Tag Archive: Eternal Life


Above It All

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This Mother’s Day…

As believers, let us never forget we can rejoice and praise the Lord in both the good times and in the bad.

We all have so many hopes and dreams, especially for our lives and our children’s lives, yet often this world sends storms beyond our control and we can do nothing but simply watch as our course and the courses of those we deeply love are altered. Sometimes these changes are, in part, due to decisions we have made. Other times, they are just the result of living in a broken and fallen world.

Special days like Mother’s Day can be so exciting, a time to thank our mothers and be thanked as mothers, yet it’s also a time when sorrow can quickly invade. There are many circumstances, some of which I understand first hand, that have affected families, ones that cause days like today to be quite difficult. Regardless of time, wounds are often still present. But dare we never forget that even in the worst of storms, the sun still shines above it all.

Praise Jesus, because for the born again believer, there’s eternal hope beyond the temporal storms and successes, above the peaks and valleys of this world. Regardless of the tragedies, trials, broken hearts and even beyond the earthly successes, there’s a wonderful kingdom above it all. This heavenly kingdom is eternal and available for any and all who choose to receive the full and free forgiveness of Jesus Christ. “Come unto Me, all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28. “I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believes on Me should not abide in darkness.” John 12:46.

Despite what we’ve been told, true life is not the sum total of all our expectations, experiences, hopes, and desires. Life is so much more than us. True life is Jesus Christ and no matter what storms come across our course, as Christians, we can still know victory because our God is outside and above it all. Jesus endured it all and laid down it all. He became sin for us, so we could finally be brought above it all to know what life’s really all about.

He became the lowest of all and then raised up to highest of all to provide the only way for mankind to receive Him as our All in All! Only because of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection can we have true life, ETERNAL life! In John 17, Jesus reminds us, “And this is life eternal, that they might know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom You have sent.”  John 17:3. The Christian life is not easy. In fact, it’s frankly impossible. Only Jesus lived it perfectly and only Jesus can live His life in us. True life is only discovered when we once and for all give Jesus the reins, letting Him lead us Home to our Heavenly Father.

But the old life I chose to mortify still knocks on the door of my heart and mind. It still wants to be appreciated, noticed, and coddled. It becomes jealous when anyone else gets the attention, most of all Jesus.The world, the flesh, and the devil will often remind us of the tragedies and fleshly triumphs, desiring nothing less than for us to lose sight of the Son above, all together forgetting about our risen Lord and Savior.  And days like today can sometimes become grand opportunities for the flesh to come knocking.

Instead of opening the door, may I embrace the true Comforter, the Savior and sanctifier of my soul. May I take my eyes off myself and instead look intently at the only One I truly cannot live without. May I learn to embrace the difficulties this planet offers as opportunities to steadfastly grow closer to my Rock and Refuge.

The Lord has called us to so much more than we can ever comprehend this side of Heaven. May we take time to love Jesus today, worshiping Him in spirit and in truth. And then let us simply continue serving Him, letting Him take care of every outcome. There are perhaps many tragedies filling your heart today. May the Lord bring us above them all, empowering us to continue running the heavenly race He has set before us with joy and grace in our hearts!

May we simply abide in Christ, continually feasting on His wonderful Word. Then let us continue faithfully planting and watering His Word in all those He puts in our path. We cannot truly change the course of anyone, but we can point them to the only One who can. His light will shine, even piercing through the darkest of storms, and with it comes true life. What an absolute privilege and blessing to wholeheartedly love and follow Jesus, knowing He truly is above it all!

“Then spoke Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” John 8:12

“Come unto Me, all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and you shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

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Why Did Jesus Come?

Public domain image, royalty free stock photo from www.public-domain-image.comWhy did Jesus ultimately choose to be born, crucified, and three days later rise from the dead? Not to sound heretical, but ultimately Jesus did not come to merely die for our sins. I believe God’s Word points to a much grander plan.

Too often a prisoner who has spent many years in prison, once released, has a difficult time acclimating to freedom. Ultimately a prisoner is not released just to be released. He is set free to live a new life of freedom operating under a new perspective of how to utilize that liberty. So it is with the forgiven sinner.

