Do you put off until tomorrow what can, and should, be done today? Do you find yourself dragging your feet whenever there is something you know you need to do that you just don’t want to do? Do you procrastinate? If so, you’re not alone. Everyone has things that they don’t like to do. Perhaps it’s cleaning the bathroom … or the garage … or the junk drawer. Whatever it may be, “tomorrow” seems to always be better. Unfortunately, “tomorrow” can drag on and on and on … until what once may have been a manageable task becomes harder than it originally needed to be. Then, hopefully, we learn our lesson, grit our teeth, get the job done, and resolve to keep up with it so it doesn’t have to be so hard the next time around. Usually, procrastination, if we’re honest, can be overcome. Usually, it just takes a change in our mindset. We can just choose to think differently. We can choose to see something from a different perspective. We can look at it from a different angle. What may have previously seemed like a chore (something undesirable) can turn into a learning experience. Then, once we’ve gained that knowledge, the same task can actually become something we now desire to do. (For example, have you ever thought of cleaning the bathroom as a good cardiovascular workout? Not only does the bathroom get cleaned, but you get in shape in the process!) It’s the same with spiritual matters. Maybe you’ve been procrastinating when it comes to your relationship with God. Maybe you have known for quite some time that you needed to “get right” with Him. Maybe you’ve known in your heart it really was time you got serious about accepting Jesus’ gift of salvation and making a commitment to living your life in a way that the Bible says is pleasing to Him. But maybe you’ve been procrastinating. Maybe you’ve been putting it off, thinking it was a “chore” that you didn’t really want to deal with right now so you’ve kept telling yourself, “tomorrow” I’ll do it … then “tomorrow” never comes. Well, if that’s the case, let me encourage you to rethink your perspective on what it means to accept Jesus’ gift of salvation and live for Him. Perhaps you have the mindset that it’s all about a bunch of rules and regulations that you can never measure up to. Some people really believe that’s true … however, in reality, according to the Bible, there could be nothing further from the truth. The truth is, accepting the gift of salvation Jesus offers is just that … accepting a GIFT. A free gift that you don’t have to earn, you don’t have to work for, you don’t have to deserve. It’s all about receiving what Jesus has already done for you … on your behalf … when He died on the cross to pay the penalty for your sins. You don’t have to “do” anything other than receive it by faith. Then, out of gratitude, you can make the choice to live in a way that’s pleasing to Him (with the help of the Holy Spirit that you also receive when you receive the gift of salvation). So, the timeless truth for today is that none of us should procrastinate when it comes to receiving all that God wants us to have. Salvation, freedom from the controlling power of sin, love, joy, peace, an ever-present help in times of trouble, someone who understands you completely, the hope of heaven … all this and more can be yours once you make a decision to receive Jesus’ gift of salvation. In fact, Hebrews 3:15 (NIV) tells us, “… today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts …” So, don’t procrastinate! Today is the day of salvation! Receive Jesus’ gift today!
Have you ever started a home renovation project, thinking it would only take approximately 2 weeks to complete and it ended up taking 2 years? How did you feel when it was finally completed? Did you have a sense of accomplishment, glad you didn’t give up? What about exercise? Have you ever started out with the best of intentions, ready to tackle hiking the biggest mountain you could find only to discover half way up that you were far more out of shape than you realized … and then, dejected, you had to go home and face reality … the reality that it would take a commitment to exercising regularly … on a consistent basis … for you to be able to make it all the way to the summit … and not be in pain for days afterward. Then, did you make that commitment? Did you make the choice to continue? Did you make the choice to not give up? If so, you know what it means to persevere. James 1: 2-4 (NIV) says, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” So, spiritually speaking, if you face a trial (or a difficulty) that requires making a commitment to continue exercising faith (faith to believe that God will help you and will continuously give you the strength to keep doing whatever it is He’s put in your heart to do, for example) you can be encouraged to know that this “exercise” will produce perseverance … and once you’ve persevered you will mature in your faith (and in your relationship with God too) … so the next time you face a trial or difficulty, you will be better equipped to handle it having already experienced God’s faithfulness in the past in helping and enabling you not to give up. Hebrews 13: 5-6 (NIV) declares, “… God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid.” So, today, no matter what trial or difficulty you may be facing, you can remember the timeless truth of scripture that perseverance helps you to get through whatever you may need to go through as you continuously and consistently put your faith and trust in God … the only One who can and will be there for you to fully rely on … through it all. And if you happen to be someone who is new to the faith (or has renewed your faith in God) since this pandemic started, when it’s over and all the regulations and bans have been lifted remember that since God never leaves us, we should never leave Him either … not even when things get better. God is committed to having a relationship with each and every one of us for the long haul … and we need to be just as committed to never give up our relationship with Him either … then, and only then, will we have a testimony that we can share with others to encourage them in their faith as well … and, in that way, more and more people will learn to persevere in their faith and will learn how to overcome whatever obstacles come their way. Perhaps you … yes, you, the one reading this, have a testimony you would like to share with others to encourage them in their faith …perhaps you have experienced trials and difficulties and have learned first-hand that God is to be trusted … through it all. If so, I invite you to post a brief testimony of a time when you trusted God and didn’t give up … a time when you persevered … and saw positive things happen in the end. As you share a few words of encouragement in the Comments of this blog post, I believe you and others will be blessed. So, comment away … I look forward to hearing from you!
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