LIFE - THE ABUNDANT KIND
I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.
What is life, really? Is it just a physical heart beating and lungs breathing? Is it just an existence? The words I printed came found the mouth of God in the flesh. The Creator in the likeness of human flesh has revealed that life and life eternal is found in Him alone. It would be impossible to plumb the depths of that truth since Christ Himself is endless and cannot be contained. Jesus is the source of all life and it isn’t until a sinner believes upon Him that we can even begin to understand that truth. When a sinner is given eternal life in Christ he becomes a partaker of God’s nature and he proceeds into a glorious mystery.
But here is where words are pitiful instruments. God in His grace has used human words and empowered them through His Spirit to draw men to Christ. But those same words have arms too short to completely reach the human mind as it pertains to understanding a believer’s testimony. When a believer shares some intimate details about his relationship with Jesus, the rest of us may not have the same details however we can identify with his experience. You see, Jesus is infinite and yet He enters our finite worlds and touches us in ways unknown to this world.
It impossible to explain to an unbeliever the nature, the essence, and the very experience of the interaction with a believer and His Lord. He is august and yet He is a friend; He is our Master and yet He is our Healer; He has never sinned and yet He knows about all our sins; He commands and yet He forgives; He is holy and yet He stoops to meet the unholy. How can I tell about Jesus if you do not know Him. I thought I knew life, but when He drew me to Himself I found out what life was in all its divine reality. I hear His voice and yet I do not what it sounds like. I see Him and yet my eyes have never laid hold of Him.
You think that gathering together and singing is worship? How can I explain to you the depth and immobilizing and trembling aspect of true worship. There may be music during those times of gathering, but worship is Him and His presence. And how can I tell you about how I am changed each time I come near Him? This Jesus, Yeshua and Joshua, is beyond words, and all who do know Him only know His exhaustive resume. But I tell you with as much bold vulnerability as I know how, Jesus is THE Creator and to know Him is to know life itself. And though we cannot exhaust our knowledge of Him, everyone who believes is on a endless journey which discovers more and more eternal treasure than we could have ever imagined.
I am on that journey, and He has promises to keep, and I have miles to go before I sleep. And one trillion years from this very day I will be with Him. And the journey will still be just beginning. How can I tell you… how can I tell you.
The world has made such a religious structure and called it Christianity. Ceremonies and baptisms and rules and regulations and memberships and money, money, money. All of which distorts and disfigures the purity of Christ. It is all about Him, and yet in this denominational morass it seems all about everything but Jesus. But Jesus, the person and His work, must be the life of our faith, for without Him not only can we do nothing, but we are nothing. How can I tell you what it means to love Jesus if you do not know Him? It must seem like some kind of fanaticism to those watching on the outside, and yet I was once looking from the outside in. But Jesus changes everything.
You may see all kinds of changes on the outside. Dramatic changes. Startling changes. People are set free from drug addicted lives. People who once roamed in unbridled promiscuity are now quite modest. Some lives are even changed while behind the confines of prison bars. But as much as the outside metamorphosis is remarkable, it cannot compare with what has happened on the inside. In fact, the inside is the power behind the changes being manifested on the outside. And when I say “power” I do not refer to some inanimate force; I speak of Christ Himself in the Person the Scriptures call the Holy Spirit. Again, with what human words can I communicate that which is sacred and holy and glorious, except to say that Jesus changes everything.
But unless we turn again to Jesus we will continue to live in a religious fog with a few apparitions which claim to be Jesus but are nothing but self serving western caricatures. This cannot be overstated, and if you genuinely and painfully wish to know and follow Jesus, you must read, in fact consume the gospels in order to see Who He is and what He said. And taken in the context of the New Testament as a whole, and then colored in by the Spirit, we can then count the cost. Oh yes, there is a cost…a high cost. And your desires and your thoughts and your wisdom must be sacrificed and rejected completely. That in and of itself is a spiritual task which is rarely undertaken in today’s fast paced evangelical world.
But apart from Christ we cannot know life. And Christ is much more than a doctrinal statement or a historical figure. His Words are more than good advice. His teachings are the deepest of truths applicable in their entirety to all situations and all cultures. And His Words are not guides to earthly success, and many times they will lead to earthly contempt. But that is the life to which we have been called. In a culture filled with continuous entertainment and information, this life will require time alone with Him. The threshing floor must be a welcome and familiar place of worship and personal transformation, and on that rare occasion, personal transfiguration.
Oh to be like Jesus. Oh to see Him and have His voice drown out all other voices and especially my own. Oh that the Shepherd would speak and his servant would hear and obey simultaneously. And within the confines of His written revelation, His voice can still be heard with a clarity and uniqueness that transcends any audible expressions. Do I sound ethereal and intangible? Oh but my friend, knowing Christ ushers in a reality that is so real, so tangible, and so profound that it literally transforms your very being. And until Jesus come into your life, you only think you know what life is all about.