Summertime

Dr. Dan Coflin
Pastor, River of Life Church

As we enter into the hot Florida days of July, we may long for the cooler weather of the past or future months. It seems we all have a tendency to fondly remember an earlier time or carry the hope for something different in the near future. A different time or season almost always seems to be more desirable than the current one we are living in, but we cannot live in the past and our future is yet undetermined. Today is the oldest we’ve ever been and youngest we will ever be, so making the most of today is always a good decision.

So what does the Bible say about our “now” season? Here are some scriptures that give us things to know, to do, and to be now.

Jesus said, “The hour is coming and now is when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth, for the Father seeks such to worship him.” (Jn. 4:23).

Worship is something we do right now. Worship is acknowledging the one who is worthy of praise. The word praise in relationship to our worship is found many times in the scriptures, and the many different Hebrew words translated “praise” in our English Bibles express specific ways God is to be worshipped. We are to worship God with bended knees, uplifted hands, lying flat on our faces, or even dancing wildly, but regardless of our posture it is worship that comes from a sincere heart that pleases God. The “true worshippers” worship with genuine sincerity, not out of some religious obligation, for our God is worthy of all praise and you can’t praise God in the past or the future, only in the now.

“For he says: In an acceptable time I have heard you, and in the day of salvation I have helped you. Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.” (2 Cor. 6:2).

Here Paul is writing to the church in Corinth and quoting this scripture from Isaiah. Although Paul wrote this nearly 2,000 years ago and was quoting someone who lived more than 700 years before him, he is showing us that salvation (deliverance, preservation, safety, health, rescue) is not in the past or the future but is now. Your relationship with God and His interaction with you are not something to be decided tomorrow or years away, but are in the present. God loves you now, He rescues you now, God saves you, preserves you and helps you right now. Today is the day of salvation. Today is the acceptable time for us to put our faith in God (Heb. 11:1 “Now faith is…”). Somehow, people become convinced that tomorrow will be different, but our faith in God is not to be expressed at some later time. Faith can only be expressed now and it is by faith that we receive from Him. We believe (exercise faith) we receive now when we pray (Mk. 11:22-24). God did not say to wait until you see the answer before you ask, but to ask in faith and you shall see the answer.

“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.” (Rm. 8:1,2 NIV).

All of humanity was guilty of sin (breaking God’s laws), but Jesus paid the price God’s justice required, which was death. There was the spiritual law of sin and death, simply meaning that the judgment for sin is death. Jesus willingly suffered under God’s judgment to pay for our sin so now the “spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.” (Rm. 8: 2).

I am not going to be better someday. I cannot get more righteous or more acceptable to God tomorrow or 10 years from now than I am today, because I could not make myself better or more acceptable by anything I could ever do. All I can do to change my condition is to receive what Jesus did for me. I can’t do that someday but only today. Today, I receive Jesus as the Lord of my life. Today I receive his righteousness (Rm. 5:17). Now there is no condemnation against me. Now I am part of the body of Christ (1 Cor. 12:27). Now I am an ambassador for Christ (2 Cor. 5:20).

Our understanding of all Jesus did for us should be continually increasing day-by-day resulting in an ever-increasing gratitude to God for His great love. But our today should be filled with faith and joy and praise to God, because of who He is to us today. “This is the day the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.” (Ps. 118:24).

Dr. Dan Coflin and his wife Dianne co-pastor River of Life Church at 410 E. Chapman Rd. in Lutz, FL. 33549, (813) 949-9931, www.roltampa.org We would love to invite you to visit River of Life Church. Our lively worship begins at 10:30am on Sunday. We are a non-denominational, spirit-filled ministry. Please honor us with your visit. We would love to have you!

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