Look here, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we are going to a certain town and will stay there a year. We will do business there and make a profit." How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it's here a little while, then it's gone. What you ought to say is, "If the Lord wants us to, we will live and do this or that." Otherwise you are boasting about your own plans, and all such boasting is evil. Remember, it is sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it. (James 4:13-17 NLT)
I'm not sure the reason, but I've been having the same kind of discussion over and over again lately. It usually takes place on a Sunday morning when someone attended church services who hasn't attended in a little while. Maybe they've missed a couple weeks - maybe a couple months or years.
The conversations all seem to have the same components in them. First, they find me to "touch base" after being gone a little while. Then they tell me what an impact God made on them that day. (I'm always glad to hear His Spirit was working in people during service.) It's at this point that they seem to come to a self-realization. "Every time I come here I wonder why I waited so long...why I don't come every week." Clearly they are feeling some kind of conviction about their attendance - that God want's to meet with them more in this way.
Be careful then, dear brothers and sisters. Make sure that your own hearts are not evil and unbelieving, turning you away from the living God. You must warn each other every day, while it is still "today," so that none of you will be deceived by sin and hardened against God. (Hebrews 3:12-13 NLT)
This week I also had conversations giving me gentle reminders that I had not been blogging the last week or so. During our "Builders" time on Sunday afternoon, we asked one another an accountability questions about reading Scripture: "How often were you in The Word this week? Is that the amount God want's you in Scripture? What, if anything, are you going to change in this area?"
Being transparent, I had to admit that God was convicting me in this area. I've been keeping up with my Bible reading plan, but not by reading every day. I was letting several days "back up" and then reading all those days at once (like I did today). I keep up with the reading, but I'm not in Scripture each day. Now, I know that God doesn't command that we be in His Word each day, just like I know He doesn't command attendance at church services each week. But, just like my friends, I find myself convicted anyway.
I think the reason for my conviction is that God teaches so many times about the importance of "today." We're reminded that today will bring it's own troubles, challenges, and opportunities to minister to people. Today will be different from any other "today" we have experienced or will experience. Today was given to me as a gift, and I should live that gift today.
God wants to walk with me today.
So, I've read His Word today. I'm talking with Him (still) today. I'm writing down what He has convicted me to say today. Now, I will go about my day today for as long as He gives me today. When "today" stops for me here, we will be able to look back and see what a difference "today" made.
For if we are faithful to the end, trusting God just as firmly as when we first believed, we will share in all that belongs to Christ. (Hebrews 3:14 NLT)