What If It Were Today

Some live for the moment only. Some for this life only. Some live knowing in the future they’ll see Jesus. Such views of life affect how people spend their time and treasure. Here is a question we can ask ourselves — “What, if anything, would you or I do differently if we lived each day as if it were THE DAY Christ would return?” Please give “What If it Were Today” a sing-along listen, then let’s talk.

Grammar review: subjunctive mood

Question: Why isn’t this song called “What If It Was Today” ? Why “were”, not “was”. Don’t they both mean the same thing?

Answer: This song’s title is an example of a grammatical practice called “subjunctive mood”. This practice affects how we are to understand the words. I’ll let “The Grammar Monster” explain:

The subjunctive mood is the verb form used to explore a hypothetical situation (e.g., “If I were you”) or to express a wish, a demand, or a suggestion (e.g., “I demand he be present”).

What Is Mood?
Mood is the form a verb takes to show how it is to be regarded (e.g., as a fact, a command, a wish, an uncertainty).

There are three major moods in English:

The Indicative Mood. This states facts or asks questions. For example:
    They are playing the guitar.
    Are they playing the guitar?
The Imperative Mood. This expresses a command or a request. For example:
    Play the guitar!
    Please play the guitar.
The Subjunctive Mood. This shows a wish or doubt. For example:
    I suggest that Lee play the guitar.
    I propose that Lee be asked to play the guitar.
    If I were Lee, I would play the guitar.

(Many thanks to Grammar Monster https://www.grammar-monster.com/glossary/subjunctive_mood.htm)

Our song asserts Christ WILL CERTAINLY return. Our song title recognizes we are uncertain about WHEN Jesus Christ will return. It is the uncertainty about WHEN that shows up in the title “What If It WERE…”.

Do we need the subjunctive mood to communicate? Though it is commonly used, we could probably understand each other without it. But it remains a lovely sounding part of our modern language. Consider this — we are wise to keep alive a good understanding of the rules used in language so we can keep alive access to the written treasures of the past. May I mention the Bible…?

Practice the presence

My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest.” (Exodus 33)

I was taught a wonderful idea years ago called “practicing the presence of God”.

Do you remember looking forward to Christmas? Or looking forward to seeing someone you cared for very much? Or looking forward to a trip, a concert or a vacation? Did the thought of it pop up in your mind many times during the day? Did the thought of it make you happy — maybe even affect the way you acted?

Practicing the presence of God means going through our days with a deliberate awareness of the Lord as our companion, our help and our encouragement. (NOTE: Practice carries the idea of repeating until the desired habit is formed.)

Sometimes we get irritable because we practice the presence of some person we think is critical of us. We let someone who bothers us live rent-free in our minds. When we decide to think about what we are thinking about, we can decide — instead — to let the Lord live in our minds (which, by the way, will evict the less desirable tenant). The better we get to know the Lord’s character, the more we love His presence in our thinking and our doing.

A joyful song can do the heart good and make a difference in how today goes. Our song is the kind that can help us “practice the presence” of the Lord.

Draw close — gain strength

Christians should — and DO — love the hope of Jesus’ return. Some think of the return as our only way to escape bad times certain to come in our lifetimes. They are sure he’d better come soon and whisk us out of here before things get so bad in this world that we all end up living horribly and dying miserably. Their hope becomes, “Get out of here before the tribulation comes!”

The record of David and Goliath points to a different mind-set. The Children of Israel were in the worst of times. They had displeased God by insisting on having a king — a king to fight their battles. They got what they wanted. They got a king to fight their battles. But they discovered they had not thought it all the way through. First, instead of their king keeping them out of the soup, the Children of Israel were the ones the king dragged in to fight the battles. Second, the king they got was as afraid as they were of the enemy Philistines and their giant named Goliath. But ALL of them faced a future either of slavery or the enemy’s sword. They knew of no deliverance from either of those two outcomes. It was the most miserable place to be.

But David introduced a third approach — go to the Lord and gain strength to overcome the enemy. That is huge.

Read the Psalms and see again and again — read about a proud, confident but evil enemy that inspires fear in God’s people but gets only God’s laughter, derision and promise of defeat. God is very clear that He is big, strong, wise, observant — and is not impressed in the least by threats from any evil men. God delivers His people. He has, he does and He will.

