READING: John 5
TEXTS AND APPLICATION: I suppose if you asked believers what “eternal life” means, they would say what many of us would first say: “eternal life means I’ll live forever after I die.” That understanding of eternal life isn’t wrong, of course, but it’s not enough. Look at Jesus’ words in John 5:
John 5:24-29 “I assure you: Anyone who hears My word and believes Him who sent Me has eternal life and will not come under judgment but has passed from death to life. I assure you: An hour is coming, and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. For just as the Father has life in Himself, so also He has granted to the Son to have life in Himself. And He has granted Him the right to pass judgment, because He is the Son of Man. Do not be amazed at this, because a time is coming when all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come out—those who have done good things, to the resurrection of life, but those who have done wicked things, to the resurrection of judgment.”
When God saves us, He gives us eternal life. That’s a present tense condition that must change the way I live today. Because I have eternal life, I should live with eternity in mind. Temporary idols should lose their power. Worry should lessen. Broken relationships should be restored. Recurrent sin should no longer be recurrent. Grief should be fleeting, and rest should be sweet. Life today should be victory, and the resurrection to come will be a validation of eternal life we already possess.
When we view “eternal life” as only that which comes after death, though, we fail to see the importance of present tense faith. Faith that is only future-tense oriented easily loses its victory and joy in the present.
ACTION STEPS: If you are a follower of Jesus, you have eternal life today. Live in that triumph by forsaking sin and rejoicing over grace. Whatever trials you face today will not win.
PRAYER: “God, thank You for giving us eternal life. Thank You that our eternity is not dependent on us. Help me to live differently today because of the life You’ve given me.”
TOMORROW’S READING: Matthew 12:1-21, Mark 3, Luke 6