POSTED ALL OVER the school is the quote “Strive to be better today than you were yesterday.” I didn’t catch where the assistant principle said the quote originated from. This quote, however, had so impacted him, he wanted the students to see it every day. In the speech he gave at my nephew’s commencement, the assistant principle asked the graduating seniors, “Are you better today than when you first entered high school? Have you made progress over the past four years?” He encouraged the students, that once they left their high school upon graduation, to tuck this quote in the back of their minds and live there lives striving to be better each and every day.
As I thought about the quote, I decided if I tweaked it a bit, I could apply it to my spiritual life. Instead of asking, “Am I better today than yesterday”, I would ask, “Am I closer to God today than yesterday?”
As Christians, if we follow what God teaches in the Bible, we can’t help but draw closer to Him. Being obedient to His word provides a daily goal to focus on. Mastering the “fruit of the spirit” – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control – becomes life-long goals (Galatians 5:22). Continually laying our sins at the foot of the cross in humbleness reminds us that we have not yet arrived. Yet God, in His all encompassing love, gently urges us on. He nudges us to not give up, but take that next step closer to Him.
It is through Jesus’ death that we have the ability to draw close to God. Hebrews 10:19-22 states, “Therefore, brothers (sisters), since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswerving to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.” (NIV)
I am grateful that God made a way for us, through Jesus’ death, so that we may draw closer to Him. So let us not take for granted God’s ultimate sacrifice and live our lives drawing nearer to Him each day.
Are you closer to God today than yesterday? That becomes the question at hand. I pray that you are.
“Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.” (James 4:8, ESV)
Prayer: Dear Abba, Thank You for loving us. Help us to want to be better people full of goodness, mercy and grace, just like You. Let us strive daily to come closer to You by doing the things You ask of us. May we get up each morning and say, “Today, I will draw yet closer to You, God.” In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Photo courtesy of Morguefile and danielito.