I love going abroad. Sometimes, we fly to Spain to visit our son and his family. We may leave Edinburgh airport under dreary grey skies and a couple of hours later we’re in sunny Santander. What a change!
On several occasions, Paul uses the phrase ‘but now’ to emphasise the change knowing Jesus makes to a person’s life. Here are some of them:
‘What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life’ (Romans 6:21-22).
‘At that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ’
‘You were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord’ (Ephesians 5:8).
‘Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behaviour. But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation’ (Colossians 1:21-22).
Look at what he’s saying: Once you were heading for death; but now you’re heading for life. Once you were separated from Christ, without hope and without God; but now you’ve been brought near. Once you were darkness; but now you are light in Him. Once you were alienated from God; but now you are reconciled to Him.
‘But now!’ These two little words tell us that everything has changed. Life instead of death; intimacy in place of alienation; light for darkness, and friendship for enmity.
I love leaving the grey skies of Britain and landing at the sunny shores of Spain. But compared with the difference it makes when we leave the dominion of darkness and come into the kingdom where Jesus rules, it’s nothing.
Why not spend a few moments asking God to bring you fresh revelation as you meditate on the four scriptures I’ve just quoted?
Prayer: Father God, I’m just bowled over by what You’ve done in releasing me from a past without You and welcoming me into Your kingdom. I recognise that some of the old thoughts and behaviours that belonged to a life without You still have a hold over me. But, as I rejoice in all that You have for me as I walk with You, I commit myself today to do all I can to live out the new life that is mine in Christ. In His wonderful name, Amen.
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