David Jeremiah - Stay Consistent
Now I know when I say the word consistent, we all kind of cringe a little bit. Consistency is not one of our favorite things. We don't do consistency really well sometimes. Isn't that true? We don't really think it's fair that other people require consistency from us. Well, let me remind you that we rather like it when other people are consistent. Isn't that true? We like it when other things are consistent. For instance, I really feel good when my brakes on my car are consistent. Aren't you glad for that in your automobile?
I like it very much when I get on an airplane, that the pilot up there is consistent, that he flies that plane every day with full assurance and full attention, that he doesn't have an off day when I'm up there with him. I want him to be consistent. And I kind of like the guy up in the tower that's controlling the airplane. I like him to be consistent. I don't want him taking a long coffee break when I'm coming in. I wanted to be consistent. If I have to have surgery, I want a surgeon who is consistent. And one of the questions you ask if you're going to have a surgical procedure is how many of these things as he done? And you try to find the guy who's done the most of them successful, so that you can observe the consistency in his operating procedures. Isn't that true?
Here's one that's kind of strange. I like consistent temperature in the water in my shower. How about the rest of you? You know, I like my water in my shower to be consistent. Have you ever been in a hotel when somebody in the room next to you turns the water on or flushes the toilet, and all of a sudden, you get scolded right through to the bone? I don't like that. I like consistent temperature in the water. I like my quarterback to be consistent. I like him to throw the ball to my guys as much as he can, right? We're all into consistency, aren't we? We want things to be consistent. And yet when the Word of God speaks to us about our lives being consistent, sometimes we think it's unfair. We think God is picking on us. Why should we be required to be consistent?
Well, once again, men and women, we're trying to talk about how we can live our lives in such a way that we can have confidence in the midst of chaos. And our verse of Scripture is 1 John chapter 2, verse 28. 1 John 2:28. "And now, little children, abide in him, that when he appears, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before him at his coming". Now, remember, this series is built around the fact that they are number of verses in the New Testament that tell us Jesus is coming back to this earth. And in many of those same verses where we are told he is coming back; we are given some information as to how we are to respond in our own lives while we're waiting for that event to take place.
Here again, in 1 John 2:28, we see the combination of the truth of his coming and the responsibility that we have because of it. Notice, he is coming. It says, "When he appears and when he comes". And then in the same verse it tells us how we're to be living in light of that truth. So, as we unpack the Scripture today, let's begin with some marks of consistency. "And now, little children, abide in him". John refers to his readers as little children, not only here, but twice in the second chapter beyond this. He really loves these people. John is the apostle of love.
As you know in the gospel and here in 1 John, we learn about John as somebody who really loved. In fact, he used to refer to himself as the disciple that Jesus loved. Do you remember that? And he speaks to these children, he's writing to his spiritual children. And he speaks to them with endearment, and he speaks to them about the importance of abiding. No abide is a word that's in the Bible over 100 times. It's in the book of 1 John, 19 times. It's a word that we read in the Bible. And oftentimes, we don't stop and ask what does it mean? It's not a common word that we use today. We don't use the word abide in our language with one another. So what does the word mean? The word means to continue: to continue, to stay in a relationship, to remain, to be consistent. To abide in Christ means to be consistent in your relationship with him, to believe the truth, and obey the truth, and love him and love others.
Corrie ten Boom once described in one of her writings, the importance of our connectivity with Christ. She said, "Connected with Christ in his love, I am more than a conqueror. But without him, I am nothing". Like some railway tickets in America, she said, I am not good if detached. Do you know you sometimes see a ticket, and it says not good, if detached. Well, that's the way we are with Christ. If we're detached from him, we're not much good, are we? We need to stay focused and continue in our relationship with Christ. That's what the word means, to abide.
Now, let's be honest, all of us, including your preacher, consistency is hard. We can do a lot of good things for a short period of time. It's very difficult for us to do good things for a long period of time. Isn't that true? We talk about consistency, but it's one of those elusive things in our lives. It's very difficult to develop. But someone sent me this week a letter that goes like this, "Dear Lord, so far today I'm doing all right. I have not gossiped, lost my temper, been greedy, grumpy, nasty, selfish, or self-indulgent. I have not whined, complained, cursed, or eaten any chocolate. I have charged nothing on my credit card, but Lord I'll be getting out of bed in a minute, and I'm going to really need your help".
