Friday, March 9, 2012

Words of Eternal Life

"Words of eternal life" (John 6:68)

Imagine someone telling you they have words that will get you through a tough situation.  They have words will bring you joy for the moment.  They promise their words will sustain you for a temporary period.  There is nothing wrong with each of scenarios.  But imagine someone telling you that they have words that will never perish.  Words that will last for all eternity.  "Words of eternal life."

It seems that such hope up would make our hearts leap for joy.  This would bring us all the comfort we need to know that we have words of eternal life.  But we don't have to imagine this is true.  It is true.  Plain and simple this is what the Bible is all about.  God's truth spoken to us.  These are the words of eternal life.  When we enter the scene is John 6, Jesus has been speaking about being the bread of life.  When he concludes we read that many of his disciples were having a hard time understanding what Jesus was talking about in the synagogue.    Jesus ask, "Do you take offense at this?  Then what if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before?  It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and life. But there are some of you who do not believe" (61-64).  Some of them were truly not his disciples because they had not been granted by the Father (65).  They rejected Christ and his words.  They did not believe he was the eternal God who descended from heaven in order to ransom sinners from their sin.  Sadly many walked away and no longer walked with him.

But when Jesus turns to his disciples we see that they were trusting in Christ and his words.  They understood, because of God's grace, that Jesus was the God-man.  They knew Jesus to be the Christ.  When Jesus turned to them and asked, "Do you want to turn away as well?"  The spokesman for the group, Peter, says, "Lord, to whom shall we go?"  This was a great follow up question.  He was basically stating, "Lord, there are no other options.  We have nowhere else to turn."  Why?  Were there literally no other options?  Of course not we just read that the majority had walked away from Christ.  But Peter says, "Lord, to whom shall we go?  You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God."  There really are no other options.  When it comes to following something or someone who offers words of eternal life the options begin and end with Jesus.  The disciples knew it.

My question for all of us is: Do we know and believe that Jesus offers to us the words of eternal life?  The words of eternal life are nothing more than the words of God himself.  What is eternal life?  Knowing Jesus (John 17:3).  Jesus is our hope.  Jesus is our comfort.  Jesus is our refuge.  Jesus is our everything, now and forever.

Grace upon grace,
JRL

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

O Fount of Love


O fount of love divine that flows from my saviors bleeding side
Where sinners trade their filthy rags for His righteousness applied
Mercy cleansing every stain now rushing o'er us like a flood
There the wretch and vilest ones stand adopted through His blood

O mount of grace to thee we cling from the law hath set us free
Once and for all on calvary's hill love and justice shall agree
Praise the Lord! the price is paid the curse defeated by the Lamb
We who once were slaves by birth, sons and daughters now we stand

O well of joy is mine to drink for my Lord hath conquered death
Victorious forevermore, the ancient foe is laid to rest
Hallelujah, Christ is King! alive and reigning on the throne
Our tongues employed with hymns of praise, Glory be to God alone! (Matt Papa)

Grace upon grace,
JRL

Monday, March 5, 2012

The Rocking Chair Sin

"Do not be anxious about your life."

I'm sure we have all read these words spoken from the mouth of our Savior Jesus Christ in the Sermon on the Mount.  These are words I turn to often but struggle obey.  Many times I find God's grace sustaining me to trust him and not be anxious but other times I find myself worrying like it's going out of style.  I come back and read this section praying that God would help me not to be anxious but trust him.  It is still not easy.  I have to confess this is a great sin.  It is revealing my heart that really wants control instead of trusting the sovereign God of the universe.  I've heard it said that "anxiety is like a rocking chair, it gives you something to do but gets you nowhere."  Jesus says of those who are anxious, "O you of little faith."  May we be people who love the Lord and trust him no matter the circumstances in our life.  Jesus says, "Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness."

Grace upon grace,
JRL