Thursday, October 19, 2006

The Best Life

Each one of us has an image of what life should be like. Some of us might picture life to be a mansion on a hill and tens of millions of dollars in the bank. Others of us might define life as a two-story house with a white picket fence and a nice family. Still others of us might see life as comfort and security having enough resources to do what we want to do when we want to do it. Every once in awhile we will stumble upon what we think life should be like and we will say, “Now this is the life.”

Besides these brief glimpses we get now and again, how many of us have the life we imagined? If you have that life has it met expectations?

Many us are frustrated with our lives because they are not what we wanted our lives to be. In order to deal with this frustration we have convinced ourselves that this is just the way life is supposed to this way. We grit our teeth and tell ourselves, “Life is hard. It is filled with struggles and difficulties. That is just the way it is.”

When we approach life in this manner I think we set ourselves up to miss out on the real life God created us to enjoy. I am not saying that hardships and difficulties shouldn’t be a part of your life, but what I am saying is that there is a type of life that is able to redeem those struggles we experience in life.

The Apostle John writes about how we can live the life God created us to live:
24 So you must remain faithful to what you have been taught from the beginning. If you do, you will remain in fellowship with the Son and with the Father.25 And in this fellowship we enjoy the eternal life he promised us (1 John 2:24, 25; NLT).

There are two truths that I want to pull from this paragraph. The first is this: Life follows obedience. You want to have life? Then obey Jesus. Life is found in loving God, loving our neighbor, sacrificial service, generous giving, and helping the needy. It is through our action that we discover the life God created us to live. Life isn’t granted to us because we believe the right things, but life is given to us when we respond in faith to what Jesus has taught. Life isn’t found in Bible Study and Church attendance. It is found when we apply the lessons we learned there to our lives.

The second truth is: Life is fellowship with the Father and the Son. Apart of Jesus, and thus apart from God, life cannot be found. It is when we abide in Jesus, and thus have a relationship with the Father, that we are able to live life. John is very clear how this fellowship happens. Fellowship with God is the result of our obedience. We choose whether or not we are going to have fellowship with God by the way we live our lives. If our lives are lived in response to faith then we will have fellowship with our Creator, but if we live in response to fleshly desires we will find death.

John describes this life as eternal life. I think we get caught up with seeing eternal as a length of time, or more accurately life with no end. It is forever or life that keeps getting stretched out. I have a feeling the eternal life is more than just life without end. A lot of something isn’t necessarily a good thing, especially if that thing is mediocre or poor quality. So in my mind it stands to reasons that eternal also stands for the best quality of life. The best type of life is available through a fellowship with God.

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