Exposing the Myths about Life

Myth 1: “Life Is Short”

It’s been drilled into our consciousness since we were little: “Life is short.” We grew up to repeat the phrase with unquestionable loyalty. It’s time to expose this myth for what it is: a myth, a lie.

Contrary to popular belief, life is not short. Life is eternal, for life is God and God is life. Life is divine. Life is good, and good is eternal.

The interesting thing is, we don’t say the same thing about death. You won’t hear anyone say, “Death is short.” To believe life is short is to treat divinity with disdain.

Let’s take death off that pedestal.  Let’s speak well of life again. Let’s put life back on the throne. Life is eternal.

Remember, you get out of life what you believe about it.

Stephen

 

3 Things about Eternal Life Everyone Should Know

Daily Devotion|Day 271

“As thou has given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou has given him. And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou has sent” (John 17:2-3).

In John 17:1-26 Jesus prayed, not only for His Apostles, but also for all who would later believe in Him. This means Jesus thought of you, loved you and prayed for you long before you became born again. Our opening Scripture today is packed with divine truth. Let’s focus on the second part of the passage, i.e. John 17:3. We will talk about three points.

1. In verse 3 Jesus says that eternal life means to know the Father and Jesus Christ. From what Jesus said, it means eternal life is a knowledge issue. Notice that when Jesus speaks of the Father, He describes Him as “the only true God.” Jesus qualified His statement. This was important, because many things (or beings) can be described as ‘God.’ In other words, false ‘Gods’ (who are no gods at all) exist.

For Jesus, however, the Father is the only true God. This tells us that to gain eternal life, it is important which God you knowYour God has to be the God of Jesus Christ.

2. Additionally, eternal life means to know Jesus Christ whom the only true God has sent. This means believing that the only true God has a Son, and that He has sent the Son to save the world.

3. When the Bible talks about knowing the Father and Jesus, it means more than head knowledge. Everyone can have head knowledge about God or Jesus. Even demons ‘know’ God: “You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe – and tremble!” (James 2:19, NKJV).

Demons knew Jesus too. Not only that, they even confessed Him: “What have we to do with You, Jesus of Nazareth? Did You come to destroy us? I know who You are – the Holy One of God!” (Mark 1:23-24).

If we have the same knowledge of God as demons do, we cannot be saved. We need more than that. Knowing God implies commitment and submission to Him. You show your knowledge of God by doing what He tells you. That is how you obtain eternal life.

John put it so well when he wrote,

“Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, ‘I know Him,’ and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him” (1 John 2:3-4).

Let’s walk in knowledge. Let’s walk in eternal life. Let’s obey the Father and His Son. Amen.

For further studyJohn 10:1-30

Accepting Jesus’ Terms and Conditions

Daily Devotional | Day 247

“Then He [Jesus] said to them all, ‘If anyone desires to come after Me, let Him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save His life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it” (Luke 9:23-24, NKJV).

Eternal life is a free gift, but it is not without conditions. It is free in the sense that God alone is its author. We can receive eternal life, but we can’t create it. Additionally, eternal life is free because God offers it out of His love and goodness.

In today’s Scripture passage, Jesus lays out an underlying principle on how to obtain salvation from Him. The principle explains Jesus’ terms and conditions for salvation and discipleship. In the passage, you will notice two things. Jesus talks about discipleship (following Him) and getting saved. Unfortunately, in some quarters, people have tried to create a false dichotomy between discipleship and salvation.

To such people, being a disciple of Christ and being saved are two separate realities. They conclude, therefore, that you can be saved without following Jesus as His disciple. Or, you don’t need to be Jesus’ disciple to be saved. All you need to do is confess your faith in Christ. Following Jesus is good and commendable, but it is not required for salvation. But the reality is, such a position is a dangerous misreading of the Scriptures. Jesus taught the very opposite, as we can see from today’s reading. Let’s get into the passage.

If anyone desires to follow Jesus, He demands that they deny themselves and take up their cross. This means your love of self must end. You do that by dying to self. Dying to self simply means detaching yourself from the pride of life, lust of the flesh and lust of the eye (see 1 John 2:15-16). The cross is a symbol of death. Carrying your cross means remaining ‘dead’ to the flesh and its lusts (see Galatians 5:24). Immediately after this statement, Jesus adds that those who want to save their life will lose it, but those who lose their life for His sake will save it.

As you can see, Jesus connects the reality of following Him (and carrying one’s cross) with the reality of getting saved. They are two sides of the same coin. Jesus’ point is clear: If you want Him to give you a new life (eternal life), He wants you to let go your old life. You can’t have both.

If you hold on to your old life and its pleasures, it is impossible to receive God’s gift of eternal life. In Christ, the only way to live is to die. The Cross is a necessary path to the Resurrection. You must lose your old life at the Cross, if you want to enjoy Resurrection life. Skipping the Cross is not an option, if you want to live and reign with Christ (see Romans 8:17). Losing your old life at the Cross can be painful, but it is liberating. It is the only viable path to eternal glory. 

