I remember it like it was yesterday, though it was over 30 years ago. I remember getting a call from a friend who I went to college with saying “I just wanted to say good-bye” (though in the few words she spoke, she didn’t say she was going anywhere).
We small talked for just a bit, and then she said she needed to go. Something did not seem right. In my gut, I knew this was a very serious moment.
I called 911 and explained the situation as best as I could, then sped off to where she was, about 45 minutes away.
When I got there, there were two people who were putting my friend in a straight jacket to protect her from doing any more damage to herself. She had just slit her wrists with a blade. Her life had been saved!
Let me tell you about one other story I heard several years ago. It took place in 1871, in Chicago. A very famous evangelist named D.L. Moody was preaching a message about Jesus and at the end of his sermon, he asked the crowd to think about their response to his message, “What shall I do then with Jesus which is called the Christ?” He then invited the people back in a week to listen to his message about Calvary and the Cross. What he unfortunately did was to give people time to think about putting their faith in Jesus Christ as their Savior. In giving them a week to again listen to him, he was conveying to them a lack of urgency in resolving this issue with God.
That evening, the Great Chicago Fire occurred. thousands of buildings were destroyed and more importantly, 300 people lost their lives. D.L. Moody firmly said after that evening that he would never give another Gospel message without inviting someone during that message to put their trust in Jesus Christ. He recognized the urgency of the decisions that are made TODAY!
So, what’s the point in all this, its this: there are times in life when NOW is the time to respond. In other words, don’t put off doing something until tomorrow when it can be done today. When it comes to matters with God, there is an urgency of dealing with things TODAY.
This new insight from my memorizing/meditating work in Deuteronomy was refreshing as I saw from God’s Word the importance of TODAY. Looking at the list below and how many times TODAY is mentioned in these seven chapters should support its importance. So, here is another match of repeated verses that I would encourage you to read and ask God to reveal not only what He was trying to convey to the Israelites, but also to you in your life. Are you right with Him? Are you right with others? Have you been putting off doing something that deep down, you know you should be acting on?
“TODAY” verses mentioned in Deuteronomy, chapters 4-10 (bold fonts are added):
4:8 —“or what great nation is there that has statutes and judgements as righteous as this whole law which I am setting before you today?” nasb
4:20- “but the Lord has taken you and brought you out of the iron furnace, from Egypt to be a people for his own possession, as today” nasb
4:37-38 “because He loved your fathers, therefore He chose their descendents after them. And He personally brought you from Egypt by His great power, driving out from before you nations greater and mightier than you, to bring you in and to give you their land for an inheritance, as it is today.” nasb
4:39 -“Know therefore today, and take it to your heart, that the Lord, He is God in heaven above and on the earth below; there is no other” nasb
4:40-“So you shall keep His statutes and His commandments which I am giving you today, that it may go well with you and your children after you, and that you may live long on the land which the Lord your God is giving you for all time” nasb
5:1 -“hear, O Israel, the statutes and ordinances which I am speaking today in your hearing, that you may learn them and observe them carefully” nasb
5:3 – “the Lord did not make this covenant with our fathers, but with us, with all those of us alive here today” nasb
5:24– “you said, “Behold, the Lord our God has shown us His glory and His greatness, and we have heard His from the midst of the fire; we have seen today that God speaks with man, yet he lives” nasb
6:6 – “these words which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart” nasb
6:24 – so the Lord commanded us to observe all these statutes, to fear the Lord our God for our good always and for our survival, as it is today” nasb
7:11 – “therefore, you shall keep the commandment and the statutes and the judgements which I am commanding you today, to do them” nasb
8:1 – “all the commandments that I am commanding you today you shall be careful to do, that you may live and multiply, and go in and possess the land which the Lord swore to give to your forefathers.” nasb
8:11 -beware that you do not forget the Lord your God by not keeping His commandments and His ordinances and His statutes which I am commanding you today; ” nasb
8:18-19 – “but your shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who is giving you power to make wealth, that He may confirm His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day. It shall come about if you ever forget the Lord your God and go after other gods and serve them and worship them, I testify against you today that you will surely perish” nasb
9:3 – “but be assured today that the Lord your God is the one who will go across ahead of you like a devouring fire. He will destroy them; he will subdue them before you. And you will drive them out and annihilate them quickly, as the Lord has promised you” niv
10:8 – “at that time, the Lord set apart the tribe of Levi to carry the ark of the covenant of the Lord, to stand before the Lord to minister and to pronounce blessings in His name, as they still do today” niv
10:12-13 – “and now, Israel, what does the Lord your God ask of you but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to observe the Lord’s commands and decrees that I am giving you today for your own good?” niv
10:15 -“yet the Lord set his affection on your ancestors and loved them, and he chose you, their descendents, above all the nations-as it is today” niv
All of us come to this very second with a history behind us. Some of the moments in our past were very pleasant, but other experiences we’ve had were gut-wrenching. They were painful and they left scars.
But right now, TODAY is the beginning of all your future tomorrows. The decisions you make, starting right now, will affect other circumstances in your future, good or bad.
Let me put it another way, for sports enthusiasts out there. When a college basketball team gets to the “DANCE”, the March Madness tournament, it really doesn’t matter what happened with the team during the regular season. Its basically a new season now, if you lose you are out.
To anyone who has watched MARCH MADNESS, they will tell you about watching many upsets where some high-ranking team got beaten by some lowly-ranked team.
All that has happened in your past is in your past. You are now in the “Dance of life” and this second season, if you will, starts now. It starts TODAY. You will never get another Today like this one. Purpose to make your future one that you can be proud of and that God will be pleased with. Don’t put off any longer living the kind of life you know you should be living and you want to live. Leave the past in the past and live to the fullest expression TODAY and Enjoy it!