by Steven Chan
Jesus taught His disciples to pray to the Father to “give us this day our daily bread” (Matt 6:11) or to “give us day by day our daily bread” (Luke 11:3). This was to remind us of the need to recognize our dependence on God’s provisions on an ongoing daily basis. It is God’s desire that we seek Him: “so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us” (Acts 17:27). Likewise, Jesus taught that we are to seek first the kingdom of God and its righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you (Matt 6:33). As the hymn renders it, “Praise God from whom all blessings flow”. We need to seek Him daily.
When we seek God on a daily basis, the Bible tells us in Psalms 68:19 that God will bless us and bear our burdens daily: “Blessed be the Lord, Who daily loads us with benefits”. Or as the ASV translation renders it: “Blessed be the Lord, who daily beareth our burden”. We are exhorted to “cast all your care upon Him, for He cares for you” (1 Pet 5:7). We need to cast all our cares upon Him on a daily basis.
Jesus tells us in Luke 9:23 that if we choose to follow Him then we are to deny ourselves and take up our cross daily and follow Him: “Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.
Discipleship is a daily practice and not just on Sundays. A daily walk with Jesus is expected of all disciples of Christ.
The Bible tells us that our spiritual renewal occurs on a daily basis: “Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day.” (2 Cor 4:16). It does not happen only once – the process of renewal of our spiritual being commences after one is baptized and then it becomes a continual daily process. This renewal includes the renewal of our minds (Eph 4:23; Rom 12:2) This “renewal” or “transformation” will happen when we behold “the glory of the Lord” as revealed in the Gospel/His Word: “we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.”(2 Cor 3:18). As we “behold” the “glory of the Lord” as reflected by the “mirror” of His Word (James 1:23) then our transformation by the Spirit of the Lord into His image will occur. If in this manner our inward man is to be renewed on a daily basis then it behooves us to search the Scriptures daily (Acts 17:11; Psa 1:2-3; 119:11) and “behold” the “glory of the Lord” so that we can be transformed into the same image of our Lord (Rom 8:29).
We need to encourage and exhort one another daily so that we will not drift back into sin or into the world: “but exhort one another daily, while it is called “Today,” lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.” (Heb 3:13). It is probably true to observe that one is more likely to drift into sin on days other than Sundays – simply because there are 6 weekdays in a week apart from one Sunday – and so there’s more lengthy time of exposure to the world. Also, during those 6 working days, one is in the midst of an unbelieving community with all its temptations and trials. Most brethren receive exhortations from one another just on Sundays – if at all and that’s not likely to be sufficient. So, it is evident that our mutual exhortation needs to be on a continual daily basis. Yet, it is sad that many hardly have any contact with fellow brethren (to exhort/encourage one another) during the week days when we are likely to be more exposed to trials and temptations. The other day, I asked one in the church, “who is your closest friend in the church” and the reply was “I don’t have any close friends in the church; most of my close friends are outside the church” – and do we yet wonder why many fall away from the faith?
Jesus taught daily (Luke 19:4); the disciples taught daily: “And daily in the temple, and in every house, they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ” (Acts 5:42; 17:17; 19:9) and “the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved” (Acts 2:47). As a result, the “churches were strengthened in the faith, and increased in number daily” (Acts 16:5). If the gospel is to be preached to the whole world (Matt 28:18-20) then each of us needs to resolve to try to teach someone on a daily basis. Explosive church growth will only happen when each one decides to teach daily the gospel of Christ – and not wait for special occasions or gospel meetings only.
We need to realize that we do not have the promise of tomorrow. “Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth.” (Prov 27:1) “Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit”;14 whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.” (James 4:13-14). We need to do what we can for the Lord Today; and not wait for a more convenient time. Note what God said to the procrastinating Israel in Haggai 1:2-3: ““Thus speaks the Lord of hosts, saying: ‘This people says, “The time has not come, the time that the Lord’s house should be built.”’” 3 Then the word of the Lord came by Haggai the prophet, saying, 4 “Is it time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses, and this temple to lie in ruins?” Some excuse themselves by thinking that they are not ready yet; but when will one be ready? The Bible says: “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear” (1 Pet 3:15). We are to be always ready. We just need to start; and not wait for a convenient time to start. Start with whatever we have and trust the Lord to use us as He did with the early disciples: “And we have such trust through Christ toward God. 5 Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God, 6 who also made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant” (2 Cor 3:4-6). We sow and plant while another will water, God will give the increase (1 Cor 3:5) We are not to grow weary in doing this: “And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.” (Gal 6:9)
All we have is Today. We need to seek God Today – and Every Day that God grants us. So let us not procrastinate in seeking God and to do His work/will. The apostle Paul wrote thus: “We then, as workers together with Him also plead with you not to receive the grace of God in vain. 2 For He says: “In an acceptable time I have heard you, and in the day of salvation I have helped you.” Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.” We need to act Now while there’s yet time to do/obey His will.