Of all the words the Son of Man spoke, what do you think are the hardest ones to put into practice? “Love your enemies” comes to mind or “turn the other cheek”, especially if you are naturally competitive. How about “forgive 490 times” which is what he said to his hotheaded friend, Peter. The truth is, of course, you need the power of the Spirit of God to put any of the Son of Man’s words into practice, but there is one phrase which, in my experience as a coach, many people find extremely tricky.
“Do not worry about tomorrow”; he said in his famous open-air speech on a hillside. It sounds simple but it is not.
Will I have enough money tomorrow? This question plagues the mind. It is not just about money but about all the things money can buy; enough food, enough clothes, a rent or mortgage to keep the roof over your head. Money is connected to the million and one needs you see in your tomorrows. So, you worry about money, and you worry about tomorrow.
Will I stay healthy? Will I get well again? Depending on your current state of health these questions echo down the corridor from the future and work their way into today. So you worry about tomorrow’s health.
Will you still love me tomorrow? Here a range of relationship anxieties find their home. So you worry about your children, or whether you will have children, or your partner or whether you will ever have one.
I could go on, but it may just depress you, so let me turn your thoughts back to the Son of Man. One of the hardest things for a preacher, consultant, coach, counselor or health professional is to practice what they preach. Did the Son of Man practice what he preached when it came to not worrying about tomorrow?
There’s a mysterious phrase in the last book of the Bible. A series of visions experienced by Jesus’ best friend while he was on the Greek island Pathos, it is called the book of Revelation. In it he describes the Son of Man as “the Lamb slain before the creation of the world”.
Jesus’ hotheaded friend Peter echoes the idea by describing the sacrificial Lamb as “chosen before the creation of the world”.
Stop and think about that if you will. The decision to lay down his life through cruel crucifixion was taken way back in the mists of eternity past. He was 33 when that actually happened on earth. That’s 12,045 tomorrows. When did he become humanly aware and conscious of his destiny? I would guess very early on but suppose we said when he was 12 years old. That leaves him with 7,665 tomorrows before that Good Friday would come.
As you read his story there is no evidence about him worrying about tomorrow. He is calm, poised and dignified in the face of a terrifying future. For at least 8,000 days, I would suggest, he practiced what he preached.
You and I cannot begin to imagine what his super-sensitive soul was carrying as he looked forward, but surely here is the model of not worrying.
Can you take this to work? Can you take it to your finances? Can you take it to your health?
If he could draw on the Spirit of God for at least 8.000 tomorrows, each taking him closer to a hideous death surely there must be a power channel for you to receive from for your tomorrows. There is: you can ask him now to fill you with that same power.
There are other ways he spoke of which will empower you to do that deep in your soul and we will look at them seven tomorrows from now
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
1 Peter 1:20
He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake.
….the Lamb who was slain from the creation of the world
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