But the Gift of God is Eternal Life (part 1)

Romans 6:23(NLT), “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.”

When we’re in Christ sin no longer has dominion over us. We may struggle with certain sins, but that struggle does not define who we are because through the blood of Christ we are a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17). He overcame all sin when He died on the cross. However He didn’t just die, He also rose again showing us even further that He has conquered sin once and for all. We have our flesh that wants to enjoy the pleasures of sin and we also have God’s Spirit who convicts us of sin, because He knows the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life (Roman 6:23). No matter how good sin may feel to us at the time, we are told that sin when full-grown leads to death (James 1:15). It starts off small and keeps growing. If we choose to persist in sin, some type of death is impending rather it be spiritual, emotional, mental, or even physical. When we turn on the TV and see chaos and tragedy on the news,  much of what we are seeing is a result of sin that has become full-grown and lead to some type of death.

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Not one of us is without sin, for all have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory (Romans 3:23). It’s just a matter of how we choose to handle it. I’ve struggled with certain sins like anyone else, but I can remember God telling me, “This is not who you are.” The enemy of our souls (and the society we live in), will work overtime to try to convince us that sin is acceptable or even worse, that it’s just who we are. It’s not acceptable and it’s definitely not who we are. When we have accepted Jesus as Lord of our lives, we have a way out. He will give us strength to resist sin. If we fall into sin, we can repent in the name of Jesus and move on. He has promised us that He is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9). Unconfessed sin leads to death, but accepting Jesus Christ leads to life (John 14:6).

Choose Life!

Continuing Reading: But the Gift of God is Eternal Life (Part 2)

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Abundant Life is Yours

John 10:10 (KJV)

“The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”

So phenomenal, so fascinating, and so beautiful.  Beauty that never ceases to intrigue me, and every time I see it, it feels like I’m seeing it for the very first time. It will often appear out of nowhere and catch me by surprise. Other times I realize that conditions are favorable for it to appear, so I gaze up at the sky, looking in every possible direction until I can hopefully find the image that I am searching for. Once I see the colorful, sprawling rainbow in the sky, I never want to let it out of my sight. If at all possible, I keep my eye on it until it fades away and can no longer be seen.

I wish I could reach out and touch it, but according to the laws of science, that can never happen. Why? Because it’s all an optical illusion. Sadly, since a rainbow is not a physical object, no one can get to it and it can’t be touched.  No matter how real it may seem, it can only be admired from afar. A rainbow they say is nothing more than a “distorted image of the sun” caused by raindrops bending the sun’s light. It’s a simple process that creates a stunning display. So based on this knowledge of what a rainbow really is, we know the sun is the real source of what we see. However this breathtaking, brightly colored arch stands in full view, capturing our attention and effortlessly stealing our hearts. I for one, can honestly say that when there is a rainbow on display across the blue sky, the sun is not the number one thing on my mind. What about you? When you see a rainbow, do you dismiss its beauty and redirect your attention to the sun?

I heard that there is a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, but I guess we will never know since we can’t make it to the rainbow to find out. Even if there was a pot of gold resting at the end of the rainbow, chances are it too would be an illusion that cannot be touched.

Have you ever felt this way about life? Have you ever felt that there are some things you cannot seem to get to no matter how hard you try? I know I have been in that place before where I found myself pursing something that was all an illusion. It seemed right at first, but the closer I got to it the more I realized it wasn’t real, and for one reason or another it would never work for me. Or after putting forth energy and time, the thing I was hoping for all of a sudden begins to fade away right before my very eyes, until it has completely disappeared, just like a rainbow. Sometimes in life we can want something so bad that we imagine we can have what it is we want and the “pot of gold” to go along with it. So we run hard after that thing, hoping for the best and never taking the time to pray and ask God if it is really His will for us before we start the race. God has a purpose for each one of us. We must stay close to Him to walk into all He has for us, but we must also stay in His Word to understand how he thinks and works so that we will not be lead astray by “false images”.

Whenever I see a beautiful rainbow, I will not hesitate to admire it’s beauty. I will also let it be God’s reminder to me to pursue only the things that are His will for me, and not to be enticed to go after what He never meant for me to have. The enemy attempts to get us off course and distort our lives by presenting an alternative path that appears perfect, but it is in fact a counterfeit. He wants us to chase after “rainbows” that are not real. He wants us to go after beautiful illusions that we can never get to that will eventually disappear right before our eyes. Remember, only what is truly real has staying power, everything else will fade away.

The devil comes to steal, to kill, and destroy, BUT JESUS….He came that we may have life, and have life more abundantly. Why not run after Him, the one who can give you what is best for you? No tricks, no gimmicks, and no illusions. His love is real.

Always focus on the true source. Jesus Christ is the True Source. The life we live should be a reflection of His Light. Stay alert and keep your gaze fixed on Him! He is the Author and the Finisher of your faith (Hebrews 12:2).

 

Father,

Thank you for being real. You never deceive us or lead us astray. Teach us by your Holy Spirit to stay true to You and Your Word. Keep us from counterfeit paths that are meant to bring destruction and pain to our lives. Help us to stay on that narrow path that leads to life. (Matthew 7:13-14)

In the name of Jesus. Amen.

“Genesis 9:16 (NLT) When I see the rainbow in the clouds, I will remember the eternal covenant between God and every living creature on earth.

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