The old hymn says, “Moment by moment I’m kept in His love.” We are! Do you see yourself as kept in His love?
1 Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring.
Time is an interesting thing. To live in either the past or the future robs a person of living in the moment. It’s not that we cannot enjoy the past as we look back on it (or rue it, depending upon our prior choices), nor is it that we should not plan for the future. It’s just that we live each moment as it comes, therefore this moment is where our attention needs to be.
58 Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am.”
5 They answered Him, “Jesus the Nazarene.” He *said to them, “I am He.” And Judas also, who was betraying Him, was standing with them. 6 Now then, when He said to them, “I am He,” they drew back and fell to the ground.
Three characteristics of God are His omnipotence (all-power), His omniscience (all-knowing), and His omnipresence (He is everywhere at all times). God is always ever-present, which is right where we live. So, if God comes to live in us, and He is ever-present, then He interacts with us in this moment. I cannot stress the import of this statement.
- God does not look at our past and judge us by it. He judges us on what we decide right now.
- God does not look at our future and condemn us for it. He judges us on what we do right now (which may change the outcome).
- His Spirit is constantly asking us to choose His way. He does not grow weary of asking; the here-and-now is where He lives, never tiring of being with us because He loves us!
I have been asked if God is ever disappointed with us. The answer is decidedly no. He knows our every failure and tendency; He died on the cross to pay the penalty for our sin. Now, He lives in us urging us to be like Him. He knows that every struggle squeezes the coal and moves it to become a diamond. That is what we are: Diamonds in the rough. What we learn as we walk in step with the Spirit is to yield, submit, and die to our own desires and self-centered way of thinking. We cannot be 100% committed all the time, but we can be 100% committed at the moment. Put enough moments together, and voila’: the victorious Christian life.
In the letters to the churches in Revelation 2 and 3, Jesus tells them their past, where they are in relation to Him in the present, and then their future based upon their choices. He then tells them what they can expect if they are successful in following His commands.
- If the church in Ephesus would repent and return to their first Love (Christ), then they would be given the right to eat from the tree of life (Revelation 2:1-7).
- If the church in Smyrna would be faithful during persecution, then they would receive the victor’s crown and not be hurt at all by the second death (Revelation 2:8-11).
- If the church in Pergamum would repent from the teaching of Balaam and of the Nicolaitans, they would be given some of the hidden manna and a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to the one who receives it (Revelation 2:12-17).
- If the church in Thyatira would repent of the teaching of Jezebel and hold onto what they have until He comes, they would be given authority over the nations and receive the morning star (Revelation 2:18-29).
- If the church in Sardis would wake up and strengthen what remains and is about to die, they will walk with the Lord, dressed in white, for they would be worthy. They will never have their name blotted out of the book of life, and He will acknowledge their name before His Father and His angels (Revelation 3:1-6).
- If the church in Philadelphia would continue to keep His command and endure patiently, they would be kept from the hour of trial and be made a pillar in the new temple of His God in the new Jerusalem. He would write on them His new name (Revelation 3:7-13).
- If the church in Laodicea would realize how wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked they were and repent, then they would have sweet fellowship with Jesus Christ and would sit next to Him on His throne [don’t ask me how we all could sit with Him–it’s a BIG throne!] (Revelation 3:14-22).
Jesus gives us the same offer. He tells us of our past–not in a condemning way, but simply speaking the truth–and then tells us what to do to change the future that is ahead of us if we continue on the present path. Then He tells us the good things that He has planned for us if we are faithful, trusting Him enough to obey Him. We can trust Him, and in that trust we learn to love Him as He loves us. In that love there is no fear (1 John 4:18). We have moved from judgment to celebration!
Abba, may You continue to chisel away at our unwillingness to believe You when You say that You love us. I know that there is no standing before You and giving an account of every deed–that’s already been paid for and done away with for Your children! What we have to look forward to when we stand before You is the right to eat from the tree of life, a victor’s crown, manna and a new name, authority to rule with Him, a robe of white, to be a pillar in the house of God and fellowship with Him forever. Now THAT’S a future I can get excited about! May our lives and even our deaths bring glory and honor to You, O LORD. Amen.