Thursday, April 24, 2014

What is Life?

What is Life?
Lk.12:13-21 - And one of the company said unto him, Master, speak to my brother, that he divide the inheritance with me.
14 And he said unto him, Man, who made me a judge or a divider over you?
15 And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.
16 And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully:
17 And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits?
18 And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods.
19 And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.
20 But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?
21 So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.

What is life? Is it just the beating of one’s heart? Is it just breathing? Is it the enjoyment of things? Jesus, the Creator of all life, makes it very clear that life is none of those things. And yet, in this day of extreme hedonism the church has slowly but surely adopted a world view of life.
We have millionaire preachers flying in private jets. We have believers accumulating much money. We have believers surrounding their lives with all sorts of earthly accoutrements. And the church has assimilated material prosperity into its theology. Poor Abraham, he never realized his experience would be used and abused in order to make it seem like God desired all of us to have what God gave him. Gone are the spiritual lessons. Everything is now material and self centered.
“Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.”Even in the face of such a direct and clear admonition preachers can manipulate and twist it to accommodate their worldly lusts. And in so doing not only are they promulgating error, but they are missing life itself.
Col.3:1-4 - If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.
2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.
3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.
4 When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.

Did you catch that phrase? “Christ who is our life”. OK, let me add some words from His own sacred lips.
“I am the way, the truth, and the life.”Come on, how much clearer can it be? And unless you have a personal agenda of lust you cannot deny that our life is Christ. And yet millions upon millions of professing believers walk around draped in death and without the life that can only be found in Christ. The church has relegated Jesus Christ to a redemptive theology but has kept Him outside the daily life experience of His professing followers. Houses and cars and clothes and success and salaries have crowded Him out.
Jn.15:4-5 - Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.
5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
To abide in Christ entails much more than embracing an orthodox doctrinal statement.Rev.2:2-4 - I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars:(And I know you have uncovered false teachers like Bell and Osteen and that you are diligent to confront evil men…)3 And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name's sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted.(And you have remained faithful to my Word and the faith once delivered to the saints.)
4 Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.
And here we find an admonition to us who embrace an orthodox theology and even rebuke false teachers and heretics by name. Sometimes in our clear sighted energy to warn others of the errors of false teachers we neglect to lay ourselves before Christ. We sometimes are satisfied with defending Biblical truth. But the Spirit recognized the labors and patience of the Church at Ephesus, but reveals a serious flaw in their spiritual walk.
They had left their first love. This is no minor or fringe issue. In fact, the Spirit warns the believers at Ephesus that their candlestick is in jeopardy if they do not repent and return to their first love. Do you not think that this is a solemn issue that must be identified and addressed? What does the Spirit mean when He says “thy first love”? The word love is used loosely as a pronoun and obviously refers to Christ Himself. That much is clear.
But how can we who boldly espouse an orthodox doctrinal statement leave Christ, our love? That is the penetrating question that is rarely addressed within the church and within the hearts of individual believers. But it is not just an important question, it is the paramount aspect of a disciple’s life. Jesus must be our very life, and he must be our first and continuing love.
All to Jesus, I surrender;
All to Him I freely give;
I will ever love and trust Him,
In His presence daily live.We must guard against getting so caught up with chasing error that we fail to see how far we have strayed from Christ Himself. That is not only possible, but it is a very slippery slope. Our relationship with Christ should be much more intimate and personal than just checking theological boxes. He is not just some doctrinal fort to be defended.
“Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb's wife.”We are His bride and His wife. That metaphor is meant to indicate an intimacy in the Spirit that surpasses head knowledge alone. God has left behind the stone tablets and has placed His very being inside the believer. How intimate is that? And yet how often do we live with a spectacular awareness of that immeasurable reality? And with that incredible truth, Paul makes this sweeping statement.
Gal.2:20 - I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
So class, Who IS our life? Is it not obvious that we have allowed all sorts of distractions and sins to rob us of the surpassing glory of His life in this present spiritual subsistence? Again Paul states a unfathomable truth.
Phil.1:21 - For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
Say it out loud. Meditate on the veracity of its words. All of us know this sentence, yet how many know its experience? In light of just the verses I have shared in this post, does it not seem obvious that there must be more - MUCH MORE - to the life of a believing follower of Jesus the Christ? And if our love for Jesus should make our love for our mothers look like hate, then where oh where has such love gone? Have we not allowed that love to be parsed out among the things of this world?
Brethren, we have much work to be done with God and the road ahead can be a glorious path of repentance and revelation. To know Him is to love Him. And if our love has waned it is because we have relied on knowing Him from a past understanding and not a revelation of Christ that is as fresh as today. Our life is not just a string of adjectives.

Our life is the Lord Jesus Christ.


michael said...

I've given a lot of time studying this topic and though my "Bible" study verses would be different than what I just read, the conclusion ends at the same end, "LOVE"!

For instance as I embarked on an exhaustive study of the several words in both the Hebrew and Greek English translations render the use of the word "life", my understanding was opened and I was amazed at the various aspects Jesus used to help us understand LIFE in the Gospels as well as the rest of Scripture!

