Archive for August 18, 2011
One of the first things I believed when I became a Christian was that I had
eternal life…or at least I would have it after I
died. John 3:16, the verse that led me into a saving relationship with Jesus,
promised that whoever believed in him would not “perish,” but would live forever
in heaven with God, or at least that’s what I thought eternal life, sometimes
called everlasting life, entailed.
In fact, eternal life is more than life without end. The Greek phrase
translated as “eternal life” means, literally, “life of the aeon” or
“life of the age to come.” It refers, not just to life without end,
but to a new quality of life. Eternal life is the life of God’s future, life as
it was meant to be.
As Christians, we begin to experience eternal life even before we die. When
we draw near to God and receive his peace, when he heals our broken
relationships, when we catch glimpses of God’s justice in the world, we receive
a foretaste of the life to come. Moreover, we have the high calling and
privilege of participating with God in allowing the world to see eternal life
through us. This happens in a multitude of ways as we live each day by God’s
guidance and for his glory.
QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: How have you experienced a
foretaste of eternal life? When you envision the life of God’s future, what do
you picture? How are you helping others to have a foretaste of eternal life
PRAYER: Gracious God, how I thank you for the gift of
eternal life. The hope of your future is a marvelous one. It encourages me to
hang in there when this life gets hard. Moreover, it gives me a vision for how I
might live today.
O Lord, even as I am blessed with a foretaste of the life of the age to come,
may I live in such a way that I share this with others. Help me to be a person
of mercy, grace, forgiveness, and love. May I seek your justice in all my
relationships and in every place where I have the ability to make a
May your kingdom come, Lord, even now on this earth, as it is in Heaven!
DO THINGS POSSESS US?
I think a lot of people in our congregations get confused when some learned brother advises us that we must all join in a fervent fight against “materialism.” If men and women do not know what materialism is, how can they be expected to join the battle? Materialism in its crisis form occurs when men and women created in the image of God accept and look upon matter as “the ultimate”-the only reality. The advice, “We must fight materialism,” does not mean that everyone should get a sword, and run after a fellow named Material, and cut him down. What it does mean is that we should start believing in the fact of God’s Creation and that matter is only a creature of the all-wise and ever-loving God! The believer is not deceived into believing that the physical things we know and enjoy are the ultimate end, in themselves.