Weekly Devotional by Steve Craig

The Today Show

 

    I have borrowed the title of this devotional from a popular television program that has been airing since 1952.  It was described, early on, as “a morning newspaper in broadcast form.”  The “Today Show” has kept some basics for its format.  The show covers news of the day, weather of the day, and various topics of interest of the day.  In a sense, it was ingenious to call it “The Today Show.”  Like a daily newspaper (before the internet), it was a source for information which was pertinent for that day.  Therefore, having watched it, one would be inclined to watch it the next day as well.

     Today is important because yesterday is done and cannot be retrieved;   tomorrow is future and cannot be lived yet.  One can remember the past and plan for the future, but life is lived in the light of each day’s dawn!   I find in the Bible the same emphasis on what man does on a given day.  Though full of the history of God’s dealings with man, and many prophesies (some fulfilled and some yet to be), what is readily apparent is that each person’s actions are done on a day-by-day basis.  Obedience and disobedience to God is a decision for today.  In the scriptures we are given the first rule of the day:  “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.  Take therefore no thought for the morrow:  for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself.  Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof” (Mat. 6:33, 34).  The word “today” is not used in this verse but is implied; thoughts of the morrow (tomorrow) need not occupy the heart and mind of the believer who seeks the Lord today.  The way to live for Christ tomorrow is to trust and seek Him today.  

     In my study on this topic, I have found three verses that show the importance of responding today.  First, and most importantly, is one’s salvation.  When the heart and eyes are opened by the Holy Spirit and God’s word to the condition of being lost and alienated from God, the time for responding to the grace of God is not tomorrow.  The Bible says, “For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee:  behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation” (II Cor. 6:2).   The time to come to Jesus is the day in which He knocks on your heart’s door.  Don’t turn Him away for a supposedly more convenient time.

     Secondly, don’t harden your heart toward God’s conviction.  Many have heard about Jesus but have made the decision to not accept Him that particular day.  I have heard many testimonies of those who felt the Holy Spirit softening their heart to the gospel, but they hardened their heart instead of yielding to Christ.  Sinners should be cautioned not to reject God today with hopes of becoming a Christian later.  There is no guarantee that the Lord will deal with them in the future.  “While it is said, Today if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation” (Heb. 3:15).  To harden one’s heart today will have consequences in the days to come.

     Thirdly, I found a verse that calls believers to help one another remain strong in the faith.  “But exhort one another daily, while it is called Today; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin” (Heb. 3:13).  Yes, even believers can allow their hearts to be hardened.  When a fellow believer is drifting away from fellowship with the Lord or the church it is the responsibility to try to help them draw closer to the Lord.  The time to do so is “today.”  To wait is to allow them to harden their hearts to the point that they might not respond.  We are told in the Bible to bear one another’s burdens.  Today is when assistance is needed.  Do not wait for them to fall and receive wounds that could have otherwise been avoided if someone had acted on the day which God made the need known.  The time to minister to one another is today, not tomorrow.

      Jesus was passing through Jericho when He had an encounter with a tax collector named Zacchaeus.  Many crowded around Jesus in the streets wanting to see him.  Zacchaeus, also, was interested in seeing or hearing Jesus, but the crowd was so packed that Zacchaeus, being a small man, could not get close enough to see the Lord.  He could not see over the people so he ran down the street and climbed a tree in order to observe Him when He came by.  “And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up, and saw him, and said unto him, Zacchaeus, make haste, and come down; for today I must abide at thy house” (Luke 19:5).  Jesus was obedient to do the will of the Father each and every day.  That day Jesus would have a meal with a tax collector.  He did not make a future appointment or ask when it might be convenient.  Jesus simply said, “Today.”  What will you do with or for Christ today?