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REACHING THE WORLD FOR JESUS

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Saturday, March 31, 2012

LIVING EACH DAY AS IT WERE YOUR LAST

Video Links to This Message

Living Each Day As It Were Your Last - Part 1


Living Each Day As It Were Your Last- Part 3






LIVING EACH DAY AS IT WERE YOUR LAST 
In today’s message I would like to retrace some of the things that Jesus did during His last week.  His resurrection was going to happen, but before this He knew what He had to face.  He had to make a choice of what He would do with His life during this week.
Jesus spent the last three years of His life in service and ministry.  Even in the last week of His life He was thinking of others.  Below is a poem by General William Booth, the founder of the Salvation Army:
Lord, let me live from day to day
In such a self-forgetful way
That even when I kneel to pray,
My prayer shall be for others.
Others, Lord, yes, others;
Let this my motto be.
Help me to live for others
That I may live like Thee.
Jesus not only took time to let others minister to Him, but He used his power and gifts to minister to others.  When you have the opportunity to do good for others, you should do it: “Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it. Do not say to your neighbor, "Go, and come again, tomorrow I will give it" --when you have it with you” (Proverbs 3:27-28).
Another thing that our Lord and Savior did during His last day was to be thankful.  At the “Last Supper”, the Lord Jesus knew that this would be His last meal with the friends He loved so dearly and with whom He had spent the last three years.that   At that meal He was thankful.  “With desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer.”  (Luke 22:15).  Even knowing that He was going to suffer and die, He was thankful for the opportunity to do it for those He loved.  “Jesus took bread, and blessed, and broke it, an gave it to them, and said: Take, eat this is my body.”  And He tok the cup, and when He had given thanks, He gave it to them, and they all drank of it.  (Mark 14:22-23).  
The question for us is “Can we be thankful as we approach difficult times?”  Yes, Jesus could see the cross and the resurrection, and knew that this sacrifice was the reason He came from His Father.   “Jesus therefore, knowing all things that should come upon Him, went forth...”  (John 18: 4). But He did not play the “victim card” or the “blame game” nor did he blame the Jewish religious leaders, or the Roman government.  
With less than a week left in his earthly life he continued the work that His Father God had given Him.  On His way to Jerusalem to be crucified, he stopped at Jericho to have supper with one of the worst sinners in that community.  Zaccheus was “chief among the publicans, and he was rich”.  Jesus told Him about heaven and about salvation.  His life was changed and he gave back all the money he had taken wrongfully from others.  Jesus changed His life and the life of others, and gave Him eternal life: “This day is salvation come to this house….For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost”.  As we go through life, there are people we need to talk to about the Love of God and offer hope. When we influence one life, we affect many lives.
On His way to the cross, the Lord Jesus also stopped to heal blind Bartimeus: “And Jesus said to him, "What do you want me to do for you?" And the blind man said to him, "Master, let me receive my sight." And Jesus said to him, "Go your way; your faith has made you well." And immediately he received his sight and followed Hm on the way” (Mark 10:51-52).  We need to stop and ask others the same question:  “What do you want me to do for you?”
Before He went to the Cross, the Lord Jesus stood up for other people who were trying to do the right thing.  The Lord was eating in the home of Simon the leper.  This man was probably one of the ten whom Jesus healed.  While He was eating a woman anointed the Lord Jesus’ head with a very expensive oil.  She was criticized for her act of love for the Lord.  “And Jesus said, Let her alone; why do you trouble her?  She has done a good for work by anointing me....She has done what she would: she is come a head of time to anoint my body for my burial.  Verily I say unto you.  Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached throughout the whole world, this also that she has done shall be spoken of for a memorial of her.”  (Mark 14: 6-9).  Don’t let the criticism of others keep you from serving the Lord with the gifts and abilities God has given to you.  You must make a choice to “Set your affections on things above, not on things on the earth.”  (Colossians 3:2).
The question today is how are you going to spend the rest of your life?  We do not know how much time we have. “Boast not yourself of tomorrow; for you know not what a day may bring forth” (Proverbs 27:1).  Just because you have limitations like financial problems, or health issues, does not mean you cannot make a difference in the lives of others in using your time.  This is one thing you and I have control of is our time.  We do not know how much longer we will live, but each day should be a day where we live like the Lord Jesus Christ did.
As we enter this “Holy Week” and think about the death, burial, and resurrection of our Lord, let us do as our Lord did.  He spent time with friends and family.  He met the needs of others.  He blessed others who were living right and serving Him.  He did not let others discourage Him from finishing the work that His Heavenly Father sent Him to do.