Christianity 201

November 28, 2018

The Life We’ve Been Given

We’re returning to a writer we introduced to you six months ago at one of our Sunday Worship columns. John R. Shuman writes at Truth Fully Spoken. This was part of a post for the U.S. Thanksgiving, so we’ve modified the introduction, but if you prefer, click the (revised non-seasonal) title below to read this article in full at the original site.

I Am Thankful for Life

Everyday IS A Gift

Nothing is ever promised, we are never guaranteed anything beyond this moment…

The Bible tells us in 1 Corinthians 15:31-32

31 I face death every day—yes, just as surely as I boast about you in Christ Jesus our Lord. 32 If I fought wild beasts in Ephesus with no more than human hopes, what have I gained? If the dead are not raised,

“Let us eat and drink,
for tomorrow we die.”

And James 4:13-14 says:

13 Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” 14 Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.

We are nothing more than a “mist”, something that hangs around for a moment and then disappears.  And we are not promised anything beyond this moment.  Today is a day to reflect on the gift we were given, the gift of life.

Life IS A Gift

Every breath we have is a gift.  Every heartbeat (as stated in the song, thank you Randy) is a gift from God.  And Jesus tells us that in John 10:7-10

Then Jesus said to them again, “Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who ever came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.10 The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.

Jesus came to us to save us, yes, but more than that, he came to Give us LIFE, more life than we ever knew existed, more life than we deserve, more life than we can handle on our own.  And the life we get is freely given by Jesus because….

Jesus IS Life

John 1:1-5 talks about Jesus in this way…

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.

Jesus is (according to this passage)

  1. The word (vs 1)
  2. God (vs 1)
  3. Eternal (vs 2)
  4. Creator (vs 3)
  5. ESSENTIAL (vs 3)
  6. Life (vs 4)
  7. Light (vs 4)
  8. Not understood by those not in the light.  (vs 5)

And those things are important to living.  Everyone of those things are needed for us to live.  we must…

  1. read God’s word- we can not know God without knowing His word.
  2. accept God into our life- we can not accept God before we Know His word.
  3. Follow God for eternity- life does not cease here, we are told that we have an eternity beyond this lifespan.
  4. create a new lifestyle. Once we follow God we must be dead to our old life and be born again a new creation.
  5. We must BE Essential, we must be a shining example for all to see so that others will see God in us.
  6. We MUST LIVE- we can not hide away once we follow God, laws do not stop just because we follow God.  So we still need to work, and live a life here.
  7. We must shine for the world, we NEED to be the light of man.  we need to be the flame that draws moths in.
  8. We must PROVIDE understanding to the world, so that they will no longer be in darkness.

Jesus is our life, and we must give that life to the world just as Jesus gave us life.  John 3:16-17 (my favorite verses) tells us

16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

God freely gives us this life, life EVERLASTING, and He gave it to us so that we might spend eternity WITH HIM.  He does not want us to perish, he does not want us to walk in the darkness, he does not want us to die without knowing Him.  What God wants is for us to HAVE LIFE, and have life MORE ABUNDANTLY!

Give Thanks

So, I am thankful for LIFE, because this moment is more than I was promised, this moment is a gift from God, and this moment is a time to celebrate.  The life I have is not mine, it is God’s, and I am thankful for that.  This life was given to me by God, and I am thankful for that.  The people around me (family and friends) get to share in this life with me, and I am thankful for that.  My job is an extension of my life, part of who I am, and I am thankful for that.  My life is full of mercy, grace, forgiveness, love, and compassion… Not mine but God’s, and I am thankful for that.

So, if you ask me “What are you thankful for?” And I reply “Life!” you now know that there is more to life than meets the eye.  I am overflowing with thanksgiving, and to limit that thankfulness to people or things does an injustice to the very life I have that makes it so I can enjoy those other things.

Prayer Time

God, THANK YOU for this life, thank you for giving me more life than I knew existed, thank you for giving ME anything at all, but especially this life.  Thank you, Jesus, for providing me the life needed to spread you light throughout the world, I pray that the moths are drawn to this flame so that they might gather the understanding of the light and they too can spread it wherever they may go.  Lord, I know that this is not always a time of celebration, but in some lives a time of sadness, I pray that you provide comfort to us that grieve now be with us as we go on through life.  Sadness is fleeting, pain heals, emotions will change, and emptiness will be filled, but these do take time, Lord be with those people that need it and let them know you are there for the ENTIRE time.  I lift up your children, Lord, for we are always in need of reminders of your love, grant us your love and mercy every moment of every day and help us to remember that you are there and that you are freely giving us all we need.  THANK YOU GOD FOR GIVING ME THIS ABUNDANT LIFE!

 

 

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