As I write this, I am sitting in the Wichita airport, waiting for my flight back home. I have been visiting my family to attend the funeral of my aunt, my mom’s only sister. It was a wonderful time with family, remembering a life well lived to the glory of God. I’m at the age when I have many loved ones already in heaven. It makes you consider your own mortality and realize how fleeting this life is. I think of this life as a “qualifying race”. It is when we make our choice whether we will live for Christ or reject Him, and when we prove our love and devotion. We sometimes live as if this is THE life, but it’s not. THE life is in eternity. Not that this life is not important; it is. But it pales in light of eternity.
While I have been here this week, I have also been reading through the gospel of John with a friend. We read a chapter a day and meditate on it and share our thoughts daily through email. While I have been here, we have read John 3-6. In John 3 Jesus talks to Nicodemus and the importance of eternal life and how it is obtained (by believing in Him). Yesterday, in John 5:28-29 I read, “Don’t be so surprised! Indeed, the time is coming when all the dead in their graves will hear the voice of God’s Son, and they will rise again. Those who have done good will rise to experience eternal life, and those who have continued in evil will rise to experience judgment.” (NLT) Yesterday, as we buried my aunt, I was also at the grave of my sweet mother, aunts, uncles, and grandparents. What a precious verse, knowing all of these precious family members will be reunited with me some day!
If you read the Bible faithfully, no doubt you have had this experience. It seems, wherever you are reading in God’s Word, it was meant for you that day. Hebrews 4:12 tells us that God’s Word is living or alive and active. When I find God’s Word reaching out and speaking to my particular situation, I think of this verse. His Word is not some dead old manuscript. It is alive and active! It is always and continually relevant because it is truth that comes from an eternal, unchanging God. Those who live by it, know this is true.
There was another part of John 5:29 that I pondered yesterday. “Those who have done good will rise to experience eternal life, and those who have continued in evil will rise to experience judgment.” This should alarm us! We have loved ones who we know have rejected Christ. Today, in John 6:44 it says, “For no one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them to me, and at the last day I will raise them up.” We should both be sharing the gospel with those who don’t know Christ and praying that the Father would draw them to Him. When you gave your life to Jesus, didn’t you have a sense of being drawn to Him? I fear we lack concern and urgency with the lost.
I want to challenge myself and you, to continue to read God’s Word daily, listening to His voice, and unabashedly and lovingly sharing truth with the lost souls around us.
At this point many of his disciples turned away and deserted him. Then Jesus turned to the Twelve and asked, “Are you also going to leave?”
Simon Peter replied, “Lord, to whom would we go? You have the words that give eternal life. We believe, and we know you are the Holy One of God.”