Monday, July 02, 2012



We have arrived at the final secret of following Jesus-secret #75. I began with the intent of listing out a few key principles of following Jesus that might help all who are interested to follow Him more closely. When I first responded to the challenge to make such a list, I thought there might be 30 principles, 50 at the most. Then, after spending more time, it was clear that the list would be much larger. So, on a flight to Washington DC to meet with some friends, I took out a pad and the list of 75 principles flowed out. It was amazing. Since the day I started writing, I have kept the discipline of not looking ahead. Each day I faced the next secret freshly and wrote it out. I kept this particular secret as the final one.  
"So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." (Matthew 6:34) SECRET #75: The follower of Jesus lives life one day at a time.

I've said it many times: YESTERDAY is a canceled check! TOMORROW is a promissory note! TODAY is the only cash you have! We waste so much of our lives regretting the past or fearing the future.

Alcoholics Anonymous and all of the other Anon groups operate upon the theme of "ONE DAY AT A TIME." This is exactly what Jesus is saying here-one day at a time. Worry has little to do with the past, but mostly has to do with the future. We worry over what might happen or what might not happen. It's not in our control, but we spend lots of energy as if our worry could make a difference in the outcome. Jesus says "Don't bother!" Each day has plenty of trouble of its own without worrying about the tomorrows.

Jesus is teaching that if you are seeking His kingdom and His righteousness, He will take care of everything else you need. He will do this ONE DAY AT A TIME. This is what He did with the children of Israel about one month into their 40 years of wandering. He rained down bread from heaven-manna-each day, except on Sabbath.

Each day the manna came down from heaven. Each day they were to gather enough for the day, never thinking of storing up some for tomorrow. Each day there was enough. Jesus is the "new manna in town." Jesus is our daily bread. The word "manna" means a surprise like "What is it?" I see Jesus giving each of us a surprise of His manna, His leadership, His sustenance each and every day for those who seek first His kingdom and His righteousness.

We practice these habits in order to gather the manna for today, which helps in minimizing our worry factor. 1. Walking with Jesus. 2. Walking with others who are walking with Jesus. 3. Waiting on Jesus to lead out with orders and opportunities. Remember, these aren't doctrines or just things to know, but habits to practice every day-all day long.

Have you noticed that when you think about tomorrow or next week, then the worries become overwhelming? I have to constantly focus my thinking and reflection upon today. It's learning how to live in the present-to live in the presence of Jesus. This is SECRET #75: The follower of Jesus lives life one day at a time.

This goes along with the message of the book of Ecclesiastes. King Solomon had tried everything to fill his life with satisfaction and all was found to be empty-luxury, liquor, lust, etc. He sums up his life's search with two summary truths: 1. Fear God and keep His commandments. 2. Enjoy your blessings every day!

Now, that's living life ONE DAY AT A TIME.



As you read the stories of the life of Jesus you will see something happen over and over. People kept bringing others to Jesus. Early in Jesus' ministry Andrew brought his brother, Peter, to Jesus. Because of this introduction, Peter became a follower and a prominent leader in the early Jesus movement.
 Friends brought people to Jesus. Mark records: When He had come back to Capernaum several days afterward, it was heard that He was at home. And many were gathered together, so that there was no longer room, not even near the door; and He was speaking the word to them. And they came, bringing to Him a paralytic, carried by four men. Being unable to get to Him because of the crowd, they removed the roof above Him; and when they had dug an opening, they let down the pallet on which the paralytic was lying. (Mark 5:1-4) When Jesus saw the faith of the paralytic's friends, Jesus moved into gear. He quickly dealt with the paralytic's spiritual problem by saying, "Your sins are forgiven." This was shocking to everyone in the house. Jesus didn't do the obvious thing of healing the paralytic physically, but went straight to the man's heart, then He healed his paralysis.

Enemies brought a woman caught in adultery to Jesus. They wanted to see what Jesus would do with such a case. Jesus again shocked them by standing with the adulterous woman and challenging her accusers to go ahead and stone her, if any of them was without sin in his own life.

People who were desperate for healing of their loved ones came in mass to Jesus. When Jesus landed on the Eastern side of the Sea of Galilee in a non-Jewish community, the people were so enthused about what they had heard that they brought to Jesus all who were sick.

Children were brought to Jesus. Then some children were brought to Him so that He might lay His hands on them and pray; and the disciples rebuked them. But Jesus said, "Let the children alone, and do not hinder them from coming to Me; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." (Matthew 19:13-14)

This brings us to SECRET #74: The follower of Jesus seeks to introduce Jesus to all who seem interested. If you are a follower of Jesus, then introducing Him in every way possible becomes a major part of your lifestyle. It's really quite easy. When you see someone doing something Jesus would do, point it out. Tell them that their act of kindness is something Jesus would do. You will be amazed how effective that can be. You might even let them know that you are doing the toughest thing you've ever tried to do in your life-to follow the teachings and principles of Jesus.

I am all about doing whatever I can do to advance the conversation of Jesus. This is really introducing people to Jesus without all of the religious baggage that tends to be hung around His neck. When someone is hurting, introduce him to Jesus; not to be converted into a certain religious faith or stance. When someone is looking for some answers, introduce him to Jesus. Rather than giving your friend all of your advice, how about encouraging him to ask Jesus for the answers he's looking for.

When Jesus shows up no one is the same again. The dead are brought back to life. The blind see. The lame walk. The deaf hear. The mute talk. Enemies and rivals become friends. Women's status is elevated. People with all kinds of leprosy are cleansed and made whole. The poor are made rich. The rich realize their poverty. The lost are found. The weak finds strength. The strong are made aware of weakness. The children are affirmed and empowered!

Now, here's my point. If Jesus brings positive transformation in every life He encounters, then doesn't it make sense for us to introduce everyone we can to this Jesus? You see, when Jesus shows up, no one is ever the same again! This is SECRET #74: The follower of Jesus seeks to introduce Jesus to all who seem interested.