“Now unto him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think…” Ephesians 3:20
Now. It means “at this present time”. It isn’t asking us to look at the past, nor hope for the future, but the promise of the verse is for now - this present time.
He is able – now. He is able to do – now. He is able to do exceedingly abundantly – now. He is able to do exceedingly abundantly more – now. And, yes, more than we can think or ask – now!
My daughter brought these thoughts to me as she tried to encourage me to continue on the path God has placed me. I told her it was good for me to look back and see all God had done in the past. I could draw strength to believe that He can and will do similar things in the future. And to live in hope working toward the vision God had given me, also spurred me on, but the every day nitty-gritty of wading through the middle of a project was weighing me down.
“Now.” She said, “Now, mom. Yes, He did things in the past, and He will do things in the future, but He is able to encourage you and show you his working NOW. Look for His hand now.”
As I meditated on this one word I realized that I so needed to see God active in the here and now. I needed to know He was on the path with me, or better yet, I was on the path with Him.
What about you? Do you believe God is with you now? Today? Or do you live in the past?
“….now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.”
II Corinthians 6:2
It still means “in this present time”. Now is the time for salvation.
It should not be postponed. God’s offer of mercy is an act of grace, a gracious gift that is offered. It should not be ignored.
Just as Jesus spoke to Zacchaeus, today was the day that Jesus must come to his house. Today was the day of salvation for Zacchaeus. His opportunity was right before his eyes, and he took it! Sadly, many will hear the offer, but not respond.
It is wonderful that this “now”, though written many, many years ago has the same sense of urgency. God is immensely interested in us coming to Him for salvation and he holds the offer open at this present time. Today is your day of salvation. Don’t postpone.
Even after we come to know Christ, many times we will hear the Spirit call us to further sanctification, but we will ignore the plea. We will postpone the decision. But we, too, should act when the Spirit prompts. We should do now what we know is God’s will.
The writer of Hebrews warns us, “Today, if you will hear his voice, harden not your hearts…” Yield to God’s call now.
Have you accepted his offer of salvation? Are you an obedient Christian yielding to the Spirit’s call and direction? If not, why not? Why not now!
“Now, unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy.” Jude 24
Now. In this present time. He is able to keep you from falling.
Oh, what a great promise. I know I fail everyday in some way or the other. I lose my patience. I fret and worry. I allow anger or pride to invade my thoughts. I speak a word wrong or with a wrong motivation. But He is able to keep me from falling. He is helping me in the everyday challenges of life – now. He is always with me working every moment and helping me to walk through my Christian life.
He has a goal – to present me faultless. This isn’t sinless perfection but the fact that my faults and failures are covered by atoning blood. He is the one that is able, not me. He is the one doing the work. He is the one doing the presenting. His is the joy as well.
So, now, for this present time, He works to help me and refine me. There is no temptation or challenge I can face without his ever-present involvement and aid. I can relax. I can know that his activity is consistent and immediate. If I falter, I need only come to him and confess it. He does the rest.
Is it easy for you to list your failings and faults? Do you focus more on them than the ability of your Saviour? Why not take these failures to Him, and allow Him to lift you up today – right now.
“Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.” Romans 3:19
Man is guilty – now. The Apostle Paul is making argument for that fact. He begins with those under the law, the Jews. They are guilty. The law convicts and condemns them. There is no place for self-righteousness. They must stop their surmising and admit their guilt.
He doesn’t stop there. He then moves on to the guilt of the whole world. They, too, are guilty and have need to righteousness if they are to stand before God.
People don’t like to think they are guilty. They will go to great length to cover up any hint of responsibility when it comes to facing failures and shortcomings. But God’s Word is exact and uncompromising – men are guilty, now. No amount of talking or debating can change that fact. To believe so is only pride.
It has always amazed me to listen to people trying to make themselves sound good, especially when they know they are at fault. None of our self-righteousness will hold water with God. None of us are so smart or articulate that we can talk God around. It is best for us to admit now that we are but faulty creatures and in need of the righteousness that only God can provide.
The old hymn, I Need The Every Hour, is a much better stance.
I need Thee, oh, I need Thee; Every hour I need Thee;
Oh, bless me now, my Saviour, I come to Thee.
Oh, bless me now, my Saviour, I come to Thee.
Where do you need the Lord now? Do you need to lay aside your self-righteousness and stop debating with God?
“For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.” I Corinthians 13:12, 13
There are three usages of the word, “Now”, and all of them mean “in this present time.” Now we can’t see clearly. Now we don’t know everything. But, now we have three qualities that give us aid.
We can’t see clearly right now, but someday we will see all God has promised with our own eyes. The clouds will all be rolled away and everything will become clear. We will be face to face with God.
We don’t understand everything now, but someday we will be complete in knowledge and holiness. God will be known clearly and all our confusion and inadequate understanding will be changed into maturity. We will be completed in Him. What a glorious change! We will pass from darkness to light, from clouds to clear sunshine and perfect day!
Meanwhile, now we have three qualities or principles of grace. Faith fixes on the belief. Hope fastens on the future. Charity entwines itself with that perfect love of God and is the guide of our life. Without faith, we cannot please Him. Without hope we are miserable. But without love or charity we are nothing.
We needn’t be disheartened because we don’t see everything clearly or understand everything fully right now, but we need to be focusing on these three principles of grace that will carry us through life both now and in the future.
Where is your focus? Do you get easy discouraged because you don’t understand everything about the Christian life? Can you see that faith, hope and charity are far better than understanding things right now?