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This is Life - A Devotion

This is Life
This is Life

John 10:9-10 (NLT)
Yes, I am the gate. Those who come in through me will be saved. They will come and go freely and will find good pastures. The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.

This is life. Scanning the news feed of social media, there are countless cries for prayer as families deal with the unthinkable and unimaginable pains and heartaches in this life. The little baby who nearly drown while mom and dad were at the hospital welcoming his brother into the world such pain and sorrow all in the same day. The little man who one year after being hit in the head by a falling tree limb while playing in the yard adjusts to new challenges such as eating solid food again. The young mother who was forced into adulthood by a child born facing profound challenges yet has accepted her role with love, dignity and grace. The couples who have parted and new relationships that have formed. Heartache and pain laced with shout out for engagements, good fortune and blessing along the way. Joy and pain – who would think this world is big enough for both but it is. The stress and pressure of life can be overwhelming but people survive every day even the tragedies of life. People are stronger beings than they think. They were created with great destinies. You have awesome potential. It doesn’t matter the circumstances of your birth, the situations of your childhood, or even all the mistakes of adulthood. By the Grace and Unfailing Love of God, this is life. We must learn to live it.

Jesus Christ came with one purpose in mind. He came so that you and I would have a rich and satisfying life. He is the gateway to such an existence. But notice it says, “they will come and go freely and will find good pastures.” This is the part that is restrictive. It really is up to us whether or not we live the “rich and satisfying” life offered by Jesus Christ. Faith is the game changer as we turnaround and live what we believe. You cannot slip over the fence or slide under the gate. You must request admission to this better life and choose to live it. Your ultimate destination is far better than this, but if you do not have Jesus and do not find hope that comes with salvation by faith. This is all there is to life. How sad to think the tragedy and trails we overcome amount to nothing more than history when they could produce God’s Glory in our life. Are rich? More importantly are you satisfied? Abundant life are comprised of two things – contentment and satisfaction. You can have these two qualities in the life that you are living – right now in the here and now. The Lord didn’t promise to evacuate you from this life the moment you called His Name. But rather He promised to empower you to an abundance in this life. This like love, joy and peace are often underestimated but never overrated. When the unfailing love of God finds you, unspeakable joy fills you and unexplainable peace wraps you securely in faith and confident hope – there is nothing else like it.

John 1:1-4 (NLT)
In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. He existed in the beginning with God. God created everything through him, and nothing was created except through him. The Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone.

The Word of God is the creator of life. God spoke the world into existence and He said that it was good. (Genesis 1) The Word gave life to everything. His life brought light to everyone. The Word is Jesus Christ. Now I know this is tough to imagine, I don’t get it all but I am trying to wrap my head around the inspiration in my spirit that despite all the hard times and trials that we face – this is the life that God intended for me to have. In Genesis 2:7, we see the image of God’s spirit giving breathe to the first human being. There was all kind of life in creation but this is the only image of God physically breathing His Life into another being. This has to make us special to God. Well not to bore you with the details, but we all know the story of the Garden of Eden. Now humanity was separated from God and His Light, we chose this life. He gave us everything, requiring nothing, and asked only that we stay away from that which would harm us. This is when the inner struggle of man became the outer struggle of the world. Sin was introduced to the world. Labor and work became part of man’s routine. Sickness and disease entered our bodies. Love grew cold. This world began to die. Being separated from our life source created a separation that demanded retribution in order to resolve. So the Word wrapped Himself in flesh and came to this world to be the Light that would lead all of God’s Children back to life, love and happiness. (John 1:14) Jesus is the gateway back to the rich, satisfying life that God created for His People on the earth as well as in Eternity. The problems we face in this life have the potential be turned around for our good in His Hands. (Romans 8:28) In fact, the Lord promises in His Word to perfect that which concerns us. (Psalm 138:8) God created each one of us with a plan and purpose for our life. It contains a future and hope. (Jeremiah 29:11) Everyone has the potential to prosper but few will take advantage of the opportunity. Every moment of your life was written before you were even born so there is a way out. (Psalm 139:16) There is a guide to the gate who is Jesus Christ. Nothing is random in our life just missed opportunities. You do not have to regret your past after you repent because now it can prosper as intended even after the fact.

Matthew 16:25-26 (NLT)
If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it. And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul?

The true purpose and potential of our life is found in Jesus Christ. Outside of Jesus Christ – this is all there is to life. There is no meaning to our suffering and sorrow just a whole lot of regret. Trying to make something beautiful out of this life is a futile endeavor. When you give up your life, you save it. Who wants to do that? Those who want a satisfied life will do exactly that. Only Jesus Christ offers hope that will never lead to disappointment. (Romans 5:5) This comes even in the heartache and hardship of life. (Romans 5:1-4) He is working on the inside of us always. His Spirit is changing us from the inside out. His Word is working out the details of our life. The more we know Christ and strive to walk through life His Way suddenly everything changes inside of us even when nothing at changes around us. God’s Goodness and Unfailing Love have been pursuing us, but we did not encounter it until we stopped chasing other things. (Psalm 23:6) God shows us how to really live. (Psalm 116:11) It gives him great pleasure to do so. God’s Word is life. (Deuteronomy 32:47) So it would only be logical to assume that if we do what the Word says, then we will have more life. The Lord promises to guide us along the best pathway for life. (Psalm 32:8-9) This life is nothing compared to forever though which is His Ultimate Goal. (Psalm 39:4-5) It all comes down to our heart. The heart determines the course of our life. (Proverbs 4:23) Where is your heart today? Have you given it to Jesus Christ? A portion of your life will only yield a part of His Potential, Purpose and Blessing.

Psalm 30:4-6 (NLT)
Sing to the LORD, all you godly ones! Praise his holy name. For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime! Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning. When I was prosperous, I said, “Nothing can stop me now!”

