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DEVOTION

The Present is Today

By Missey Butler
Guest Writer

CBN.com -- Every Christmas Eve my mother would tell me and my brothers that we could go to the living room, pick out one present from under the tree and open it up. Sitting by the crackling fireplace, all dressed in our flannel jammies, we would scramble toward the bundles of beautifully wrapped boxes. Anxiously holding, squeezing, and shaking each one, our imaginations carried us to great heights of anticipation.

Although no longer a child, this holiday season I was given the same wonderful opportunity of opening an early Christmas present. This one, however, was given to me by my heavenly Father. I don’t mind telling you that this present has ended up being one of the most liberating gifts I have ever received, one that I will forever hold dear.

For so long I have found myself living my daily life in one of two places. I am either in the regret of yesterday or the anxiety of tomorrow, never truly living in the moment of today. My mind always seemed to be engaged in a “tug of war,” being pulled backward or forward, leaving little room for the peace of a present day reality.

What brought this truth home to me was when I began to grasp more insight into the principles of living in the Kingdom NOW! The awareness that the Kingdom of God is righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit coupled with the profound knowledge that the Holy Spirit’s present location was on the inside of ME!

…The Kingdom of God is within you. (Luke 17:21)

And, not only that, but it was available to me TODAY, not in some far off distant future! The Word clearly tells us, “…For the Kingdom of God is at hand.” (Matthew 3:2)

Can you imagine what blissful wonder and sheer delight began to pour into my soul as I discovered that Christ is truly my all in all … right now, at this very moment! It's all Him, the whole kit & kaboodle. The Word tells us “…for Christ is all and in all.” (Col. 3:11) All my past, all my present, and all my future!

For the first time I began to see the beauty and liberty of living in the present. As this truth continued to unfold to me, an interesting thing started to happen. I began to notice the little things of “now living”! For instance, the uninhibited giggle of a passing child, the rustling of a gentle wind as it moves across the tree tops, the cold nose of my dog as he nudges my hand hoping to get my attention.

No longer was I rushing past what seemed to be the ordinary or mundane of daily living at such a fast and furious pace because there were bigger fish to fry tomorrow, nor was I dealing with left over guilt that was demanding to be heard from my yesterday’s before.

As this Christmas season draws closer, I am thankful to God for allowing me to open “early” the wonderful gift of experiencing the “PRESENT” in all of its splendor and glory, one savoring moment at a time. I no longer take anything for granted, for tomorrow is promised to no one. All I have is the gift of this “present” day and when looking through Kingdom eyes, it’s a pretty magnificent scene. The Kingdom of Heaven is not something that we take, but rather something that takes us. It’s an active, living, continual knowing of the person of God, in His presence, one glorious moment at a time.

After all, He is our Present…He is the Great I AM!

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