Accept and obey Jesus’ terms and conditions. You will be glad you did.

Blessing: May the Lord’s goodness and mercies follow you today. In the Name of Jesus. Amen.

For further study: Luke 14:25-33

You Have the Fullness of Christ in You

Daily Devotion | Day 238

“And of His [Jesus’] fullness we have all received, and grace for grace” (John 1: 16, NKJV).

Jesus is the essence of life.  came into the world to fill us with fullness of life. From eternity, the Father’s plan has been to fill us with His own life. Shortly after opening his account of the life of Christ, John stated, “In Him [Jesus] was life.” Jesus is the very definition of life. Therefore, when you meet Jesus, you have met Life. As Messiah, Jesus was conscious of this. Describing His role as Good Shepherd, He declared that He had come into the world that we might have life and that we might have it to the fullest (cf. John 10:10).

In today’s Bible passage, John reminds us that we all have received of Jesus’ fullness. The Apostle adds that we have received grace for grace, i.e. grace upon grace. This means we are full of graceGrace is the life and power of God poured out in us, enabling us to function successfully according to our divine calling. Think about that for a moment. Think of the power, the glory, the life, the wisdom, the holiness, the greatness, the beauty and the majesty in Jesus. And the Bible says we have received of Jesus’ fullness. We have not received a little bit of Jesus. All that Jesus is, we have received.

Notice again, the Bible doesn’t say one day we shall receive Jesus’ fullness. The receiving is not in the futureIt has already happened. This is amazing news! Think about what this means for you. If you have received of the fullness of Jesus, it means you don’t lack anything. It means you are not empty. It means you are loaded with supernatural life, ability and wisdom. The dynamic life of God flows incessantly within you. You, therefore, have every reason to be joyful, hopeful and of sound mind. This knowledge should transform how you pray and how you worship the Lord. Daily awareness of this truth will destroy the root of fear, insecurity, envy, worries and anxieties.

Dear in Christ, ask the Lord to give you understanding into these spiritual realities. You will never be the same. Don’t look far for answers. Christ in you, is the answer. Be thankful for His fullness in you.

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you today. Amen.

For further studyColossians 2:6-19

Lessons from Jesus the Disciple

Daily Devotion: Day 235
 

“The Lord GOD hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary: he wakeneth morning by morning, he wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned” (Isaiah 50:4, KJV).  

The above passage is a prophecy about Jesus, the Messiah. It shows us the image of Christ as a disciple or student. Imagine that: Jesus the student. When we think of Jesus, that’s not the image we often associate with Him. Yet the Bible says that He was a learned Man, well instructed. Who instructed Jesus? The Father did. We shall soon find out more about this. In the meantime, let’s look at the details in the passage.

In the prophecy, Jesus is speaking in the first person. He says that the Lord GOD has given Him the tongue of the learned, i.e. the tongue of a disciple. A disciple is one who understudies another and follows in the footsteps of that person. A major part of the Messiah’s job description was teaching. This, obviously, required speaking. Jesus trained under the Father so that He would, among other things, know how to speak the right word to sustain those who were exhausted in lifeJesus was a good Teacher because He was a good Disciple

Another interesting detail from today’s passage is that Jesus did not stop being a disciple. According to the passage, each morning the Father opened Jesus’ ears to give Him the instructions of that day. The mark of a good disciple is the ability to listen. That is what Jesus did. In Psalm 40:6, another Messianic prophecy, Jesus reiterates His listening ability as a disciple: “Sacrifice and offering You did not desire; My ears You have opened” (NKJV). Jesus, as we can see, was not only the Son of God, but also was a Disciple of the Father.

Every day, the Father taught Him what to say and how to speak. These daily instructions sharpened His teaching ability and made every word from His mouth a seasoned word, capable of lifting up those who were burdened in life. In Jesus’ own words, “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and that I do nothing of Myself; but as My Father taught MeI speak these things” (John 8:28, NKJV). Because Jesus listened and submitted to the daily instructions of the Father, He gained a skillful tongue – capable of delivering life-giving words.

A well-trained tongue is a fountain of refreshing words. The Book of Proverbs expresses it pithily, “There is one who speaks like the piercings of the sword, but the tongue of the wise promotes health” (12:18, NKJV). Jesus was, and is, the Giver and Promoter of Life. He literally gave life to people by speaking the right words to them. “The words that I speak to you,” He declared,  are spirit, and they are life” (John 6:63, NKJV). His secret? He listened to His Father. 

 As the Father taught Jesus, He has many things to teach us also. The secret to success in God’s Kingdom is daily obedience to the voice of God. Let’s learn from Jesus the Disciple

May the Lord let His face shine upon you and make all your paths prosperous, in Jesus Name. Amen.

For further studyPhilippians 2:5-24