The Importance Of Now

June 5, 2014

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I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life.  John 5:24

The most important time of your life is not still in your future nor is it in the past.  It is right now.  That may sound strange to you because you have set your sights on the future.  You have lots of plans‑‑things you are going to do, castles that you are going to build, places you are going to reach.  You are living for the future‑‑the break that has not come your way just yet, but you know it will.  The most important time of your life?  “No,” you say, “not now‑‑it is still ahead of me.”

Then, on the other hand, I may be talking to someone whose greatest moment is behind you.  You have decided to take it a little slower now, and your glory is in the children’s pictures or the battles you fought and won yesterday, the glamour that crowned your career.  You have grown to think of yourself as the person who was, or the person who did this or that.  But in reality the most important time of your life is right now, for now, today, is the only part of time and eternity that really belongs to you.  Yesterday is history.  Tomorrow may never come.  Today is the only chunk of time that you really own.

Did you hear the story about the group of men who were arguing when was the best time to cut an ash‑stick?  One argued that the best time was in the spring when the sap was rising.  Another said, “No, summer is the best time, because then the wood would be at its height.”  The third disagreed entirely.  “The fall,” said he, “is the best time to cut the ash‑stick because the sap has matured and seasoned the wood.”  The fourth argued that winter was best because then there was not any sap at all and the wood could be cut smoothly.

Finally, the four decided to seek out the local agricultural expert and ask him.  He listened to the arguments of the four, and then they pressed their question.  “When do you say is the best time to cut an ash‑stick?”  He thought for a moment and then replied, “The best time to cut it, gentlemen, is when you see one, because it may not be there the next time you pass by.”  That is another reason why now is the best time to do something about your life.

Someone put it like this. “The clock of life is wound but once, and no man has the power to say just when the hands will stop, be it at an early or late hour.  Now is the only time we own to do His precious will.  Do not wait until tomorrow; for the clock may then be still.”  Time is a strange thing.  The sands slip through the neck of the hourglass, the hands of a clock sweep round and round, the sun rises and sets.  Time seems to stop for no man; it seems to sweep us on and on towards eternity.  Then what?  Then time is behind man and he stands in the presence of God.

Strange as it may seem to you, God puts greater emphasis on the present‑‑the today of life–than He does on the future.  He tells us in strong simple terms that the todays of life are so connected with the tomorrows that peace with God needs to be made now, not some other time.  God pleads with men, “Today, if you will hear his voice, do not harden your hearts” (Hebrews 4:7).  Paul wrote, “Today is the day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:2). If you stood at the door of God’s heaven and knocked, and Peter asked, “Why should I let you in?”  what would you say?  Having life insurance, or money in the bank for those you leave behind, or being a good person, doesn’t open that door. Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life” (John 5:24). The time to do something about life’s eternal tomorrow is today.

Resource reading: 1 John 5.

Bible References

  • 2 Corinthians 6:2
  • Hebrews 4:7
  • John 5:24
  • 1 John 5

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