The specialty of the term 'daily' is: Every day is the only day left in hand with us, and it is the only chance entrusted to us. As our 'yesterday' gone and our 'tomorrow' in God's hands, everything happening within this day's 24-hours will never, ever be replicated in tomorrow. It is on such conviction this book is structured.
In 'this day'-reflective light, the author underlines his main reason for writing this book: As I am personally striving to be an extraordinary disciple of Jesus at least 'one day at a time', according to my Master's demands which are spread through the Scriptures, I see many of my fellow-disciples of Jesus too, in this laser and rocket-speedy postmodern Age, fully benefit by 'living faith this day' in Jesus' Way, Spirit and Truth. This book would certainly assist the readers to listen keenly the voice of God in Jesus at everyday 'Breaking of the Word and Bread'.
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Begin the Day with Trust to Shove off "Starting Troubles"
1. Well Begun, Half-Done But a Blessed Start Fully Done
This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice in it and be glad.
— Ps. 118:24
"Well begun, half-done" is a golden rule pronounced by ancient sages for successful people who get very good results in their life. I always remember this maxim whenever I start something new in my life. In anything I do or perform, I am very keen on the starting point. Many times, I struggle at the beginning of my day, my week, my month, and surely my New Year. I call this "a starting trouble." But once I choose that important moment of starting with a right perspective and attitude, everything seems to be okay.
The same is true in the lives of successful men and women. They always begin their undertakings with great interest, full of trust and hope, being blessed by God and their neighbors. They make sure their efforts start at a good time and good place with good opportunity, good plan, and sufficient finance, plus with good attitudes and efficient helping hands. Once they begin their business with these blessings, the entire project reaches its completion as they have willed. Every day of life should start well so that the rest of the year will be happy and fruitful.
While humanity is prone to seeking secular ways and means to make their start perfect, we Christians — instead of making recourse to human power or any worldly wisdom — want all that we begin to be filled with the Lord's graces and blessings. According to our Christian faith, as God blessed the OT people of God through his messengers and elders, we too have been blessed by God abundantly through our faith-filled adherence and commitment to his love call, plus through our active participation ritually and actually in his church's discipleship. We discover that our God's blessings are triple: priestly, kingly, and prophetic.
The first one is priestly blessing: In the book of Numbers (6:22–27), God tells Moses that he is imparting the power to Aaron and his sons to bless his people. Aaron and his sons have been chosen by God and anointed by him to act as priests in his name. In other words, they have been chosen to be the channel of blessing from God to the people. "So shall they invoke my name upon the Israelites, and I will bless them," says the Lord. Each one of us, through our baptism, is called to act like a priest between God and our community. Just as Jesus has become the priest of God, so we are made into priests through our baptismal anointing. We hold a power to bless each other as mother, father, brother, sister, husband, wife, leader, friend.
Second is a kingly blessing: Paul, in his letter to Galatians (4:4–7), makes us aware of our identity and our birthright. Through our baptism as Christians, we have become sons and daughters of God. We, like Christ, have inherited the power and dignity to be called the children of God. Just as Christ has become the Son of God and inherited the kingly blessing from his Father, so too we inherit the kingly power from God. That is the blessing inherited from God. Kingliness is usually an inheritance of power and throne. We, as adopted children of God, have received already the blessing from our Father — the ability to control, to manage, to maintain, to lead, to solve, to fix, and to empower others with the same power.
And the third blessing is a prophetic one: We firmly believe that our God, who has spoken in the past to our ancestors through the prophets, has spoken to us in these last days through the Son (Heb. 1:1–2). Everything about Jesus's future has been prophetically told in the scriptures. So every day Jesus and his followers, specially his parents, have lived their lives in accordance with those prophetic promises.
Consequently, they have been liberated from undue anxieties about their past, present, and future. In the same way, the Lord also has prophetically promised about us and for us in the scriptures. Before our conception, he has written our names in his life's book. He has designed a beautiful and fruitful future for every one of us. He too has promised to be with us till the end of ages. This is a great prophetic blessing for us. Therefore, with Paul, we are fully convinced that "all things work for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose" (Rom. 8:28–39).
By our baptism and our sincere adherence and commitment to his love call, we have been blessed with the priestly, kingly, and prophetic blessings from God. So let us bless ourselves with this positive faith thinking at every moment of starting any of our daily accomplishments. So many unexpected things may have jolted us, shaken us, or shocked us in the past. But still, we hold on to the words of God about his blessings. Let us hand over the past and the future to the Almighty. The present only should be in our eyes.
While we drive our cars, we do not look back constantly to be safe; we only see what is coming back to us through the side or rear mirrors. So shall we use the past as a side effect to our future orchestra. The past failures and even sins will assist us in straightening out our attitudes and our decision-making. As the Lord exhorts us, let us not be overanxious about the future, which is solely in his hands. The only day given to us by God is this day, this week, and this year. The promised blessings are there in abundance. God is blessing us with the ability to bless others, the power to lead and manage, and the luck to hold an eternally propitious word of fortune; we are predestined for good and good alone to enjoy everything that is good born out of his love.
