Monday, December 3, 2012

More to Life


First things first

“Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself.” Matthew 6:34

In the crucible of His wisdom and the ecology of His grace, God has ordered some trouble for you today. And every day of your life.

We’ve been blessed with difficulties. Yes, you read right—blessed! The worst thing that could happen to us would be not to have any difficulties. If that were the case, we’d never know our need of the Lord. So God in essence says, “I’m going to give you sufficient difficulty for the day.”

God gives you enough difficulty to draw you close to Him, but then God gives you enough grace to meet those difficulties every day.

We don't mind suffering some things as long as someone else is suffering too; we don't like to be the only one. Few things make us feel worse than when everything seems to be going well for everyone else and we are in the throes of suffering. The writer of Hebrews encourages us to endure our present sufferings as Christians in this world by reminding us that Christ suffered for us and that we ought, therefore, to be willing to suffer for Him. One of Jesus' highest points of integrity is that He never asks us to do anything for Him that He is not willing to do for us.

Trials shape you

Some trials come into a Christian's life to bring that individual to spiritual maturity. When we read "count it all joy when you fall into various trials" (v. 2), we can mentally assent to the wisdom of that. But in real life, when the duration and intensity of our trials goes beyond what we deem to be reasonable, we pass the point of caring. We begin to question the goodness of God. We question the rationality of the Christian life. We just want relief. By the grace of God we must accept that we are finally experiencing what James  is talking about. Take courage. Be strong. God has not forgotten you. And as He is testing you, you will become spiritually mature - though you probably will perceive the growth only in retrospect.

Will we live forever?

  When he reached the age of 70, historian Will Durant said, "To live forever would be the greatest curse imaginable."

Will we live forever? The answer is "yes" and "no." Will our bodies live forever? No. Will our bodies cease to exist at one point? Absolutely. But the soul is immortal. Each one of us has a soul. It is the soul that gives each of us uniqueness and personality. . .and that part of us that will live forever.

Today, many people are searching for immortality, that elusive fountain of youth. Sometimes, it's hard for us to accept the fact that life is passing and death is approaching. One day, you will wake up and realize you have more life behind you than you have in front of you. But the question we should be asking is not, "Can I find immortality?" Rather, it should be, "Where will I spend my immortality?"

If you have put your faith in Jesus Christ and have asked Him to forgive you of your sin, the Bible teaches that you will go immediately into the presence of God in heaven when you die. That is God's promise to you.

But God not only promises life beyond the grave. He also promises life during life, not just an existence, but a life that's worth living. Jesus said, "My purpose is to give life in all its fullness" (John 10:10 NLT).

In Romans 5:17, the apostle Paul declares: "For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God's abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ" ( NIV).

Reign in life! No matter what our circumstances, we are sons and daughters of the great King. He will watch over us through our days on earth, and take us home to be with Him when this brief life is over. That's the hope and promise for all Christians. And that's why the believer does not have to be afraid to die. . .or afraid to live.(1)


(1) Greg Laurie "The Fountain of Youth?" -- Harvest Weekend Devotion for 11/24/2012


Raj Kosaraju

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