Christ For Ever

We speak of time as past, present, and future; but what a mystery it is! The present moment is all of time that actually exists. All past time ends in the present moment. All future time begins in the same point. To use the experience of the past so as to shape the future aright is to redeem the time. This gives to every moment of time a tremendous importance. It makes the thought of it the most practical of all things. It is from this extremely practical point of view that I wish to look at this otherwise most abstruse of subjects. I wish to look at Christ’s relation to time, in order to determine our own relation to it. He is here spoken of under the aspect of a past, a present, and a future Christ. The relations of Jesus Christ to time span the whole of time. They are commensurate with the whole purpose of God in time. It is only as our lives run into the line of Christ’s life, as stretching through all time, that we can be saved. The life that flies off at a tangent from that line, or that crosses, contradicts, or reverses it, is a lost life.

I. THE CHRIST OF THE PAST. It is very evident to a spiritual reader of the Bible that Christ runs through the whole of it, from the beginning to the end. But what I want specially to notice here is that the Christ of the past represents three great facts that are for ever settled and done. First, that one, and only one, perfect human life has been lived in the world; second, that one, and only one, atoning death has been died in the world; and third, that one, and only one Person, in virtue of the life He lived and the death He died, is the conqueror of sin and death. Those are facts that belong to the past history of this world. They are eternally consummated and complete. Moreover, they are thoroughly well authenticated facts; and it is not easy to see how there can be any real justification of doubt concerning them. You cannot separate the one from the other. You must believe in a whole Christ or not at all. What the age wants is of a diluted Christ — not a mere spectre of Christianity, or ghost of morality, but a whole Christ.

II. THE CHRIST OF THE PRESENT. Christianity is much impeded by the want of progress in the Church. There is not that growth and robustness in our modern Christianity which there ought to be. Why has Christ not remained the Christ of the past alone? Why has He not remained in the grave? Why is He at the right hand of God in heaven — at the very goal of the ages? Because He would not have His people live in the past. He is the Christ of the present, to be with His people to-day, to lead them on to far higher things than they have yet realised. The present ought to be full of Christ. For what does this belief in a living Redeemer imply? It implies three things: First, that in Christ, as seated on the right hand of God in heaven, we have an actual Person in whom might and right are absolutely one. Further, this Christ who exists to-day in the face of all the tyrannies and inequalities of the world, as the absolute embodiment of might and right, is not sitting aloft in heaven in passive contemplation of the conflict here. He is actually ruling over all worlds for the accomplishment of a Divine purpose. There is a third idea here belonging to the Christ of the present. Believing in Him as the actual embodiment of might and right, and as that One who is ruling over all things for the accomplishment of a Divine purpose, we are called upon to co-operate with Him in the present, and we have the promise that just as we intelligently do so will we receive of the power of the Spirit to enable us to do the work to which we are called. He rules in heaven to shed down power upon His people. He walks in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks, and holds the seven stars in His right hand.

III. THE CHRIST OF THE FUTURE, What, then, are the certainties in connection with the Christ of the future in which we are called to believe? There is, first of all, the certainty that the Word and Spirit of Christ will prevail throughout the whole earth. There are tremendous obstacles to be overcome. There are false principles at work everywhere in human society. There is scepticism of first principles altogether. There are the disintegrating forces of a shallow and self-elated criticism. And beyond all these there are the dense masses of pure heathenism. But in view of what we have already considered, we cannot possibly have one atom of doubt as to the result. Who can doubt what the future will be? It must be the legitimate sequel of the things which, in the name of God, have been accomplished in the past, and are being wrought out and applied in the present. Having once got an intelligent hold of these things, we can no more doubt them than we can doubt our own existence. But it follows also that the Christ of the future is that One whom we have individually and personally to meet. There is just one other thought lying in the Christ of the future, and that is the relation that is destined to exist for ever between Christ and His own people — the relation of the heavenly Bridegroom to His bride, the Church. In that sublime relationship we have the consummation of felicity.


From Him which is, and which was, and which is :The proper object of all religious worship is the living and true God

1. Divine worship must be presented to God, essentially considered, as possessing all those Divine perfections which form a proper object of contemplation, praise, and adoration; and a proper ground of hope and holy confidence.

2. Worship must be addressed to God, personally considered, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, as possessing all those personal characters that form a ground of confidence, love, and adoration.

3. Worship must be given to God, graciously considered, as possessing all those covenant and gracious excellences that form a ground of hope and everlasting consolation in all our approaches to the throne of grace. Such is the character recognised by the apostle in the prayer before us. The words imply the existence of three Divine persons in the adorable Trinity, and they apply equally to the Father, the Son, and the Spirit. They are also expressive of His adorable sovereignty, as the Ruler, the Lawgiver, and the Judge of the universe. They suppose the kingdoms of nature, of providence, and grace, to be under His power; and they also teach the eternity of that kingdom

1 John 4:7

New International Version
Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.

Cross References

John 13:34
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.

1 Corinthians 8:3
But whoever loves God is known by God.

1 John 2:3
We know that we have come to know him if we keep his commands.

1 John 2:4
Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person.

1 John 2:7
Dear friends, I am not writing you a new command but an old one, which you have had since the beginning. This old command is the message you have heard.

1 John 2:29
If you know that he is righteous, you know that everyone who does what is right has been born of him.

1 John 3:9
No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in them; they cannot go on sinning, because they have been born of God.

