Thursday, April 14, 2016
The Eternal Now
When it comes to our life in Christ, the past is irrelevant.
Paul doesn’t even bother to mention it in his list of things that cannot separate us from the love of Christ. [See Romans 8:35-39] He does mention the present and the future, but quite intentionally fails to say “the past”. Why? Because the only thing we need to know about our past is that it’s forgotten.
“This one thing I do,” Paul says, “forgetting the past, I reach forward to what lies ahead, and I press on towards the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Messiah Jesus.” [See Phil. 4:13-14]
See, the past is over. It’s dead. Everything that happened in my life before the cross is dead. It has been crucified with Christ. What remains now is only my new life with Jesus.
From the moment I met Jesus I have been continually immersed in the ongoing resurrection life of Christ. My life is now hidden in his life. My identity is now revealed in Him.
I am a new creation. I am being re-created, day by day, into the image of Jesus.
Once in a while I stumble. I fall back into old habits as my mind is being renewed and retrained to see things in the new light of Christ and His Kingdom. But when those failures come, I admit them, I confess them, and I receive more of the new life of Christ and set my eyes on Him again.
I am not a wretch. I am not a worm. I am not a failure. I am not a disappointment to God.
On the contrary. God loves me. He is crazy for me. He can’t stop thinking about me. He rejoices over me with singing. He quiets me with His love. He refuses to leave me or forsake me. He has already moved into my life and made His home with me. He has shared His life with me. He has lavished me with so great a love that I should be called His child. He no longer calls me a servant, but he considers me His friend. He thinks I’m worth dying for. He would rather die than live another moment without me. He can’t conceive of eternity apart from me. I am His beloved. I am the apple of His eye. I have received His enduring, unending favor.
He accepts me. He delights in me. He can’t wait to see me face-to-face.
When we dwell on past mistakes, we rob ourselves of this present reality and future hope.
When we insist on seeing ourselves as sinners and failures, we deny the truth of our new identity in Christ.
As we abide in Jesus, we are partakers of His resurrection life. What’s old is gone. What’s new has come.
Let’s keep reminding ourselves of just how free and loved we are!
This is Good News! We are dearly loved of God!