“I am of the opinion that there is no comparison between the pain of this present time and the glory which we will see in the future.” (Paul to the Romans)
There is no question the Lord wants us to include the future in our present-day thinking. We don’t want to focus only on one at the expense of the other. Our song brings the future into the present with artful balance. We sing about the future “city called Glory” and future “mansions” Jesus is preparing for us and future joyful reunions with loved ones — and we also sing about what to do with that information TODAY.Give it a sing-along listen, and come back for a chat about the future — and what to do about it NOW.
Why know about the future? COMFORT NOW
Believers gain comfort by knowing what lies ahead.
Before writing the Epistle to the Thessalonians, Paul had visited and taught them in person. It seems he had taught them to watch for Jesus to return and gather them in the clouds. Imagine the Thessalonian’s dismay when one of these believers died — and Jesus had not yet returned. They might have feared the deceased believer would miss out on the Lord’s return and miss out on the gathering together. What could Paul tell them?
Paul’s letter we call “I Thessalonians” must have been a huge comfort to this young church. In chapter 4 he makes it clear that when Jesus returns THEN the dead in Christ will rise (with new bodies) and those who are alive and remain will be changed (with new bodies) to meet the Lord in the air and begin forever with the Lord. The section closes with the charge to “comfort each other with these words.” No doubt they did comfort each other with those words — and we certainly still do today.
Why know about the future? PRIORITIES NOW
Priorities become more clear when we base our hope on the promises of our future with the Lord. Ephesians 5 is a treasure of instruction on how to live NOW in service to the Lord. Read it much! Let me tease you with some fill-in-the-blanks, all easy to answer from Ephesians 5:
- Be followers of ____
- Walk in love as _____
- But fornication _______
- Neither … foolish talking … but rather ______
- No _______ has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God
- Let no one deceive you with _______
- Because of _______ comes the wrath of God on ______
- Walk ________, not as fools but as wise.
Ephesians 5 instructs us to use time well, prove what is acceptable to the Lord, walk in wisdom and be understanding what the will of the Lord is. People who wonder what God’s will is for their lives would make great progress toward getting their answer by giving the Book of Ephesians several thoughtful readings.
A patient said, “Hey, Doc, it hurts when I do this!”
The doctor replied, “Stop doing it!”
We have all learned things the hard way and gotten hurt. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could learn the “easy” way and avoid so much hurt? God thinks so. Let’s invest time and energy to READ and STOP — or START — doing things as needed. Put Ephesians on your reading list.
Why know about the future? PRAISE NOW
I love how our song has us singing today of future PRAISE. When we imagine what it will be like to see the Lord we see ourselves bowing on our knees with an overwhelming sense of His holiness and praising Him.
The song ends, we blink and look around and realize we are NOT yet in that city called Glory. But we are freshly reminded of His holiness and the words in 1 Peter “But be holy in every detail of your lives, as he, whose servants you are, is holy.”
The song reminds us of holiness, NOT to condemn us but to inspire and comfort us. God is GOOD. His plans for us are GOOD. His will is GOOD. Holiness is not stuffy or sanctimonious. It is everything WHOLE, SOLID, SANE, COMPLETE, REAL — and GOOD.
When we finally get to see holiness and be immersed in it as we will on that day, we will rejoice. Now we know in part and see in part. But then, on that day, face to face — what will our praise be like when we see our friend of Calvary in his majesty and glory? Isn’t that something wonderful to dream of — right now today?
God bless you lots,
LYRICS: I Bowed On My Knees And Cried Holy
Words: Nettie Dudley Washington 
Music: E. M. Dudley Cantwell 
1 I dreamed of that city called Glory, so bright and so fair,
When I entered the gate I cried, “Holy,” the angels all welcomed me there.
They led me from mansion to mansion, and, oh, the sights I saw;
But I said, “I want to see Jesus, the One who died for all.”
Then I bowed on my knees and cried, “Holy,” “Holy,” “Holy,”
I clapped my hands and sang glory, glory to the Son of God.
2 When I entered the gates of that city, my loved ones knew me well,
They showed me all thru heaven, the scenes are too many to tell.
I saw Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, Mark, Luke, and Timothy;
But I said, “I want to see Jesus the One who died for me.”
3 I thought when I saw my dear Savior, there seated on His throne,
Oh, the wonder that He could love me, and call me His very own.
I bowed down and worshiped this Savior, my friend of Calvary;
And I wanted to praise Him forever for saving one like me.
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Please add your thoughts
How does the hope of what’s coming inspire your actions now?. Please leave a comment in “Leave A Reply” below.