Sunday, October 28, 2007

The God of Now

We know it's going to turn out all right in the end.

Walking by faith, we trust that God will, in the end, right all wrongs, make the world anew, enact perfect justice, and reveal things as they really are.

Even in our temporal view, we believe with all our hearts Romans 8:28 - that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love Him.

For most of us, it's not the long-term issues of faith that give us the greatest struggles. Instead, we are challenged to trust God not for the long-term, but for today. As John Piper says in Future Grace, we live between the verses of "Amazing Grace":

And grace has brought me safe thus far
And grace will lead me home.

We trust that God's grace saved us. We trust His grace for the end. But what about today?

What about the struggles with the insurance company? What about the surgery we are facing? What about the apathy of our church? What about the run-down neighborhood, where even the residents don't care to fix things up? What about the vote in Congress that could alter our life as we know it, because of the repercussions halfway around the world? What about our loved one who has walked away from God? What about today? Must we wait until we stand in eternity to see God work?

These are the hard questions of the Christ-centered life. These are the stumbling blocks that derail many souls. And yet it is here, in the muck and mud of life, that God chose to make His greatest statement:

"And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten Son of God, full of grace and truth". (John 1:14)

The Incarnation is God's great "now" statement. God could have saved us in some super-spiritual manner, that didn't involve getting down in the middle of it with us. But instead, He chose to take on flesh and walk with us - showing us that He, the Word made flesh, knew what it was like to walk in our shoes. Hebrews 2 tells us:

14 Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, 15 and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery. 16 For surely it is not angels that he helps, but he helps the offspring of Abraham. 17 Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. 18 For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.

On this earth Jesus met people's physical as well as spiritual needs. He provided food out of compassion for the crowds; He raised a boy from the dead out of compassion for his grieving mother (without any sense of super-spirituality about the better home in heaven). He was completely evangelistic yet incredibly practical.

Does He care about your day today - the needs that you face, where you desperately need to see Him in the Now?? Absolutely. The incarnation proves He is the God of NOW.

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