When Does Later Become Now?

Time is so valuable, and yet so many people take it for granted and assume there will always be tomorrow. But we are told in the Bible that we don’t know what tomorrow will bring, or if it will even come. We may not have a tomorrow. It’s important Christians don’t wait for LATER to walk with our holy and loving God; we need to start NOW.

Podcast 22 Transcript

(This is a computer generated transcript of this podcast. This is NOT a typed transcript and it has not been edited. Expect grammatical and syntactical errors.)

Hello and good day to you. I am B.R.Maul teacher and preacher of God’s word, but more importantly, a child in God’s family. Welcome, you are listening to Living God’s Way in an Ungodly World. Good to have you here with me today, and I hope you are doing well today. The topic isn’t going to be as deep as some of the others.

But equally as important as I speak to other brothers and sisters in the faith, it seems to be an ongoing issue with not only people procrastinating to look into God’s word, but even those who claim to be born again, but end up procrastinating to do anything more with God’s word. So let’s take a look at that because I get it.

I completely understand. That was one of my problems I dealt with before dedicating my time to God in reading his word and walking with him. Today I am calling this message, when does later become now? So what do I mean by that? Well, how many times have you heard people say when it comes to doing a task, fixing something, or perhaps getting together with somebody, whatever it might be.

But often what we say or what we hear is, well, yeah, let’s do that later. Or sometimes it’s, yeah, we should get together sometime, or, Yeah, eventually I need to fix that. So words like some time and eventually and should have, could have, would have, are terms used to justify in our own minds putting something off and often do we not have good intentions?

I think so often our intentions are to get that task done. To get together with somebody. I’m guilty of seeing somebody perhaps in a store or someplace that I haven’t seen for a while, and we visit for a little bit, but being that we are both busy and heading someplace else, one of us, well often say something like, yeah, it’s been a long time.

We should get together soon. Yeah, yeah, we should do that. But then it never happens. And why is that? Perhaps it’s because again, the intentions are there. Maybe the two people who are talking would like that, and at that very moment it seems like a good idea. But then our day-to-day tasks, we get back into that grime and we start spinning those wheels again that just keep going around and around day in and day out, doing whatever it is to live. But brothers and sisters, It doesn’t have to be that way. In fact, I’m going to boldly say it shouldn’t be that way. If we are victims to time, it is only because we make it so we all have 24 hours in a day. We all have things that we like to do, that we want to do and that we need to do.

So it’s often putting forth priorities. Often what we. Want to do becomes what we need to do, so we feel compelled to say something along the line of, oh, I would really love to. I know I haven’t called you in a long time. I meant to do that, but I’ve been so busy. But again, it’s just because it’s a matter of priority.

The first verse we’re going to look at today is in Proverbs 23 verses four and five. The reason I chose Proverbs 23. Versus four and five for this is because money is by far the number one reason that we give that we need to do something. I mean, let’s face it, it’s quite easy to tell somebody, I’ve been just working so hard, I, I haven’t had time to do this or do that, or I’ve been meaning to call you or email you, whatever it might be, but I’ve been just so busy. Work is hectic or whatever it might be. And as soon as we throw in work or my job or whatever it is in there, people are quick to be forgiving and we expect people to be quick, to be forgiving and understanding. But truth be told, anytime we want to see somebody or we want to do something, we make time for that.

So Proverbs 23, verse four. King Solomon gives out a clean warning. He says, do not overwork to be rich because of your own understanding. Cease will you set your eyes on that, which is not for riches, certainly make themselves wings. They fly away like an eagle toward heaven. Hmm. I think King Solomon hit that square on.

Let’s take a look at that a little closer. He says, do not overwork to be rich. Now, first of all, the key word there, and this is important, beloved, is overwork. That would change the meaning if he just said, do not work to be rich. But no, he says, do not overwork to be rich. It’s important to remember that wealth isn’t sinful. Money in and of itself is not bad at all. It’s how we use our money and it’s how we gain our money and where money is our priority in life. Those are the three areas that tend to be a pretty big problem when it comes to money, but otherwise, money isn’t bad and even working with the goal of making a lot of money, that’s not bad.

And as long as it doesn’t take the time away from our relationship with our Heavenly Father, and often money does just that, it robs us of the time, needed the time so desperately needed to walk alongside of our Heavenly Father to read the Bible, to actually think about what we read. That’s called meditation, meditating on it, praying to him.

