedy plans for tomorrow.  “Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow.  For what is your life? It is even a vapor, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.”  James 4:14. James intimated that tomorrow is uncertain even to the losing of our life.  Then what of our selfish plans?

      James gave us the manner by which we should look forward to tomorrow.  “For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.”  James 4:15. It is okay to plan for tomorrow but with the knowledge that both tomorrow and we are subject to the will of God.  Our motives and plans must be such to please God lest they become vain or wasted.

     LET US NOT LIVE TOMORROW TODAY and we will not if we trust God for our provisions and His guidance in our planning.  Thank you, Lord.