What Now? Week 3 – Today Matters
A year from now, you’ll wish you had started today! Well what does God say about today and how today can set the course for an unbelievable future? A future filled with crazy wild success?
Here is the first huge concept that I would love for us to connect with this morning. You Will Never Change Your Life Until You Change Something You Do Daily – Habits are something we all deal with – good or bad.So here are a few thoughts for you to consider today…In Ecclesiastes 5:18-20 18 Even so, I have noticed one thing, at least, that is good. It is good for people to eat, drink, and enjoy their work under the sun during the short life God has given them, and to accept their lot in life. 19 And it is a good thing to receive wealth from God and the good health to enjoy it. To enjoy your work and accept your lot in life—this is indeed a gift from God. 20 God keeps such people so busy enjoying life that they take no time to brood over the past.
The First Habit Necessary to Make Today Count:
– Gratitude – do you see it in this passage? “I thought I worked for it!” Yes, but God gave you health, a home, economy, skill, and opportunity. Apart from His strength and provision, we wouldn’t have what we have.
Enjoy all God has given you without leaving Him and others out. God is good and the giver of good gifts. We want the good gifts God wants to give us. But, we often seek the gift but don’t seek the capacity to enjoy the gift or the giver.
Job observed that in Job 1:21—that The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord. Job was able to say that because what God had given him as a gift of capacity was more important than the gift of prosperity itself.
Our recognition of God as the one who gives the capacity to enjoy His blessings allows us to relax and enjoy whatever He gives. The principle: We must be more occupied with the giver than with the gifts. That’s a snapshot of GRATITUDE.
The Holy Habit of being grateful leads us to acknowledge that God is good. We are to be always thankful for the things God gives us. In short – STOP wanting and wishing away today. TODAY MATTERS – especially in your attitude of Gratitude.
The lesson here is that God wants us to work hard and enjoy the good gifts that He has given us. Make money your servant to serve others, not your master so that it masters you. Jesus said in Matthew 20:26 But among you it will be different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant,
Be grateful, because it will lead to contentment and be content with what you have and that will lead to peace…I’ve come to believe that peace is the single greatest commodity on the planet – and it starts with gratitude, leading to contentment, which leads to peace.
Paul wrote in; Philippians 4:11-13
11 Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. 12 I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. 13 For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.
Do you want a better tomorrow? Stop and be grateful today – When you are grateful, you aren’t looking backwards in regret. You aren’t looking down, stuck in the rut of today, you are looking forward with the promise that God wants to give you a future filled with peace and joy! Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.
The second Habit is to Live Generously – Gratitude will lead to serving others and serving others will lead to greatness…If you want tomorrow to become better, help somebody today.
Set a Holy Habit of determining that every day I will add value to others. What does it mean to add value to others? Here is how to start:
1. Value people: This means treating everyone with respect.
2. Know what people value: This means listening and seeking to understand others.
3. Make ourself more valuable: This means growing in order to give, because we can’t give what we don’t possess.
4. Do things that God values: Since he unconditionally loves people, so must weIl.
When we value people, we open the door to generosity. And it becomes easier to live generosity daily.
And then create the Holy Habit of Forgiveness – Maybe the single most powerful habit of all – To forgive for many of us is a process, for some of us, it is an action, but for all of us, it is an attitude – A matter of the heart! Colossians 3:13 Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.
I believe it’s impossible to see the future as better if we determine to harbor bitterness, anger, hatred and contempt with an unforgiving heart! Luke 6:37 “Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn others, or it will all come back against you. Forgive others, and you will be forgiven
Live Gratefully TODAY, Generously TODAY and Forgivingly TODAY and tomorrow will be better and brighter!
Holy Habits aren’t birthed overnight…and there are plenty of other Holy Habits that we could focus on, but I am convinced that every single teaching that Jesus delivered, both in word and deed was focused on the attitude of our heart. Paul wrote in Philippians 2:3-5 3 Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. 4 Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. 5 You must have the same attitude that Jesus had.
Step One – Change our Daily Habits!
Step Two – Live Today on Purpose – Today Matters, it determines your tomorrow!
Philippians 4:8-9 8 And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. 9 Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.
Changing your daily habits isn’t nearly as hard as we might think. Living on Purpose – Now that’s a Challenge! Here is a simple 1-2-3 for living on purpose
1. Determine the person God wants you to be.
2. Decide the type of person you want to be.
3. Start a series of small efforts to merge those two into action
Start small and trust that the results will come as you develop a new identity.
Purposeful living is set on moving forward, not looking back and not stuck in today’s rut. Romans 12:2 Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.
2 Timothy 2:7 …The Lord will help you understand all things.
Romans 8:6 So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace. Proverbs 3:1 My child, never forget the things I have taught you. Store my commands in your heart. 2 If you do this, you will live many years, and your life will be satisfying.
So, really, a life lived on purpose is a life lived intentionally. If you really want to be the person that God wants you to be…and achieve all that you wish to achieve, then we must live intentionally on purpose to hear and act on God’s will for our lives – DAILY, not in one big show-stopping production. That’s why Holy Habits and Living On Purpose are critical to succeed wildly.
The key to living on purpose is focusing on creating a new identity. Our current behaviors are simply a reflection of our current identity. What we do now is a mirror image of the type of person we believe that we are. To change our behavior for good, we need to start believing what God has promised.
You may not live what you profess, but you will live out what you truly believe! If you don’t believe that God sent His son to die for you and offer forgiveness for you, then you won’t live like it. If you don’t trust God to keep His promises, then you won’t live like it. You see, purposeful living is rooted in what we really believe.
2 Corinthians 3:17-18 For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.
The real goal is that we allow God to daily move us from where we are to where He wants us to be. That’s why openly speaking with God is such a big deal…It’s why scripture says that the prayers of a righteous man avail much and Psalm 147:11…the Lord’s delight is in those who fear him, those who put their hope in his unfailing love.
- Is Jesus the Biggest Deal in Your Life?
- Is knowing Him a Big Deal in Your Life?
- Can you trust God More than You Can Trust You?
For you will become the habits that you keep and you will live what you intentionally determine to believe.
What one habit, activity or action could you change this week that would give God reason to bless you? What one habit can you create that would put you on a path that would allow you to know God and enjoy the peace that only He can give you?
Then go do that in the power and promise of Jesus, who promised to never leave you or forsake you – who has plan a plan for your life – a plan meant for good, not evil and joy, not sorrow. Choose Jesus in your Habits and in Your Purpose.