JANUARY 2009 ONE DAY AT A TIME
"Hour by hour I place my days in Your hand" (Ps 31:15)


ONE DAY AT A TIME

I love to sing this song, and I often think of it as a motto for my life:

One day at a time sweet Jesus
That's all I'm asking from You
Just give me the strength
To do everyday what I have to do
Yesterday's gone sweet Jesus
And tomorrow may never be mine
Lord help me today, show me the way
One day at a time

Show me the stairway
I have to climb
Lord for my sake
Teach me to take
One day at a time

I know if I can take one step at a time, one challenge at a time, if I have the strength to cope with one problem at a time, then I will be able to go forward and to endure whatever trouble may come my way.

Now I ask myself the question: Is "one day at a time" really a Biblical principle? I found a "yes"-answer from the following scriptures:

Focus on today
"Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don't get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes" (Matt 6:34 MSG)

Focus on today's needs
"Give us our food for today" (Matt 6:11)

Enjoy today
This is the day that the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. (Ps 118:24)

Use today's opportunities
Make the most of every chance you get. (Eph 5:15)

Receive God's grace today
This is the hour to receive God's favour; today is the day to be saved! (2Cor 6:2)

WHAT ABOUT TOMORROW?
If I focus on today and today's needs and opportunities, what about tomorrow?

The Bible is quite clear about tomorrow:
So don't ever worry about tomorrow. After all, tomorrow will worry about itself. (Matt 6:34)

Never boast about tomorrow. You don't know what will happen between now and then. (Prov 27:1)

You don't know what will happen tomorrow. What is life? You are a mist that is seen for a moment and then disappears. (James 4:14)

As the song says: tomorrow may never be mine. Maybe there won't even be a tomorrow. If all my planning and effort, or all my worries would be focused on tomorrow, it could all be in vain, and today would have been wasted.

My advice about tomorrow is: Let the future take care of itself.

WHAT ABOUT YESTERDAY?
The song says: yesterday's gone. The Bible says:
the one thing I do, however, is to forget what is behind me and do my best to reach what is ahead. (Phil 3:13)

I cannot change anything that happened yesterday or any other day in my past. I may have regrets, I may have made a mess of yesterday, but fretting, crying over spilled milk and constantly looking back to the past will only rob me of today's peace and joy. Therefore, I rather try to learn from the mistakes of the past, and use it as opportunities to grow.

My advice about the past is: Don't let yourself get lost in the past.

LIVE ONE DAY AT A TIME
There are two days in every week about which we should not worry, two days which should be kept free from fear and apprehension.

One of these days is Yesterday with all its mistakes and cares, its faults and blunders, its aches and pains.

Yesterday has passed forever beyond our control. All the money in the world cannot bring back Yesterday.

We cannot undo a single act we performed; we cannot erase a single word we said. Yesterday is gone forever.

The other day we should not worry about is Tomorrow with all its possible adversities, its burdens, its large promise and its poor performance; Tomorrow is also beyond our immediate control.

Tomorrow's sun will rise, either in splendour or behind a mask of clouds, but it will rise. Until it does, we have no stake in Tomorrow, for it is yet to be born.

This leaves only one day, Today. Any person can fight the battle of just one day. It is when you and I add the burdens of those two awful eternities Yesterday and Tomorrow that we break down.

It is not the experience of Today that drives a person mad, it is the remorse or bitterness of something which happened Yesterday and the dread of what Tomorrow may bring. Let us, therefore, Live but one day at a time

WHAT ABOUT TODAY?
There is a saying:
The past can not be changed - don't dwell in it
The future can not be lived today
Only today means something

What do I do with today?
Am I wasting today or am I making good use of the time?

Am I wasting today?
Do I spend my time complaining about my circumstances? Am I miserable and hopeless, ruled by self-pity? Am I tied up in wrong relationships or bound by a sinful lifestyle? Am I consumed by bitterness and unforgiveness? Am I neglecting my friends and family? Am I wasting my time? Am I wasting today? Remember today is tomorrow's past.

Make good use of the time
The only time you have to make the right choice or to do a good deed is NOW.
So watch your step. Use your head. Make the most of every chance you get. (Eph 5:15-16)

What can I do today?
Whatever turns up, grab it and do it. And heartily! This is your last and only chance at it (Ecc 9:10)

Here are a few examples:
Spend time with the Lord - read my Bible and pray
Praise the Lord
Share the Gospel with others, tell them about Christ's love for them
Find healing in forgiveness
Become equipped - learn some new skills
Live to my full potential
Make a difference to other people, by sharing myself and my belongings
Build long-term friendships.
Be joyful, be friendly, be patient

In conclusion, my friends, fill your minds with those things that are good and that deserve praise: things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, and honourable. (Phil 4:8)

Now is the time
As for us, our life is like grass. We grow and flourish like a wild flower; then the wind blows on it, and it is gone - no one sees it again. (Ps 103:14-16)

Your life can be over any second, and tomorrow may never come for you. So, if you want to tell someone that you love them, or thank someone for something, or give someone a gift, or write someone a letter, go and do it NOW.

Practice mindfulness
To live "one day at at time", I have to learn to focus my attention on the present moment.
In every day we have 24 hours. We have 1440 minutes, we have 86 400 seconds. Let every second count. Don't let seconds pass without being aware of it. Time lost is opportunities lost. Time wasted can never be regained. Time can not be captured for later use, therefore, make the most of every chance you get.

LIVE FOR TODAY, DON'T WORRY ABOUT TOMORROW. TAKE ONE DAY AT A TIME
I read the following somewhere:

To be free of worries today: Shut the gates to the past. Do not keep looking back to the troubles and mistakes of the past. Shut the gates to the future. Do not fear or worry about what can happen in the future. The future is today - handle today.
You cannot live in the past, or in the future; you can only live today. Everyday is a new life, a new beginning.
Prepare yourself for the future by living today to your full potential.
If you worry about what may happen tomorrow and it doesn't happen, you have worried in vain. Even if it does happen, you have to worry twice.

FOR THE FUTURE .
Put your trust in the Lord
Only God knows the future - I can fully rely on His plans for me, I can surrender myself to His directions for my life.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart. Never rely on what you think you know. (Prov 3:5)
We may make our plans, but God has the last word. (Prov 16:1)
Ask the LORD to bless your plans, and you will be successful in carrying them out. (Prov 16:3)

A person may plan his own journey, but the LORD directs his steps. (Prov 16:9)

Our times are in His hands
God fixed beforehand the exact times that we will live (Acts 17:26)

You, LORD, are all I have, and you give me all I need; my future is in your hands. (Ps 16:5)

My future is in His hands - He will take care of everything on His own time.

God is in control
God is in control of everything. He says about my future:

I alone know the plans I have for you, plans to bring you prosperity and not disaster, plans to bring about the future you hope for. (Jer 29:11 )

I can face tomorrow
With God I don't have to be afraid about the future, or worry that I won't be able to cope. The Bible says:

Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am. (Phil 4:13)

Yesterday is history
Tomorrow is a mystery
Today is a blessing

Live one day at a time

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