Live One Day at a Time


(photo of Melissa Balusek and family)


“Take therefore no thought for the morrow; for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself…” (Matt. 6:34)

     INTRO.:  A song which reminds us not to be anxious for tomorrow is “Live One Day at a Time.”  The text was written and the tune was composed both by Melissa J. Balusek, who was born on September 1, 1945, in Houston, TX.  When she was for years old, the family moved to Austin, TX.  She was raised by parents who were Christians and helped to instill in her a great love for the Lord.  They attended the Northside Church of Christ where she was baptized at an early age by Ted Williams.

Melissa received a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education with the intention of becoming a teacher at a Christian school.  She married Emil L. Balusek, a computer programmer for the government.  They had one daughter, Laurel.  Melissa’s song “Live One Day at a Time” was copyrighted in 1973.

Another song of Melissa’s, “O Soul Come to Jesus” beginning “Oh soul, there is a Savior Who longs to be your friend. He offers love and mercy And blessed peace within,” was copyrighted in 1975.  In 1977, she put together a book of her songs, the title of which, O Sing Unto the Lord a New Song, was taken from Psalm 96.  “Live One Day at a Time” appeared in the 1979 Hymns of Praise edited by Reuel Lemmons and was used in Gene C. Finley’s 1980 collection Our Garden of Song.

The song encourages us to take each day at a time.

I. Stanza 1 tells us that we don’t know what the future holds

We never know when shadows fall If another day will dawn,

Nor if the plans that we have made Will turn out right or wrong.

We only know that Jesus’ love Will go on endlessly;

While others ‘round about us fall, At peace in Christ we’ll be.

  1. The Bible says that we do not know what will happen tomorrow: Jas. 4:13-17
  2. We do know that Jesus’ love will go on endlessly and that nothing can separate us from His love: Rom. 8:35-39
  3. With this knowledge we can have a peace that surpasses all understanding: Phil. 4:6-7

II. Stanza 2 tells us that treasures in heaven are more important than anything on earth

Don’t build your mansions here on earth, Nor gather precious stones;

Forget those things that have no worth In an eternal home.

For life is so uncertain, friend, And death is ever near;

So lay up treasures in the sky, Insure your presence there.

  1. We need to remember that each soul is worth more than everything here on earth: Matt. 16:26
  2. This is important because life is so uncertain and death is ever near: Ps. 90:9-10
  3. Therefore, we should lay up treasures in heaven: Matt. 6:19-20

III. Stanza 3 tells us to set our mind on things above

The beauty of this life seems drear When seen in heaven’s light;

There is a home prepared by God For Christians living right.

Why hold to pleasures of this world That fade in just a day,

When loving Him who gave us life Is now the only way?

  1. This life will seem drear when we set our affections on things above: Col. 3:1-2
  2. The reason is that God has prepared a wonderful home for His people there: Matt. 25:34
  3. And Jesus is the only way to get to this place: Jn. 14:1-6

CONCL.:  The chorus explain how we should live in view of these facts.

So live one day at a time;

Be thoughtful, loving, and kind.

Just do your best and leave God the rest,

And live one day at a time.

We cannot change the past, so, while we can learn from what has already happened, there is no use either brooding over it or glorying in it.  Also, we do not know what the future holds, so, while we make our plans saying “if the Lord wills” and looking forward to whatever the Lord has in store for us, there is no use being anxious over it.  The best advice about how to handle life here on earth as we journey toward eternity is to “Live One Day at a Time.”

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