I have always been fascinated by astronomy. So much so my dad used to say that I had nothing in my head but space! I am also intrigued when I read reports about the large telescopes like those on Palomar Mountain in Southern California and Mauna Kea Observatories located at the summit of Mauna Kea on the Big Island of Hawai’i and The Haleakala Observatory on the island of Maui! Amazing. They are stuck right at the front window of our Father’s house!
When I look into the heavens and think of the vast reaches of the universe, the many whirling galaxies that float out there in space, it is inconceivable to me that The Creator would organize this far-flung world, without having an intention of developing it further. And, this idea is certainly suggested in the Scriptures. In the coming ages, there will be a time when those of us who have found Jesus Christ and are learning how to walk and live by faith and to operate through our dependence on the Holy Spirit’s life, will have set before us fantastic possibilities of development.
Who knows? Maybe we will eventually conquer occupied worlds. No, Paul doesn’t discuss any of this with us here, but he does hint that God has some immense possibilities for us in the future. In these coming ages, age upon age, there will be tremendous work to do. Our Father will continually increase the display in us of his kindness.
I have to leave it there, but I suggest that this concept does merit some more study. However, these passages do make clear how puny our present experience is. If you limit your thinking merely to the womb and the tomb, and what a brief span of life you possess, what piddling possibilities you have!
But joyfully, our great Father has far more excellent prospects ahead, and we, as disciples of His Son, need to lift our eyes from this present experience. Maybe our current life isn’t always what we would like it to be. In fact, I can assure you that it won’t be. Near our refrigerator we have a plaque hanging that reads, “Life doesn’t have to be perfect, to be wonderful!” No, it is merely the beginning, the starting point toward endless possibilities which lie beyond. Robert Browning’s little rhyme takes on new meaning here. He says,
Grow old along with me,
The best is yet to be
The last of life for
Which the first was made.
We are learning now, in this age, so we can be prepared to display the greatness of our Father’s glory in the coming ages. Paul then brings the basis for all this before us again. He never lets us forget why and how any of this can be true:
God saved you through faith as an act of kindness. You had nothing to do with it. Being saved is a gift from God. 9 It’s not the result of anything you’ve done, so no one can brag about it (Ephesians 2:8-9)
Just think of it! It is already done. Notice the tense of the verb: “you have been saved.” This completion refers to the three-fold relationship we have already studied in this series of messages: We have been made alive in Christ. We have received a new identity. We are no longer what we once were.
That’s right! Our connection to Adam has ended; we are in Christ, and Christ is our life. We face every day, every moment, no longer as a child of a fallen nature, but as a son of the Living God. I cannot stress enough how important that is to remember! It will make all the difference in the world whether you approach life feeling inadequate, guilty, rejected, and lonely, or whether you are filled with confidence, certainty, acceptance, love, and warmth.
It will make all the difference in the world in how you begin each day, and how you think of yourself before God. Believing your current condition is of such vital importance because the truth is if you don’t see yourself as a worthwhile person, accepted before God and of great importance to Him, then you will never see anyone else that way. You will demand positive performance from others before you accept them. You will never be able to forgive others. You will be caught up in a web of perfectionism where you are always feeling guilty yourself — because you can’t even live up to your own ideals.
The amazing facts we have been studying are the only things that will deliver you from a poor image. We have a new identity in Jesus Christ, a new power. We are raised up together with him. His power is available to us in the simplicity of the ordinary circumstances of our lives. God himself is present and releasing His Life through us in ways we can not feel but nevertheless are true. His life, a touch of heaven in our Earthly condition.
We can even face our trials with a new attitude. We are made to sit together with Christ in heavenly places. That is, we are to rest in Him, to relax and let Him carry the load, and to walk free of any strain, anxiety, and fear of what the outcome will be. It is His responsibility to work it out.
If you are thinking of these facts as mere theological gobbledygook, there is no doubt that you have drifted from your first love. These are realities which make the difference how you live your life, what your days are like, and what your tomorrows will be.
The basis is written for all of us to read: it is done; finito! Your entire future development, not only in this age but in the ages to come, rests on a foundation which has already been laid. Our God is not going to add another thing to it. He doesn’t need to do anything beyond what he has already done. His Spirit will simply help you to work out your life, day by day, by understanding what has already occurred.
Your current condition saves you from all of the silly running around after every new theological fad that comes along, every new book that comes out, every new tape issued, every new program that you see on TV, and thinking you need to have some vast new experience which will change your whole life. No, no. You only need to grasp and understand more fully what He has already done, and then put into practice the riches of God’s grace already provided for you in Jesus Christ. All the advance of your spiritual life rests upon that.
(I send out messages like this each morning in emails, and if you are interested in receiving them, send me your email address and I will add you to the list: Mail List)
I do thank you for your gifts. It is your faithful and continued support that makes these messages possible.