Heaven Coach

How To Get To Heaven

This Is The First Day Of The Rest Of Your Life

January 22, 2010 By: alanpg Category: Uncategorized


(Picture courtesy http://www.forestwander.com)

This is a bible lesson; the kind of information you should receive if you want to be a Christian and then continue to grow in truth.
Lesson Begins:

This Is The First Day Of The Rest Of Your Life
(thought from Psalm 118.24)

In this post I want to provide you with some things that are rather important, some things that can help.
Help us to to live better lives.
Help us to do a better job serving God.
Help us to handle the difficult situations and problems we face.

Some things are designed to help better understand ourselves – if you have a mind to face the truth about yourself. Maybe there are no problems but maybe there are some changes that need to be made.
My hope is to present these things in a way you can understand them and they will not be forgotten.
If these concepts came from me they would have little value but these are things that come from God, things He has revealed to help us.
The thought for the lesson came from:

Psalms 118.24

24 This is the day the LORD has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it.

I have the privilege of dealing with today, of dealing with the first day of what is left of your life.
This is the day the Lord has made, this day has many, many yesterdays behind it.
We will never be able to bring those yesterdays into the present. Many times we would like to re-live those yesterdays in order to correct some of the mistakes we made – to take back some of the things we said or say some things we should have said.
Yet yesterday is what makes a shambles of today (if we made a shambles of yesterday). Yesterday acts as a shadow over today, if we are not careful we appear to have the same day as the one next to us, but in reality it is not the same day because of what we did yesterday. It is very unwise to let that yesterday destroy today when you see that yesterday could be forgiven. I do not have to be the man of yesterday, I can be the man of today. At some point in those yesterdays I needed the forgiveness that is possible in the gospel in order that I can come into today transformed. I can be a new me simply because of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Jesus is the very power that can change an individual into what he should be today and then make and mold him into what he can be tomorrow.

The following verses can help:

James 4.13-17

13 Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will[a] go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit”;
14 whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.
15 Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.”
16 But now you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil.
17 Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.

In verse 17 there is one thought that really ought to be impressed. Do you realize the emphasis on the rejection mentioned in verse 17 to the individual who knows to do good and the language emphasizes and DOES NOT DO IT! It is a deliberate rejection of doing what is right in the sight of God.
He knew what he should do – he cannot plead ignorance – this is the one that says I know what to do, and knowing, I will not do it and to that individual it is sin.
If verse 15, “If the Lord wills” were the guiding principle over every today then there would not be the problems that exist.

But in the middle when a man is living in today yet he is faced with all that happened in the yesterday:
He may be faced with a sense of guilt
He may be faced with a sense of shame
Or faced with the greatest thing that hinders today that is the temptation of living today like yesterday in PRIDE
Pride is the great destroyer

Proverbs 16.18

18 Pride goes before destruction And a haughty spirit before a fall.

Sometimes if we let pride get a hold on us, we can become very inconsiderate and we do not recognize the evil we are doing.
Pride stands in the way:
Of seeing the needs of others (because of MY needs)
Of serving the Lord (because of MY time)
Of becoming a Christian (because God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble, James 4.6)
Of returning to the Lord (because and do not know how else to say it – because we are too proud)

As always it is difficult to recognize our own faults, it is easy to see pride in others
We don’t want to think, we are that way

I do not know of many things that destroy a beautiful today, like the pride of yesterday. Pride has a way of capturing a man’s spirit and he begins to think what HE’s going to do, And HE has BIG PLANS

Verse 13 of James 4 indicates Today or Tomorrow WE will go to such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain
Too often we plan today the way WE want to live it, whether it is God’s will or not. That is the pride of yesterday. If we will realize that today is the Lord’s day (not that it is the first day of the week) but that every day belongs to the Lord ………… and that I am a steward and I have been given a day – now what will I do with it.
When the time of temptation comes during the day, do you then say, Lord I will live it like I please – tomorrow, when everyone knows what I am doing then I will live that day the way you want it lived.
This is the first day of the rest of your life to live facing the problems that are your problems, the life that is your life, the day that is your day
Lets not let the yesterdays be a noose around our necks to the point because of attitude we cannot live today as we should.
There is only one thing to do with the past and that is to accept God’s forgiveness for it and then as Paul says:

Philippians 3.13

13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead,

Forgetting those things which are behind
I am not saying forgetting the lessons we have learned and do not forget pride from the standpoint of the seriousness of what it can do to you
But, you ought to forget things in the past that can destroy what you do with the rest of your life
A transformation is designed in the gospel to take place in your life – you should be a Christian, you should be a Christian in the very fullest sense – using the day the way the Lord wills.

