Today (a poem)

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Today
By Ryan M. Roberts

Distance lends enchantment.
Anticipation exceeds fulfillment.
Oh, how we pine for the “good old days,”
and idealize the weekend, vacation . . . retirement.
In the disillusion of the past
and the distraction of the future,
we miss the reality right before us—
the joy of Jesus, Today.

This is the day the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it.
(Psalm 118:24, NLT)


All

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All things are shadows of the shining true:
Sun, sea, and air--close, potent, hurtless fire--
Flowers from their mother's prison--dove, and dew--
Every thing holds a slender guiding clue
Back to the mighty oneness:--hearts of faith
Know thee than light, than heat, endlessly nigher,
Our life's life, carpenter of Nazareth.
                                — George MacDonald

[Jesus, the carpenter] is before all things, and in him all things hold together. (Colossians 1:17, NIV)


Vague

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The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps. (Proverbs 16:9, ESV)

Too eager I must not be to understand.
How should the work the master goes about
Fit the vague sketch my compasses have planned?
I am his house—for him to go in and out.
He builds me now—and if I cannot see
At any time what he is doing with me,
'Tis that he makes the house for me too grand.
                        — George MacDonald

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. (Isaiah 55: 8-9, NIV)

The steps of a man are established by the Lord, when he delights in his way; … Wait for the Lord and keep his way. (Psalm 37: 23, 34, ESV)


Good Comes

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Praise the Lord!

How joyful are those who fear the Lord
    and delight in obeying his commands.
Their children will be successful everywhere;
    an entire generation of godly people will be blessed.
They themselves will be wealthy,
    and their good deeds will last forever.
Light shines in the darkness for the godly.
    They are generous, compassionate, and righteous.
Good comes to those who lend money generously
    and conduct their business fairly.
Such people will not be overcome by evil.
    Those who are righteous will be long remembered.
They do not fear bad news;
    they confidently trust the Lord to care for them.
They are confident and fearless
    and can face their foes triumphantly.
They share freely and give generously to those in need.
    Their good deeds will be remembered forever.
    They will have influence and honor.
The wicked will see this and be infuriated.
    They will grind their teeth in anger;
    they will slink away, their hopes thwarted. (Psalm 112, NLT)


Pass

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Jesus saw the disciples straining at the oars, because the wind was against them. Shortly before dawn he went out to them, walking on the lake. He was about to pass by them . . . (Mark 6:48, NIV)

When the storm rages, He is there. But He will pass by if you do not avail yourself of His presence. — Vance Havner

Pass me not, O gentle Savior,
Hear my humble cry;
While on others Thou art calling,
Do not pass me by. — Fanny Jane Crosby

Although many see tribulation as an indication that God has forsaken them, in reality it is the grace of God in disguise. … Blessed are the troubled who allow their tribulation to soften their heart to repentance. … Christianity is a religion of rescue. It is designed for the desperate. — Walter Henrichsen

Zacchaeus ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree beside the road, for Jesus was going to pass that way. … Jesus said, “I have come to seek and save those who are lost.” (Luke 19:4, 10, NLT)


Henceforth

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The God of the Hitherto is the God of the Henceforth. — Vance Havner

Then Samuel took a stone, and set it between Mizpeh and Shen, and called the name of it Ebenezer, saying, “Hitherto hath the Lord helped us.” (1 Samuel 7:12, KJV)

Through many dangers, toils and snares
I have already come;
'Tis Grace that brought me safe thus far
and Grace will lead me home. — John Newton

You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me. (Psalm 139:5, NIV)


Action

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“Roll the stone aside,” Jesus told them. … Then Jesus shouted, “Lazarus, come out!” And the dead man came out, his hands and feet bound in graveclothes, his face wrapped in a headcloth. Jesus told them, “Unwrap him and let him go!” (John 11:33, 43-44, NLT)

God will never do for you what you can do for yourself. What can be done by man will not be done by Christ; Jesus never worked needless miracles. The miraculous only begins where ordinary means can go no further. Jesus fed the multitudes, but He began with the lad’s few fish and loaves of bread; Jesus did not destroy the stone covering Lazarus’ grave. He told the people to roll it away.

                                                                    — Walter Henrichsen

What joy for those whose strength comes from the Lord, who have set their minds on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. … They will continue to grow stronger, and each of them will appear before God in Jerusalem. (Psalm 84:5, 7, NLT)

Each time I turn my heart to you, ponder your Word, or think about your holiness, I am changed. With each choice I make to walk in righteousness, I grow stronger. As I behold your face, I am transformed—taking steps that take me from glory to glory. — Brian Simmons