So we all understand that, don't we? We can get that far with consistency, and then sometimes, life gets tough. Just review the things you said you were going to do last January. It's tough to be consistent. And yet, here is the Word of God reminding us 19 different times in 1 John about the importance of continuing, of abiding. As we unpack this, I want to show you, by looking at some of the verse where the word abide appears, some of the ways we need to be consistent according to John.
First of all, "Consistently Christlike". Notice 1 John 2:6, "He who says he abides in him, ought himself also to walk just as he walked". Listen to what John says. He says, "The one who says I am consistent in Christ needs to understand that one of the ways you know you're consistent in Christ is you do the things Christ does. You walk consistently as Christ walked". By the way, we do have his name. Did you know that? We have the name of Christ. We call ourselves Christ ones. Christians.
Alexander the Great once heard that in his army was a namesake, another man by the name of Alexander who was a notorious coward. Alexander the Great called the soldier before him, and he said to him, "Is your name Alexander, and were you named for me"? And the trembling coward said, "Yes, sir. My name is Alexander, and I was named for you". And the great general said, "Then either be brave or change your name". Now, I wonder sometimes if the Lord doesn't look down at us and say, "If you're going to take my name, learn what you can learn about me. Become more and more like Christ as you go along in your life".
You say, "Well, how do you do that, pastor? How does a person become like Christ"? The only way you can become like Christ is to know him. And how do you know him? He is revealed in his book, is he not? And the life of Christ is found in the first four books of the New Testament: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Each of these writers looks at Christ's life from a different perspective. When you put them altogether you have a full picture of Jesus Christ and how he walked upon this earth. If you want to know Christ, and if you want to live in a Christlike manner, you learn of him in the book, in the Bible, particularly in the gospels.
I have a friend who's a missionary who told me on one occasion that the way he kept himself fresh in his life, the way he kept the Spirit of God alive in his walk, was he never went through a day without spending some time meditating on the passion of Christ, on his death, burial and resurrection. He read the other parts of his life, but he always ended up reminding himself of the great sacrifice that was made for him on the cross, so that he could become one of Christ's own. And ladies and gentlemen, if we're going to grow in Christ likeness, we'll never do it if we don't know who he is. We won't do it if we don't know very much about him.
I can't tell you everything about him in one hour every Sunday. You need to make this part of your passion, that I'm going to know him, and know him as he can be known in the Scripture. And as you learn to know him, you will discover a transformation taking place in your own life that little by little, you will begin to notice things about him appearing in your life, consistently Christlike. That's why John says.
And then notice, "Consistently Caring". Here in 1 John, chapter 2, and all these references are in the second chapter of 1 John. In 1 John 2:10, we read, "He who loves his brother abides," there's the word again, "in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him". Now this is one of John's favorite themes, and we've talked about this for a little bit already. John says that one of the things you need to learn to do consistently, you need to grow in the consistency of your caring for one another. And this is everywhere in this little book. John speaks of this over and over again. Let me take you on a quick little journey, and you could just flip through the pages 'cause they're in the order in which they appear in the text.
"We know that we have passed from death to life because we love the brothers. He who does not love his brother abides in death". Do you hear what John is saying? He's saying if you want to know that you're a Christian, here's one way you know it, you've developed a love for your brothers and sisters in the faith. Now, I know some of you before you became Christians, you thought we were all weird. You didn't like us, you looked at us and you thought we were strange. But now you're a Christian, and let me tell you, you're weird along with us. And once you become a Christian, you begin to look out and see. And God gives you a love for the brothers and sisters that you know in Christ.
Notice 3:23. "And this is his commandment that we should believe on the name of his Son, Jesus Christ and love one another as he gave us commandment". And then notice in chapter 4, verses 7 and 8, "Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love, does not know God for God is love". Growing in your ability to care for one another. Here's my favorite one out of all of the text in 1 John. 1 John 4:20. Listen to what John writes, "If someone says to you, 'I love good and I hate my brother, he is a liar. For he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen.'" Whoa. Growing in our consistency in caring for another. Consistently Christlike. Consistently caring.
