Sunday, June 9, 2019 -
It’s easy to understand why most people in prison are very dissatisfied with their life. They are miserable, and they feel life is passing them by. The truth be known, this truism probably applies to most outside of prison too, and probably many who frequent church regularly.
Yet, Jesus said, “For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so, the Son also gives life to whom He wishes…Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My Word, and believes Him who sent Me, has ETERNAL life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life. Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming and now is when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear shall live…You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life, and it is these that bear witness of Me, and you are unwilling to come to Me, that you may have life” (John 5:21, 24-26, 39-40).
Christ takes us from death to life. And it is a life eternal. Our eternal life begins the moment we accept Christ as Lord and Savior -- the very moment we repent of our sin and accept His atonement on the cross for our sin! And it is only when we have that new life when we can truly enjoy life to the fullest, and look upon things of beauty and God’s creation in an entirely new light!
Life is God’s gift from Him, and He has made all things for us to enjoy, and He has created you and me for His good pleasure. Our ultimate fulfillment becomes evident when we stay in regular communion with Him. That communion with God is our sole purpose for living. Our meaning for living is our life itself, a life in right relationship with God, which only comes through the redemption of Christ and His Lordship of our lives.
This being alive in Christ is described in the first 10 verses of Ephesians 2, where Paul describes going from a miserable life of self-indulgence of the flesh to a life with Christ, filled with “the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness towards us in Christ Jesus…the gift of God” (Eph. 2:7-8). John 1:4 says, “In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.” “And He died for all, that they who live should no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf…therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come” (II Corinthians 5:15,17). He came so that we might have life, and have it more abundantly! He gives our life purpose. Our life is purpose! Everything that matters in life flows out of our intimacy with Christ. Only in it can we be fully alive. When we become a Christian, our lives enter an eternal dimension and Jesus’ death and resurrection takes away the curse of death for us! He told us when we eat His flesh and drink His blood, we live (John 6:53-58).
But the wonderful thing about being in prison is that there are fewer distracting things in life that tend to take precedence over spending time with God, other than very little “alone time.” But I have learned, even in prison, a joyful, abundant life comes from making one’s spending time with God a priority. For if we do that, everything else falls into place.