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Certain birthdays are like, you know, special milestones. Every birthday is a milestone, but take 40 for example. For some reason, we sort of enshrine that particular one as a special marking place in your life. And I remember when my wife had her 40th birthday. I'm not going to tell you how long ago that was, but she handled it very well. I mean, she was so cool about it; it was no big deal. I hope when I get to my 40th I'll be able to handle it as well. Well, it wasn't like she had just crossed some great river in her life. Then my 12-year-old son came along a few months later. He said this, "Hey Mom, do you know you've been on earth for 14,662 days?" You put it that way, it takes on a whole different feel. Forty years doesn't sound too bad, but 14,000 plus days? Hello, prehistoric! After he said that I got to thinking about the days that we had with our three children, and you begin to realize how many are gone, and how many are left, and how quickly they slipped away. And you think about kids. They don't think about next year, next month, next week. It's all about the day isn't it? You know, we need to take a better look at the days we still have; the days that you have.
Our word for today from the Word of God is found in Ephesians 5. I'm going to begin reading in verse 15. "Be very careful how you live - not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity because the days are evil. Therefore, do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord's will is." This verse that's in the middle, verse 16, talks about making the most of every opportunity. It's sort of in a sandwich between two verses that have some very intriguing phrases, "Don't live unwisely." Live smart in other words. Don't be foolish.
And then it talks about your destiny here on earth - God's will. And it all seems to be wrapped around this phrase, "Making the most of every opportunity." You want to live smart? You want to get God's will? Seize every opportunity. Now, it's no coincidence that the verses that follow this are about family relationships. In fact, in chapter 6, verse 4, only a few verses later, it says this to fathers, "Bring up your children in the training and instruction of the Lord." I think the way you do that is to capture each 24-hour period as another moment to mold the lives of your children and your grandchildren. There's so little time to strengthen them for a world that is so lost.
We need to ask ourselves, "Lord, have we touched You together today as a family...me and my kids? Have we talked about where we saw the Lord today in our lives...our God sightings? Have we celebrated how something in the Bible helped us today, or have we prayed about something real and personal together. Have we explored the Bible together? Have we gone out to some people in need and done the work of Jesus together? Have we touched each other today? Have we expressed our love for each other today? Have we gotten in touch with what made each other happy today? Have we talked about things that were hurting the other members of our family?
See, the greatest classroom our kids will ever experience is the classroom of everyday life - that natural teaching that comes up in the flow of the day. See, by the time you finally have time to do this with the kids, they probably won't.
I know one of the greatest burdens of my life is the days we lost. One of the greatest challenges of my life: how do you make the most of the days ahead? It means reordering some priorities; it means leaving time in what tends to be a wall-to-wall schedule, and asking God each morning for the opportunities, the determination, the timing to mark your children for Christ that day.
Hey, the days are flying by. Grab each one; capture it for Christ. You can't have any of the days back that are already gone, but you can make the rest of your days the best of your days.