I’m writing this from the Bible College of Wales where we’re witnessing the graduation of 33 students of Batch 9. In the past few years, we’ve seen hundreds of students graduate from 37 nations and it never tires.
These past two weeks have been a whirlwind of activity for my wife and I. We had the privilege of inaugurating our new church plant in Johor Bahru in West Malaysia two weekends ago. The week before, my wife was part of the team that dedicated our new church building in Kuching, Sarawak. And last weekend, we inaugurated our new church facility in Tullamore, Ireland.
All this is really very surreal. Not in my wildest imagination could I have foreseen this 29 years ago when I first stepped out by faith to quit my job and serve God full-time, I had no idea any of this would happen. I was a young man, wet behind my ears, and all I could see at that time was a tiny, limited picture of the future. But look at what God has done!
I still thank God every day for calling me into the ministry and I don’t regret a single moment the life He has chosen for me. There are significant moments in our lives when we just have to take that bungee step of faith and, if we will, amazing things can happen.
In 1989, a movie was released that changed the way many people viewed life – Dead Poets Society starred Robin Williams as an English teacher who surprised his students with unorthodox teaching methods. He constantly encouraged students to make their lives extraordinary by introducing a phrase in our lexicon that would be popularised – ‘Carpe Diem’, which simply means, ‘Seize The Day!’
This is the mantra by which I want to live my life. Sometimes, all it takes is just 20 seconds of insane bravery, 20 seconds of amazing courage, and I promise you, something good will come out of it.
Here’s an example of seizing the day. One day, Peter and John were walking to the Temple to pray. At the Gate Beautiful, they passed a lame man asking for alms. This lame beggar had been a fixture at this gate but everything was going to change. Peter, looking intently into his eyes, perceived faith in the man to be healed and he seized the moment. No hesitation. Peter said, “Silver and gold I have none, but that which I have, give I to thee; in the Name of Jesus of Nazareth, rise up and walk.”
That lame man stood up, and proceeded to leap and dance. Now, that’s what we call a notable miracle; a man who had never walked before now leaping in the air! A huge crowd gathered and the rest is history. 5,000 people got swept into the Kingdom of God. That was a ‘Carpe Diem’ moment. One act of faith and boldness led to a massive influx of souls into the Kingdom of God.
There are going to be amazing moments that God is going to orchestrate, where it’ll require courage to just step out and see His miracle manifest. In Luke 9:62, Jesus said to a man, “No one, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” In the Message Bible, it says, “No procrastination. No backward looks. You can’t put God’s Kingdom off till tomorrow. Seize the day.”
In Mark 10, as Jesus was passing through Jericho, a blind beggar named Bartimaeus was sitting beside the road. When he heard that Jesus was nearby, he began to shout, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” When Bartimaeus got up that morning, he had no idea what was going to happen. It was just another ordinary day for him – same place; same cry for help; same miserable, lonely, pitiful lifestyle. And he had no time to prepare for Jesus. It was a Carpe Diem moment for this blind beggar and he had to seize it.
He said, “I’m not going to miss this one. I’m not going to hesitate. I’m not going to procrastinate. I’m going to do this now.”
That’s the first key to a fresh start in your life – whatever you’re going to do, do it now! Don’t say, “I’m going to make a fresh start next year. I’m going to make a fresh start next month. I’m going to make a fresh start tomorrow.” It’s now or never. Seize the moment.
Every day, there are opportunities all around you for a fresh start, so stop procrastinating. The Bible warns us over and over about presuming upon tomorrow. I’m not guaranteed a tomorrow, and neither are you. Whatever the Lord has told you to do, you ought to do it. And quickly. I can say that with authority and experience, having seized the day.