I AM the Continual Present Tense God

Life in the moment.

Have you ever been involved in a conversation only to look at a clock to realize that hours have slipped away? It is a sense of timelessness in a moment that you do not want to end which lasts for a long time. Conversely when tragedy strikes, the slow motion sense hits us with a feeling that time stands still. We humans are bound by time as it drives everything about our lives. It is easy for us to live in the past or anticipate some future event that we fail to live in the present. As kids we are constantly wishing we were bigger and as old folk we are constantly reliving the past in our minds. Life is about the present – the here and now – today. Jesus even tells us not to worry about tomorrow for today has enough troubles of its own.

“Always Now” is a picture of what eternity is like

There are many things in this physical life and nature which are pictures or illustrations to reveal God’s character and eternal attributes in ways which we humans can understand. One example is that each day is given to us in the present tense so to speak as an illustration of the timelessness of God. Let me explain.

Eternity is a perpetual present tense

Prior to the beginning of this universe in God’s reality there was just the present. Jesus said, “Before Abraham was, I AM.” We humans cannot fathom timelessness. Even our term eternity has with it vast amounts of time. However eternity is rather simply timelessness – “perpetual present tense”, or a “continual now” as one preacher put it. As temporal creatures we get hung up as to what was before this age. Others believed that the universe was eternally old as God. But even that reveals our dependency for a time dimension as a reference.   Evolutionists believe similarly with their multiple Big bang chains of events (what was before the big bang? Another folding of the universe…and big bang etc.) Some scientists believe rather that even time was started by the big bang. But the Bible says, “In the beginning God…” God was all that was before the beginning, before God created time and space and matter in Gen 1:1, He was all that existed as the uncaused cause, the perpetual present tense God, the great I AM – not I was. Being outside of time, God sees the past, present, and future of this age at the same time. He was, or rather IS totally content in himself and needs nothing to exist. He exists by his own power. Don’t get hung up on time in defining the eternality of God. Even our word eternity makes us think of long ages of time, but it doesn’t. Eternity is timelessness or for the purpose of this message – continual present.

Tomorrow has worries for itself

God does not sleep but we need to, thus God gives us each day as a new opportunity to start over and learn to walk in his presence. Each day is another chance God gives to accept his gift of salvation, as he says in 2 Cor 6:2 “I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.” Yesterday’s opportunities and failures are gone, and tomorrows have not arrived yet. We are responsible for today – right now. The reason that he created this existence was that he wanted to share his glory with something that could appreciate him, be dependent upon him and volitionally love him in return. So he created man and placed him in this temporary place called earth and gave him an eternal soul to enjoy God forever. Each day is like an opportunity to experience God anew, “His mercies are new every morning.” Paul says “Forgetting those things which are behind, and pressing on to the high calling of Christ…” We forget that by God’s mercy each moment is what He gives us to live out in his presence as Scriptures says that Adam did in the cool of the day. Don’t worry about tomorrow because tomorrow has enough worries for itself, and don’t fret over yesterday because it is gone and it can potentially rob you of the joy of today and the possibilities which await you but you will miss if you are not looking for them.

Eternity starts now for the believer

So the point of this reminder today is this: are you at this moment living content in God? Or are you wasting this current moment looking forward to some future event to happen? Enjoy God’s presence with you right now, because eternity is just that; a continual present tense in which we will enjoy our creator forever as in one long continual moment. Jn 17:3 comes to mind. “Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.” Eternal life then does not start when you die; it starts now by simply getting to know God, by spending time with God, being in his Word and fellowshipping with him, and listening to his Spirit. Practicing the presence of God in everything you do and everywhere you go. God desires contentment with the situation that he has allowed for us to be in right now. If God’s presence is not enough for us today, what makes you think that he will be tomorrow or the next day etc. Our hearts are never satisfied with our current condition and easily desire more and more to fill them. Make sure you allow today to bring you closer in your relationship with God.

Why do you want to go to heaven?

I like to ask people why they don’t like going to church. Why do we go to church? We go to praise God, to learn about God, to fellowship with our brothers/ sisters in Christ and to serve God by blessing others. This is what we will be doing in heaven for eternity. So if you do not like going to church, why do you want to go to heaven? If we are having a hard time focusing on our presence with God in our church services, I can sure see why it is harder to focus on him in our busy daily lives.

Why do you want to go to heaven? Is it just so that you can avoid hell? Like one tribal man told me once, “I don’t want to be firewood for hell.” This is not the reason God would like to hear from you. “I want to go to heaven because I don’t like the alternate.” I heard it said once, “For the unbeliever, this life if the most like heaven he will ever experience, and for the true Christian this life is the most like hell he will ever experience.” Rom 2:4 says that “God gives his mercy to everyman so that we all have the chance to repent” (this is why bad people are not immediately punished). He wants us to enjoy our God while it is still called today, because we may not live past it. “Don’t put off to tomorrow what you can do today.” Accept his free gift of life in Christ today while you still can.

All for today,

Steve

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About strostrud

Missionary with New Tribes Mission since 1989
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