Section One: The Spiritual Characteristics of a Godly Life.
Our current theme: Characteristic One: Being A Believer.
Our reading for today: 1st John 5: 11-14 (MsgB)
This is the testimony in essence: God gave us eternal life; the life is in His Son. So, whoever has the Son, has life; whoever rejects the Son, rejects life. My purpose in writing is simply this: that you who believe in God’s Son will know beyond the shadow of a doubt that you have eternal life, the reality and not the illusion. And how bold and free we then become in His presence, freely asking according to His will, sure that He’s listening.
In truth, God originally created man to be an eternal being, made just a little lower than angels and crowned with glory and honor (see Psalm 8: 5). But as we all know from reading the ancient story found in the first few pages of Genesis, this God-breathed plan of eternal life for mankind took a sudden detour about as fast as one can say ‘apple tree!’
So in one fell swoop, our ancestors decided that they would rather take their lives into their own hands, tipping their hat to the Creator, but ultimately believing in their own creative ability to manage life outside the covering and protection of the Heavenly Father.
Brave move, some might say. But, as history seems to show us, a very short-sided decision indeed!
You see, Adam and Eve didn’t realize this at the time, but later, they found out that none of us actually live alone on this planet! As the Scriptures indicate, and as human folly fully illustrates, there is an evil, self-centered and loveless entity trafficking this planet. He goes by several different names. Lucifer, Satan, and the Devil are some of his better-known monikers, but it’s his work that actually identifies him the best!
Sadly, Lucifer does his very best work when he oozes himself into our lives, sweet-talking us with half-lies about who we really are. His voice is never really very loud, but his words are pregnant with seeds of doubt. And it’s him and his army of fallen angels who make living on this planet a very dangerous endeavor indeed; even for those of us who choose to remain with God as our Guide and Protector.
But pity the ones who continue to go it on their own. Because over time, that familiar voice that encourages us to ignore God and promote self, actually grows louder and louder from within, and eventually, Lucifer and his friends don’t even have to spend any time convincing us of their lies. We’ve bought the book on self-consumption and we finally end up writing our own sad story, sealing our own fate, thus loosing all opportunity both in this lifetime and the lifetime to come to choose what we should have chosen way back in the beginning!
In The Great Divorce, C.S. Lewis’ classic book on heaven and hell, the master theologian states it this way…
There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, “Thy will be done,” and those to whom God says, in the end, “Thy will be done.” All that are in Hell, choose it. Without that self-choice there could be no Hell. No soul that seriously and constantly desires joy will ever miss it. Those who seek find. Those who knock it is opened.
Wait. Did you hear what C.S. Lewis said?
If I understand both today’s text from 1st John and what Lewis says here, as long as you and I are alive on this planet, there’s always a hope, a chance that we will choose as Jesus of Nazareth did in the Garden of Gethsemane…
“None the less, Father…not my will, but Yours!” (Luke 22: 42)
And it’s that on-going powerful prayer of Jesus that breaks the power of self-centeredness, separating us from the half-truths spoken in darkness, and lifting us out of certain death into Eternal Life, forever and ever. Hallelujah!
My prayer: Father God, I thank You for the on-going invitation to come back home and live in Eternity with You. Jesus, I thank You for giving me the model on how I might access that wonderful invitation from God. And Holy Spirit, I thank You for empowering me into true humility which allows me to pray the prayer that Jesus prayed. For Your name’s sake. Amen.
My questions to ponder: So where am I still holding out, trying to keep my will stronger than God’s? Am I still convinced that trying to live my life through my own initiative is a wise decision? Am I fully aware of where the whispers of darkness are still trying to convince me, like with Adam and Eve, that I might be just as wise as God?
So what is God speaking to you today as we attempt to live the Christ-centered life?
Over a thirty-six week period, you and I will take a deeper look into twelve key characteristics of a godly life. In other words, we’ll take A Journey into Christian Discipleship. In order to keep all the blog sessions organized, we suggest you bookmark our Journey home page for ease of use. ENJOY!
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