Bringing our wants and desires before him, giving our thanks to him on a daily basis. So do not overwork. King Solomon says to be rich. He goes on to say, because of your own understanding, cease. Or we could say, stop, because of how you understand things. Stop. I feel King Solomon says this right away after do not overwork to be rich, because we want to justify that right away and we’re going to justify that with our understanding.

Oh, but you don’t, you don’t understand, I have all these bills to pay. You don’t understand. I got all these obligations that I have to do and, and to reach and to meet. But what he says is, oh, stop. Stop doing what you’re doing and don’t even start to justify. Just stop. Cuz he poses the question, will you set your eyes on that?

Which is not so set. Your eyes look upon and once we start to look upon something, we often will start to desire it. But it’s interesting cuz he says, Or asks, will you set your eyes on that? Which is not, Hmm. Well, how is money not, well, not important to the overall scheme of eternity? Not a real thing. What do I mean by that?

Wealth is only wealth because we put importance on it. I say we as in people. Mankind. The very fact that we put importance on, oh, nice houses, nice vehicles, certain types of clothes, technology, a sense of security of having a certain amount of money available to us. But see, all of that is a matter of relative, in other words, your perspective on things.

Because if someone is in the desert, And they haven’t had water days and they’re very thirsty. Perhaps even looking at the possibility of dying in that desert, what’s more valuable to them? A nice picture of nice cold water with a few extra gallons of water in reserve, or a nice new car with some really nice clothing that matches the car.

That’s a pretty easy one, right? Because it’s all relative. When we’re looking at dying of thirst, a brand new car means absolutely nothing to us. At that point in time, we are just wanting to do away with the craving of water and fulfill the need. Our body has to rejuvenate with fresh water. So with that example, that’s why he says, Will you set your eyes on that?

Which is not because our wealth is a matter of being relative. You know, another example that comes to mind, countries who there is war going on in their borders, and oftentimes it’s a matter of just trying to make ends meet. Getting enough food to make sure that a person knows that the next day they can eat safety to make sure that no one shoots them. Being watchful, making sure the enemy doesn’t breach any barriers or gets too close to where home is, where family is. Suddenly a person who, their wealth, their beautiful house, and all their belongings in that house, if that’s in the danger zone, if that’s where the fighting is going on, suddenly that wonderful house or mansion filled with all of its goodies in there, precious metals and such.

It isn’t as enticing as just the regular old home safely tucked away in a community that is heavily guarded and very safe to be because it’s not even a target for the enemy. You see how suddenly the perspective on that what was once very valuable becomes not valuable and something that was once not all that valuable.

Because of its position or what it does, that water to the person in the desert or that safe location for those in war becomes invaluable. So that’s why Solomon is giving us that warning. So when we spend our time thinking, well later, I’ll give God some more time. Maybe next week or well soon someday, whatever that someday might be.

And the intentions may be. Good intentions, but as intentions go, they’re seldom follow through and beloved spending time with our God knowing him each day is becoming more critical and more important, because as we get closer to the day, as Jesus calls it, well that time is coming and it’s only gonna get worse and worse around us and some people.

Including myself, I’m already starting to see that things that once was more important to my day-to-day operation isn’t as important anymore because things are becoming more difficult. We’re having less time for entertainment. We’re starting to have to prepare and make sure that things are safe for our families and that we do have food to eat and materials available.

So as time goes on, things around us change. We change circumstances, change environment changes. Everything changes except God. And we can take great comfort in that knowing He is the same God that parted the Red Sea. That he is the same God that fed the Israelites with manna. He is the same God that has provided for his people since the beginning of time, and he has always followed through.

He is love and righteousness. 100% of both putting off his blessings that he wants to give you by putting off, walking with him is not doing yourself a favor. So when does later become now? When is someday arriving and you sit down and open God’s word and take that initiative and put something else that’s worldly to the side, in place of spending that time with your father in heaven, we end Proverbs 23, 4, and five with four riches certainly make themselves wings. They fly away like an eagle toward heaven. We cannot rely on earthly wealth, worldly wealth because Solomon is right. It vanishes away often quicker than we obtain it far faster the than you got it. And not just because wealth can easily be spent, there are many ways where suddenly what was once very valuable is no longer valuable.

The next passage is, in the book of James chapter four, verses 13 through 17, James writes, go to now you that say, today or tomorrow, we will go into such a city and continue there a year and buy and sell and get game. Whereas, you know not what tomorrow will bring for what is your life. It is even a vapor.

