Evermore

We who are locked into time, long for something called “evermore.”
Industries manufacture and sell the false hope for “evermore” to the hearts of the time-bound with romance novels and romantic films. Beyond these particular genres of literature and cinema there is something called the “Hollywood Myth” that promises us a moment when eyes and hearts meet across a crowded room and “evermore” begins for two blessed people. Of course, this dream is older than Hollywood:

  • Shakespeare gave us his “star-crossed” lovers in Romeo and Juliet.
  • Even the Bible has its romantic moments: Isaac and Rebekah, Jacob and Rachel, Ruth and Boaz.
  • This longing for “evermore” romance is rooted in the human heart.

We must remember that God said it was not good for one to be alone. When relationships are forged in the fires of the Spirit of God, this “evermore” element is part of their tempered steel. When we must say “goodbye,” it is only for a time. I cannot imagine a heaven populated by strangers.

“Evermore” promises some sort of extension, a way to be remembered when we are gone:

  • the children raised in our hearts and in our homes,
  • the lives we have touched as we followed Jesus,
  • the novices we have mentored in our life skills,
  • the students we have taught, and or for the artists and craftsmen,
  • the body of work we leave behind.

Shakespeare got it wrong:

The evil that men do lives after them; the good is oft interred with their bones.
William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar Act 3, scene ii

The Lord we serve makes sure it is the good we have done in His name that lives on after us, indeed, that lives forever. These deeds of mercy are seldom broadcast on the news or written about in the press, but these are the things that really count, the “evermore” things. They may require no special talent or skill; availability is the only ability needed.

Just as the Sacrifice of Praise is a sweet-smelling savor to the Lord Jesus, so are the little things, the real and human things, the momentary kindnesses and thoughtful considerations we share with the people He puts in our path. These things too, please His heart. He records them so that in eternity when we are no longer locked into time, we will enjoy the “evermore.”

Scriptures:
Psalm 92
It is a good thing to give thanks to the Lord, and to sing praises to your Name, O Most High; To tell of your loving-kindness early in the morning and of your faithfulness in the night season; On the psaltery, and on the lyre, and to the melody of the harp. For you have made me glad by your acts, O Lord; and I shout for joy because of the works of your hands. Lord, how great are your works! your thoughts are very deep. The dullard does not know, nor does the fool understand, that though the wicked grow like weeds, and all the workers of iniquity flourish, They flourish only to be destroyed for ever; but you, O Lord, are exalted for evermore. …
Matthew 10:40-42 NIV
“He who receives you receives me, and he who receives me receives the one who sent me. Anyone who receives a prophet because he is a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward, and anyone who receives a righteous man because he is a righteous man will receive a righteous man’s reward. And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because he is my disciple, I tell you the truth, he will certainly not lose his reward.”
1 Corinthians 3:10-15 NIV
By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as an expert builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should be careful how he builds. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man’s work. If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames.
Luke 6:32-36 NIV
“If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ do that. And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ lend to ‘sinners,’ expecting to be repaid in full. But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.
Acts 10:30-31 NIV
Cornelius answered: “Four days ago I was in my house praying at this hour, at three in the afternoon. Suddenly a man in shining clothes stood before me and said, ‘Cornelius, God has heard your prayer and remembered your gifts to the poor.
Revelation 14:13 NIV
Then I heard a voice from heaven say, “Write: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.” “Yes,” says the Spirit, “they will rest from their labor, for their deeds will follow them.”
James 3:13 NIV
Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, help me today to live fully in the moment and, at the same time, keep an eye on my legacy. The work I do for You today has impact now, but it extends beyond this moment to the eternity awaiting me. Help me leave footprints that are easy to follow. Help me share truths today that will still be true tomorrow. Lord Jesus, when I think of “evermore,” my mind flows toward those in whose legacy I walk. I long to see them and sing with them again. Help me be faithful to those who mentored me while I am faithful to those I am mentoring today. “Evermore” is my portion today. Thank You, Lord. Amen.

Song:
Face to Face
Words: Carrie Ellis Breck; Music: Grant C. Tullar

1. Face to face with Christ, my Savior,
Face to face—what will it be,
When with rapture I behold Him,
Jesus Christ who died for me?

Refrain:
Face to face I shall behold Him,
Far beyond the starry sky;
Face to face in all His glory,
I shall see Him by and by!

2. Only faintly now, I see Him,
With the darkling veil between,
But a blessed day is coming,
When His glory shall be seen.

Refrain

3. When rejoicing in His presence,
When are banished grief and pain;
When the crooked ways are straightened,
And the dark things shall be plain.

Refrain
4. Face to face! O blissful moment!
Face to face—to see and know;
Face to face with my Redeemer,
Jesus Christ who loved me so.

Refrain
Semper Reformanda!
Stephen Phifer

© 2017 Stephen R. Phifer All Rights Reserved

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