Attention Men! Stop And Be Grateful For The Blessings You Have Today

“But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only” (Matthew 24:36 NKJV).

There is a focus in our society for “more.”  Some of these desires can actually be healthy.  I think we all want more Jesus in our lives and more peace, right?  One of the “mores” I want is to make decisions that improve my overall physical health, strength, and agility daily.  I have made good

progress, but I do not let this pursuit become an obsession, and I am not focused on some far-away fitness goal that robs me of the ability to enjoy today.   I can attend church potluck dinners even though I might not have many healthy options.  I can go to a Halloween party, have a moderate portion of candy, and not feel that I have ruined my diet, nor do I feel disappointed that I missed out on all the fun.  The key is to focus on the right here and right now and ENJOY what and/or whom is right here and right now.  This blog, as with most of my blogs, is essentially a sermon to myself with the hope that perhaps somebody else might benefit.

Life is lived now in the present tense.  The present tense of the verb live is “living.”  The past is for learning, not living.  Life may or may not be lived in the future, and it is wise to prepare for the future, but we must remember that the primary purpose of today is living today.  Easy to type into a blog, but hard to do for myself.  Tomorrow is not promised, and Scripture teaches that none of us know the day or hour of our Healing. 

Living today does not make us immune to troubles today.  Matthew 6:24-34 is an excellent reminder about living today and not worrying about tomorrow.  ‘“Therefore, I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear.  Is not life more than food and the body more than clothes?   Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.  Are you not much more valuable than they?   Can any one of you, by worrying, add a single hour to your life.”’

Some cannot move past the anger, shame, or hurt from the past.  They need to understand that not only is the past for learning and not living, but they are a new person in Christ as taught in 2 Corinthians 5:17.  “Therefore, if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things have become new.”

So, we have talked about the past and future, but what about the present?  As we live today, adversity will undoubtedly come and challenge our ability to find joy in all circumstances.  I certainly am unable to find joy in tragic circumstances.  However, we can still live today and weep today as we stand steadfast on Psalm 30:5, “weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.”

Some have made their joy contingent on material things as they seek to store up treasure on earth rather than heaven.  For example, some may say, “I will be joyful when/if …..”  Spoiler alert:  if your joy is contingent on anything rather than Christ, you will never have joy.

This drive for more can take our focus off the blessings of today because we are too busy preparing for tomorrow.  If you have not read the Mary and Martha story lately, go read Luke 10:38-42 and ask yourself if you identify more with Mary or Martha.

Some people work all the time and essentially sacrifice living today for a better but unpromised tomorrow.  The goal for many, including myself as a young man, was to work 24/7, ignore my health, and put in minimal time for my family, church, and friends because I needed to climb the ladder and be a better provider.  Families need fathers who are present and engaged today and every day.  Families also need fathers to take them to church today if today is Sunday joyfully.  Friends need friends that they can talk to today if they are in a crisis.  Life is to be lived today.

In our personal relationships, we may be blessed with a beautiful, godly woman to court and date, perhaps an ever so rare and virtuous Proverbs 31 woman.   This type of woman is a God-sent blessing for any man.  A smart man will recognize and enjoy the blessings that he has.  A foolish man will not. 

Many Christians love Jeremiah 29:11, which reads, “For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope.”  It should go without saying, but since I am preaching to myself here, please notice that it is God with the plans for us, not vice versa.  Also, the key to claiming these beautiful plans is not to push our own self-based agenda on God or others but rather to follow the wise teaching of the Psalmist.  “Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37:4).

On my better days, I follow the above Scriptures, and I pray each day that our Lord and Savior may grant me the wisdom to see, embrace, and give thanks for all the blessings that I have – today.

Prayer:  Dear God, Thank you for all the blessings that you have so richly blessed me with.  Forgive me for the times that I have ignored Your blessings of today in foolish pursuit of a self-perceived, self-focused blessing in the future.  I confess that I have not honored You by not following Your teachings but instead have sadly tried to have You follow my plans.  As the perpetual prodigal son, I am grateful that I can claim the promise of Your Word that every new morning brings fresh compassion from the LORD.  Today, pour out Your Holy Spirit and create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right and steadfast spirit within me.  Amen and Amen.

Meet the Author

Todd Shupe is a Men’s Ministry Specialist through the General Commission of United Methodist Men and a Certified Lay Speaker with the Louisiana Conference of the United Methodist Church. He is a Board Member for Gulf South Men, an Action Team member for The Kingdom Group, and a Board Member for the Lagniappe Country Walk to Emmaus.  Todd is a Past President of the Baton Rouge District of United Methodist Men and remains active in this and many other local, regional, and international ministries.  Todd is the proud father of Emma and Kyle and resides in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  Additionally, he’s the author of the inspiring book “Fathering A Special Needs Child.” Todd also enjoys filling the pulpit for pastors to share the Good News of our Lord and Savior.

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