It has been my experience, that the hardest thing for a Christian to do is to tell others about the gospel.
I do not know all the reasons, I hope it is not because we ourselves are not totally aware that souls are at stake. I hope it is not because we think we do not know enough. You do not have to be able to combat every doctrine, just know the truth.
We tend to believe we could face embarrassment or ridicule or that we might bother someone by explaining bible truths. We are very short-sighted if we do not realize the importance of telling others about Christ and then telling them what to do.
Let me ask you, could you talk with people about Jesus and His church, about rejecting the doctrines of men and following only the bible – If you only had today – no tomorrows? Would it be easier to live right, if we just had to live it one day? If we only had one day we would be busy trying to correct some things we have done, there would be people to see, there might be some long trips to take.
Could you make the right decisions with the rest of your life if you only had today? Do you know if we only had one day in which to face the hardships and trials, afflictions and bodily pain – our perceived embarrassment – do you know what we would do if we had but one day? Well,
> we could stand it
> We could take it
> We could handle it

some of the wisest advice I have ever heard given to those who faced serious sickness is really good advice for us all the time. I remember that advice being given when Don Roper and I were visiting a friend in the hospital. Our friend was doing OK but the fellow in the adjacent bed was in a great deal of pain and kept saying how can I stand this, how can I stand this! The best answer I know is to take it a day at a time – if you try to take too much of the tomorrows – of how much you are going to have to face, then you may not be able to take today.

If you are really, really in trouble – remember you only have to take it a day at a time
If you really have a problem you don’t have to carry it tomorrow – you can carry it today
We are very, very foolish to carry too much, to over-burden upon ourselves – the Lord never intended us to

The apostle Paul had an excellent attitude about facing the difficult days and he writes about this in:

Philippians 4.11

Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content

What a wonderful way to handle the day
Paul learned this attitude being one selected by God, from Whom he learned many things
He learned to be satisfied, even in the face of adversity
How did Paul have this strength of character and how can I have it?
Paul answers this simply by saying:

Philippians 4:13

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

and he goes on to say in:

Romans 8.18

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy [to be compared] with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

The individual who lies in the hospital bed – he or she may feel they will never arise from that bed, in all kindness, if he/she takes care of the day-by-day situations with God – what does it really matter?
We should all be wise enough to take the example of our Lord, who said in:

John 9.4

4 I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work.

Jesus even walked through life a day at a time, and He came to the crosss therefore able to say,

John 17.4

4 I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do.

There is no way to come to your cross or to your trial or your suffering and approach it well unless you have been taking those steps you should take – that will give you much strength.
I really wish we could say, ah yes life is a vapor it just appears for a little while – and then it is gone.

We ought to let the Lord get a hold of us for just a day. He might instill in us the heart and the desire and the motive to realize that sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof or as Matthew 6.34 in the NASB indicates, “each day has enough trouble of its own.”

Jesus might teach us that now is the acceptable time or as in:

2 Corinthians 6.2

2 In an acceptable time I have heard you, And in the day of salvation I have helped you.”
Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.

The advice from Ephesians relative to making the most of the time we have is timely for every person:

Ephesians 5.15-17

15 See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise,
16 redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
17 Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.

Jesus might teach us that the things that are really important are to seek first His kingdom and His righteousness. Amazing as it might sound if Jesus did get a hold of us, these are the things He would teach us – because they are in the book. They are the things Jesus revealed and they ought to be just as real and meaningful to us – just the same as though Jesus stood face to face with us and placed his arm around us and told us these things.
He has taught us that there isn’t anything more important than the soul, we play with it and we act like we are assured of tomorrow and we are not!

Paul speaks to Felix about the gospel and it is very similar to what happens today:

Acts 24:24,25

24 And after some days, when Felix came with his wife Drusilla, who was Jewish, he sent for Paul and heard him concerning the faith in Christ.
25 Now as he reasoned about righteousness, self-control, and the judgment to come, Felix was afraid and answered, “Go away for now; when I have a convenient time I will call for you.”

