Paul’s Challenge Can Be Summarized in Three Words:
He tells us wake up! The night is almost gone. Now is the time to get up and act! Today matters.
He tells us to lay aside the undisciplined patterns of the flesh, and he even cites examples!
Finally, he tells us to “put on” Christ. We know He’s inside you; now adorn yourself with Him.
Today Mattered to People in the Scriptures
Today mattered to Lot (Genesis 19:15, 16).
Lot learned the hard way that today matters when he hesitated, and the angels had to seize him and his wife and remove them from Sodom. He failed to build disciplines that would enable him to do what he needed to do, when he needed to do it.
Today mattered to Joshua (Joshua 24:14, 15).
Joshua’s final speech was a challenge to make today matter. He laid the decision before the people: “Choose for yourselves today whom you will serve, but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Making today matter is a daily choice.
Today mattered to Esther (Esther 4:13, 14).
Esther longed to sit still and do nothing, but Mordecai wouldn’t let her. The fate of God’s people hung in the balance. Mordecai shocked her when he said, “Who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” He pushed Esther to seize the day, and she did.
Today mattered to Nehemiah (Nehemiah 4:16–23).
Nehemiah learned that today matters as he and his builders faced opposition when they constructed the wall around Jerusalem. They worked through the night with a sword in one hand and a brick in the other. Life was a battle. Every moment counted.
Today mattered to David (Psalm 118:24).
David sang, “This is the day the Lord has made; I will rejoice and be glad in it.” Later he wrote: “Today, if you will hear his voice, harden not your hearts.” David was very aware of the significance of today. He worked to see the value of each day and he helped others do the same.
Today mattered to Solomon (Ecclesiastes 3:1–14).
Solomon wrote that God has made everything appropriate in its time. There is a time for everything under the sun. He realized in the end of the book of Ecclesiastes that we must make the most of each day in the sight of God.
Today mattered to Mary (Luke 1:26–30).
Mary learned something from the angel who announced she would give birth to the Christ child. God had been watching her. She had lived a life of discipline and discretion. She prepared herself to be used greatly, in private moments when there was no glamour. She found favor with God.
Today mattered to Paul (I Corinthians 9:24–27).
Paul compared life to a race. He threw off any weight that would entangle him or slow him down. He made the most of his pursuit of the prize. We all know that runners don’t wander. They head straight for the finish. He reminds us of this in Philippians 3:7–14.
Today mattered to Jesus (Matthew 6:34).
Finally, our Master, Jesus Christ, would tell us: Today matters. In the Sermon on the Mount, He tells us to seek first His Kingdom, and all the other needs we have will be added to us. Following that challenge, he reminds us not to worry about tomorrow— each day has enough trouble of its own. Just focus on today.
Just for Today . . .
In the book Today Matters there is a list of twelve commitments we should make each day of our lives. Here is the list, with a biblical foundation for each one:
1. Just for today, I will choose and display the right attitudes. Foundation: Philippians 2:3–8
2. Just for today, I will determine and act on important priorities. Foundation: Ephesians 5:15–17
3. Just for today, I will know and follow healthy guidelines. Foundation: I Corinthians 6:19, 20
4. Just for today, I will communicate with and care for my family. Foundation: I Timothy 5:8
5. Just for today, I will practice and develop good thinking. Foundation: Proverbs 4:5–9
6. Just for today, I will make and keep proper commitments. Foundation: Philippians 3:12–14
7. Just for today, I will earn and properly manage my finances. Foundation: Ecclesiastes 5:10–20
8. Just for today, I will deepen and live out my faith. Foundation: Colossians 2:6, 7
9. Just for today, I will initiate and invest in solid relationships. Foundation: Colossians 3:12–24
10. Just for today, I will plan for and model generosity. Foundation: Proverbs 11:24–28
11. Just for today, I will embrace and practice good values. Foundation: Psalm 119:33–40
12. Just for today, I will seek and experience improvements. Foundation: I Peter 2:1–3