2. Start Everything with Providential Calculation
The Lord bless you and keep you!
— Num. 6:24
We are humans gifted with rationality and intelligence. Unlike animals or birds, we are anxious about how, why, and how long we survive and live our lives. From the day of humanity's origin, humans have attempted to calculate their living period in this world, how to avoid the curses of life, and how to enjoy its blessings in that period.
Many make a natural calculation, which is based on the stars in which we are conceived and born. Horoscope, astrology, numerology, and palm reading are some of the sciences generated out of such anxious calculation. Some others use an artificial calculation through which, in ancient period, humans have calculated and measured their living time by the sun's movement, even by the shadow its light has created on the ground. Gradually, with the help of astronomy and mathematics, each nation and race has created their own calculation called calendar, which contains years, seasons, months, days, hours, and seconds and now even light-years (and megabytes and gigabytes) and so on.
There is also a third calculation in the circle of religious and spiritual humans, which is called "providential calculation." According to this, we are told that, at one time, the Supreme Spiritual Being has created the entire universe; every being on the earth begins its life from him and ends in him. Though he lives in a timeless time, he recognizes and appreciates every kind of calculation of time we have introduced and are following. Only he knows fully well our beginning and our end. Though he has created a cyclic system for other beings and materials, he has denied it in the lives of humans. There is only one birth and one death. Humans' lives are journeying in a one-way traffic. Above all, he is concerned about our limitation of worrying too much about our lifetime.
It is this providential calculation that most of us apply to our life as it progresses from womb to tomb. From scriptures, it has been confirmed that everything existing in this universe moves and has its being only according to God's calculation. Our time, hour, day, and year are in his timeless time. He performs marvelous deeds in his own time and place. When we listen to Paul's way of calculating his and the entire human race's life, we are encouraged to go forward from one year to another and from one day to another with the relentless hope that there is always a bright tomorrow reserved for us, thanks to the providence of our Abba, Father.
Most importantly, we should be convinced that such providential calculation lets us realize our life's predestined abundant design. It also enlivens us to uphold our own positive calculation about earthly life. We begin to perceive with rationality and see through all that has happened in the past and still happening today and behind everything and every event the unthinkable love-based, providential hand of God leading us as he has promised.
3. In God, the Immanuel, We Trust
If God is for us, who can be against us?
— Rom. 8:31b
At every dawn as we get up from sleep, we bid goodbye to the previous day and say hello to the new one. We are stepping into another milestone as we march on toward our heavenly home. We know when we have started this journey but are unaware of when and where this march of ours will come to a halt. However, we are sure conventionally that each step leads us to a place where all our dreams will come true, the dreams of never-ending life, ever-blissful environment, and unchanging love experience.
Commonly, analytic people like me may begin the day with mixed feelings. There is a feeling of gratitude and happiness for the previous day because of having been spared from accidents, deaths, or cruel illness and for having been left unharmed by natural disasters. Happiness fills some of us because so much has been forgiven, and we are not punished despite all our blunders, bad habits, and misbehavior. Many among us may be overwhelmed with joy that, despite all the prophecies and predictions of doom and terror, humanity — especially the place we live in — has still been kept in balance between war and peace, disaster and prosperity, crime and sanctity, violence and kindness, and terrorism and charity.
There is also a certain feeling of sadness if we have lost our loved ones by death or have broken our friendship by divorce and conflict, and there may be others who feel sad because they have missed good opportunities to improve, to gain, to do good. Surely, most of us will be feeling sorry because we have hurt our friends and relatives and sometimes messed up their lives. We feel ashamed for making wrong decisions; plus, we feel unhappy for the dreams and plans that have not been realized or have ended up in failure.
Undoubtedly, almost all of us are anxious and fearful about the future of this new day. We ask certain questions about it with anxiety: Will our dreams and plans be accomplished at least today? Will our chronic or terminal disease or any other illness continue bothering us or be healed? What about our family problems — the irritable habits of our loved ones, their stubborn temperament, their unpredictable behavior, our job, our house, and our savings?
To get over with or to get even with these mixed emotions and feelings, each one of us chooses different ways. To escape from these inner troubles, many make use of some perverted acts like alcoholism, workaholism, doing drugs, or simply being couch potatoes, lying down in bed or watching TV for hours and so on. Unarguably, all those listed are excessive and forbidden fruits. However, as committed Christians, what should we do to cope with such "starting troubles" lawfully and fruitfully?
First, we should look for the almighty presence of God as Immanuel in ourselves. Second, we must remind ourselves, as we start the day, of Jesus's promise: "And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age" (Matt. 28:20b). Third, before leaving from home to work, we have to take a few minutes in front of the Immanuel and pour out to him all our feelings — especially those of fear, anxiety, remorse, and shame — and express our sincere appreciation for all that he has done in previous days, months, and years in our lives. Besides, we must surrender ourselves and every moment of the new day at his feet and resolve to stay on his lap throughout the day as our strength, our mighty rock, our fortress, our stronghold, and our high tower.
