I have not done intentional conjugating of any verbs since my collegiate Spanish classes.
Probably only my English grammar friends would even know what I am talking about.
It is one of those skills we are taught in elementary school. Most likely, we wondered why our teachers would waste our time on worksheets where we would have to write out what we did yesterday, what we are doing today and what we would do tomorrow. Yet, we can now thank those teachers for making sure we sound like well-educated and well-rounded individuals.
We use them all the time to convey meaning and communicate motives.
Yesterday, I drank coffee.
Today, I drink coffee.
Tomorrow, I will drink coffee.
But we don’t often stop and think about how those tenses infiltrate our spiritual life.
Think about it this way –
Yesterday, I was saved from my sin.
Today, I am being saved from my sin.
Tomorrow, I will be saved from my sin.
All of these sentences are true. All of them are Biblically supported. All of them can be pretty confusing.
People who study the Bible and like to use big words have terms for each of these spiritual verb tenses:
The three terms are intricately combined and dependent on each other, all a part of the salvation process of the believer and all a part of who I am as a Christ-follower.
As a kid, I was justified. I was saved from the penalty of my sin. I acknowledged that I could not save myself through religious rites or spiritual acts. Jesus died in my place, for my sins, fulfilling the debt I owed my Creator, the Righteous God of the universe.
It was then, when I was justified, that my current, present journey of being sanctified began. With the help of the Holy Spirit, I began seeking to make Jesus the Lord of my life. I still sin. I still live with the consequences of my sin and the sins of others. This world I live in is still under the curse of sin – with all the diseases and disasters that fill the news headlines each and every day. Some days are easier than others. Some days are downright hard. Yet through His word, I know that each day is a gift with new mercies He has provided to go with it. I am learning His ways. I am experiencing His presence. I am expecting His promises.
Ah! His promises – that is the future I hold to, the one I know to be true. That He will complete the work He began in me and that He has gone to prepare a place for me, are only two of the many promises that I cling to on my darkest days. The future will indeed be glorious! As the promised perfection is eventually realized, glorification will be complete.
I am happy to talk about my past and explain how I was saved, when I was justified. And I can get easily excited to talk about my future, when my faith will truly become sight and I will see my Jesus face-to-Face. But it is this present tense, this current process of sanctification that I find myself is what I wish to blog about.
This “Present Tense” of my salvation is what I am writing – how the Spirit is working in me as I am working out my salvation, my struggle with sin and my desire to be like Jesus.
I firmly believe that God has placed me where He has, surrounding me with specific relationships in various circumstances in order to actively, intentionally, mold me into the person He would have me to be – for my good, but ultimately His glory.
This is the place where I am processing this “process.” I know me and I know I best comprehend what God is teaching me when I can take the time to think through what He is doing in me by putting it into words, sentences and paragraphs someone else can understand. This is a forum for me to be intentional in my sanctification process – to write out “The Present Tense.”
If you’re not a believer in Christ and you read this blog, I pray that you might be able to recognize the honesty and transparency in which I hope to write. I also pray that in that “real” you will see my dependence on Christ and His Word. Ultimately, it IS my understanding that my “Present Tense” is NOT about me but obviously, always all about Him.
If you’re a believer and you read this blog, my prayer is that you would find encouragement by seeing how our present tenses have some similarities. God has given us a community to support one another. I believe it is built and strengthened through being real with each other. Prayerfully, you would find some of that here.
If you’ve read this far, leave me a comment. Let me know if my “grammar-lesson-meets-Biblical-truth” makes any sense . . .
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