Tag Archive for life in Christ

Sharing His Life

He will swallow up the covering which is over all peoples,
Even the veil which is stretched over all nations.
He will swallow up death for all time.
(Isaiah 25:7-8, NASB)

My wife and I have enjoyed browsing through antique shops. I got hooked on them years ago when I collected old books. So when she and I got the chance to spend a weekend away together, we decided to tour the small towns nearby and visit their shops.

The weekend was wrapping up, and we were in Gower, Missouri. In a small store there I came across a funeral card for a man who had died in 1887. Reading the card, I couldn’t help thinking about that man. He brought to mind the countless individuals around the world who have come and gone, seemingly unknown and unremembered. So many people. So many generations. We are like flowers. We bloom and proudly spread our petals toward the sun, only to die as quickly as we came, leaving little sign of our coming or our going. What difference does our living make? What does it matter that I, or any of us, were ever here?

We are surrounded by a stream of death that flows unceasingly through our world, engulfing all life, threatening to wash away all concept of meaning and significance. For me, antique shops quietly testify to that. They are graveyards for our treasures. When we’re gone, the things we counted precious are left behind to sell for pennies or to gather dust. They sit there on the shelf, mocking the foolishness and futility of our lives – lives hungrily invested in what is doomed to quickly pass.

As I stood there and saw myself as part of that stream of death, I was reminded that there is more.

I am not just a physical body that is dying even now. The life in me is the life of my Creator. He has shared it with me, and His life is unending. He is not a God of death and darkness, but of life and light. His life will not die with this body, and this world is not His final arena of existence or meaning.

What is more, I can know Him. I can know Him personally and live in a relationship with Him. I can please Him and talk to Him. I can learn of Him and grow in Him. I can fulfill the purpose for which I, and all this, was created.

That’s what I want above anything else. I want to become the person He designed me to be.

When redemption is complete and
God’s final judgments are pronounced,
death itself will be destroyed forever.
It will disappear from all creation, and
life will reign and abound everywhere—
life unchained,
deep and profound,
as rich and magnificent as God intended.

Hymn: Ash Wednesday Hymn

Enjoying Christ

I am the vine; you are the branches.
 If a man remains in me and I in him,
 he will bear much fruit;
apart from me you can do nothing.
(John 15:5, NIV)

My ministry. My “mission.” I get so focused on my work that it becomes my preoccupation and my goal in life.

But Lord, You kindly check me at this point. Do I really want to do anything more than to live in fellowship with You, to be conscious of Your presence? No, Lord, I don’t. I want nothing more than You.

All my fruitfulness is in You. I don’t need to get caught up in achievements or milestones. I can relax from the pressure to succeed. Moment by moment all the wisdom, all the working is Yours, my Lord.

I want to simply enjoy You and my journey with You, remaining open to Your leadership. Thank You, Lord!  Thank You for Your personal love to me.

Jesus, You love me. How else could I respond but to love You every moment?

Listen and sing:
Hymn: Fruitful in You
Printed Music & Lyrics


from the devotional book, PICTURES OF GOD

At times “holiness” has seemed an unattractive word to me – rigid and unfriendly. How could I be “holy” and still live freely and naturally? How could I ever relax and be myself?

At times “holiness” has been a theological word. The Bible convinces me that God wants us to live a holy life and has made that life available to us. But when I’ve listened to theological teaching and compared it to the Bible, I don’t always hear the same things. “Holiness” has involved some theological struggle for me.

And at times “holiness” has been a frustrating word. What Bible verse is more intimidating than this one? “Like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior.” (1 Peter 1:15, NASB). Any who have tried to discipline themselves into a holy life have known plenty of frustration.

But “holiness” has changed for me over the years. It’s not unattractive or frustrating. As I’ve begun to know Christ better and enjoy Him as a living Friend, I find I don’t want to interrupt that relationship. It means too much to me. I’ve experienced the difference He makes in me, and I want to be led by Him and molded by Him alone. I like myself better when He is shaping me.

Holiness has become a living relationship with Jesus as a personal being. It is the freedom of being guided and formed completely by Him. Do you know how exciting that is after years of struggling with my own weakness?

I’m not perfect. The more I know Him, the more I realize I fall short. But when I do, it’s because I’ve not prayed and depended on Him. When I don’t look to Him, I grow self-centered, and my thoughts and actions reflect it.

But forgiveness is immediately available. And when I trust Him, He responds to me and helps me respond to Him. He changes my feelings and reactions toward Him and toward those around me.

That makes me love and trust Him and desire His constant working in me all the more. Our relationship keeps growing. Praise to You, Lord!