Wednesday, April 30, 2014

"The Joy Stealer"

"Give us this day our daily bread." Matthew 6:11
When Jesus taught His disciples the manner in which to pray, He taught them to pray that they would have what they needed that day. He didn't teach them to pray for tomorrow, or the next day, or for next year. He taught them to pray for their need that day. Just a few verses later He told them not to "take thought for tomorrow". Let me clarify something. Jesus was not telling them that they should not plan for the future. The scriptures tell us to "occupy" while we are on earth and take care of business- including investing for the future. Proverbs gives us wisdom that is found in observing and following the practice of the ant-- how it prepares in the time of harvest for the summer. Even Jesus had a goal in mind and was carrying out a future plan while He walked the earth-- the cross. 
The verse in the prayer has more to do with being content with what you have today, and learning to trust God each and every day. The fact is that no matter how much planning and preparation we may do for the future, we still aren't promised tomorrow. There was a certain rich man who learned this lesson. He decided to build bigger barns to hold his wealth and sit back and enjoy the rest of his life. But his life was taken that same night.
Many people live their lives in the future. They are always thinking about tomorrow. They are always focusing on a time to come. They are looking toward another day-- when I get married, when my children are grown, when I finish college, when I am financially secure, when I can retire, etc. When we do that, we never enjoy "this day". We miss the wonderful blessings that await us. We miss out on the benefits that we are loaded with today. Also living in the future is just as harmful as always living in the past. They are both joy-stealers. Living in the past steals our joy by keeping us in regret. Living in the future steals our joy by keeping us preoccupied with what may or may not happen, and too busy to enjoy today. Either way we lose. Jesus wants us to have abundant life. Abundant life today. Pray as He taught us to pray-- "give us this day"-- and then enjoy it.
Have a great day. Always living in the past or the future will steal your joy. Enjoy this day that the Lord has given you.
For further reading:
Matthew 6:34
Luke 19:13; 12:19-21
Proverbs 6:5-7
1 Timothy 6:6
Psalm 68:19
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Coffee Break is a morning devotional written by Lorraine Ezell
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