Today’s Thought and Text of Encouragement:
“With God nothing shall be impossible.”
Luke 1: 37
“’Wilt thou keep on?
Alas! The fight
Is stern from dawn till eve.’
‘Tis not by might the victory is won;
God puts my foes to flight.’
And now above in blaze of day,
Wonder of love, we see the flower and say,
‘Naught is impossible to him (her) who
Today’s Study Text:
“These words spake Jesus, and lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said…As Thou hast given Him power over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as Thou hast given Him. And this is life eternal, that they might know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent.”
John 17: 1-3
“Learning To Pray Like Jesus – Part 2
The Gift of Eternal Life Through Jesus Christ”
“You know, eternal life does not start when you go to heaven. It starts the moment you reach out to Jesus. That is where it all begins!”
Corrie ten Boon
What picture comes to my mind when I hear the words – “eternal life”?
Exactly what difference has God’s gift of Jesus made in my life?
What meaning would the word “hope” have in my life if I did not know that God had given me the gift of “eternal life”?
“We are all the time coming to the end of things here – the end of the week, the end of the month, the end of the year, the end of school days. It is end, end, end all the time. But, thank God, He is going to satisfy us with long life, no end to it, an endless life.”
D. L. Moody
“And, behold, one came and said unto Him, ‘Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?’”
Matthew 19: 16
He is referred to as the “rich young ruler.” A fine person. A commandment keeping individual whom we would all most likely find to be good company.
At this time in his life, it is apparent that reflections of an eternal nature were going through his mind. And so, after finding Jesus whereabouts, he made his way to this well-known teacher with a very probing question, “How do I make certain I have eternal life?”
Evidently, all the possessions he had acquired just didn’t do it when it came to the fulfillment of all his dreams. Quite frankly, I don’t find the position of this man strange at all. In the world in which we live, there are those who have a great deal when it comes to worldly trinkets, yet they’ll be the first to tell you “something” is missing.
And so it was with this Ruler, who from outward appearance had it all, yet found a hollowness on the inside.
As we continue to read the story in Matthew 19, Jesus tells this man to, “go sell all you have and give the money to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow Me” (Matthew 19: 21, N.L.T). We find this price was too steep for this individual. So he turned and went away, causing Jesus’ disciples to be “astounded,” for they came to the abrupt conclusion that a person with wealth couldn’t make it into heaven.
This is where we read the following response from Jesus: “Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But with God everything is possible” (Matthew 19: 26, N.L.T.).
This statement by Jesus doesn’t just show us how or who will be saved, it gives us a much broader view not only of Christ’s life on earth but the purpose for which He came. And I might add, even in this interaction between Jesus and a rich young man, we find the threads of Christ’s prayer in John 17. Not only does Jesus, in His prayer share the fact that His life’s goal is to glorify His Father, but He also points to the fact that God has sent Him to earth, that through Him – through the power in His life – each of us will be given eternal life. A very critical element that the rich young man completely overlooked for he was speaking with the very “One” who could give him the “quality of life” he yearned to have.
In John 17, as Jesus looked to heaven, He not only asked that His life would glorify His Father, He also asked His Father to glorify His life, too. And the He requested His Father to help those who came to Jesus to understand that through Him, we are given, not just a limited time on earth filled with the fleeting things that pass away, but we are given the gift of eternity – or as the Bible states, “eternal life.”
It would do us well to remind ourselves what the word “eternal” means, for in a world where nothing seems to last except for a few moments, to live “eternally” seems like a fairy tale. It’s a concept I know seems beyond my comprehension.
To get a clearer picture of the word “eternal,” I checked the Greek word and it is “anonios.” As the world-renowned New Testament interpreter and Professor William Barclay explains, the word “aionios,” has to do not so much with duration of life, for life which went on forever would not necessarily be a boon, but with quality of life. There is only one person whom the word ‘aionios’ can properly be applied to, and that is God. Eternal life is, therefore, nothing other than the life of God. To possess it, to enter into it, is to experience here and now something of the splendor, and the majesty, and the joy, and the peace, and the holiness which are characteristic of the life of God.” It is not just long life I want --- it is quality of life. And as we find in Jesus’ prayer, those who believe on Him are promised a blessed quality of life.
However, to understand the great concept of eternal life, we cannot rely just on “book” knowledge, something we read about and then keep at arm’s length, far away from touching us closely. On the contrary, in the Old Testament we find that the phrase “to know God” isn’t limited to just getting acquainted, it is also tied to the intimacy in a marriage. Knowing God isn’t just knowledge. It is having an intimate personal relationship with God. And it is through Jesus that such intimacy with God is possible. For Christ coming in human flesh, living among us, caring for each individual who came in contact with Him – was the tremendous revelation that helped people, just like you and me, not only to understand God but to bear witness to the gift of eternal life that Jesus brought us when He came to earth to be Immanuel, “God with us.”
In the words of Anselm of Canterbury, penned in “Meditation on Human Redemption”:
“Consider, O my soul, and hear, all that is within me, how much my whole being owes to Him! Lord, because You have made me, I owe You the whole of my love; because You have redeemed me, I owe You the whole of myself; because You have promised so much, I owe You all my being.”
Anselm of Canterbury
“In confidence of Your goodness and great mercy, O Lord, I draw near to You, as a sick person to the Healer, as One hungry and thirsty to the Fountain of Life, a creature to the Creator, a desolate soul to my own tender Comforter. Behold, in You is everything that I can or ought to desire. You are my salvation and my redemption, my Helper and my strength.”
Thomas á Kempis
Dorothy Valcàrcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
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