I'll forego that and end where my study brought me. It was here at two places in the Gospels, one in Matthew's and one in John's:::>

Matthew 11:25 At that time Jesus declared, "I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children;
26 yes, Father, for such was your gracious will.[fn]
27 All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.
28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."

Here because I realized by studying this subject I continually fall short in need of My Savior if I'm going to stay hot with LOVE in His LIFE while living in this sinful fallen nature. This revelation of my need for His daily activity in my life brought me here as well:

John 17:25 O righteous Father, even though the world does not know you, I know you, and these know that you have sent me.
26 I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them."

Now it truly is Christ sustaining, the Hope of glory!

Anonymous said...

Great post, brother Rick!

These are some of the most interesting quotes I hear often in church and religious circles in communities....

"I'm so proud of..."
"I'm so proud that I...."
"I'm so proud that my children didn't do...."
"I'm so proud of myself in doing..."

Yes, aside from doctrines, man's traditions, and a blatant idolatry of self, what then is left of this life?

God, oh LORD, have mercy on us all, in Jesus' Name above all Names.

Anonymous said...

It's very hard these days trying to be in a quiet place, seeking intimacy with the Lord (for me, anyway). Since I didn't get maternal love, I am not the person to give answers to these questions. Realizing that we all come from so many different environments, I expect many are the same. Even as a believer, I still can't sort out feelings, when it comes to how we are to love "in Christ". I wonder how families and citizens in the centuries between the first church and today, and how they showed love? Did christians really share and sincerely love each other, or was it, like today, just talk and no action?

I know all men are sinful and throughout the centuries have fallen short. I think though today, we've been charmed and influenced by TV and media's idea of "love" and are too occupied with the image of 'loving'. Everyone wants to post their good deeds and like Anon. 2:09 hearing people say, "I'm so proud of...."

I think we today are so lacking in witnessing true love - even the church, who's been brainwashed about it's concept of love, thinks gift-giving is love. That's all they do. Send a donation, send a love-gift, love-offering. Love is always about money, with church leaders. Give your best "love" - cheque or money order. I'm not saying that sending to missions or to the true gospel workers isn't love. But, it seems that no one wants our services any more. I remember offering a practically new bike to a missionary. They told me they wanted cash. They have a big RV and wanted me to sell it, then send them cash. I eventually gave it to a couple who didn't have a car.

We, who have pretty much everything we need, have no use for doing the dirty work. We can keep our elbows clean and just give money. No one wants to get out and do the dirty work.

So sorry to post a bit negatively, but they are just 'feelings' and down here on earth it's very hard to understand the 'heavenly' things. I know we are to store up treasures for heaven, but the storing sometimes is a long process, and it's hard to continue, without ever getting a taste of the Lord in all His Glory. Faith is a hard exercise some times. But, He is Lord! And His mercy endureth forever!


Anonymous said...

The more we love Lord Jesus the more we will understand life.

Understanding life and understanding the importance of Jesus' sacrifice, resurrection and His Second Coming belong together.

Come to Lord Jesus, all who labor and are heavy laden, and He will give you rest!

Our gracious, loving, all-wise teacher, Lord Jesus, is gentle and lowly in heart. In Him Christians will find rest for their souls.

Dear readers, put your complete trust in the sinless Son of God, for He can and does compassionately lighten our burdens.

God loves you!

Josef Sefton

Cherie c. said...

Just saw this quote:

“Receive every inward and outward trouble, every disappointment, pain, uneasiness, temptation, darkness and desolation with both hands, as to a true opportunity and blessed occasion of dying to self and entering into a fuller fellowship with thy self-denying, suffering Savior.” John Wesley

Think it sums it up nicely about what is life. Or at least it should be. Just saying.

your sister in Christ Jesus

Anonymous said...

Psalms 119:9 How can a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed according to Your word.

There is a short song we would sing at Vacation Bible School when I was a kid, it goes…

The B-I-B-L-E
Yes that’s the Book for me
I stand alone on the word of God
The B-I-B-L-E

I have learned, or I should say the Lord has shown me throughout my life that staying in the word is not only a way of life, but it is THE WAY TO LIFE AND THEN TO LIFE EVERLASTING.

Even an old man can cleanse his way by taking heed according to the word of God!


Cherie c. said...

Joel, Amen dear brother, amen

your sister in Christ Jesus

Anonymous said...

How does man enter into a fuller fellowship with His risen Saviour?

We are to take whatever troubles us inwardly and outwardly to the LORD, for He is our Teacher and Guide!

When we look at the life of Jesus and David we see that at times they avoided the company of certain people. David didn't stay in the company of Saul when he was persecuting him and Jesus chose the times thoughtfully when He went to Jerusalem.

Many times we need to "avoid" the company of evil people in order to regain our focus, composure and strength.

Josef Sefton

Anonymous said...

Whoever does not love Jesus does not keep His words!

If anyone loves Jesus, he will keep His word, and the Father will love him, and they will come to him and make Their home with him.

God bless you!