Often we are so excited we’ve been released from our prison of sinful selfishness, but then don’t know what to do next. We, in a sense, are standing just outside the prison walls, unsure what steps to take next. So instead of stepping out in faith, we set up camp where we are, never truly enjoying new life in Christ. Jesus reminds us, “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” John 10:10

We are redeemed, we are set free not just to be set free, but so we can for first time freely begin to understand and know the Creator and Savior, Jesus Christ. “And we know that the Son of God is come, and has given us an understanding, that we may know Him that is true, and we are in Him that is true, even in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.” 1 John 5:20

So, yes Jesus came and died for our sins, but ultimately He came to do so much more. May we pull up our stakes from the prison walls and begin stepping out in faith, fully assured of our high calling in Christ Jesus! May we seek to continue growing in the understanding of our Glorious Redeemer and also boldly and lovingly make Him know to those both stuck in prison and those who have pitched their tents just outside its walls.

 

Inside or Out?

Boy Reading the holy bible“It’s all inside” is a popular slogan from one American retailer.  Although it might sound good and maybe even help sell a few sweaters, in reality nothing could be further from the truth.  Is everything we need for life really inside?  Yes, our bodies have a variety of organs, most of which are inside, all working together to sustain our physical life.  So technically, we could say that without the stuff inside we couldn’t be physically alive. Yet there is much more necessary than what’s on the inside.

The body can only live several weeks without food and several days without water.  We cannot survive for more than several minutes without oxygen before brain damage will most likely occur.  Our ears are designed to capture external sounds and eyes to draw in light radiating from without, not from within. It’s as if the designer of the human body is carefully and repeatedly reminding us that even though our bodies are self-contained, they are far from self-sustained. We clearly need things from outside of ourselves, and although no one would disagree with this, the same cannot be said for the spiritual side of life.  Sadly, too many have been blinded by the misguided belief that all the answers we need for spiritual life are found within.

Growing up, I can recall numerous times being told that I must simply look within for my answers.  Over the years, so many movies, songs, video games, and teachings have delivered the same erroneous message, “If you want to know reality, begin by looking inside.”  I can’t remember ever stopping to ask one simple question – “How do you know?”  How is it that people know for sure they can accurately search within to discover the mysteries of eternity?  When asked this question, most might answer one of two ways.  The first is based on emotion, “It just feels right.” The second is based on a majority, “Many people I trust believe the same way.” There are numerous problems with both of these reasons. Just because if feels good, doesn’t mean it’s true, and just because many people believe something doesn’t mean it’s reality.

According to the true Word of God, men are not the answer.  There is nothing inside of us that will supply anything illuminating. Just as we cannot emanate physical light from inside, so it is that we are unable to find true spiritual light from within.

Carefully consider a few verses:

  • “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?”  Jeremiah 17:9
  • “There is nothing from without a man, that entering into him can defile him: but the things which come out of him, those are they that defile the man.” Mark 7:15
  • “There is none good but one, that is, God…” Matthew 19:17
  • “And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.” John 3:19
  • “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God…” Romans 3:23

So if we cannot find the light from within, then where does one go to receive the true light?  

The answer is not found in where to go, but to whom.  To all who have ears to hear, this is what the Word of God says concerning the Lord Jesus Christ: 

  • “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him; and without Him was not any thing made that was made. In Him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. That was the true Light, which lights every man that comes into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made by Him, and the world knew Him not.” John 1:1-5, 9,10
  • “This then is the message which we have heard of Him [Jesus], and declare unto you, that God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all.” 1 John 1:5
  • “Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, “I am the light of the world: he that follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” John 8:12

BUYER BEWARE-

Not all claiming to be light are actually true light.  Jesus said of Satan that his ministers appear as servants of light, yet they lead people into further darkness.  There is light that is actually spiritual darkness.  Consider the following verses:

  • “And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness…” 2 Corinthians 11:14-15
  • “But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!” Matthew 6::23
  • “You are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.” John 8:44

Within is only darkness.  We cannot look within for answers on eternity anymore than I can look within to be physically fed or to breathe air.  Jesus Christ, the true light from Heaven, entered this dark world to bring the truth.  His light reveals our own sinful, rebellious nature and the true light of God’s judgment and justice.  Praise God, He also brought the light of His love and forgiveness found in the full and free sacrifice for all mankind found in Jesus Christ alone.  (1 Corinthians 15:1-5)

May we humble ourselves and approach God’s true light, realizing that our complete and utter dependence is upon Him, not ourselves!

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