Now, notice thirdly, "Consistently Confident". Notice chapter 2, in verse 14. Here we have the word abide again. "I have written to you young men because you are strong, and the Word of God abides in you". What does that mean? It means that when you let the Word of God continue in your life, when it becomes more and more a part of your life, it creates strength in your spirit. It gives you confidence. Did you know that you can let God's Word become so prominent in your walk, that you almost answer life with the Scripture. When things come along that you don't know what to do with, because you are confident in the Word of God, the Word of God is the answer. The Word of God fills you with a sense of what is right and how you respond. Consistently confident.
But here's the fourth one, "Consistently Compliant". It's not just enough to know what the book says, you have to obey what the book says. Can I get a witness? Isn't that true? That's pretty weak, but it's true anyway. Whether you know it or not, it's not just enough to understand the book, you have to understand it and then apply it to your life. The idea of doing the will of God is what is mentioned in verse 17 of 1 John 2, "He who does the will of God continues forever," is consistently consistent forever. Now, let me just explain something this morning that might be a surprise to some of you. Who is our example in doing the will of God? Who is our example? It is Jesus.
Did you know that when Jesus came to walk on this earth, he did not do his own thing. He did not come down here and act arbitrarily. He did not come down here and say, "I think I'll do that or let me do this". He came down here, and according to the Scripture, he voluntarily submitted himself to the will of his Father. He lived his entire 30-some years on this earth as a totally submitted Son to his Father in heaven. Jesus never ever did one thing of his own will. He always did those things that pleased God.
You say, "Well, Dr. Jeremiah, I didn't know that. Where in the world did you find that"? Well, I'm glad you asked because it's right here, everywhere in the gospel. If you turn back to the Gospel of John in the fourth chapter, you will find it. Here's what it says, "Jesus said to them," verse 34, "my food is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work". What did Jesus say? He says, "I get up every day. The thing that drives me, the thing that keeps me going is simply to do the will of the one who sent me". Who is that? The Father. Notice, chapter 5 in the Gospel of John, verse 30, Jesus says, "I can of myself do nothing. As I hear I judge, and my judgment is righteous because I do not seek my own will but the will of the Father who sent me".
How did Jesus walk on this earth? Every day and every way, wherever he was, whatever he did, it was always submitted to the will of the father and Jesus did it. You know why he did that? Because that's how we're supposed to live, and he is our example in that regard. Notice, chapter 6 of John, and verse 38, "For I have come down from heaven," Jesus said, "not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me".
Now, let me ask you something class, where do you find the will of God in your life? You find it in the book, don't you? You find it in the Scripture. The will of God is it dispatched to you by some mysterious way from heaven? You don't get it by osmosis, putting your Bible under your pillow at night. You have to study the book. When you study the book, God reveals his will to you. Now, here's the issue, are you willing to do it? That's the key. And Jesus always did the will of his Father. That's why God bless him and used him on this earth as our Redeemer. He was the perfect Son of God, always in consistent compliance with the will of his Father. And then notice the last one.
The last mark of consistency, and it's my favorite one. It's so good, I'm going to ask you to say it with me in a moment. Not only consistently Christlike, and consistently caring, and consistently confident, and consistently compliant, but here's my favorite one, "Consistently Consistent". How about that one. Let's say that out loud, "Consistently Consistent". How can we be consistently consistent? Notice what it says in verse 24 of the second chapter of 1 John, "Therefore, let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning. And what you heard from the beginning abides in you. You will also abide in the Son and in the Father".
Notice, in that verse, the word abide appears three times. Now, I'm going to read it again and change the word to the would continue, and then you will understand what we're talking about. "Therefore," said John, "let that continue in you which you heard from the beginning. If what you heard from the beginning continues in you, you also will continue in the Son and in the Father". Here's what John is saying, "You heard the Word at the beginning when you were saved. Is that Word continuing in you today? Does is continue to hold court in your life"? And if you continue to continue in what you learned from the beginning, the Bible says, "You abide in the Son. You continue in the son and in the Father".
Now, let's face it, most of us started out to serve the Lord, started out to love the Lord, and if we're honest, some of us took little detours along the way. Can I get a witness? We've been there, haven't we? We didn't just continue all the way. But you see, continuing is not necessarily the absence of a little detour. Continuing is after the detour was over, getting back on the road and going on. That's what he's talking about. If you study the history of how God has used people in his ministry, you'll discover that most of the people were people who continued. People who had this consistently consistent characteristic in their life.
