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Posts Tagged ‘eternal life’

living god[Jesus said,] “He is not the God of the dead, but of the living. You are badly mistaken!” [Mark 12:27, NIV]

Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord himself, is the Rock eternal. . . . My soul yearns for you in the night; in the morning my spirit longs for you. [Isaiah 26:4, 9a NIV]

Your name, Lord, endures forever, your renown, Lord, through all generations. [Psalm 135:13, NIV]

Forever. Eternal. God of the living, through every generation that was and is and is to come. For those who doubt, I say, the odds are in God’s favor, that forever means forever and eternity has no end. We, finite beings, cannot really fathom the infinite. It is a concept that has no comparison, no metaphor.

Graphic by Ace Montana

Graphic by Ace Montana

By the same token, we have mistakenly assumed we know what it means to “live.” Is it really just our seventy or possibly eighty years that will measure our living? Even if it’s one hundred years that we walk or ride the earth, is that all there is to living? Breathing by lungs, blood pumped by a heart, brain synapses firing: Is that all there is? Is God merely the God of this corporeal body? Or, is God the God of a living soul?

And for this reason, the soul and spirit yearn for God, the One whose Presence sustains and protects and cherishes. The soul lives by God. Amen.

P.S. I have had to add another Lectionary site to my devotions as my initial choice did not have daily readings. For those who are interested: http://lectionary.library.vanderbilt.edu/daily.php?year=B

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water flowingWhat does it mean to you, this never ending water?

Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water [from the well] will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” [John 4:13-14, NIV]

This week begins a series of devotions based on the word, Reflect. And one of the best ways to reflect is to ask ourselves questions. What do these words really mean to me?

beaverIf the water from the Christ should truly be as a spring of water welling up within me, then why am I not continually refreshed? Is it the fault of the water? I don’t think so. Instead, there’s some pesky beaver damming up the stream. I’ve allowed a lot of sticks and mud and stones to get in the way. Despite tearing it down, the industrious beaver will rebuild overnight. (Please, don’t think I’m picking on beavers in particular, it’s just a metaphor.) My point is that keeping the water flowing is a daily task. And only when the water is flowing can we actually drink.

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Us. Not just Paul and not just Timothy, us. And just like those two followers of old, we can’t earn a place in the “holy club” either. If God has a purpose and a willingness, then there is also enough grace, because of the work of the Christ, we’re in. And all of this happens “outside of time.”


II Timothy 1:9
He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, . . .

I know this verse doesn’t really say “outside” of time, but Paul does write “before the beginning of time,” and I ask, what’s the difference? Because if something is before time, then it’s beyond the control and increments of time. It could be happening “now.” Call is not part of time. That’s amazing!

And if call is not part of time, then service to the Christ is also unhampered by the march of the years of my life. I can be used by God when I am 15 or 90. I can manifest the holy life for a minute, a day, or a lifetime. Those moments are not about me and more than likely, no one will necessarily point at my life’s work or example and say, “oh look, a holy life.” My holy life is in the hands of God’s purpose and grace.

I have skipped the previous verse that articulates the importance of suffering as a portion of the call. This aspect is always a challenge to me. Is suffering a testimony to holiness? I know there are some I can attest it’s true, friends who have walked the suffering pain of cancer and many to their death. Their courage and their abiding love for God during their illnesses humble me still today.

Is that time still to come? I don’t know. Will I choose with courage? If I can just hold on to one truth: suffering in time is finite while the holy life is eternal.

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An Equal Opportunity Employer–that’s sin! Equal pay for equal work. Totally fair. Which is why I am so grateful for the gift of grace that continues giving even when I screw up.

Romans 6:23
For the wages which sin pays is death, but the [bountiful] free gift of God is eternal life through (in union with) Jesus Christ our Lord.
[Amplified]

As a new Christian, I never understood the parable about the laborers who were hired throughout the day and paid equally, whether they started at the beginning of the day or at the very end [Matthew 20:1-16]. It all seemed so “unfair.” But now I see, first of all, that I am one of the “late in the day” laborers; and, secondly, this is the whole point–this is how grace works.

The sowing and reaping principle is in place for everyone. Other religions teach sowing and reaping as well, but perhaps by a different name like Karma. Like energy, what we expend comes back to us in equal parts. The only thing that can block the full force of this cycle is the cross of Christ, the ultimate sacrifice. The sacrifices required in Jewish law were a foretelling of the work of the Messiah.

What is sin? So many think of the most dire deeds as sin like killing someone or stealing or breaking some other secular law. “I am basically a good person,” they say. And because of this human tendency (described very well in the story of Adam and Eve), God provided a “law” or code of conduct to help people see how far we are from the “mark.”

It is so much easier to observe the misconduct of others. But the the mirror of Christ allows us to see more accurately our own missteps and our self-preserving tactics (preserving “face,” preserving our standards of living, etc). There are lots of forms of sin, some easily detected, others hidden in the heart. But, in any case, all sin is covered by grace. This is where my confidence lies. Otherwise, I would be truly lost.

I hold to the tether of Christ’s mantle.

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