Dear Fellow-Disciple:

"Therefore do not be anxious for tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matthew 6:34)

The world places great importance upon the calendar, but eternally, it has no significance.

Some of us bemoan the tragedies of past years and look apprehensively at the future, hoping it will bring something better than what we just struggled through.

We don't lack for conditions to help our uneasiness. We may allow ourselves to get confused, wondering if we're doing the right thing and fearful that we're not. We can be so concerned about the adversities of the past and the possible perils of the future, that we ignore the present entirely. This must surely delight the enemy.

If we want positive excitement and productivity, it can be accomplished only one way. We must concentrate our focus upon the Lord and our relationship with Him, day by day, minute by minute.

Disciples understand that the future depends upon the present. Eternity works in the present. There is no future in eternity, neither is there a past. Everything is present. Therefore, the present becomes the most important aspect of our lives.

God doesn't want us to moan about the past nor concern ourselves about the future. He wants us to occupy our thoughts with the eternal realm and the present point in time.

The present is the point at which time touches eternity. The present is the only moment we have free to meditate upon the Lord. It is our only opportunity to come into union with Him. It may be the only opportunity we have to do anything at all, for we are never assured of a future.

We may be tempted to live in the past because that is where we experienced precious relationships and shared joyful moments with those important to us. Satan feeds this tendency because he knows we can concentrate upon only one thing at a time. He knows that when we concentrate upon the past, we can't focus upon the eternal or the present.

Some of us live almost entirely in the future. We shouldn't ignore the future, but we can be extreme in our hopes and fears. The future is unknown to us, so we actually deal in unreality and fantasy. Nearly all our vices are rooted in the future: fear, greed, lust, ambition for power, etc.

It is proper to plan for the future, but the job of planning is done in the present, and should be performed with an awareness of God's presence. God does not want us to be always chasing future rainbows, discontent with the events of today, planning and hoping and projecting for better days ahead.

We may claim to be untroubled about the future. We may assure ourselves that the future will be pleasant and everything will work out all right. We don't realize we are still future-minded. We simply put on rose-colored glasses and program ourselves to remove our anxiety about the future. Actually, most of us spend much energy concentrating upon the future, either positively or negatively.

Faith and trust in God have their roots in the present. Where we are at the present determines our future. Anything can come our way at any time. Our concern should be our ability to handle both the good and the bad. The grace we need comes from one Source, and is available only in the present. That is all we have at any time in our lives. Previous grace has been used up. We have no need for tomorrow's grace. When tomorrow becomes today, the grace will be there.

The present is everything. If we grasp the reality of that, we take giant steps in our spiritual walk. The past is something to learn from, but there is no road back to it. We can't even retrieve yesterday. The future doesn't exist; it may never exist.

Romans 12:1 and 2 speak of renewing our minds, that we may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect now, at the present time. Our attention must be on the immediate. Obedience should be the aim of all our efforts. When that is true, every moment becomes precious.

"I have been crucified with Christ....and the life which I now live in the flesh..."(Galatians 2:20). Paul lived every moment in the present. He referred to the past only to glorify God. He allowed the Lord to plan his future, and God has been free to minister to mankind, through Paul, for 2,000 years.

Disciples must remember that God's training is for now; His call to obedience is now. We have nothing to do with the future. "What is that to you? You follow Me!" (John 21:22).

Jesus is King!

P.S. What are you doing of eternal value?

Question for today: Am I occupied with the past, the future, or the present?