You've heard me speak of a woman quite often. I've quoted her many times in my messages. Her name is Amy Carmichael. Amy Carmichael is quite a woman. She had lived a long time ago, but she is a really great picture of what it means to be consistently consistent. Let me tell you a little bit about her. She was born into a very wealthy home. Her family owned flour mills all over Ireland. And these flour mills produced great wealth for her family. She lived in kind of a mansion that had manicured lawns, and they all had ponies, and this was their playground. They had everything that you really would want growing up in that day. But although Amy's family was very prosperous and had lots of resources, they never spoiled their children. They always went out of their way to expose their family to those who had less than they did, to get them involved in mission projects where they would rub shoulders with those who needed it, and they were very generous with all that God had trusted to them.
Well, as time went along, the successful wheat milling business expanded and Amy's family moved into Belfast. On one occasion, as Amy and her mother entered a fashionable teahouse, she looked out and there was a small, beggarly dressed little girl with no shoes on. It was raining and she was standing with her tiny nose pressed up against the window of the store, looking with longing in her eyes at the display of cookies and sweets that were in the window. Little Amy was touched by that. She went home and that afternoon on a back of an envelope, she wrote these little words: "When I grew up and money have. I knew what I will do. I'll build a great and lovely place for little girls like you".
Well time got difficult in the Carmichael family, and she was just 17 years old, her father died. She was plunged into a somewhat caring role with the rest of her family. She never grew bitter over what happened. She just continued to continue. She consistently grew in her faith. She turned her personnel sorrow into energy and began an outreach. And even in Belfast, reach as many as 500 poor, little girls in the city. Ultimately, in the plan of God for Amy Carmichael, she was called to India as a missionary. And she followed the Lord's leading there where she did build a great and lovely place in honor of the little girl that she had seen that first day. She established what we know today as the Dohnavur Fellowship, to save children from human trafficking that was so prevalent in India at that day. She spent all of the rest of her days, 35 years in India. And she built a home for a thousand children who had been rescued from trafficking and prostitution, and all of the ugly things that were going on in that nation.
The last two decades of her life she spent as an invalid, but she didn't let that get in her way. Despite her constant pain and her personal discomfort, she only ever had one prayer request, never that she would be healed or that she could get out of the situation. She prayed only one prayer, here it is, "Ask for me one thing," when people would ask her how can we pray for you? She would say, "Just ask one thing. Ask for selflessness. Ask that the Lord would give me power to lift the edges of the burden if I can't lift the whole burden by myself". And she lived her whole life like that. She was consistently consistent.
Now, we may be in the middle of our journey, and we've already kind of blown it in the past. We say, "Well, I can't be consistently consistent like she was". But you know what you can do? You can be consistently consistent starting where you are. Isn't that true? Wherever we are, wherever God has touched us, we can say, "Lord God, God's that's my hope and my prayer that I can be consistent all the way, all the way through life". That's the goal. That's what we do. If you want to be confident in a chaotic world, develop a consistency in your life like the consistency of Amy Carmichael.
Now, let me show you in this passage the motive for our consistency. When he appears at his coming, John said that one of these days Jesus is going to come back, and if you want to be confident in light of the fact that he's coming back, here's what you do, just be consistent. Just be consistent. The second coming isn't going to be a process. The second coming is going to be instantaneous. It's going to be sudden. One of these days, the Bible says the heavens are going to part, and the Lord Jesus is going to come back. And all of the works that we have done will have a period at the end of them. It will be over as far as what we have been able to do on this earth. So how can you be confident as you think about that? Just be consistent.
Charles Swindoll has a wonderful story in one of his books. And I've always loved this little story. He worked in a factory when he was a student at seminary. And every day when the horn blew at 5 o'clock, everybody would hustle around, and get their lunch pails, and their clothes. And you know, 15 minutes or so after 5:00, they'd leave. But there was an African-American guy who worked in there who seemed uncannily able when the whistle blew at 5 o'clock, within just a second or so, he had his lunch pail in his hand, his coat over his shoulder and he was walking out the door.
