Friday, December 10, 2010

"From Now"

(Thanks to my dear brother and pastor friend Randy for the reference to "serving grace.")

    Born again believers in the Lord Jesus Christ always begin from now in our relationship with God.
    "I am... the beginning" (Revelation 1:8).
     We cannot change our past.  We can repent concerning it, as the Holy Spirit convicts and corrects.  We will live with its consequences, for good and for ill.  And we will remember it both fondly and regretfully.  But we cannot change it. 
    Concerning the sins and errors of the past, this is a hard truth that would be unbearable were it not for the grace and mercy of the Lord Jesus, and were it not for His ongoing call that we come to Him in the present  moment.  He is our Beginning, and wherever we are along the path of righteousness, the Spirit of God beckons us to see this moment as both privilege and responsibility to come to the throne of grace for the purpose of living relationship with our Heavenly Father.
    "Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price" (Isaiah 55:1).
     The prophet's promise that we may buy "without money and without price" speaks to the matter of God's Christ-paved path into the present hour of His presence.  By implication, if one has no money to buy and eat, one has acted irresponsibly in the past.  In the natural order of affairs, such a person should not eat (II Thessalonians 3:10).  Our Heavenly approach and access, however, makes a way for the irresponsible to come nevertheless.  Indeed, if we wait until we perceive ourselves worthy to approach our Father in Heaven, we shall wait a very long time.
    In Christ, new beginnings are perpetually generated by the grace of God.  We begin now, from wherever we may be, or not be.  As we do, that is, as we believe that we may come and as we actually do so, fresh discoveries of the power of our Lord's atoning sacrifice and glorious resurrection await us.  We shall find "serving grace" united with saving grace whereby we more consistently honor our Lord in thought, attitude, word, and deed.  We will know His wondrous love in continually greater measure, and we will return such love in holy response.  Let us begin with our blessed Lord, who is the Beginning.  The writer of Hebrews declares that the Lord Jesus is "now appearing in the presence of God for us" (Hebrews 9:24).  Let us therefore join Him in appearing in that same presence.  Yes, let us begin from now.
"Ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light: which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy."
(I Peter 2:9-10)

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