• Jack Selcher

Living Fully in the Present

We humans devise countless ways to escape reality. Television, drugs, computer games, reminiscing, and daydreaming, to name a few. They all whisk us away from the here and now. St. Paul gives us four tasks to live fully in the present moment.

He commands us to pay up. No debt is to remain outstanding. Refusing to pay our debts is unthinkable. “The wicked borrow and do not repay” (Psalm 37:21, NIV). Continual debt isn’t a good testimony for a believer. However, we can’t fully repay one debt.

That’s the debt to love others. Love fills the law’s requirements to the brim. Those whom the Holy Spirit controls become increasingly Ten Commandment-compliant. Jesus and St. Paul summarized God’s will the same way— “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Leviticus 19:18, NIV). Our neighbor is one who is near whose needs we can meet or whose suffering we can relieve.

We love ourselves by meeting our own physical, emotional, intellectual, spiritual, and social needs. We love our neighbor by meeting those same needs. Love isn’t a warm gooey taffy feeling inside. It’s an action. Love sacrifices continually to meet others’ needs. It also motivates us to obey God. Love and obedience anchor us fully in the present.

Paul commands us to wake up (verse 11). We can easily become so absorbed with earthly things that spiritual realities fade. Paul reminds us that Jesus is returning like a thief in the night. We must remain alert. We dare not project that return to a distant future.

Paul commands us to clean up (verses 12–13). Darkness and night symbolize unbelief and disobedience. Light and day represent belief, obedience, and love. Night clothes aren’t appropriate in the daytime. Let’s cast aside the old way of life—a lack of self- control, sexual misconduct, contention, and quarreling. Let’s take up arms for the spiritual warfare we encounter when we seek first God’s kingdom and righteousness.

Finally, Paul commands us to grow up. He challenges us to put on the clothing of the Lord Jesus Christ.

That means committing our motives, desires, and deeds to His lordship and receiving His resources for daily living. The sinful nature bites those who feed it. When others examine our lives, do they see Jesus? Do they detect His sweet fragrance in us? If we don’t remain disciplined and watchful, they definitely won’t.

How would we live if we knew Jesus was returning sometime in the next hour? That’s the wise way to live every hour.

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I invite you to check out my book, His Power for Your Weakness, a devotional discipleship resource and to share it with others: https://read.amazon.com/kp/embed?asin=B09NZG9W7L&preview=newtab&linkCode=kpe&ref_=cm_sw_r_kb_dp_FSRD4SGCXC35KMZ6ED5R

See free spiritual growth resources for Christians at https://www.christiangrowthresources.com

Photo: https://www.lookandlearn.com/history-images/YW034120V/Jesus-Christ-as-the-Redeemer

You can find this blog at https://www.christiangrowthresources.com/post/living-fully-in-the-present

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