How Do You See Your Life?

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is — his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2

How do you see your life? You will discover that there are as many different answers to that question as there are people. I’ve been told life is a circus, a minefield, a roller coaster, a puzzle, a symphony, a journey, and a dance. People have said, “life is a carousel: Sometimes you’re up, sometimes you’re down, and sometimes you just go round and round.”

If I asked how you picture life, what image would come to your mind? That image is your life metaphor. For instance, if you think life is a party, your primary value in life will be having fun. If you see life as a race, you will value speed and will probably be in a hurry much of the time. If you see life as a battle or a game, winning will be very important to you.

The Bible offers three metaphors that teach us God’s view of life: Life is a test, life is a trust, and life is a temporary assignment.

Life on earth is a test. God continually tests people’s character, faith, obedience, love, integrity, and loyalty. Words like trials, temptations, refining, and testing occur more than 200 times in the Bible.

Life on earth is trust. Our time on earth and our energy, intelligence, opportunities, relationships, and resources are all gifts from God that he has entrusted to our care and management. This concept of stewardship begins with the recognition that God is the owner of everything and everyone on earth.

Life on earth is a temporary assignment. Repeatedly the Bible compares life on earth to temporarily living in a foreign country. This is not your permanent home or final destination. You’re just passing through, just visiting earth.

Life is a test and a trust, and the more God gives you, the more responsible he expects you to be. And remember, you are not home yet.
( From ‘The Purpose Driven Life’ by Rick Warren )

Live In Hope!

And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. Romans 5:2-5

We hope, not because we are not certain, but because we have a faith that transcends mere certainty. We hope, not because heaven is far away and we are stuck on earth, but because in the Incarnation, heaven was born in the form of a baby in Bethlehem, was crucified, died, and rose again.

We hope because the very worst thing that can possibly happen has already happened. There is no need to worry about anything leading to cosmic despair. Jesus has led the way to life from dead and has given us the gift of the Holy Spirit.

If God is for us, who can be against us? If God can bring eternal life for a race of murderers out of the death of his own murdered Son, what possible limits can there be to his mercy? None, except for our refusal to receive that mercy.

Do You Believe?

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” John 11:25-26

Well, do you? This is the core of our Christian belief, and yet many of those who identify themselves as Christians shy away from this premise on the basis that it is intolerant and inherently exclusivist. Well, yes that’s true, but that’s how truth operates. It is infallible and the rest is opinion, conjecture, etc. Isn’t that what our soul desires … something we can hang our spiritual hats on? I think it’s what we all yearn for, believers and unbelievers alike, but our society has countered truth with a myriad of other “relative truths.” It markets them like snake oil at a sideshow. This, by the way, is how Satan can get the job done, even going so far as to convince us that he really doesn’t exist. When was the last time you heard about Satan from the pulpit?

Of course there are absolutes! There have to be; what else can be a point of reference, but the irrefutable truth? Either understand that now or spend the rest of eternity [by choice, no less] separated from God. And who said that recognizing the truth made an individual intolerant? Plenty of people have staked their lives on it, literally. These folks were no more blind than Christ, who believed it so thoroughly that, unless He died in vain, was willing to die a horrible death for it … and us! Decide who you would rather trust, and know that your decision here will be one that has eternal consequences. I’ll bet my life on Jesus Christ … Lord of Lords. It’s a risk we can’t afford NOT to take.