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Thursday, October 6, 2022

Live Like There's Every Tomorrow

And do this, understanding the present time: The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh. - Romans 13:11-14 NIV

Paul wrote that to the church in Rome thousands of years ago. He was writing to Christians — people who had already given their hearts to Jesus "when they first believed." These days, we call that "salvation", but Paul refers to salvation here as a future thing. Didn't they already have salvation? Weren't they "saved"?

Of course they were! At least, they were the way we use the term today. What I realized when I read this passage this morning was that Paul is talking about our full salvation... not just the salvation of our spiritual selves, which we obtain by putting our faith in Jesus, but the salvation of our bodies and minds, which will happen in the resurrection at the end of time. Jesus will come back, the dead in Christ will rise first, we will meet them in the air, and we will all be changed! (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 NIV, 1 Corinthians 15:51-55 NIV)

What Paul is telling them and us here is that we need to seek to live our lives as though this had already happened. Live as though you are already in God's kingdom of light, wrapped in his armor, behaving like someone who has been fully saved, spirit mind and body. Act like Jesus has returned, the book of Revelation has been played out, and eternity has begun. This is the life of faith! This is God's best for us. But if we figuratively stay in bed, if we don't "rise and let Christ shine on us," we won't access this best life that Jesus has made available to us until then.

Paul says we can have it now! Don't live like there's no tomorrow... we're living in the first day of eternity! Let's live like there's every tomorrow!

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