February 12, 2020
Thank you for praying today for our prodigals and for revival among us. It is a great privilege to pray and very encouraging to pray with a group of concerned believers like you. Thank you.
I have read a good number of tributes and documentaries on the life of Kobe Bryant lately; he was a good man, and a great basketball player—understatement of the year! Even if you are not an NBA fan, you have heard the news of his helicopter crash and his death, along with that of his daughter and seven others as they traveled from his home to Thousand Oaks (not far from Los Angeles, CA) for a basketball game. He was forty-one and his daughter thirteen. Such a sad tragedy! Listen to what he had said to “Newsweek” after reflecting on the 9-11 disaster: “I’ve learned also that you can’t take things for granted. You know how we always say ‘See you later’? One thing I’ve realized from September 11 is that you can’t ever say that for sure. Things change in the blink of an eye. People go to work and don’t come back. One minute they’re living and the next minute they’re not. And, it doesn’t matter who you are, there is nothing you can do about it.” He concluded: “We never know when our time here will be over, so we all need to make the most of every minute we have.” He didn’t know that he would be the one not returning home on January 20, 2020.
Having just returned home, myself, after a three week trip in Newfoundland for gospel meetings, I am so glad to be back safely with my family around me again. I thank God for them and for this day!
I’d like to share a few thoughts about the life God has given us today. Psalm 118 reminds us, “This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it” (Ps.118:24). Some scholars suggest that this is the song that Jesus sang with His disciples the night before He died on the cross. For Israel, this song was probably about a day of deliverance in their long wait for the Messiah to return. For us, this day, today is the day God has given us, to you, to me, in order to live for His glory. We are all different, with varying interests and abilities, but each of us can rejoice in doing what God wants us to do.
The apostle James highlights the transient frailty of life with these words: “What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes” (Jam. 4:14). Our life, like a mist, vanishes. None of us is guaranteed tomorrow, and instantly our life can be over. Today, right now, this very moment is the time we get to do the will of God. Let’s not put off until tomorrow what God intends for us to do today.
Esther was instructed by Mordecai to approach King Ahasuerus who sat on his royal throne in Susa, the citadel. It was a dangerous proposition. Not having received a royal summons, this could cost her life. But her people were in grave danger of being destroyed. Mordecai said to her, “Who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” (Est. 4:14). His statement prompted her to do the courageous thing and stand before the king. I believe that God expects each of us to move in wisdom, faith, and courage every day. Some days our tasks call for greater strength and resolve. Whatever God has for you, even if it is difficult, just do it. He will give you the guidance and strength you need.
With love in Christ,
Bryan and Rachel