Now and Then

It is astonishing to consider how seven billion people are living their lives. That number of humans is the approximate world population at the present time. Life is all-consuming, and what is important right now for the needs of the moment preoccupies most of us, most of the time!

Preparing for a future beyond this lifetime doesn’t hold great relevance for the majority of humanity.

How about you? Are you, through the visionary, big-picture goals of God’s revealed master plan, able to focus on His awe-inspiring future? Do you realize that what you are doing now will determine your place then? It is this powerful motivation by which Jesus Christ lived His life—setting an example for us:

“Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls” (Hebrews 12:1-3)

Jesus never lost His vision of the ultimate purpose! Yes, He did struggle in the moment, and His life was not easy. Hebrews 5, verse 7, reveals that He was engaged in a life and death battle! And so are we!

Paul wrote about this, and he reminds us, saying, “…If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31). He also gives us a perspective that far exceeds our present circumstances:

“For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, or height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39).

Christians are called upon to live with their future life always at the forefront. Is the promise given to us to have part in the Kingdom of God enough for us to endure our trials, to overcome discouragement and to continue to “…press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:14, Authorized Version)?

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