“On the line!” Those words struck fear in me when I was in high school playing basketball. The last part of practice – conditioning – always started with those dreaded words. Sometimes we would run until our coach got tired of blowing his whistle. Other times he would tell us how many sprints we had before we finished. Unfortunately, there were times when our coach lost count and would say, “Do it one more time.” This would sometimes be followed by several “one more times.”
In Psalm 118:24a (NKJV), we read, “This is the day the Lord has made.” The verse is, undoubtedly, very familiar to our ears. It is so familiar, in fact, that we may take for granted the deep truth contained in those eight words. The Psalmist was acknowledging an important truth of life: God has seen fit to allow me one more day, one more opportunity, one more time to bring glory to His name – today.
I have found it helpful whenever I’m doing something extremely difficult to focus on finishing just one more – one more step, one more bale of hay, one more set of stairs – you get the idea. While that is easy to say and think, it is much more difficult to do in the struggle of the moment isn’t it? It’s especially difficult when your strength is gone.
The remaining eight words of Psalm 118:24 are, “We will rejoice and be glad in it.” We sometimes feel as though we need to muster up joy and put on our happy face for the world to see. The Bible teaches us that the joy of the Lord is our strength (Nehemiah 8:10). God is both our joy and our strength. Our strength for today and the joy that goes with it is the Lord Himself.
The focus of our upcoming 200th anniversary celebration of the Alabama Baptist State Convention is “Unfinished.” As excited as I am to celebrate 200 amazing years of missions and ministries of my Alabama Baptist family, I’m even more joyful that the Lord has given us this day, this moment in time, in fact, one more time to share the Gospel, to bring a cup of cold water in Jesus’ name and continue the pursuit of fulfilling the Great Commission. Our task is unfinished.
We are children of the Most-High God, and we know the source of life, hope and salvation – Jesus Christ! Every day we are given the chance to magnify Him – one more time. Our mission, the Great Commission, doesn’t change, and as Alabama Baptists our program for accomplishing our God-given task is consistent as well – the Cooperative Program.
State Missionary Jay Stewart serves as director of Cooperative Program & Church Financial Resources. He may be contacted at 1-800-264-1225, ext. 2283, or (334) 613-2283, email@example.com.