Monday, August 1, 2011

Always or Just Sometimes

“Moreover I will endeavor that ye may be able after my decease to have these things always in remembrance.” (2 Pet.1:15)

There are things in the Bible that are “sometimes” things. By that I mean they are not ironclad rules, but temporary commands. For instance, sometimes men were directed by God to do one thing and at another time to do something completely different, for one reason or another. The same man (Paul) who gave so many guidelines for marriage, at one point, recommended remaining single, in light of “the present distress” (1 Cor. 7). Isaiah was commanded to tell King Hezekiah he was going to die, then turn right around and tell him he was going to live (2 Kings 20:1-5). The wise man says in Ecclesiastes three that there is a time to be born and a time to die; a time to plant and a time to pluck it up; a time to weep and a time to laugh. These, and many others, are not “always” things, but “sometimes” things. It’s important to know the difference.

You probably have a good idea what the word “always” means, but just in case you are inclined to underestimate it, let me tell you how the Oxford English Dictionary defines it: “At every time, on all occasions, at all times; through all time, without any interruption, continually, perpetually; in any and every circumstance, whatever happens, whatever one may do or say, in any event, anyhow.” Get the picture? Now, may I remind us of some of the always things God has said should characterize we who are His children?

We should always:

· pray (Luke 18:1)

· abound in the work of the Lord (1 Cor.15:58a)

· triumph in Christ (2Cor.2:14)

· bear in our bodies the death of Christ (2 Cor.4:10)

· be zealous about good things (Gal. 4:18)

· give thanks (Eph. 5:20a)

· have the peace of God (2 Thess.3:16)

· be ready to give an answer for the reason of your hope (1 Pet.3:16)

As I have already pointed out, there definite times when we cannot nor should we try to standardize our lives. The Christian life should be sprinkled with flashes of spontaneity that reflect the moment by moment leading of the Holy Spirit. But these are best seen against the backdrop of a life of steady obedience. Contrary to the old saying, consistency is not the virtue of fools; according to the Bible, our good works should be “track-able.” As Christians, we all fail, but there should be some Biblical attributes in our lives—especially those mentioned in the cited verses—that make those who live and work among us able to say, “Hey, she always….”

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