One day, Swindoll said, "How is it that you're able to do that every day"? He said, "Well, here's my secret. Here's my secret. I stay ready to keep from getting ready". That's how you do it, folks. You stay ready to keep from getting ready. Isn't that right? When Jesus comes back, you won't have time to get ready, so you get to stay ready. You get to stay consistent. You got to live your life in light of the fact his coming is near, his appearing is around the corner.
So what do you do in the light of that? Just stay ready so you don't have to get ready, 'cause I promise you when the trumpet sounds, you won't have time to get ready. You don't have a chance to get ready when Jesus comes back, so maybe you better get ready now, right? And then when you get ready, you can just stay ready. And when the Lord comes back, you're like the old man within lunch pail, as soon as the whistle blows, you just walk out the door like it's part of your routine. I love that little phrase, I want you to say it with me, "I'm going to stay ready to keep from getting ready". You ready? "I'm going to stay ready to keep from getting ready". That's what it means to be consistent, the marks of consistency, and the motive of it.
Now notice lastly, in this little verse, the measure of it. The measure of consistency is given to us in the last part of this verse where we read, "that we may have confidence and not be ashamed before him at his coming". The Bible says that when Jesus comes that we're going to have one of two responses to that event. We either going to be assured or we're going to be ashamed. That's what he says. When you think about Jesus coming back, I can tell you right now that either have one of those two approaches or somewhere in between those on the continuum. Either an assurance or a fear. And the Bible says, "First of all, when he comes back, we're going to give an account of all the things we have done". But let me just remind you of what happens as you go forward into the future.
One of these days, the Lord is going to return. 1 Thessalonians chapter 4, gives us the details. When he comes back, what happens? Well, the Bible says, "Those who have died as Christians will be resurrected out of their graves. Those of us who may still be alive and remain on the earth, will be caught up together with them". And the Bible says, "then we'll meet the Lord in the air, and so shall we ever be with the Lord". And you say, "Okay, then what"? Well, here on this earth, as we understand the Scriptures, a tremendous period of tribulation breaks out. For seven years, this earth is decimated by wars and destruction. Why not, when all the Christians on the earth are gone, and the indwelling Holy Spirit is removed.
So what happens to the Christians? Do we just go up and wait for it all? No, no, no. When you go to heaven, the Bible says the first event on your agenda when you get to heaven is what we call the judgment seat of Christ. You stand before Christ. You say, "Well, I thought if I was saved, I'd never be judged". This is not judgment for sin. Your sin was all judged at the cross. You'll never be judged for your sin again. This is not whether you go to heaven, this is happening in heaven. You're already there.
You say, "Well pastor, what is the judgment seat of Christ"? Well, let me just give you a verse of Scripture that will answer your question. It's 2 Corinthians 5:10, and this is what it says, "For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body according to what he has done whether good or bad". Now, here's what this is all about. The bema seat or the judgement seat is like the judges' seats at a race. It is a judgment as to who wins the race, and whether or not they competed fairly. When we get to heaven someday as Christians, we're going to come before the Lord. Our salvation won't be in question. We'll already be in heaven as I've already mentioned. But the Bible says God is going to judge the things we have done as followers of Christ, the things done in the body. We're going to be rewarded on the basis of our works for him.
The Bible says there are five different crowns that are going to be presented at the judgment seat of Christ. These crowns won't be crowns we'll wear around eternity, kind of being arrogant over others. No, the Bible says when we get these crowns, we will hold them for just a short time and then cast them at the feet of our Savior in an act of worship. But when we stand before him someday, our goal ought to be hear him say, "Well done, good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of your Lord". The Bible says you can come before him and be assured or you can stand before him and be ashamed.
You say, "What would that look like, pastor"? That would look like a Christian. Maybe you know one, maybe you are one. You accepted Christ. It was a genuine conversion, no question about it. Your sins were forgiven. You were given a gift of eternal life. But somewhere along the way, you got not just a little detour, a detour that took you away from following Christ. Instead of honoring him with your life, you lived your life for yourself. It became very self-centered. There was no time left to serve Jesus 'cause it all became about you. And all the years that God gave you on this earth to serve him, you just poured your energy into something else.
