Which Way Lord? – Chapter 8 – by Dr Chandrakumar
Not Tomorrow But Today
One reason for doing the right thing today is tomorrow. I would like to caution you that Satan is setting a definite time frame to work against us. If you fail to challenge him accordingly, you may be the loser.
1. Time Frame
Jesus set up a time frame by saying “Today you will be with me in Paradise,” to the thief on the cross (Luke 23:43).
David sets a definite time frame for his task to be accomplished. Goliath said, “This day I defy the ranks of Israel…” (1 Sam. 17:10). David replied according1y and said, “This day the Lord will hand you over to me, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. Today I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds of the air and the beasts of the earth…” (1 Sam. 17:46).
Elijah too proposed a time frame when he was challenging the people that the God of Israel is the only living God. He prayed, “O Lord… let it be known today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant and have done all these things at your command.” (1 Kings 18:36).
Setting up a time frame is very essential for a Christian minister or a leader. If you are a writer it helps you to produce more at definite time – periods. Though God has given us a special gift for preaching, writing and so on, we still keep in our files quite a number of pending articles and messages. This is mainly because we do not take it as a challenge and produce more and give to this rapidly dying world in these last days.
In season and out of season be prepared to preach the word (2 Tim. 4:2). Fix up a target decide today. Your decision determines your destiny. Sometimes the Lord burdens us to witness to some one or to visit a sick patient at home or in the hospital. We should not postpone it. They may never be a tomorrow for that person or for you. That person may die and get lost into a Christ less eternity, and the Lord will hold you accountable for his blood (Ezek. 3:18). Hence it is wise to do it at the earliest or preferably on that day itself. Abraham circumcised his people on the very same day, as God had told him (Gen. 17:23). God told Moses, “Be sure to observe what I am commanding you this day.” (Ex. 34:11).
God told the people of Israel, “…You are crossing over the Jordan today …know therefore today that it is the Lord your God who is crossing over before you as a consuming fire.” The Lord had already gone before them to fight the battle. But if they had not crossed the Jordan on the very same day, the Lord would have departed from them and with their own strength they would have had to cross the Jordan and fight the battle themselves. That would have been a sure failure because they were supposed to fight against greater and mightier nations (Deut. 9:1-4).
The penitent thief on the cross is promised more than he asked. Jesus said to him, “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with me in Paradise.” (Lk. 23:43). His request was not to be postponed till Jesus inaugurated his kingdom. He need not wait until a future date in order to be remembered. Perhaps, the thief never prayed before. This was his first prayer and it was heard because it was a prayer that came out of repentance. While there is life, there is hope; and while there is hope, there is room for prayer.
The thief was able to perceive who Jesus was and that he does not deserve that punishment. He acknowledged that he and the other thief deserved it. Life is sometimes seen best in the light of death. Death is interpreted as entrance into God’s presence. Both Jesus and the thief had to die for them to be in paradise. So death is not a defeat. It is rather a necessary experience if one has to enter into glory.
This thief believed in a life after death and wanted to be happy and peaceful in that life with Jesus. The penitent thief prayed “Jesus, remember me.” But the other thief was attracted towards this world and hence prayed to Jesus to save all of them from death.
2. Do it Today
God says, “…Behold now is the acceptable time (the time of God’s favour-NIV), behold now is the day of salvation” (2 Cor. 6:2). Jesus said to Zaccheus, “Today Salvation has come to this house…” (Lk. 19:9). Therefore, just as the holy spirit says, “Today if you hear his voice do not harden your hearts as when they (Israel) provoked me…” (Heb. 3:7,8).
Eliezer prayed, “O Lord,… please grant me success today, and show loving kindness to my master Abraham.” (Gen. 24:12). Nehemiah prayed, “O Lord… make thy servant successful today, and grant him compassion before this man (king). ” (Neh. 1:11).
The devil doesn’t care how much good we do as long as we don’t do it today. So do it today.
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