That appears for a little time and then vanishes away for what you ought to say is if the Lord will, we shall live and do this or that, but now you rejoice in your boasting all such rejoicing his evil, therefore to him that knows to do good and does it not. To him, it is sin. All right, so let’s break that down because this passage, James is also pointing out that don’t waste your time planning your life out because there’s so much unknown out there, and our time is so short.

So let’s break this down because looking at the concept, when does later become now the person who keeps focusing? On. Later, later, later. This is gonna happen later. I’m gonna do this down the road, I’m gonna do this and that. And that person is so focused on later. They are not focused on now. And of course, later is always later. It never arrives. That’s the point of the title. When does later become now the only way to overcome? Putting things off to later is to do them now. And I’m referencing our relationship with the Holy Living God as our number one priority for Christians. So I’ll break this down. Let’s take a look at that.

It says go to now. In other words, Come to this very moment, you that say, today or tomorrow, we will go into such a city and continue there a year and buy and sell and get gain. So James is saying, whoa, whoa, stop for you that has all these plans and, and you’re looking out into the future, stop what you’re doing. Just come back here to the this moment, to today and in this very moment, what are you gonna do? And he gives a reason for that cuz he says, you know not what tomorrow will bring. You don’t know what’s gonna happen even tomorrow as much as you’re not even supposed to worry about tomorrow. We’re not even supposed to sit and plan it all out.

Well what does that mean? Am I trying to say don’t make any plans? Don’t plan any trips? Don’t plan? No, because there are things that we, we place that we would like to do. Things that in the future we know that we will need to do if that day does arrive. But for starters, start living in the now.

Sure, it’s okay to plan that trip, but you gonna sit and dwell on that trip, whether it’s a. A month out, a half a year out or a year out, whatever it might be, and that’s what you’re thinking about the majority of your time. That’s not healthy. We need to be focused here and now, and not only focused here and now, but more importantly focused on God, focused on what is and should be the highest priority of a Christian’s life, and that’s walking with God.

I won’t get into it today, but it’s very evident in God’s word that is as important as money is to live and to do this or that it is not a high priority in the life of a Christian. James goes on to say, whereas you know not what tomorrow will bring. And that is so true. We can worry about tomorrow all we want, but it makes no change at all. It makes no difference to what will happen other than, than the fact we have wasted precious time and energy worrying about something we have no control over. And then he asked for, what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. Take a moment and think about that, Christian, that our time here when it comes to eternity, I didn’t even know how to compare it because I can’t fathom eternity.

We could look out at the huge ocean and perhaps take a teardrop and put it in the ocean, and maybe that’s the beginning of what our life is like in comparison to eternity, to that one little drop. So the question is, why spend the time that we have here and now? I’m making as much as we can for this little teardrop of time instead of storing up our treasures in heaven, and we store our treasures in heaven by following God, doing his will.

So since our time here is so short, we may think that it’s so important that I make a lasting impression here, that my footprint is left and people will know who I am when I die. For some people that does happen. Their name goes on and on and on in history for good or bad, but that’s not our objective.

That is up to God. A Christian’s goal should never be to leave an impression. Our goal should be leave the impression of God behind. I hope and pray that when I’m called home or Jesus comes back before then to take me home. People can look at my life and think there’s a man who, when I looked at, I could see Jesus.

I could see a loving person. I could see light, and I could see the salt of the earth. I could see somebody who I trusted, somebody who as long as he was around, I had someone safe to go to. That’s what I’m hoping. That’s what I pray for verse 15. For what you ought to say is if the Lord will, so, if it’s the Lord’s will, we shall live and do this or that.

Did you catch that? What we should be saying is if it’s the Lord’s will for me to live, then. I can ask him what to do and I should do this or that. Whatever God’s will is in my life, it may not even be his will that tomorrow you or me are even here. Why do I say that? Because we don’t know what our time is. We don’t know how long we have. So what James is saying is pray to the Holy Father. Ask him, Lord, what is your will for me? What do you want me to do? Who can I talk to today about the gospel? What can I do today to glorify your name? What can I do today to help somebody in need to spend time with some widows to serve and help out some orphans?

To give money to programs that support the needs of those who truly need help asking these questions, and you will get answers because that is in God’s will. But James points out a sad truth, he says, but now you rejoice in your boings. We want to sit around and talk to others about all of our future plans and boast about what such a great idea that is and perhaps even what I’ve done so far to get to that goal. And he says, all such rejoicing is evil and Christian, that needs to break your heart. It needs to break the heart of every Christian that hears that such a thing is evil, because that’s not what the Holy Father wants As Christians, we don’t take credit for things that we do.

