Living large. Living it up. Living the life.
All movie titles, none of them reflect God’s promise for His people.
The one who pursues righteousness and faithful love will find life, righteousness, and honor.
Proverbs 21:21 (CSB)
Typically, I try to save the punch line till the last few lines, but this is something that is so important that I needed to get the bottom line out in the open.
The world attributes all kinds of terms and settings for what it considers being life. God is the creator of life, so there is no better authority on life but the one who gives it to us.
Still, we seek to live life in style, life in the fast lane, not to mention a purposeful life. What did Jesus say about life?
A thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I have come so that they may have life and have it in abundance.
John 10:10 (CSB)
Life in abundance
What the world would pose to associate with life, Christ Jesus provides. Not only does He provide life, but He does it in abundance. In fact, His purpose for leaving Heaven and coming to live among us, was so we find life.
No matter what the world will tell you, living it up will never elevate your life as Jesus intends it to be. If we want to have a life without boundaries, we will have to stop struggling on our own and surrender all to God’s will in Christ Jesus.
The perfect life as defined by God begins with us giving up control and turning our lives over to Him.
I have been crucified with Christ, and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
Galatians 2:20 (CSB)
So, life as defined by the Creator, finds us living it up, by giving it up! Paul states it here so unmistakably, it can’t be misconstrued. When we give our lives to Jesus, our dead, unwashed existence we have surrendered to Him. That existence is crucified on the cross with Jesus. In its place, new life, lived by faith in God’s Son who took our debt to the cross in our place.
To express this in its simplest form; Jesus died so we could live.
He took our place, but its isn’t as simple as that sounds. Before the application of His Grace we found ourselves tried, convicted and sentenced to death. When he took our place, Jesus took with him our death and placed that upon Himself, so we might have life; His life, living in us. This is how Paul can say it is no longer I that lives but Christ who lives within me!
Death itself is gone, it no longer exists in us. Jesus paid the price for the sin and in its place new life, His life replaces it, so we can live with Him and for Him.
Another bit of wisdom from the book of proverbs.
As water reflects the face, so the heart reflects the person.
Proverbs 27:19 (CSB)
Christ’s intent for us doesn’t infer our new life is to languish. We have a purpose and a mission that dictates how we will live. We have this mission, by the mercy of our Lord’s grace. This doesn’t come from our own inner personal strength and determination. It is a product of the heart. A heart committed and dedicated to living for and through Jesus Christ. That heart has a reflection. This reflection emanates to all that are around. It shows the bountiful grace and love imparted it to us.
The one who does not love does not know God, because God is love. God’s love was revealed among us in this way: God sent his one and only Son into the world so that we might live through him.
1 John 4:8-9 (CSB)
Life transferred into the dead shell of human existence. The statement, “The one who does not love does not know God, because God is love” relies on the life of Christ Jesus being present in us. God equals love. Jesus equals God. Our dead shell we surrendered, so we die with Christ and now Christ lives in us! Therefore, we must love as a reflection of what is in our hearts; God’s Spirit, and as a result, God’s love.
There is a symbiotic relationship going on here if you haven’t noticed by now.
We were dead. We became alive through the grace of Jesus who sacrificed Himself for us and then placed His life in us. Because of that life we should emulate Him and are emanating those things which He exhibits as attributes.
His love, His forgiveness, His mercy, His compassion, His Grace, and every other feature He implants in us because of His Spirit living in us.
“God sent his one and only Son into the world so that we might live through him.” This is living. This is where we encounter ourselves, “Finding Life!”
In His Grace,