Are we green and growing or ripe and rotting? This question was a favourite of Ray Kroc, the founder of the McDonalds hamburger chain, who said, “As long as you’re green, you’re growing. As soon as you’re ripe, you start to rot”.

The need for a successful business to keep growing also applies to our walk in the Truth – we must keep moving; we cannot become complacent if we want to be accepted into the Kingdom. If we stop, we will rot, by backsliding into the easy ways of the world. We must work constantly at increasing our faith, serving the Lord, and resisting our fleshly impulses. The Apostle Paul tells us, “Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified”.

Paul was concerned that he might be rejected at the judgment seat if he did not run purposefully and keep his body under control. If Paul was concerned, we should be too. None of us can achieve the selfcontrol we should have, and Paul explained the problem we all have when he said that there is “something in me that keeps me from doing right”. If it were not for the mercy of our heavenly Father and the grace of salvation in our Lord Jesus Christ, we would all be doomed. But, even though salvation is a gift of God, we must do our part. Paul tells us that we must labour to be accepted by Christ at the Judgment Seat.

Every morning when we wake up we have a choice to make. What are we going to do today for the Lord? Yesterday is gone and whatever we did or did not do is history, but every morning we have a new opportunity to serve the Lord. Do we awake with David’s words on our lips? “This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it”. We should ask ourselves which direction are we going. A wise man once said, “If we do not change our direction, we are likely to end up where we are headed. Where are you headed”?

When we get up in the morning are we determined to move forward toward the Kingdom or do we just get up with no particular purpose in mind? As we roll out of bed we need to be focused on where we are going and what we are going to do today for the Lord. It has to be something. If we can’t think of anything we can do for the Lord then we are ripe and rotting. He is coming soon and he is going to ask us what we have done while he was away.

In the Parable of the Pounds, the Lord told us about the servant who did nothing. He returned to the Lord the pound he had received. Nothing more, nothing less and he was soundly condemned. Let us decide that today we are going to serve the Lord with whatever health and strength we have. It may not be much, but whatever we have, we are going to use it to bring glory to our God. We want to be green and growing today. Here is a little test to find out whether your mission in life is finished: if we are alive, it isn’t.

Please don’t say that you cannot do anything. As sick as Job was, he said, “All the while my breath is in me, and the spirit of God is in my nostrils; My lips shall not speak wickedness, nor my tongue utter deceit”. Although Job could not do much, he was making sure that he would not use his breath to say the wrong things. We can pray for our brethren, we can sing hymns and psalms, and it doesn’t need to be out loud, but in our hearts, making melody to the Lord.

Paul tells us, “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended; but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus”. Paul looked forward to the Kingdom and set off in that direction.

Everyday we have the opportunity to increase what the Lord has given us. Let us be green and growing by increasing our pound so that when the Lord comes he will be pleased with us and invite us to inherit the Kingdom with him.