Someone once wisely wrote, “Yesterday is forever gone, and tomorrow may never come. Today is a gift from God; that is why we call it the present. So use it wisely.” There is a lot of truth in this quote (of which there are several versions by different authors). The only day we can really count on is today. We can’t go back to yesterday and regather the time or the opportunities it afforded us.

When we think about it, today is the tomorrow we looked forward to yesterday. The Bible warns us in Proverbs 27:1 not to count on tomorrow, “Boast not thyself of tomorrow, for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.”

We need to realize that today is a great day and one reason this is true is that today gives us the opportunity to start all over and it offers us a clean slate.

In Luke 19 Jesus tells us the story of a crooked and dishonest tax collector by the name of Zacchaeus who heard Jesus was coming to town and wanted to see Him for himself. Zacchaeus was not only a great sinner, he was “little of stature (short).” Therefore, he climbed up a sycamore tree so he could see Jesus.

In Verse 5 Jesus, while walking through the massive crowd, stopped, looked up into the tree and said, “Zacchaeus, make haste, and come down; for ‘today’ I must abide at thy house.” The next verse tells us that Zacchaeus hastily came down and received Jesus joyfully. This day was like none other in the life of Zacchaeus. It was a day of new beginnings, a new start and a day with a clean new slate.

Now let’s notice the progression that took place that day. I see first that it was a day of humility. Can you imagine an IRS executive humbling himself and climbing a tree in order to view a VIP?

This day was a day of conviction. When he saw and heard Jesus, Zacchaeus was convicted of his sin and convinced of his need of a Savior. In another passage of Scripture in Luke 4:18, Jesus had said, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me...” Sinners became convicted in the personal presence of the Son of God during his time on earth and today they become convicted in the presence of the precious Holy Spirit of God as it accompanies the Word of God.

When Zacchaeus realized who and what he was and Who Jesus was, it became a day of repentance. He turned from his life of sin to Jesus for cleansing. Repentance takes place when this happens.

We find that this was the day of salvation for Zacchaeus when Jesus invited him to come down and accept His love and His forgiveness, and he received Christ at that moment. It then became a day of of great rejoicing. I Peter 1:8-9 tells us, “Ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.” Oh, the incredible joy of sins forgiven!

Finally, this was a day of fellowship and communion as Jesus told Zacchaeus, “For ‘today’ I must abide at thy house.” We are reminded of Psalm 16:11, “In Thy presence is fullness of joy; at Thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.”

What a blessing to realize that all of us can start over and receive a new slate when we see ourselves as a sinner, know that Christ shed His precious blood for our cleansing and forgiveness, accept Him as Savior and Lord and receive a new birth becoming a child of the God of Heaven.

Have a very blessed 2021!

Randy Zinn is pastor of Russell Missionary Baptist Church, Russell, Ark.

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