“The other day,” Stan began, “I wanted to send to a friend of mine a copy of a new book I’m reading. I think he will really enjoy it, so I went to my neighbor’s book store, bought a copy of it, wrapped it up, and took it to that place over on Grand Avenue that ships things.”
“Sounds like you were serious about wanting to get this book to your friend,” I commented. “Must be a good one.”
“It is,” Stan replied. “I wanted my friend to get it and start reading it, but when I went to that place that ships I was faced with all sorts of decisions.”
“About what?” I asked.
“How to have it delivered,” Stan replied. “There were lots of different choices, ranging from sending it “Book Rate” or “Media Rate,” which is the slowest, to “Overnight Express,” with all sorts of choices in between.”
“I suppose with lots of choices as to how much money you wanted to spend,” I commented.
“That’s right,” Stan said. “Different kinds of delivery involve different kinds of costs. Not unlike my faith walk.”
“Your faith walk?” I replied. “What’s that have to do with it?”
“There are some real parallels,” Stan said. “The apostle Paul wrote about that in the letter he sent to the church in Galatia. He sent me a copy of that letter where he wrote about how Jesus delivered me.”
“Delivered you? How did Jesus deliver you?”
“Paul lays it out perfectly at the beginning of this particular letter,” Stan replied. “He writes that Jesus delivered me, as well as all who believe, out of this present evil age.”
“Present evil age,” I repeated, “Like into God’s eternal presence when your time here is done?”
“Certainly that,” Stan replied, “but also being delivered out of this present evil age while I am still on this side of eternity.”
“Oh,” I said, “like being in the world, but not being of the world?”
“Exactly” Stan replied. “As long as God keeps me here, I am in the world, but that doesn’t mean that I am to be a part of it. And it all involves choices or how I want to be delivered. God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the indwelling Holy Spirit are all prepared to deliver me from self, the world, the flesh, and the devil, but I have to choose to be delivered.”
“Kind of like Jesus paid the full price for the fastest possible delivery,” I commented, “but it’s up to each one of us whether or not to accept that. Is that a fair statement?”
“More than kind of like, my friend,” Stan replied, “And more than just a fair statement.”
Bible verses to consider:
Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us out of this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be the glory forevermore. Amen. Galatians 1:3-5.
The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom of many. Matthew 20:28.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, for giving Jesus so that all who believe are delivered out of where we are to where you want us to be: in your eternal presence when it’s time, along with being in an ever-deepening personal relationship on this side of eternity. Thank you for all of your provision that is available to deliver me from Satan’s temptations that try to get me to walk his way or my own way apart from you. Please help me in following every step of your lead to be delivered from all that you want to deliver me, and to be delivered into an ever-deepening closer personal relationship with you. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Think on this: Have you chosen to be delivered into God’s eternal presence when it’s time? If no, why? What is standing in the way of accepting by faith God’s free and gracious gift of life eternally with Him? If you do have the assurance of salvation, how are you doing with being delivered out of this present evil age on this side of eternity? Are you in the world, but not of the world as much as you would like? As much as God would like? If you sense changes are needed, is that what you want? If so, how are those changes going to happen?