There and Here
It was the saying of an old preacher, “I came here because I was wanted there.”
His meaning was this, he was born into the world because he was required to swell the praise of the Saviour in the Father’s house.
“Wanted there.” The gracious purpose of our God and Father is to fill the courts of glory with many sons rejoicing before His face.
“Wanted there.” The Son of the Father’s love was to have many companions upon whom His eye could rest with delight for ever. And because “all of one” with Him He would not be ashamed to call them brethren.
“Wanted there.” So a chain of five links in Romans 8 stretches from eternity to eternity. The called ones according to God’s purpose were
1. Foreknown in the thoughts of God before the world began to be, it was planned and purposed.
2. Predestinated—marked out beforehand for a special place of nearness and relationship—to be conformed to the image of God’s Son so that “He might be first from among many brethren.”
3. Called. Here the chain touches time. By the gospel message God has called them to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
4. Justified. Believing the good news they are now cleared from every charge in the sight of God—they are justified from all things. And in the purpose of God they are
5. Glorified. A long link now reaches on into the future of eternity where they will be with and like the Son of God, that where He is they may be also.
“Wanted there.” And so it was that they came into their responsible life here—part of the ruined race. But now redeemed by the precious blood of Christ every question has been settled for ever. They can joy in God as they await His glory. And God is righteous in having them in His presence “holy and without blame” (Eph. 1:3).
I like to add to the preacher’s remark—and say, “I am left here now because I am needed here.”
Needed here to be a witness for Christ to testify to His personal glory and to the value of His atoning sacrifice. “The Lord hath need of him” was the reply the two disciples were to make when asked, why they loosed the ass at the place where two ways met. And we may take to ourselves the words and each may say, “The Lord hath need of me, while He keeps me on earth.”
Needed here. Not to lead a selfish life seeking our own honour or ease or wealth, but to be on the part of a rejected Christ while awaiting His return. Alas! we may lose our opportunity for this and be like those of whom Paul said, “All seek their own—not the things of Jesus Christ.” If we are thus foolish and sinful others will be employed. The flag must be upheld, and some are needed for this.
Needed here. To war not at our own charges but at His. To be strong in the Lord and in the might of His strength and so to fight the good fight, to tell the sweet story of salvation, and to comfort His loved ones as they tread their homeward way.
Wanted there but Needed here.
May we “fill as an hireling his day,” employing what is left of our days in happy service for the praise of His holy name. Let us remember Bonar’s words,
“One little life! ’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.’
What shame will be ours if we miss our way and live for ourselves instead of unto Him who died for us and rose again.
And soon it is that we shalt be “there” where our Lord has gone according to His desire “That where I am there ye may be also.”