Sunday, August 25, 2013

Live The Eternal Life Before You Die

But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even though we were dead in transgressions, made us alive together with Christ – by grace you are saved!” Ephesians 2:4-5

The good news of the gospel is that Christ died on the cross so that we who are the “living dead” in the marketplace of the world may find the true and abundant life that is in Christ. We are slaves to our sinful natures seeking happiness in material pursuits that can never satisfy our souls or we struggle against our sinful natures trying to please God through our futile human efforts.

Many Christians spend so much energy trying to save others from hell after death instead of making others hungry and thirsty for heaven in the here and now. We are called to live out the truth of John 3:16:

For this is the way God loved the world: He gave His one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.”

Our calling as Christians is not to save others but to share our Saviour, Jesus Christ with others. We do so by living our lives with grace in full dependence and trust in God so that others may see the joy of the Lord in us.

Many people do not want to talk or think about death. But as Christians we are to proclaim with our lives that for us to live is Christ and to die is gain (Philippians 1:21) When we face temptations in our lives we are to remember that we have been crucified with Christ and that it is no longer we who live but Christ who lives within us (Galatians 2:20). As we struggle with our problems in life, we can hold on to the truth that we can do all thrings through Christ who gives us strength (Philippians 4:13)

Margaret Bottome shares the following encouraging insight:

Ah! I needed the ocean of His love, and the high mountains of His truth within. It was wisdom that the “depths” said they did not contain, and that could not be compared with jewels or gold or precious stones. Christ is the wisdom and our deepest need. Our restlessness within can only be met by the revelation of His eternal friendship and love for us.”

Our home is God – not only after we die but in the here and now as the following verse from a poem by an unknown author tell us:

And now “my Home is God,” and sheltered there,
God meets the trials of my earthly life,
God compasses me round from storm and strife,
God takes the burden of my daily care.
O Wondrous Place! O Home divinely fair!
And I, God's little one, safe hidden there.
Lord, as I dwell in Thee and Thou in me,
So make me dead to everything but Thee.”

To the caterpillar, the chrysalis or pupa is dead. But to the butterfly, it is life. Let us encourage one another to be butterflies and not caterpillars so that we will be dead to the world and be alive to God. As we do so, we will live in the eternal life here and now.

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