Someone is about to get set free today. The Word of God is an amazing book. The more I read it the more that I discover there is something new in it for me each day. I have often read this verse and accepted the fact that God gets angry with me. It says so right here – “for his anger lasts only for a moment.” When bad things happen in my life, I used to accept them because of the “bad” things that I have done. I decided that I deserved them as punishment for the sin and indiscretions in my life. All those times that I had let God down naturally He got mad about right? Oh how wrong I was. Yesterday was a long and overwhelming day at the hospital with our son. We are currently working to harvest precious bone marrow from his body to use after a high dose of chemotherapy to once and for all kill the cancer that keeps coming back. I was exhausted on the verge of dissolving into tears that I feared might never start falling. The Spirit of God whispered to me to get in the Word. I needed a rescue remedy and that is exactly what I found. It is the Bread of Life that feeds, nourishes and sustains my life as Child of the Living God. (John 6:48) Without the Word, I would lose my way or give up. I know it. Anyway – I came across this verse in pure desperation for the Joy of the Lord to overtake me. Then it hit me like a load of bricks, or a strong move of His Spirit – you decide. The Lord impressed upon my heart that God is not mad at me. His Anger subsided a long time ago. He doesn’t relive that moment because it broken His Heart to turn His Back on Jesus. (Matthew 27:45-46) In that moment when His Anger ended, a whole lot of things happened when His Favor became mine for life. “Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows that weighed him down. And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God, a punishment for his own sins! But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed. All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet the LORD laid on him the sins of us all.” (Isaiah 53:4-6) If God ever got mad at us again, it would mean that the Sacrifice of Jesus Christ was insufficient. So what is stopping me from living in His Prosperity – I am!

Deuteronomy 30:15-20 (NLT)
“Now listen! Today I am giving you a choice between life and death, between prosperity and disaster. For I command you this day to love the LORD your God and to keep his commands, decrees, and regulations by walking in his ways. If you do this, you will live and multiply, and the LORD your God will bless you and the land you are about to enter and occupy. But if your heart turns away and you refuse to listen, and if you are drawn away to serve and worship other gods, then I warn you now that you will certainly be destroyed. You will not live a long, good life in the land you are crossing the Jordan to occupy. Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live! You can make this choice by loving the LORD your God, obeying him, and committing yourself firmly to him. This is the key to your life. And if you love and obey the LORD, you will live long in the land the LORD swore to give your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.”

Grace does not mean not following God’s Word or Jesus Christ. It is not an excuse to live a random life and slide under those pearly gate just in the nick of time. Grace opens the gate to the rich and satisfying life that the Lord has promised us. It is up to you and I whether or not we choose to live life that way. You have a free will. You don’t have to do what the Word says and you don’t have to follow Jesus Christ. You can live any way that you choose to. BUT if you want a rich and satisfying life – this is it. You will find it here by living life the way God designed it. This will mean sometimes doing things differently than our flesh would like. It will require some discipline along the way to overcome temptation. (Isaiah 38:16) Godly people find life. (Proverbs 11:19) Godliness leads to life. (Proverbs 12:28) It fills our life with light and joy. (Proverbs 13:9) Living a life of respect for God and His Word will bring security and protection in our life. (Proverbs 19:23) God’s Righteousness (found in Jesus) and Unfailing Love lead to a life that honors God and He blesses His People who choose such a life. (Proverbs 21:21) Our life is prescribed. “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?” (Matthew 6:25-27) Those who choose honor God with their life will find the life that they have longed for. They will be satisfied with their life no matter what it looks like, where it takes them or how bad it hurts sometimes.

Ezekiel 37:4-10 (NLT)
Then he said to me, “Speak a prophetic message to these bones and say, ‘Dry bones, listen to the word of the LORD! This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Look! I am going to put breath into you and make you live again! I will put flesh and muscles on you and cover you with skin. I will put breath into you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the LORD.’” So I spoke this message, just as he told me. Suddenly as I spoke, there was a rattling noise all across the valley. The bones of each body came together and attached themselves as complete skeletons. Then as I watched, muscles and flesh formed over the bones. Then skin formed to cover their bodies, but they still had no breath in them. Then he said to me, “Speak a prophetic message to the winds, son of man. Speak a prophetic message and say, ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Come, O breath, from the four winds! Breathe into these dead bodies so they may live again.’” So I spoke the message as he commanded me, and breath came into their bodies. They all came to life and stood up on their feet—a great army.

Is your life empty today? Are you completely drained, dissatisfied and disappointed? It doesn’t have to be that way. In fact, that is not the way that the Lord intended you to life. Same spouse, same children, same friends, and same enemies but a different heart will change everything all at once. You will see the good in those around you, the potential in situations that are problematic, and disappointment will become hope. You decide what you will do with the life you have been given. Stop looking to change your life and make the choice to allow the Spirit of God to change you and things will begin to happen in your life. I have found this to be true. You have been given the Breath of God as it has flowed through generations. You have been given the Breath of His Spirit which is our rebirth. (John 3:6) When take the breath in our body and connect it to the Holy Spirit – things will begin to change inside of us. Through righteousness, Christ builds our life from the inside out. (Romans 8:10) Make no mistake it is time to live life intentionally. You must be bound and determined to have the life that Jesus Christ died for you to have found in His Righteousness alone. Your life was meant to be filled with goodness, joy and peace. (Romans 14:17) We must live in pursuit of just that. This is your life. Live it!

2 Corinthians 5:16-17 (NLT)
So we have stopped evaluating others from a human point of view. At one time we thought of Christ merely from a human point of view. How differently we know him now! This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!

Colossians 3:3-4 (NLT)
For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God. And when Christ, who is your life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all his glory.

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