God is mighty and strong. We can approach Him with a view to gain might and strength to confront evil in our day and time — confront and push back. Isaiah, speaking to a people who thought they were smart but who gave God too little credit, chided them saying, “His thoughts are higher than your thoughts”. That ought not so to be. We are instructed in Philippians 2, “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.” In the command we find the promise — if we are supposed have thoughts like Jesus Christ, it must be available. Think about that.

David’s God was strong and David was strong in God. And we know the record of “David and Goliath” which resulted.

Goliath goes by different names today, and is still terrorizing God’s people. Do we want to be like those fearful subjects of that fearful king — or do we want to be like David? We have a mighty God — a very present help in time of need. Approach Him for strength. Associate with others who seek God’s strength like you do. Be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.

Life is a joy — and then Christ comes back. Rejoice! Rejoice and prevail. Jesus is coming back — what if it were today?

God bless you lots,
Dale R.


Download this music sheet from The Music Box

LYRICS: What If It Were Today?
Original Text & Tune: Mrs. C. H. Morris (1912)

1 Jesus is coming to earth again–
What if it were today?
Coming in power and love to reign–
What if it were today?
Coming to gather all his own
Bringing them to his glorious home
All will then know as all have been known
What if it were today?

Chorus:
Glory, glory!
Joy to our hearts it brings;
Glory, glory!
Of that great day we sing.
Glory, glory!
What hope we have today;
Glory, glory!
Jesus will come someday.

2 Satan’s dominion will soon be o’er–
O that it were today!
Sorrow and sighing shall be no more–
O that it were today!
When the dead in Christ shall rise,
Caught up to meet him in the skies;
Then shall these glories meet our eyes.
What if it were today?

3 Faithful and true would he find us here
If he should come today?
Watching in gladness and not in fear,
If he should come today?
Jesus is coming, his promise is clear
That day is coming, it’s drawing near
As he ascended so shall he appear
What if it were today?

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Your thoughts, please?

Leave a comment below. Thanks.

4 Replies to “What If It Were Today”

  1. Lisa

    Thank you for posting this fabulous song and your wonderful teaching from the Word of God, Dale!!! Thanks for pointing out the difference between just waiting for the Lord Jesus to return and victoriously living for Him, while we wait. I needed to hear that today! I needed to hear that!
    God bless to you and Cathy and all your family!
    Agape!
    Lisa

    Reply
    1. Dale Reichel Post author

      Lisa, Thanks for your note. Isn’t strange we would EVER not think to seek the Lord’s strength in our lives every day and for every challenge we face?!? I want to get better at that and I want to be the kind of company to others that will lend strength and encouragement. There are enough rain clouds out there. We get to bring light. What a joy! Thanks again for your kind words. God bless you lots – Dale R.

      Reply
  2. Julia M Witchard

    Good early morning Mr Dale, “BLESSINGS “πŸ™ πŸ™Œ… AWESOME SONG AND SERMON… now this sermon was worth the wait…”WHAT IF”!!!!!!!, what an amazing sermon, now Mr Dale, have u been talking to OUR FATHER JESUS, Because .. OUR FATHER HOLY SPIRIT IS ALL OVER U…what an amazing way of thinking about. OUR FATHER JESUS, WHAT IF HE WOULD COME TODAY, Will we be ready..there are so much I want to comment u on this sermon but there’s not enough room on my phone to write it all down..I likes when u said if we let someone bother us and live rent free in our lives…us humans…u sure did get me thinking….”WHAT IF “…OUR FATHER JESUS WOULD COME TODAY?…WHAT IF”…I will stop now… every one needs to read this sermon…I mean every one…just like the candlestick….this sermon needs to be available to all…..BLESSINGS UPON BLESSINGS GOES OUT TO U AND CATHY…MUCH πŸ’˜… and BLESSINGS πŸ™…

    Reply
    1. Dale Reichel Post author

      Wow, Julia, thanks for your note! It makes such a difference when we practice the presence of God, gaining strength, comfort and love knowing that God is strong and loving Himself. I know you remind people of the Lord’s presence through your cheerful witness every day. Keep the light shining! Thanks for your kind words. God bless you lots – Dale R.

      Reply

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