Past, Present, and Future

Posted by on Jun 25, 2021 in Articles | 0 comments

For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing. 2 Timothy 4:6-8

During his “Don’t ever give up speech,” the late Jim Valvano, well known college basketball coach and commentator said, “we have to look at where we are, where we are going, and where we have been.” Sadly this would be one of, if not his last, public appearances before his death from cancer. As a child of God, however, we are shown by the scriptures that self evaluation is essential in our lives (2 Cor 13:5).

I often feel learning to live in the present is one of life’s hardest tasks. We often live in the past, both good and bad. Focusing on the present is so much more important because the here and now is the only thing we truly have. Many sermons and classes have been dedicated to this topic but what it is for me, I need to focus on myself and what I’m doing in God’s service and see if I’m honestly at peace with my own efforts. Galatians 6:4 says, “But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another.”

Looking back can be great motivation. Some of the mistakes we make leave a mark and there are a few things we only do once because of the pain inflicted by these incidents. But, Hebrews chapters 11-12 show that great examples of the past can and often do encourage us to deal with and overcome any obstacle in our present. Looking back and covering the same topics and lessons from years past help us in our Bible study. Truly with time comes experience and perspective and we will typically glean something new each time a passage is read or topic studied (Rom 15:4).      

Looking back will help correct present wrongs. I have often found a lost item while retracing steps, pretty much everyday it seems anymore, but the principle holds true. In Galatians chapter 1, we read of a simple plea to just go back to what they knew to be right and the same is true today and is at the core of every gospel message ever presented (John 17:17).

Looking to the future, ultimately a home in Heaven is our goal (John 14:1-3). What about today and in our daily lives? We have exact plans and goals in the future, some are short term, others long term. The same planning is vital as we go through life moving forward with faith and desiring to be stronger each day to finish our course and reach our reward.

By Jason Barger

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