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One Thousand to One - A Devotion

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2 Peter 3:8-9 (NLT)
But you must not forget this one thing, dear friends: A day is like a thousand years to the Lord, and a thousand years is like a day. The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent.

What if today were your last day of life? What if you knew? Would you live differently? What would your last meal be? What would you do with today? Would you tear up the “honey-do” list that you have been slaving over and live a little? Would you call in sick to work or call in “done” perhaps? Would you spend time with your family? Would you call all of your friends even the ones who you haven’t seen or spoken to in years? Would you go apologize to all those you hurt and try to make it right? Would you go to church? Would you go blow your bank account? What would you do if today was that day? You could probably come up with a hundred different things to try to pack in one day, but I wonder if we really think about the day after we breathe our last breath. We don’t consider the moment that Jesus comes back or we meet Him face-to-face. Oh we call out to the Lord for relief. We want our bills paid, needs met, wants delivered, and all the benefits of our salvation package called the New Covenant, but do we really want confident hope gives us – forever with Jesus Christ?

Many will not read after the first paragraph today afraid that this is a harsh beating like the ones they have gotten before from religious people in fancy pulpits which is nothing more than a cry for more volunteers or dollars to run the “church” company. This is nothing of the sort. When life is really hard and it is difficult to take another step, we cry out to God for an immediate response. Relieve the pressure, Lord. Eliminate my stress, God. The Lord is listening and He has already prepared an initiative to do just that. God will is the best stress reliever of all time because He will take it all over for us. If we could look past all the obstacles carefully stacked in life prohibiting our progress, and see past religion that puts a price on prosperity and step into His Presence for just a moment – one precious moment out of years and years of struggle or crushing devastation to see what He is doing – it has the potential to change our forever.

2 Peter 3:10-13 (NLT)
But the day of the Lord will come as unexpectedly as a thief. Then the heavens will pass away with a terrible noise, and the very elements themselves will disappear in fire, and the earth and everything on it will be found to deserve judgment. Since everything around us is going to be destroyed like this, what holy and godly lives you should live, looking forward to the day of God and hurrying it along. On that day, he will set the heavens on fire, and the elements will melt away in the flames. But we are looking forward to the new heavens and new earth he has promised, a world filled with God’s righteousness.

Human beings just want a better life. God did not create us just to get by or have a “better” existence here on the earth. Heaven runs on a different time clock than the earth. One day is as one thousand years to the Lord. He is not slow concerning His Precious Promises for you. He is “being patient for my sake.” Patience is the producer of confident hope as it allows time for anticipation to build and expectation to become focused. You will not wait on what is not worthwhile in your belief system. The Word of God tells us that patience leads to endurance, strength of character, and confident hope. (Romans 5:3-5) This hope will never lead to disappointment so we are definitely on the right track as we wait for the Lord. Those who endure to the end will be saved. (Matthews 24:13) Those who endure are the ones who maintain their relationship of right-standing with God by faith and continue to trust in the confident hope as an anchor for their soul. (Hebrews 6:19) This wait time is for our benefit or “for our (your or my) sake”. What does the word “sake” mean? Sake is defined a cause, account, interest, benefit, purpose or end. The word is literally translated into purpose from its origin. Sake means the purpose to obtain or achieve so it is a good thing. God’s Primary purpose in every situation that we face and for His Thousand Year delay is repentance and salvation. That’s it. Every other benefit is a direct result of our decision to return to righteousness through Jesus Christ. But how much time do we really spend searching by faith for confident hope in God? We do not commit the time and energy to our faith because we do not believe that the Lord has a better plan for us.

Romans 8:28-30 (NLT)
And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And having chosen them, he called them to come to him. And having called them, he gave them right standing with himself. And having given them right standing, he gave them his glory.