1 John 3:11
For this is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another.

1 John 4:8
Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.

1 John 4:11
Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

1 John 4:16
And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.

1 John 5:1
Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well.

2 John 1:5
And now, dear lady, I am not writing you a new command but one we have had from the beginning. I ask that we love one another.

let your actions all be out of love

In-person, heart-to-heart, eye-to-eye connection

Scripture Reference

Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” Hebrews 10:25 (NIV 1984)

I checked my email as soon as I woke up. Then I made breakfast and checked it again. Had my devotional time and checked it again. Ran some errands and checked it on my phone. When I got home, I checked it once more.

Now, I admit I have a thing about keeping white space in my inbox, but this was about more than managing emails. I sensed the Holy Spirit nudging me to pause and ask myself, “Why do you keep checking your email?”

I wasn’t sure if it was God or me answering, but my thoughts intertwined with His Spirit whispered: You keep coming back because your heart longs for connection with a friend.

Yet no matter how many times I checked email, it was never enough to satisfy my craving.

Somewhere in the busyness of life I had let many of my friendships reduce to quick connections via email. My schedule had gotten full with kids, school projects, investing time in my marriage, and work.

I knew something had to give, so I asked God to help me find balance.

God had recently led me to cut back on the amount of time I spent talking on the phone, socializing with neighbors and hanging out with friends. Although I hadn’t completely cut out my friendships, our face-to-face connection time had been reduced to a minimum as I obeyed God’s request.

I realized I had not found a good balance, and let the pendulum swing too far. So I checked email repeatedly, trying to fill a God-created need for relationships with a white screen and black alphabet keys.

My heart was craving more.

That day as I sat in front of my screen for the fifth time, Jesus revealed the source of my incessant email checking and reminded me I am created for real-life connections. I need to fill that lonely place in my heart with friends I can share life with in person.

That day I called one of my best friends. She happened to be available so I turned off my computer and spontaneously met her at a coffee shop.

It was just what I needed: in-person, heart-to-heart, eye-to-eye connection and conversation.

I know friendships are not easy to build. They take time and most of us don’t have enough of it. But in this age of technology, it’s important to evaluate and balance connections that are screen-to-screen rather than face-to-face.

We need to pull away from our computers, phones and televisions to intentionally carve out time for friends. Times where we can meet in person to share what’s going on in our lives. Hebrews 10:25 instructs us not to give up meeting together to worship and encourage one another. As we see here and throughout the Bible, “meeting together” is important to God.

Jesus needed face-to-face connections, too. He surrounded Himself with intimate friends first His Father, then close friends like John, Peter and James, and then the other disciples.

He also had friends like Mary, Martha and Lazarus. People He spent time with sharing meals and having conversations about spiritual truths that applied to their lives. Through His example we see how important it is to satisfy our craving for connections by spending face-to-face time with friends.

Although social media is great in moderation, computer “connections” can’t substitute real-life relationships. So, who will you connect with face-to-face this week?

Dear Lord, You created me with a need for friends. Yet, I find myself rushing through my days with little time for heart-to-heart connections. Help me to seek You first as my ultimate Friend, and then reach out to others so I can have and be a close friend. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Reflect and Respond:
Write down the amount of time you are on email, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and text messaging versus the amount of face-to-face time you have with friends. How do the two balance?

Call one or two friends you enjoy being with to encourage them and set up a time to get together.

If you’re not sure who to call, ask God to show you someone you can begin a friendship with. Invite them to join you for lunch or to go for a walk together this week.

Power Verses:
Ecclesiastes 4:9-10, “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!” (NIV)

John 15:15b, “I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.” (NIV)

Surrender To Peace – Knowing The Divine Presence!

“Be still and know that I’m God. I’ll be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” – Psalm 46:10 “BE STILL AND KNOW that I am God.” This is something you must do; you must quiet your heart to know the Divine Presence. Therefore “set the Lord always before you” (Psalm 16:8) and refuse anxious thoughts that weigh in upon you, creating pressure and “dis-ease.” Quieting your heart enables you to hear the holy whisper: “It is I; do not be afraid…” Once the storm of fear dissipates, you can know the truth of God. As the Spirit says, “In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength” (Isaiah 30:15). Worry is a place of exile and pain. Since God Name means ‘Presence’ and ‘Love’, being anxious is to practice the absence of God’s presence instead of practicing his presence… A divided house cannot stand. Where it is written, “cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you” (1 Pet. 5:7), the word translated “anxiety” comes from a verb that meansto divide into pieces.Bring your brokenness to God – including those distractions that make you ambivalent and afraid – to receive God’s healing for your divided heart. Note that the verb “be still” (i.e., rapha) means to “let go,” to stop striving, and tosurrender everythingto the care of God (Rom. 8:28). “Being still” means letting go of your “need” to control the world. Relax your hold and rely on God’s care for your life instead, without “taking thought” for tomorrow and its concerns (Matt. 6:34). The past is gone, after all, and the future is God’s business: all you have is the present moment to call upon our Lord. Be faithful in the present hour, then, asking God for the grace and strength you need to endure yourself and engage the task at hand. In this way you will experience the peace of God “which surpasses all understanding” ( Philippians 4:7). Walking with God isn’t just a matter of “head education,” but also of “heart education,” and these two must always go together as Spirit and Truth (John 4:23). Head education seeks knowledge primarily as a means of defining what you believe; heart education, on the other hand, centers on fear, or rather, on overcoming your fear by trusting in God’s love and healing grace. When you accept that you are accepted despite yourself, you are delivered from the need to defend yourself. You can let go, quit denying who you are, and accept God’s unconditional care for your life – regardless of the state of the world. When your heart learns to “be still,” you can know that the God of Israel reigns over all things!