Saturday, July 31, 2010

Preparation For Tomorrow Starts... Yesterday

The other day I was out running and on my route there is a hill that is a bit steep. Most of the time when I see people riding their bicycles get to this hill they have to stop and walk their bikes to get to the top. While I was running the other day and starting on my way down the hill there was someone riding their bicycle the other direction approaching the hill. This person was not going very fast and as he started going up the hill he continued to peddle trying to make it all the way up without dismounting from his bicycle. As I saw this taking place I thought to myself that there is no way he will make it all the way up the hill because he waited until it was too late to really get the speed necessary to go up the hill.

As I watched this happening I got thinking about how this is just like what so many people do in life, they wait until it is too late to try and do something that they should have been doing all along. Most people wait until they have financial problems before they really try to get a handle on their finances. People don't go to see the dentist until their teeth start to hurt or they wait until they experience health problems before they begin an exercise program. These natural examples have a parallel in the spiritual realm because most Christians really don't get too serious about God and the Bible until they are in a crisis situation. By the time all of these things are taking place it is past the time to have started to do something about the situation.

My title for this blog of "Preparation For Tomorrow Starts... Yesterday" is not a mistake but an attempt to emphasize the point that we need to start right now to do the things that will help us be ready for our future. Some people have come to me with problems that they are facing and what I want to tell them is that the real answer is that they should have been doing something about this a long time ago and if they had they would not even be in their bad situation. As Christians, if we spend time with God though reading and studying the Bible and fellowship with God in prayer on a regular basis we will keep ourselves built up spiritually and then when problems come, as they always will, we will be ready to meet the challenge and come through victoriously!

Now I am certainly not trying to put guilt or condemnation on anyone with what I am saying. The good news is that even when we make mistakes and don't do what we could have or should have done in the past God will still help us, but think of the difficulties we could avoid if we would prepare ourselves as best we can beforehand. Start where you are today and get your spiritual life in order and begin to build yourself up in God's Word so you are ready to deal with any kind of difficulty. If we do all we can now to prepare ourselves then we will be in the position to stand strong and overcome in the storms of life and help others to do so too.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Real Rest And Being Refreshed

We live in a very busy society today where there is so much going on that sometimes it seems like it never stops. People make out to-do lists and instead of checking things off and completing it the list seems like it just keeps on growing. Everyone has things that they need to do and work that has to get done. But what we do in life should not bring us to the point where we can't go on anymore or we have to take a break before we have a breakdown.

Many people look forward to a time of vacation as the answer to their problem. The trouble is that often people take a vacation and come back home just as tired as they were before and sometimes even more tired. Some people dream of changing jobs or better pay at their current job only to find out that advancing in their career is not as satisfying as they thought it would be. Other people think a change in a relationship or a change of address will be the answer only to find that any new relationship or place of residence still includes them and the same issues that they faced before. Many people today live under a lot of stress and not many people seem to have a real lasting answer to the problem; but, as always, the Bible has the answer!

Jesus said: "Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28 (NKJV)

"Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord." Acts 3:19 (NKJV)

First and foremost a relationship with Jesus as the Savior and Lord of our life is the starting point for any real answers to what we face. But, even when someone is a Christian they are not immune to this same busyness and stress that comes from the workload that many people carry today. Personally I know what it is like to have more things to do than there seems to be time to do them. The main thing we have to do is look to God as our source of strength and satisfaction. Just doing this and keeping our focus on God will help us with what we are dealing with.

Setting priorities is definitely something we all need to do. There are also times when people are busy with things that have no real place in their life and this is causing them problems as well. Jesus said if we would come to Him He would give us rest. Acts 3:19 points out the important fact that real refreshing comes from God and nothing else. If you are facing what seems to be an overload in your life maybe you need to spend more time with God and less time with some other things. Setting your focus on God and the things that God puts value on can help you see any areas in life where there needs to be an adjustment. God wants us to live happy, healthy, and satisfying lives. We all have a lot of things to do but by looking to God and building our life on Him and His Word we can live in a place of real rest and keep ourselves refreshed.