Sunday, March 23, 2014

Eternal Life is Knowing God, Not Living Forever

Donna at Brookgreen Gardens
Murrell's Inlet, SC

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by Donna L. Watkins

When we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, our spirits are filled with all of who He is. It's like this mega download of spiritual assets are placed within our body which has now become a temple for the Holy Spirit, a dwelling place for God. When I first "got saved" none of this was explained to me. I visited a Baptist church at a Youth Rally of some sort and it was all about escaping Hell. I'd never been there before and never did return for another service.

Obviously I did not comprehend any of what I did. I don't know if my heart was in it when I repeated the words that I was told to say, only God knows. But I know I never did go to church and by the time I was out of high school and single I considered myself an atheist. Everybody blamed God for all the bad things going on and if that was the God churches spoke about, I didn't want any part of Him anyway.

Then I met Randal, my husband, at the age of 26 and he was a Christian. He would quote segments of Scripture to me and I would tell him I didn't believe in God or the Bible. Finally at the end of our second date I told him that if that's what he was going to keep talking about, we didn't need to see each other any more. So he stopped.

However, his behavior still preached to me because he was so kind and helpful. Simply not doing the typical guy thing. After a party that I had at my apartment for which he came early so he could vacuum or help to do what I needed him to do, he stayed late and helped me clean up and wash dishes. I didn't have a dishwasher then. So I ended up asking him about why he does these things and he told me that "whoever wanted to be great must be a great servant." Now that intrigued me.

A few weeks after I met him he led me to the Lord and I got saved again, I suppose. Nothing really changed in my life or thinking. Again there was no explanation of what I had done, other than that I would now go to Heaven and not Hell. Randal grew up in the Baptist church so when we got married he wanted to continue in it. I'm not ragging on Baptist churches. I'm just saying their doctrine leaves a lot of blessings on the table by focusing on "going to Heaven" rather than the true definition of what "eternal life" means. For 61 years of my life I thought eternal life meant I would live forever in Heaven. That's it! But that's not what Jesus said in John 17:3:

"And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent."

Eternal life is knowing God. It's all about relationship, not rules to please an angry God. The word 'know' in the above Scripture is defined in Strong's Concordance as:

1) to learn to know, come to know, get a knowledge of perceive, feel
1a) to become known
2) to know, understand, perceive, have knowledge of

Grasshopper in Flat Sedge Plant
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As I said in the beginning, when we truly accept Christ as our Lord by believing in our hearts, not our minds (Romans 10:10), we get a huge download of spiritual gifts and blessings. When God looks at us He no longer sees sin because Jesus paid it all. 1John 4:17 says, "As He is so am I in this world." Not when we get to Heaven, but here on earth. We are in Christ and in Him is no sin. With His spotless garments on we are as holy as God's Son! That's "too good to be true good news" which is the definition for the word "gospel." We have to admit that a lot of what's being preached as the gospel is not "too good to be true" so it's obvious something is missing.

When we buy new computer it comes with a lot of programs that have been downloaded on it at the factory. Many of them we never even see or open. We use what we know about and let the rest reside on the computer without use when there could be many assets and time-savers provided by using some of the programs we haven't taken time to learn about.

That's what has happened to many Christians today. When we accepted Jesus we had amazing gifts, fruits and blessings download into our spirit, but we don't access them. In the same way that Jesus had the fullness of God in Him, we also have the fullness of Christ in us. That makes us complete or perfect in Him, that is speaking of our spiritual man. Our born-again spirit is identical in righteousness, authority, and power to Christ's spirit, because our born-again spirit is the Spirit of Christ (Romans 8:9).

We should be so in love with Jesus and the Father that we don't care what anybody thinks. It only matters what God thinks. And He loves us so much to have provided salvation for us through the blood of His own Son. The Bible says "God is love" (1John 4:8). He doesn't just love us. He is love. Right now we might be thinking about all the actions of God in the Old Testament and love doesn't seem to be a way for you to describe that.

Black Swallowtail Butterfly on Butterfly Bush
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However, we need to understand the Old Testament and why God wiped out entire nations. Sin was rampant. Beastiality was the norm. Sacrificing children to gods was common. This kind of sin passes from generation to generation whether in animals or humans, so before the entire world became contaminated God had to destroy the sin. He has already done this once with the flood but had promised Noah that He would never do that again. It is easy to be seen that the 10 Commandments weren't given as a way to please God, but as a way of life that would save people from misery and provide a society that was pleasing to all.

So ... do you think there might be some beneficial "programs" within your spirit that might make your life easier? The Word of God comes with many promises and all we have to do is believe and receive them. But before we can do that, we have to know God and know the blessings that have been bestowed upon us. How much time are you spending knowing God through His Word? Reading great spiritual books is fine, but THE BOOK is to be placed above all others. Through the Word the Holy Spirit can give us great revelations imparted to our heart.

A book can only impart information to the mind. It has to become revelation to us to enter into the depths of our heart. It's fine to read about somebody else's revelation for encouragement and inspiration ... but if we don't get our own revelation of knowing God more and more and more and more, we are leaving a lot of assets on the table until we get to Heaven. Satan is well pleased with the fascination that Christians have with books, workbooks, support groups and relevant messages for today's contemporary Christian. You don't find much Word in many of them, but rather the thoughts and opinions of men.

Jesus said, "The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly" (John 10:10). Jesus came to give us an abundant life. He bore our sin, diseases, curses and poverty so that we wouldn't have to. 2 Corinthians 8:9 tells us, "For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that ye through His poverty might be rich." We have so many blessings given to us. We need to reach inside and bring them from the spiritual realm into the physical realm with the simplistic way that Christ provided: "Only believe" (Mark 5:36, Luke 8:50).

Eternal life is knowing God. Choose life that you may live. Begin spending more time with God today. The rewards are amazing!

Related Articles:
Choose Life and Blessings
What's God's Will For My Life
Spirit, Soul and Body

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