I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.
Revelation 22:13 NRSV
This week, as we come up to the last few days before Easter, we talked about how we need to give both our past and our present to God. In ending I want us to consider one final aspect: that of giving our future to God.
I’m reading one of Nick Page’s books, Kingdom of Fools – an interesting look at the history of the early church. Something that strikes me is the way these earliest converts lived. Their faith lives looked very different from ours. The church was in its infancy. Believers were a minority within a minority – and treated like it. They were regarded with suspicion; persecution was the order of the day. And yet the early church kept growing. There are a few reasons for this, but I think one contributing factor was that their faith didn’t hold back. They didn’t “save up” spiritually; they lived each day as a Christian as if it could be their last – which it very well could have been. That was their reality.
Most of us are lucky enough not to live in places where we face persecution for our faith. But I think we lose out on something when there’s enough breathing room for us to be complacent: perspective. When we have more than Christ, we forget that there isn’t more than Christ. When our futures aren’t under immediate threat, we adapt our lives accordingly. Let’s be honest here, if we’re having a very busy day, what’s usually the first thing we bump off our schedules? If you’re anything like me, it’s usually God. I can always reschedule with him, but other people and places aren’t so patient.
But these early Christians didn’t live that way. The persecuted church doesn’t live that way. Instead of frightening them off Christianity, as the persecution was meant to do, it had and has an entirely different effect: it prioritizes their lives. And in these Christians’ lives, God usually comes out on top. That’s probably because these Christians have learned to do something we (read: I) struggle with: they have given their futures to God. We can try our very best to live our present lives fully for God, but unless we make the decision early on to give God our futures, too, our loyalty is always going to be split two ways.
each day as I step further into my future,
give me the courage, knowledge and
patience that I need.
Remind me that you always journey with me
and that you will never lead me into anything
that you won’t lead me through.
Thank you for the gift of my life.
May the way I live be my gift back to you –
with your love and guidance
In Jesus’ name
Next week’s #CoffeeTimePrayer is going to be a little bit different as it’s Passion week. Instead of devotionals I’ll be posting some Bible readings, starting this Sunday on Palm Sunday and ending on Easter Sunday. We’ll be back to our regular schedule in April.