And then one day you stand before him and he says, "My child, I saved you from hell. I gave you heaven as a gift, and what did you do with the life I give you"? Oh, don't want to stand there someday and be ashamed. That doesn't mean you can live perfectly 'cause no one can. If you have to be perfect to have a good report, none of us going to make it. But what it does mean is that our hearts and our lives are dedicated to him to serve him, to honor him, and to live for him. Not just to be Sunday, go to meeting Christians, but to be people who live the Christian life every day, so that when we stand before him, we won't be ashamed. And I want that in my life and I that's your goal too. I don't want to stand before him with my head hung down.
Oh, you say, "Well, Pastor Jeremiah, I'm really worried now because it sounds to me like if that happens, I'm going to have a sad time in heaven". Here's what I discovered, it's only after the judgment seat of Christ that the Bible says, "God is going to wipe away all tears". After the judgment seat, God will wipe away all tears. I think there will be some tears at the judgment seat. But you won't live like that. I'm just telling you the truth. God will wipe them away. I don't want any of that experience in my life. I'd rather be assured of his coming than be ashamed of his coming, wouldn't you? So how do you do that?
You say, "Well pastor, how can I do that"? Well, let me tell you, stay ready to keep from getting ready. Ask God to help you live every day with your eyes on the goal. Stay ready to keep from getting ready. And when you do that, you will discover little by little, God begins to build strength in your life. No matter which direction a Christian looks, he finds a reason to obey God. Did you know that? If you look back, you see Calvary where Christ died for you. That makes you want to serve him. If you look within, you see the Holy Spirit, and he makes you want to serve him. If you look around, you'll see Christian brothers whom he loves, and you see a world that's lost and dying and needs your witness. And if you look ahead, you'll see the return of Christ. The return of Christ is a great inspiration to live a godly life. Since he is coming, I'm going to stay ready to keep from getting ready.
Now, you say, "Pastor, I want to be consistent. I'm struggling with that. How do I do it"? Well, let me tell you something I learned from hanging around the football field. Ladies, just forgive me for this but this is what I'm going to say. When you want your quarterback to be consistent, here's what you do: you give him reps. Do you know what reps are? That's short for repetitions. It means he goes out every day and he throws the same route, and he throws it over, and over and over again, until he can throw it in his sleep. He can throw it without even knowing where the receiver is. He just repeats it over and over again.
When I was a basketball player years ago, I was trying to develop my shot. I would go to the gym and I would shoot hundreds and hundreds of shots from the same place, to the point where it was just automatic. It built a groove in my heart and in my mind. So I could stand in that place and just shoot, and the ball would just go in the hole every time. Repetitions. Do you know what? I think that is how we develop consistency in the Christian life, isn't it? We do reps. What are we talking about? You read the Word of God. You read it every day, whether you feel like it or not. Sometimes the quarterbacks have a sore arm. They don't to throw the ball that much. They just throw it over, and over and over again.
I don't know what that says about our team. I'm not going to go there. But what I am saying is this: repetition, repetition, repetition, Read the Word of God. Read it, and read it, and read it. Memorize the Scripture. Memorize it, and memorize it and memorize it. Determine to pray whether you feel like praying or not. Pray, and pray and pray. In the more reps you do, the more consistency you will build. And one day, it will just become a natural part of who you are, and you will become consistently consistent. You will be ready, and you won't have to get ready.
Listen to me friends. He's coming back. And let me just say to you today, if you do not know Jesus as your Savior, if you've never trusted him, invited him into your life, never opened your heart to say to him, "Lord Jesus, come and be my Savior," that's what you have to do to get ready. When he comes in the air, there won't be any last-minute, "Oh, I forgot to do that. Let me do it now". I hear people say all the time, "Well, I'm just going to wait till the rapture, and if the rapture really happens, then I'll know it's true, and then I'll get saved". No, you won't. The Bible says, "God will send you a strong delusion if you've heard the truth and you have rejected it, and you will not become a Christian".
If you're going to be a Christian, this is a good time to do it. Amen. You say, "Pastor, how do I do that"? You just ask Christ to come into your heart. Ask him to forgive your sin. Accept what he did for you on the cross and you can begin the process of living for Christ. And he will give you confidence in your life, in the midst of all the chaos we're experiencing right now.