Once our son was diagnosed with cancer, his initial treatment was about two months with a brief recovery period. When the doctor declared the tumor dead and cancer gone, we rejoiced in the Lord giving Him honor, glory and praise. But when the cancer returned less than six months later, it was devastating. That is when the Lord wrote this verse on my heart for life. “We KNOW that God causes EVERYTHING to work together for the GOOD of those who love God.” I had to know that God was working every detail of our son’s life for his good. Faith is a requirement for this to be effective. In a world of broken dreams and forgotten promises, our relationship with the Lord requires complete and total trust that He is ALWAYS on our side. But when the unthinkable happens, how do we lean on the Lord and trust a God who we cannot see, feel or touch. It defies the mind and mystifies the sense. The only way to do this is to get to know Him more. We cannot keep up with God’s Timeline until we are willing to surrender our life to Him and demonstrate allegiance to His Kingdom. Why? There is a ‘thief” out there who is our enemy that wants to steal, kill and destroy the Plan of God for our life beginning with us. Everything that happens in our life has the potential to contribute to prosperity and fulfillment of purpose just as God planned it. Do you believe it enough to receive it?

Jeremiah 29:11-13 (NLT)
For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.”

God’s Plan for our life always includes two things: a future and hope. These plans are always good. He is never setting us up to fail. There is no such thing as random fate just lost opportunities. Each day we are given the choice of life or death. We choose whether we prosper or fail in each season. (Deuteronomy 30:15-16) “If you seek me wholeheartedly, you will find me.” When we commit our whole life to the Covenant that we have made with the Lord, everything has the potential and purpose to prosper in our life. We are God’s Masterpiece. (Ephesians 2:9-10) He created us anew in Christ so there will be some definite changes to be made beginning in our choices and the pursuits of this life. His Plan was established long ago. No one raises a child to be a convicted felon but with a future and hope. It all comes down to the choices that we make. You can have two children raised in the same home who choose very different paths with opposite outcomes. It is a personal choice. God has provided a better plan but we must choose it. We are precious to the Lord. (Psalm 139:13-17) He has overseen our process every single step of the way – when He becomes precious to us and we decide to pursue the Lord and His Plan wholeheartedly then and only then will we succeed in all that we do.

I Corinthians 9:23-26 (NLT)
I do everything to spread the Good News and share in its blessings. Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win! All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing.

God called me to be His Child. My life is not random. It is not an act of nature. My life is a Masterpiece created by God for His Glory. It is up to me to become disciplined in my pursuit of that life rather than getting caught up in the light and momentary problems that we are facing. There are days that I feel confident and strong in the race of faith and others that I am lagging behind weighed down by fear and doubt. My purpose is to spread the Good News but how can I do that always complaining and upset about this life. The only way to get over it is to hold tightly to the confident hope that I have been given and keep tightening my hold in faith that He is faithful. Everyone is running the thousand-year marathon but not everyone will win. Some will engage from the start and others just before the finish line. We all have the potential to claim an eternal prize – forever. It is up to me if I will run with purpose in every step. Purpose plus discipline equals success. If I am running after God wholeheartedly pursuing His Plan for my life everything will be for my benefit and good. Outcomes will change. Impossibilities turn to probabilities. Hi Word serves His Purpose and empowers me to do His Will. (Psalm 119:91) God’s Purpose is forever. (Proverbs 16:20) God works out His Plan so we don’t have to. We just allow His Spirit to work in us by surrendering our life each day. (Psalm 138:8) When we commit every action to the Lord – we WILL succeed. (Proverbs 16:1-3) The Lord’s Purpose will always prevail. (Proverbs 19:21) This is a good thing. Man operates in today, but God operates in forever.

Psalm 84:10-12 (NLT)
A single day in your courts is better than a thousand anywhere else! I would rather be a gatekeeper in the house of my God than live the good life in the homes of the wicked. For the LORD God is our sun and our shield. He gives us grace and glory. The LORD will withhold no good thing from those who do what is right. O LORD of Heaven’s Armies, what joy for those who trust in you.

A single day in His Courts is better than the thousand it took to get there. Jesus didn’t say that this life would be easy. He didn’t promise that repentance would end our problems or salvation our heartaches on the earth. What He did promise is forever! Just one moment in His Presence changes everything! We can live in His Presence now but it means leaving this world’s pursuits behind. No, He didn’t say that it would be easy, but God is promising us today that it will be worth it!

Proverbs 16:1-3 (NLT)
We can make our own plans, but the LORD gives the right answer. People may be pure in their own eyes, but the LORD examines their motives. Commit your actions to the LORD, and your plans will succeed.

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