4. Settling in the Covenantal Ark of Fulfillment
This is the time of fulfillment ... believe in the Gospel.
— Mark 1:15
To any human born and bred in this world, life is nothing but a battlefield between godly people and satanic ones. And the Word, who has become flesh and lived in our midst, has not been exempted at all. In the light of the Bible, we realize that the entire life of Jesus has been a warfare. To introduce his life of strife, like a foreword in a book, all the four Gospel writers have included a narration about his intense fight with the devil. It is an event happening in the desert where Jesus has spent forty days in prayer and penance. One of the evangelists, Mark, plainly puts it, "Jesus remained in the desert for forty days, tempted by Satan" (Mark 1:12–15).
During those days, besides feeling the absence of relationships, Jesus would have been feeling lonely gazing out at a wilderness and its emptiness and surely suffering out of its inclement climate, staying night and day among wild animals. Together with such evils, the devil gave him hard time. To portray his horrible battle with the evil, the Gospels narrated three temptations. According to Mark, Jesus passed through his life's warfare successfully as he went through the forty-day struggles against Satan. With Jesus's remarkable success in his battle with evil, as we read in Hebrews, he was made a role model, a sympathizer, and even the source of eternal salvation to all humans (Heb. 4:15–16, 5:1–10).
Like Jesus, we too are tempted, we are tossed around, we are broken to pieces, we are wounded, we are crucified, we are misunderstood, we are diagnosed with different kinds of unheard-of brand-new diseases, and we are struck down by natural calamities and other social and political problems as wars and terrorism. Besides all these, we as Christians join Christ in fighting against Satan, who deploys his legion of evil spirits that are inside and outside us.
To cope with this hectic life situation, to live in peace and joy in the midst of problems and temptations, and to win our life's battle, the Spirit of God in the Bible suggests one important and very efficacious ammunition. Peter underlines this necessary ammunition, saying, "Be sober and vigilant. Your opponent the devil is prowling around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, steadfast in faith" (1 Pet. 5:8–9). What is this faith we should hold on to? I am convinced that it is nothing but staying put in the ark of God.
As Jesus and God's messengers have stayed put to the movement of God's Spirit, we are told to choose willingly and remain faithfully in the ark of God's covenantal love and Spirit wherever our life situates us. Noah and his family, for instance, have been saved from deluge by staying in the ark (Gen. 9:8–15). Like them, we will be saved and reach our victory if we too stay inside the ark of the covenant. Our God is proclaimed in the Bible as the guaranteed covenant partner to humans. He has always desired to build his relationship with us through a covenant of love. The OT ark of the covenant is the symbol of such love-based relationship. As Jesus has always been led by the Spirit, even to the desert encounters, the Spirit wants us to be led to enter freely and stay firmly inside the ark that Jesus has built for us, the church (1 Pet. 3:18–22).
Also, the Spirit summons us to believe in the Gospel of Jesus and follow it faithfully. As soon as Jesus has come out of the desert and from a hidden life to a public one, he has preached the first sermon on the belief in the Gospel. According to his Gospel, the kingdom of victory is sure and within reach. It is also within us. Especially after our baptism, the kingdom established by God within us at our creation has become solid and enterprising. We turn out to be the moving ark built on God's covenant, in which we offer accommodation, shelter, and — if need be — our very life. Thus, we should feel fulfilled and satisfied at every moment of our Christian life. We shouldn't be doubtful of the authenticity of the Gospel we believe in or the ark we stay in. The Gospel of Jesus is the one and only Gospel of fulfillment in human life, and the church of Jesus is the only place which can be called "the ark of fulfillment." It is where we can find our safety and security, plus great strength, to win our battle against evils.(Continues…)
Excerpted from "Living Faith Daily In spirit and In Truth"
Copyright © 2019 Rev. Benjamin A. Vima.
Excerpted by permission of Trafford Publishing.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
CHAPTER I Begin the Day with Trust to Shove off "Starting Troubles", 1,
CHAPTER II Continue the Day Waiting as if an Advent Day, 25,
CHAPTER III Keep Your Spirit Attuned and Retuned to God through the Day, 43,
CHAPTER IV Never Lose Inner Joy in the Day's Drudgeries, 59,
CHAPTER V Stay Put All Day Carrying the Cross of Love, 77,
CHAPTER VI Keep Eyes Fixed on "Whoabouts" and "Whatabouts" of Jesus, 109,
CHAPTER VII Never Lose Sight of Your Personal "Who Is Who" Details, 143,
CHAPTER VIII Walk the Walk of the Master through the Day, 211,
CHAPTER IX At End of the Day, Rest in the Peace of Christ, Our Life's Climax, 405,