We give glory to God because we know that because Jesus died on the cross is the only reason that I get to go to heaven, because he, as the perfect Lamb of God, washed away my sins and that as a child of God, I have been given spiritual gifts to minister to the body of Christ, to other brothers and sisters in the faith.

If I take credit for that, well that’s evil cuz it’s God working through me. I get the privilege and the honor of the Lord working through me just as you get the privilege and honor the Lord working through you. Whatever your spiritual gift may be, but whatever your spiritual gift is, you’re serving the body of Christ, which is other believers.

And with that, if someone is putting off getting together with other believers, if somebody is putting off reading God’s word, well then when does later become? Now how much accomplishment do you need to do, beloved, before you say, enough is enough, and now is time for me to give time to God? How does that sound when I say that?

Well, now that I have enough, I can give my time to God. Doesn’t that sound very selfish because who am I to determine what is enough? The human heart doesn’t allow for that. If we’re chasing that dream of getting enough, we never get there because it’s never enough for us because at that point, we’re relying on our own skills, our own plans to get enough because that’s not in God’s will.

But when the Christian just turns to God and says, my life is yours, Jesus is my savior, Jesus, you are my Lord and King, do with my life with what you will. The Lord will start working through you, and you’ll know his will. You’ll learn his will, and when you are in his will, you can really testify. Just how wonderful it is to be in God’s will, how beautiful it is because now later is no longer important to me as a Christian.

But now is important cuz later may not come. My life is but a vapor and it will vanish in time. And James ends with this therefore. In other words, because of what he had just said to him that knows to do good and does it not. To him it is sin. So in other words, when we learn that lesson that I need to start doing stuff now for God and not putting it off, but we decide to put it off anyway, that’s sin because there may have been a time, as a believer you didn’t really understand that how important that is to God. But as you walk with him and you learn, wow, it is very important to my Heavenly Father that I, I walk with him and that I do his will, and that I love him with all my heart and with all my soul, and with all my strength. And I understand now that I need to love my neighbor as I love myself and not putting off helping others until later.

Later I will do that. So now that you know that to not do it is sin, but Beloved, what a blessing to know that. What a blessing to know that God does not put any value on how much money you make, how successful you think you are in this world. Cuz even that is relative. We can look at whatever actors, rock stars, uh, whatever, people that we just assume because they have all of this fame and fortune and all that, life has got to be great, but you hear it all the time just how miserable often they are.

And why is it that the richest are the ones who seek other ways to try to be happy because their money isn’t making them happy. Because God doesn’t put value on that, so take great comfort in that, beloved, that that’s all our heavenly Father wants from you, is to walk with him and to do what he puts in your heart.

Now, today, this moment, and not until another time when you think you’re ready, when you think you need more training or you think you need more money, whatever it might be. Because God has shown us in his word that he will take the ordinary to do the extraordinary, and that’s amazing. That’s beautiful, and that is our loving God.

Remember, beloved, Jesus loves you so much and he paid a price that is enough to pay everyone’s sin debt. You only need to ask if you are not born again the Bible way. If you have not repented and turned away from your sin and turned to the living God, well then you’re not born again yet. Don’t put any stalk, any value in your baptism.

Don’t put any value in how long your family’s been going to a church. Or what denomination you go to, how much money, how much volunteer time you have done. Don’t put stock in any of that. Now that stuff is good in and of themselves, but it’s not what gets you into heaven, as Jesus said in John three that we must be born again, which is born of the Spirit in Romans 10 verse nine.

We are reminded that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart, one believes unto righteousness and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. Once you have done that, beloved, you are born again and once you are born again, then yes being baptized as wonderful.

Going to church, volunteering your time and giving your financial resources and your talent and your time to those in need and to mission groups and to ministries and to the church. That is all important. It doesn’t get you into heaven, but it sure does store up treasures in heaven. And that really should be our goal.

And that’s why in the now is when we walk with the Lord. In the now we share the gospel and the fact that Jesus loves a person today and in the now, we pray to the Lord and to the now we give him our life. We don’t wait for later. Well, with that said, it’s time for me to go. Thank you so much for listening.

Please pray for me and my family, and this ministry that all who hear these messages, their hearts are opened and that they are willing to accept and to act upon the Holy Spirit tugging at them. And if you can support this ministry, go to brmaul.com. That’s brmaul.com. Click on donate. And there’s three different ways that you can support this ministry so I can continue to make messages each week.

And to reach out to more people as much as we can around the world. So pass this message along your family and friends and colleagues.

Until next time,

God bless.


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