In the movie Groundhog Day, Bill Murray’s character, Phil Connors, gets caught in a time loop. In that loop he relives every moment of an earlier time, doing over and over again the same mistakes and stupid lifestyles choices. This time loop causes him to evaluate his life and the direction he needs to take to make every day count. Yesterday’s news becomes today’s problem over and over again. That’s kind of how it is for us as Christians isn’t it? We tend to live everything out of our past over and over again and the successes or failures of our past snuff out the prospects for the present and the future. I guess you could say we are “backwards.” In the area of sinning, we could be called “backsliders.” Repeating anything from the past is a dangerous lifestyle to follow, because the Lord says that every day is a new day in Him. That new day applies to everything we do. If you committed a sin, God’s forgiveness kicks in immediately and the freshness of that experience of grace totally changes how we live “today.” If God moved in a great way in an event from the past, praise God, but today is another day and He will move even different “today!” If you had a conflict with a brother or sister in Christ in the past, that is to be dropped and made right and that will change how we view them “today.” There are so many examples in the Bible of how God is a today God. That’s why we start the day with Christ in prayer. That’s why we don’t let the sun go down on our wrath. That’s why the sins of our past life no longer control our life today. That’s why we don’t go back to a lifeless existence without Christ once we have given our life to Him. It’s all yesterday’s news!!
In 1 Peter 1:13-15, Peter writes about the need to prepare for action. What kind of action? The action you get when you take a stand for Christ. That action will come from Christians and non- Christians alike. Christians that are not really wanting to serve Christ will try to slow you down to keep them feeling good about their lack of commitment. Non-Christians are basically confused and their interaction with vibrant Christians causes them to question why you would be so committed to something. Whatever the case, our eyes need to be fixed on this hope we carry around in us. Hope in Christ. In verse 13 Peter says, “prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” When Christ comes all this will fade into obscurity, but while we are here we are called to serve and be active. If we don’t look at life with a “big picture” vision, then the small things in life will bog us down and our “action” will be minimal at best. That is a slippery slope than can lead to a life of compromise and confusion. In other words, we have slid backwards!! Peter speaks to that in verse 14 when he says, “As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts, which WERE yours in your ignorance.” Did he just call me ignorant? I believe he did! I’m only ignorant when I allow the old way of living to control me today. The past life is gone and the new you is what you live out of today. That’s called today’s news and that story is being written as I speak. I mean, what did you think the abundant life was? Living like you have always lived? No way! Today is new and fresh and exciting and abundant with God’s mercies that are new EVERY DAY! (Lamentations 3:22-23)
The end result of us living a life centered on God’s holiness is a life that is starting to be more holy in every area. Things that used to affect us in a negative way don’t drag us down anymore and the prospects of a day for Christ starts to become our way of life. We begin to grasp just a little bit more of the holiness of God and all that means, and then we take on that way of life and the rest is history? Nope. Then we begin making great history on a daily basis as we become more and more like Christ. More like Christ means we are lining up with what God wanted in the first place. Verse 16 says,“It is written, You shall be holy, for I am holy.”
Don’t get caught in a time loop by living your life out of your past. Don’t worry about tomorrow. Tomorrow will take care of itself. Live for today. Take that breath that God just gave you and use it to proclaim that Jesus Christ is the only way to heaven and that His salvation is in YOU!! That will make an impact on today and eternity. That will be tomorrow’s headline, not yesterday’s news…
The Pilgrimage continues…