Summary: If life is uncertain, & we can’t really know what will happen to us here, how DO we face the future? What should we do? Well, God has some answers to that question. (Powerpoints available - #127)
MELVIN M. NEWLAND, MINISTER
RIDGE CHAPEL, KANSAS, OK
(The Powerpoints used with this message are available at no charge. Just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and request #127)
ILL. Several years ago there was a TV series called "Early Edition." Did you ever watch it? I only saw a few programs, but its storyline was about a young man who somehow was able to read tomorrow’s newspaper today.
In other words, he was able to know what was going to happen a day before it actually happened.
Now let me ask you. If you were able to know what was going to happen before it happened, how would you use that knowledge? Would you use it to enrich yourself? If you knew that the stock market was going to go up, would you buy low & sell high, & make a lot of money? Would you?
Would you use it to help those in need? If you knew that someone was going to be in trouble & needed help, would you rush to help them?
Would you become a hero? If you knew someone was in danger & would die, would you be there to prevent that from happening? What would you do if you knew what was going to happen tomorrow?
SUM. Some people are obsessed with the idea of trying to learn the future. They peer into crystal balls, read tea leaves, & cast horoscopes. But in reality, none of us really knows the future here upon this earth.
Solomon talks about that several times in the Book of Ecclesiastes. For example, Ecclesiastes 8:7 says, "Since no man knows the future, who can tell him what is to come?"
Well, there is an answer to his question, & the answer is "God." In fact, God is the only one who really knows the future.
PROP. As far as we’re concerned, our future, our life upon this earth is uncertain. So if life is uncertain, & we can’t really know what will happen to us here, how DO we face the future? What should we do? Well, God has some answers to that question.
I. THREE THINGS THAT GOD SAYS, "DON’T DO."
First of all, here are 3 things God says, "Don’t do."
A. The first one is: "Don’t presume about tomorrow." Proverbs 27:1 says, "Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth."
Notice the word "boast." The Bible tells us, "Don’t go around being cocky about your plans for tomorrow or next week or next year because life is uncertain. You may not even be around that long. So don’t be presumptuous."
Now I’m afraid that most of us are presumptuous. For example, we’re presumptuous whenever we do something without praying about it. We’re presuming that we’ll be there to do it. We’re also presuming that we’ll have the strength & ability & brain power to do it. That’s being presumptuous.
But when we pray about it, we’re searching for God’s will & guidance in the matter, & asking for His blessing upon it. But too often we just presume about tomorrow by not praying about what we’re planning to do.
B. Secondly, he says, "Don’t panic about tomorrow." Jesus says: "Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself" (Matthew 6:34).
Fortunately, we serve a loving & merciful God. And God doesn’t unload everything on us all at once. You see, I don’t think we could take it all at once. So God gives us life in bite size pieces, 24 hour segments, one day at a time. And He says, "You live your life as it comes, one day at a time."
ILL. Someone wrote, "Life by the yard is hard. Life by the inch is a cinch."
C. #3, God says, "Don’t procrastinate until tomorrow."
I appreciate the Living Bible rendition of Ecclesiastes 11:4. It says, "If you wait for perfect conditions, you will never get anything done."
I wonder how many of us promised ourselves last January that we were going to do something this year that we have not yet done? Probably most of us. We make resolutions. We say we’re going to do this & we’re going to do that. But too often we never actually get around to doing it.
ILL. Someone wrote, "Procrastination is my sin. It only brings me sorrow. I know I ought to change my life. And I will - tomorrow."
SUM. Again, these are the 3 things God says "Don’t do." #1 - Don’t presume, #2 - Don’t panic, & #3 - Don’t procrastinate.
II. THREE THINGS GOD TELLS US TO DO
Now in addition to those, there are 3 things that God says for us to do. Are you ready to consider them? We find them in the first chapter of the book of Joshua.