Saturday, March 12, 2016

Life, Love and A Promise--by Linden Malki

One of the greatest mysteries of life is Life itself.  It is the basic gift of God,  but earthly life is fragile and limited. It is only the free sample--the Real Thing is something that God offers, and we have to respond--on His terms.  Jesus told His followers that He had came so that they might have life, and have it abundantly.  What is the characteristic of His Life?  We can go back to the basic answer:  God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believed in Him may not die, but may have eternal life.  When he sent His Son, it was a demonstration of Love. Love is a gift of God;  Jesus came to show God's love in a new and more powerful way.  It starts with God the Father,  is demonstrated in Jesus the Son, and if we open our hearts and minds to the understanding that Jesus is the Messiah, the promised Son of God, we are included in this circle of Love. 

True love is a relationship;  we commit ourselves to the knowledge that God wants us to have His best will for our lives.  Jesus told us seek His Kingdom first. One thing about a Kingdom is that it implies authority. Kingdoms of this world are limited by being human, but God  offers us a share in power that has conquered this world.  The cost is obeying His commands.

Jesus has said that the greatest commandment is that of Love--which we can only do properly through our relationship with Him.  Forgiveness is another one--again, that can only be done well through His  power.  We are commanded to go, teach, make disciples--but again, we must teach rightly.  We are to baptize those who come to faith--and as His representatives, and in His name. 

What is the key to a fruitful relationship with God?  What is the key to any relationship? Communication!  And how do we communicate with God?  The easy answer is Prayer--but that's a whole study of its own.  Prayer is not merely "talking to God", but  we need to listen as well.   But we're not on our own here--there's another Person involved. Jesus told his disciples as He was preparing them for His departure. "If you love me and obey the commands I give you, I will ask the Father and He will give you ... the Spirit of Truth."  The Spirit is the other link in the chain of Love.

This is how Jesus can say that His commands are "not burdensome". They are not easy, but we're not asked to do this on our own.  If fact, if we try to do it in our own strength, it will not work as well.   We need to remember that we have His wisdom, His help, His strength, His Spirit available for the asking.

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