24: The Number to Focus On

How many remember the action/drama TV series, 24? This TV series followed the main character, Jack Bauer, in a real-time format as he took on terrorist plots, assassination attempts, and other suspenseful situations. What made the TV show so interesting was that the one-hour show basically carried us into one hour of Jack Bauer’s day. Thus, a season was comprised of 24 episodes making that season one day in Jack’s intense life. 

Why do I bring that up? For that one hour each week, I was locked in! It caused me to think, “What if I devoted this much focus on each hour of each day?” Isn’t that how God intended us to live our lives? To answer my own question, yes it is.

The Bible is full of scripture that lays out the importance of living day-to-day. We often spend so much time and mental energy thinking about future plans, problems, and goals, that we have forgotten we have to live today in order to make the most of those plans. We must achieve our goals in these 24 hours if we intend to ever reach the long-term goals we hope to attain. 

Jesus made us very aware of the importance of focusing on today when he laid out the example of how to pray in Matthew 6:9-13. Verse 11 says, “Give us this day our daily bread.” Again, later in his teaching on the hillside overlooking the Sea of Galilee, he would say, “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Yet we exert massive amounts of mental energy thinking about every day BUT today! 

Now, I feel I must clarify a few things. I’m not suggesting that you shouldn’t plan for the future. I’m not promoting that we shouldn’t have goals. What I am suggesting is that we become more aware of what God wants to do in our lives in this 24 hours. How does he want to use you to love your spouse today? How does he want to demonstrate his love through you to your children? 

Maybe these 24 hours are the very day that God uses you to help change the course of eternity for a friend, coworker, or even a total stranger by leading them to a relationship with Jesus. The Apostle Paul wrote to the church in Ephesus, “Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:15-16). In other words, the smartest way to live our lives is by taking advantage of the God-ordained moments that we encounter in our day. Moments are what make a life full of purpose. 

How many wonderful moments in these 24 hours are we breezing right by because we are thinking about a problem that hasn’t even materialized? Or, maybe we are so attentive to future plans that we miss those tender, eternity-filled moments with our children? We are always, “Just working for the weekend,” as Loverboy sang in their 80’s hit. What about the other 120 hours in the week? Let us be more aware of the 24 hours we are in at this moment. Let God help to make you alive to the beauty and significance of today. Our prayer is that God would give us this day our daily bread. When thinking about your future plans, goals, or even eternity, we must come to the realization that those things—yes even eternity—have begun in these 24 hours!