The doorbell rings and you open it to find an unfamiliar face smiling back at you. The stranger says, “We’re here from [insert your favorite famous newspaper or blog site name here] and we’d like to know if you have a few minutes for an interview. We like to show up unannounced to get a real picture of the life of those we interview.” Assuming that this person can prove they are who they say they are and it’s not some elaborate scam to enter your home, what would this journalist see when he walked right into your present circumstances? What would a journalist write about you if she could see what you had seen, heard, or said today?
If this happened to me, the journalist would find me working from home at the dining room table in the cozy pants and sweatshirt that I slept in last night, in spite of the fact that it’s mid-afternoon. My hair is greasy and thrown back in a ponytail because I haven’t gotten around to a shower today. There are dishes in the sink from last night’s dinner through lunch today. If the journalist could see what I’d seen, heard, or said today, he or she would know that my husband and I just had an argument about the dishes in the sink while we were fixing lunch, and… well, you get the picture. The article written by an unexpected journalist would be less than inspiring if it were based on only what they saw and heard walking into my house right now!
In the first two parts of this series we discussed how there is one true Historian who is the master storyteller of our past, which is our true identity, and how there is also a Futurist who was sent to teach us and remind us of Truth while revealing to us our future. Where does this leave us in the present? What would our Journalist, with a capital J, write about our present circumstances?
Thankfully for us, Hebrews 13:8 reminds us that “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” There is no doubt that what the true Historian tells us about our past and our identity is also true here in the present. Our Journalist draws from our true history and our true future to write a beautiful article about our true present.
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us.” – Ephesians 1:3-8
Here in the present we are:
- “holy and blameless in his sight,”
- adopted as children through Jesus Christ,
- sons and daughters with rights to the full inheritance of God, and
- given the Holy Spirit as a deposit that guarantees our inheritance (Ephesians 1:13-14)
When we consider our present, we must separate identity from behavior and circumstances. Your present identity is your sonship through Jesus Christ, not your sink-full-of-dishes or I-just-had-an-argument-with-my-spouse present. Your present identity was chosen before the creation of the world, established by Christ’s death on the cross and resurrection, and is not swayed by today’s behaviors.
Thankfully, if there’s an unexpected knock at your door today, the article your Journalist writes here in the present is about Truth: who you are and whose you are. It could say something like this:
[Your name] belongs to the Creator of the universe. Jesus’ sacrifice changed [his/her] present circumstances. The old is gone, the new is here. [He/She] is chosen. Adoption as a [son/daughter] comes with full rights of inheritance. The Holy Spirit is with [him/her], in [him/her], and on [him/her]. [He/She] is an ambassador for the Kingdom of God, granted the honor of sharing [his/her] true past, present, and future with others so that they might too become the righteousness of God. [Ephesians 1:3-8, 13-14; John 14:16-17; Acts 1:8; 2 Cor. 5:16-21]
What about you? Do you believe your article would say this? What else would the true Journalist of your life say in your article?