Summary: In this New Year’s message, we see that there are some activities that God expects of us DAILY in the coming new year ... Daily Prayer, Daily Praise, Daily Bible Study, Daily Crucifixion, Daily Exhortation, Daily Service.
WORDS OF DISTINCTION – “Daily”
INTRODUCTION: Today, being the first Sunday of the new year … we begin a new SERIES … “Words Of Distinction”. For the next several weeks, we will look at some DISTINCTIVE words in the Bible. We will explore their MEANING … and their APPLICATION to our Christian life.
THIS MORNING … we are going to take a look at the word “daily”, as it is used in the Bible.
We are already 4 days into 2004. How many days do we have, this year? ANSWER: 366 (it’s a LEAP year!). Just like the beginning of the New Year brings on a new START, a new BEGINNING, a new OPPORTUNITY … so does the beginning of each NEW DAY. Each new day gives us a FRESH START in the Christian life.
There is ONE DAY A WEEK that has been set aside for us to come together and worship … SUNDAY. I don’t expect everybody to come to church EVERYDAY … BUT … CHRISTIANITY is a DAILY ACTIVITY. It is a “way of life”. Living for Christ EVERYDAY, doesn’t depend on our being in church EVERYDAY.
BUT … there are SOME ACTIVITIES that God does expect of us on a DAILY BASIS … EVERYDAY … in 2004. These are clearly spelled out for us in the Word of God. Let’s see what God expects from us … “daily”.
I. DAILY PRAYER – Psalm 86:3, 88:9 – all turn
The Psalmist says that because he has “daily afflictions” … he sees the need for “daily prayer”. Every NEW DAY brings us NEW AFFLICTIONS … which brings us NEW OPPORTUNITIES to go to God in prayer.
1 Thes. 5:17 – “Pray without ceasing.” This doesn’t mean that we are to close our eyes in prayer all day long. I would discourage that while driving down the highway! When you’re out on the highway, you need all the prayer you can get … BUT … if you’re going to bow in prayer, do it before you get into the car … PLEASE!
“Pray without ceasing” means to PRAY CONTINUALLY. That is, don’t let anything into your life that hinders your prayer life. The Bible points out several things that can hinder our prayer life. These things will keeps us from “daily prayer”:
1.- SIN PROBLEMS - Psalm 66:18 – “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:” If you have sin problems in your life, you won’t WANT to pray … you’ll want to HIDE from God in shame … AVOID Him. Like Adam, when he sinned against God, and hid in the Garden of Eden.
2.- MARRIAGE PROBLEMS - 1 Peter 3:7 – “Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, … that your prayers be not hindered.” I’ve seen it over & over again … problems in a marriage tends to cause people to turn away from God.
3.- EAR PROBLEMS - Zech. 7:13 - "When I called, they wouldn’t listen. So now when they call, I won’t listen, says the Lord of hosts.” When we stop praying, and listening to God’s voice … God will stop talking.
BUT … when we are praying to God on a DAILY basis … God listens. That’s why He commands us to PRAY DAILY. I’m not just talking about praying before meals. I’m talking about getting down on your knees and PRAYING.
That would make a good NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION! More on this later!
II. DAILY PRAISE – Psalm 145:2 – all turn
A good time to stop and PRAISE GOD is … the LAST thing you do before you go to sleep … AND … the FIRST thing you do when you wake up. It should be a DAILY thing!
EVERYBODY likes to be PRAISED … including God. We praise our CHILDREN when they do something good (or we OUGHT to!). We like to get praise from our BOSS … from our SPOUSE … from our TEACHER. “Praise” is what keeps us going … keeps us working harder … keeps our spirits up.
UNFORTUNATELY, some people praise their PETS more than they do the people in their own household! I’ve seen people say to their pet “You’re such a good dog … You’re such a precious kitty …” … and the next second “bark” at their husband, wife, or children!
God expects to be PRAISED … DAILY. This would make a good NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION! More on this later!
III. DAILY BIBLE – Acts 17:11 – all turn
Jesus taught us, in the “Lord’s Prayer” to pray, “Give us this day, our DAILY bread.” We eat EVERY DAY. If we don’t, we grow weak. After awhile, we’ll DIE if we don’t eat. REMEMBER the “Law of 3’s”? You can live only 3 minutes without air … 3 days without water … 3 weeks without food.