The Life Gift

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Text: Selected texts from John’s Gospel.

The expected cycle of life goes like this: Birth > Life > Death.
But the hand of God, at work in the Easter Story, brings change: That’s what God can do – and does!
If God can turn the normal life cycle inside out – so that life follows Death, think what He can do for you. This is a story of possibilities, and they come to us as we receive the gift of God to us: the Life Gift!

Life Abundant (John 10: 10)
Too often, we are guilty of taking life for granted and losing its wonder.
We exclaim words of weariness, “Another day – another dollar.” We endure through experiences. We expect very little beyond the routine and mundane existence we have.
However, images externally, and perhaps a hidden drive internally, speak of something more.
We are told if we just possess ‘that’ thing, or take ‘that’ vacation, consume ‘that’ meal, won ‘that’ lottery, then all would be sweet: life would be so much more worthwhile.
What makes life worthwhile? What makes life worth living?
Jesus speaks to that question frequently. His life is an example of real living! He connected with His Heavenly Father, and then shared what He knew and experienced with others.
He offers new qualities of life: living water (John 4: 10), light (John 8: 12), peace (John 14: 27) and freedom to really live (John 8: 36; John 10: 10), among other gifts.
This is life as God intended it to be lived – by those created in His image (Genesis 1: 27).
It is abundant and real! Amen!

Life Eternal (John 3: 16)
The abundant life Jesus declares is rich in both quality and quantity.
While the body can become exhausted, and will one day run down completely, the life offered to our spirit is life without end.
The gift of God to make our existence meaningful and purposeful has no end.
While there is a new substance to living on earth, it continues into the heavenly realm after our life on earth comes to an end. John the Disciple glimpsed some of this and recorded it in the Book of Revelation.
This too, is a picture of living as we were created to be: not to wear out, but to be in the company of an Awesome God forever and ever and ever!

A movie often shown over Easter is entitled, “The Greatest Story Ever Told.” This is a very large claim. Yet it is so true: no other story on earth covers the span of personal transformation that will last forever, as this one does. No other story compares in revealing the love of a God, who would not only humble Himself on earth, but would do so to the point of death – even death on a Cross (Philippians 2: 8)! No other story has life conquering death! Not conquering in the minds or just metaphorically, but in actual flesh! John presents himself as a witness to all of this.
Why? John, himself, answers, “That you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing, you may have life in His name” (John 20: 31).
God’s ultimate gift for those who will receive it? Life.
Take today, with thanks, this Life-Gift.

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