We act like the decision to obey the gospel is like a Felix, that when he is preached to can say to Paul, “go thy way for now”
He is talking about just get out of here for today, when I have a convenient time, then I will call you unto me.
You know there seems to be a great apprehension about coming forward in the presence of an audience and proclaiming faith in Jesus; but what if you had to live in front of an audience for the rest of your life, would it be worth losing your soul over? If an audience would stop you what would it do to you if you knew you had to die to become a Christian or in order to remain faithful? In order to set yourself right with God would you pay that kind of price? What if you are told like Hezekiah – Set thy house in order for you are going to die and not live – would you be ready?

I believe with all my heart that the most precious thing in the world is your soul and mine, and as I study God’s word, it amazes me as I try to dig into it, to find that what it its really all about is very beautifully simple. I don’t find the difficulty that some seem to look for, I find that really the most important things are the very simple, straight forward, direct directions on how to live my life …………. that Jesus says, when He says, “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness”
I find Jesus saying:

Mark 16.15, 16

15 And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.
16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.

I find Peter saying:

2 Peter 1:4

14 by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

Peter is saying, Be partakers of the Divine nature and have the character that will help you look like your heavenly Father.
I find Jesus in the sermon on the mount telling me that what it really amounts to is to be wise enough to obey My will.
To build your life on something solid, lasting I find that what really matters is:
> how we treat each other and
> that we care how God cared for us
> and that we have a mind to show we care
The bible directs us toward living a practical life and yet not neglecting the worship of God and not neglecting children, not neglecting parents,
But I see that God does not want it put off until tomorrow, He wants it done today!

The decisions of today are the hard ones because they are the ones you did not put off for another day
Our Lord lived His life, He came to the cross, when He came to the cross, the day of the cross was difficult, it was a matter of greatest responsibility
You know what He did with that day? He prayed about it!
He prepared for it, he made ready!
He had the experiences in relation to God’s will that made Him ready for that day
He had the past taken care of, He had lived right in the sight of God
He had a present He could face because He knew what he was going to do – He was going to do God’s will
and when he came grip to grip with life and death and what it was all about, He said
still not my will but thine be done and forgive them Father for they know not what they do

And if you live today in anyway except a right relationship with God and to the sacrifice of Jesus Christ for your sins …………….. I say it kindly, you do not know what today is all about!
You see its not all about fun, all about pleasure, all about business or all about anything
but the key thing, is your soul!! That is what today is all about!
And nothing will ever take the place of today, when it is gone you will look back and there is one thing you can carry out of today and it really the most important thing you can carry
and that will be your attitude – the motivation – the making up of your mind that this is the day you made the decision that for the rest of your life right things will be first
It will be very difficult for you to resign yourself to do that, because we always assume in our minds, well sure I feel that way ……….
then let me ask you what will you do today that will have enough strength of conviction that will carry through till tomorrow? And when tomorrow comes you will not be hateful, you’ll not be thoughtless, you’ll not be too much of the same person you are today – But a transformation will take place
Now, Today is the first day of the rest of your life and you are going to make the decision that right things will be first that the convictions will be there, the obedience will be there ………… for the rest of your life.
You can be forgiven of your past in the gospel – if you obey the gospel.
You can become a Christian today and then you need to live it!
Some are Christian but have fallen away and today you can be restored … that like the prodigal son you can realize, “what am I doing here when I should be over there.”
If no one else makes the decision for the Master today – I want to ask you and not the person next to you, you make the right decision in light of what God would have you do. Come to Christ, Today!

My special appreciation for these thoughts go to my friend Don Kinney, one of my few mentors of over 30 years ago. This is certainly Don’s lesson and one of many that brought me from little knowledge of the scriptures to a very good understanding. All truth comes from God and Don having a correct understanding was able to teach in a powerful, understandable manner. Those who love the truth look for no honor on this earth, but are just thankful for the knowledge of the truth. I mention Don, but it is not necessary for all the glory belongs to God and never to Don or myself. Don was just a friend in the war for souls and our discussions were along the lines of a verse, he first pointed out to me – Proverbs 27.17 “As iron sharpens iron, So a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.” We are just helpers in a common goal, often helping each other to get better in the one thing that really matters.

1 Comments to “This Is The First Day Of The Rest Of Your Life”

  1. Anonymous says:

    May the lord continue with you in favour and mercies as he favoured most of His saints.


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