Skip to main content

Three, but two

Life is divided into three terms - that which was, which is, and which will be. Let us learn from the past to profit by the present, and from the present, to live better in the future. William Wordsworth
Life is indeed past, present, and future - what have you been doing with each of these parts, my friends? Some of us hold on so very tightly to the past, not willing to let it go, thinking we may somehow be able to change what has been. Others live so fully in the present, all the while forgetting the future will have demands of us we need to prepare for somehow. Very rarely do we get this past, present, and future thing down well in our lives, but when we do, what an amazing thing it is!

It’s in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, he had his eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything and everyone. (Ephesians 1:11-12 MSG)

Who are we really? Many times we feel as though our past has left indelible evidence of some things we find it impossible to believe we could be free of in the present. It is as though those mistakes of the past have been woven into the fibers of who or what we are today. Did you ever stop to think through a few miracles recorded for us in the pages of the Bible? There is much to be said of the way it was and the way it is now. For example, think of the woman with the issue of blood. She was the woman with the issue - unclean by the standards set out by the Law of Moses, plagued with some form of debilitation from the unceasing flow of blood. She became the woman healed and whole! No longer defined as the unclean, but as the clean and whole. 

Why do we let our past define our present? The blind man saw again - no longer blind, he wasn't defined by his 'previous condition', but by his present one! He was a man with sight! Lazarus wasn't the corpse any longer - he was the brother of Mary and Martha, head of the household, and dear friend of Jesus. Paul was not longer the prosecutor of the Christian believers - his past was gone and his present differed by leaps and bounds. Our present doesn't have to be our defining influence. It doesn't have to be how we view ourselves, nor how others view us. It can be left where it belongs because there is something quite different in the present by which God defines us - it is called grace.

The past may leave tell-tale reminders in our lives, like those scars created when we skinned our knees, bunged our noggins, or biffed it royally. The scars don't define us - the healing does! The scar is a reminder of a former way of living - of choices made - not of choices we continue to make! The fact is that Christ in us changes our present and sets up for the future. His eye isn't on our past, it is on what he is doing in us right now, in order that we will be prepared for what he has created for us well into our future. God is a past, present, and future God - but it isn't the past he focuses on as much as it is the present and future! Why should we be any different? Just askin!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Getting at the heart of it all

Have you ever seen someone so good with their skinning knife they can just peel away the hide of an animal without a rip or tear, no waste of any of the meat just below that skin? I have seen some fishermen able to fillet their catch with such skill not even one bone is found in the fillet. How do they learn this skill? I think it comes to them through practice and with the employment of the right 'tool' to do the job at hand. There is comfort in knowing that God means what he says and his Word will come to pass. His Word is like the scalpel in the skilled hands of a surgeon or the knife in the hands of the skilled hunter. As a nurse, I have seen the skillful use of the scalpel - dissecting away the finest of tissue to protect the healthy tissue and to expose the tissue that has become devitalized by disease or decay. I have also seen the damage done by a "blade" in the hands of one not trained or at all skilled in its use. The difference is beyond description.

God m…

Be a little salt

Ever wonder why Jesus left his disciples with the idea of being 'salt on this earth'? We don't fully appreciate salt these days because we aren't as accustomed to how it was used during the times Jesus spoke those words. We often have to put ourselves into the culture where the words are being recorded in order to fully comprehend the significance of their meaning. In the days of the disciples, salt was a basic "staple" of life. It was that which acted as "preservation" for everything. It also was the main seasoning of the dishes prepared - although there were other spices, salt was a 'staple'. Perhaps we would do well to look at some of the other functions of salt in order to see what Jesus may have meant when he referred to our lives a salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of the earth.

"Let me tell you why you are here. You're here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth. If you lose your saltin…

Hey, friend me!

When we really determine to walk the pathway of a disciple, it will cost us. The pathway is not always traveled by as many of those we call "friends" as we'd like to think. Yet, when we find someone to travel with us in this journey of faith, what a blessing it is! We need each other to understand and fulfill God's calling on our lives. We each compliment the other, challenging and uplifting, learning together what is contained deep in the Word of God.

Keep me safe, O God, I've run for dear life to you. I say to God, "Be my Lord!" Without you, nothing makes sense. And these God-chosen lives all around—what splendid friends they make! (Psalm 16:1-3)

David's words ring true in the hearts of many who engage in this walk of discipleship with Christ - without you, God, absolutely nothing makes sense at all. We can attempt to make sense out of tragedy, loss, or even a success all on our own. Without God, and those he places in our lives as fellow travelers…