July 23 I Tuesday
“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” —John 3:16
For many of us, the above verse is not only incredibly meaningful, but probably nostalgic as it is the first verse we recall learning as a child. Although we are older
now, we know there is nothing in these words that should be taken lightly.
The phrase, “that whoever believes in Him will not perish,” is interesting. From the moment we are born, we are in a state of perishing. The only eternal life that exists is in the life of God. God’s life was embodied in His Son who lived on earth, died, was buried and by His resurrection, conquered both sin and death. Unless we have the resurrected life of Christ indwelling us, we are in a state of perishing. Barring tragedy or illness, in our natural state, we will grow old and succumb to physical death. This is one of the dilemmas of the
human experience, not one we would like to dwell on, but one we must take seriously.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son,” is God’s divine intervention, His plan of reconciliation that halts the process of perishing and restores us to the everlasting life we were created to have. The antidote to perishing is found in Jesus Christ; there is no other way and no middle ground besides that cure. We cannot simply look at Jesus as a kind of museum piece that transcended the pages of history. Jesus is God’s anointed means of salvation because Jesus paid for our sins. Jesus is God. He is life itself. If we take instinct away from an animal or seasons away from a plant life, they will perish. Take God out of our lives and we will perish.
We may have accepted Christ as our Saviour, but from that moment on, what God will do in and through us will depend on the depth of our relationship with Him. Paul tells us, “their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work. If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward. If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved—even though only as one escaping through the flames” (1 Corinthians 3:13-15). When our appointed time comes, will our life reveal Jesus working in us? Or will we be standing on the periphery of Christendom as one having escaped through the flames? Intimacy with Jesus Christ here and now will change everything for us; there is no greater joy when entering heaven than knowing we have experienced Him.
Prayer: Dear Lord, I know Your presence is always in me. Help me to constantly draw upon that and form a deeply intimate relationship with You. Thank You, Lord.