Friday, February 4, 2011

I am the Life

“I am the Life” (John 14:6)

A couple of weeks ago I posted on Jesus’ statement: “I am the way.” Today I want to focus on his claim: “I am the life.” We must remember these claims are definitive claims. Jesus is not leaving the door open to another way of true life. Placing your trust in the risen Savior, Jesus Christ, is the only true life that exists.

I think most people would argue that life is life. Emotions and circumstances in life go like a roller coaster at an amusement park. Yes that is true but that only focuses on this life. We know from the Scriptures that this life is but a vapor. As a matter of fact we know from experience that every life is short. In the grand design of our Creator we have souls that are eternal. When we place 100 years on the back drop of eternity our view of 100 years shrivels. But even in our short time here on earth we can know true life. This is the life found in Jesus Christ. Jesus said in John 10, “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly” (10). While the roller coaster of emotions and circumstances rolls over one hill and on to the next Jesus gives us constant, internal joy. This does not mean life will not be tough or that we won’t grieve but as Christians we are given a perspective unlike any other perspective offered. God graciously gives us an eternal perspective. Our ultimate focus is on Christ.

This abundant life is not a life of promised health and wealth but it is a life of power and peace. As Christ is in us we are being changed more and more into his image and character. Before conversion most of us tried to maintain some sort of standard of living. We want to be known as “good people” or “moral people.” The reality is we are all naturally sinners. Even the “good” we think we are achieving is for self-glory. But once Christ makes us alive in him we are given the power of his Spirit to live a life for the glory of God. We are not made perfect but our pursuit in life and our desires have been changed from seeking self-glory to bringing God the glory. The God who raised himself from the dead makes our dead hearts alive! The life is found in Jesus Christ: “I am the life.”

The peace we are given at conversion is peace with God. Romans 5:1 clearly says, “Since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” The wall of hostility between holy God and sinners like you and me is brought down because of Christ’s accomplished work on the cross. The faith we are given as a gift brings peace. But this very peace also guards us from a lack of joy in this life. Paul, writing from prison, encourages the church at Philippi to be content in God no matter our circumstances: “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice.” How can a man write these works while chained in prison? “Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your request be made known to God.” Because of Christ we have a personal relationship with the God of the universe and he desires to hear from our thankful hearts. “And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:4-7). Now it all makes sense. Paul had peace through Christ. This is true life. This is the peace that surpasses everything that makes sense to our finite mind because it is peace from our eternal God.

Do you have true and abundant life in Christ? Do you have peace? Are you content? We must examine ourselves to see if we are trusting in Christ. When we are clinging to Christ as our hope and salvation the roller coaster may fall of the tracks yet he graciously gives us the peace that surpasses all understanding because we are confident in our hope who never changes. May we trust the words of our risen Savior: “I am the life.”

Grace upon grace,

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