“NO FEAR” Part 3
Focus on “Today”
Live one day at a time.
Someone said one time that there are only three days that make up your life,
Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow.
Since Yesterday is over and Tomorrow is not yet here, the only day that we have
to live is today.
Life can be hard for sure.
No one can diminish that fact.
But I wonder how many of the worries or fears that we experience TODAY are
either a part of our Yesterday (our past) or a part of anticipation of something
bad in our Tomorrow (our future).
With the “One day at a time” and “Focus on today” perspective,
how hard can life be when all we have to live is one day.
Of course, we do live more than one day,
but it is an interesting perspective that can be helpful to
keep in mind when we do face fears.
If we break our lives down to a bunch of “single days”,
individual chunks of 24-hour periods,
life won’t seem as overwhelming as it often does.
Jesus addressed this in Matthew 6
Do Not Worry
“Therefore, I tell you, do not WORRY [Fear] about your life, what you will eat or drink;
or about your body, what you will wear.
Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air;
they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly
Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?
Can any one of you by WORRYING add a single hour to your life?”
The answer is “No”.
What Jesus is saying here is that WORRYING will have an effect on your life, but it will not be a positive one.
“Can any one of you by worrying ADD [ADD = have a Positive effect] a single hour to your life?”
The answer is “No”.
Jesus is saying that WORRYING/FEARING will have a SUBTRACTING effect.
[a Negative effect]
God does not want us to have to feel the pressure of managing
our entire life all at once.
It is actually impossible to do, yet we often try, don’t we?
Much of the fear and worry in our lives are a result of trying to do that very thing.
Living “ONE DAY AT A TIME” can free us from PAST and FUTURE fears,
worries, and anxieties.
Jesus is saying that we can greatly reduce [not totally get rid of] all of these by simply focusing our energy and focus on the issues of “TODAY”.
“I have chosen you and have not rejected you.
So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you [Keep us from collapsing under the weight of the stresses, fears and worries of the day] with my righteous right hand.” [We’re in good hands]
- Isaiah 41:9,10
“I remember [PAST, YESTERDAY] my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall
I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me. [In the PRESENT, TODAY]
Yet this I call to mind [Also, to combat the fears of my PAST ruining TODAY] and therefore I have hope: [The DOWNCAST turns into HOPE by focusing TODAY on God’s Love and Compassion]
Because of the Lord’s GREAT LOVE we are not consumed, for his COMPASSIONS never fail.
They are new every morning; [TODAY, AND one day at a time, EVERY DAY IN OUR FUTURE] great is your faithfulness.
I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion therefore I will wait for him.” -Lamentations 3:19-24
God does NOT give us TODAY the amount of love, compassion, strength etc.
that is needed for an entire lifetime.
He gives us only enough for TODAY.
Simply put, He wants us to live TODAY,
focus on TODAY,
deal with the problems, worries, and fears that we are facing TODAY and today only.
When our focus is right [only on TODAY], then we will not be consumed or overwhelmed with all of the Fears and Worries of our PAST, PRESENT and FUTURE [yesterday, today and tomorrow] all combined together.
No one can handle that much.
Remember that Jesus taught us to pray;
“Give us TODAY our DAILY bread… Therefore DO NOT WORRY about TOMORROW,
for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day[TODAY] has enough TROUBLE of its own.” Matthew 6:11,34
For many people, the potential for fear, anxiety, worry, and doubt is at an all-time high with the current state of Covid and its rippling effects.
They can affect every other areas of life if we let it.
Do you see how Jesus’ words are good for all times, especially TODAY?
They are wonderful words.
Try to picture Jesus saying specifically to you;
“... do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”… “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” -Matthew 6:34; 14:27
But these words of Jesus are for the purpose of comfort and encouragement,
rather than a license to be irresponsible.
In other words, this does NOT mean that what we do TODAY will not have an effect on our TOMORROW because how we live today will affect our future for positive or negative.
To live in the moment does not mean that we can have a reckless regard for the future because TODAY matters the most.
Because TODAY does not matter more than yesterday or tomorrow. All of our days matter.
It’s just that TODAY is the day that we are given to live.
TODAY is the day Jesus wants us to focus on, for none of us knows if TOMMOROW we will be living on this earth or in heaven.
So, if we focus on doing the right thing TODAY then we will greatly reduce our regret TOMMOROW.
This actually frees us up to be present in the moment.
Jesus said about worry in Matthew chapter 6;
“Therefore, I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life?... So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat,’ or, ‘what shall we drink?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness [Right now, TODAY] and all these things [That we worry about and are afraid of] will be given[Provided to us by God, often through ways that we could not imagine] to you as well. Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Matthew 6:25-27, 31-34)
Life is more important than the food we eat, clothes we wear, vacation we are planning, retirement account amounts, zip code, and anything else that might worry us.
“Do not be anxious about anything, [TODAY] but in everything, by prayer and petition [TODAY] with thanksgiving present your requests to God. [Right now] And the peace of God, [TODAY] which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” [TODAY] Philippians 4:6-7
It never hurts to begin prayer with the Lord’s Prayer especially because of the phrase,
“Give us this day our daily bread”
It speaks to the “Live one day at a time” focus.
Remember that the phrase fear not appears in one form or another 365 times in the entire Bible.
That is one verse for every TODAY that makes up one year.
The Lord’s Prayer
“This then, is how you should pray:
‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread…’”
- Matthew 6:9-11
Many of us consume a daily portion of fear.
Add to that anxiety, worry, doubt, etc… and we’re filling ourselves with “junk food”
instead of the divine sustenance we really need.
We all know where a steady diet of junk food leaves us.
Jesus’ advice on prayer is focused on our practical everyday, TODAY needs.
“Give us this day [TODAY]
our daily [TODAY] bread.”
If we put the last three weeks together looking at Fear, we can see how each week helps us a little better not to be overcome by fear and worry.
We can differentiate between healthy and unhealthy fear, put fear in its proper place [IN GOD’S HANDS] and deal with it one day at a time.
How different would your life look, could my life look, if we were truly focused on today?
Twenty-four hours in the day, 1,440 minutes, 88,000 seconds. And every one of them is a precious gift from God.
I have only just a minute, Only sixty-seconds in it.
Didn’t seek it, didn’t choose it.
Forced upon me, can’t refuse it.
But up to me just how I use it.
I will suffer if I lose it. Give account if I abuse it.
Just a tiny little minute, But eternity is in it.
Lord, thank you for TODAY.
Thank you for the gift of everlasting life and the gift of everyday life as well.
Thank you for the promise that Fear and Worry do not have to overcome me today.
Help me to live one day at a time.
Help me to seize everything that you provide me TODAY to deal with the issue of TODAY (Not combining them with the regrets and cares of yesterday and fears about tomorrow).
In Jesus’ name.
Word of Life Church
17525 W. Bell Rd.
Surprise, AZ 85374