Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Open My Eyes That I May See"1 (Lyrics)
John 17:3 – Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. (NIV)
This was the scriptural theme for a new Bible study, the verse to memorize. Later in the same day, as I opened the mail, a pamphlet from an evangelistic association proclaimed the same verse. Coincidence? This is how God gets our attention. He speaks; He is alive.
Philippians 3:8a,11a – I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. … I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection. (NIV)
Have you ever wondered what life is all about? Why were we born? What is our destiny? And what is eternal life anyway? Here's our answer: To know God. Our eternal life begins the moment that we truly surrender our lives to Jesus. Our goal becomes the same as the apostle Paul's: to know Christ. We're saved in order to serve, and we will spend eternity serving God and having a personal relationship with Him.
Although we know what a personal relationship is, we may wonder how it is possible to have one with God when we cannot see Him. We can't do it on our own; He sends a Helper, the Holy Spirit. God is a spirit, and spirit can speak only to spirit. We must spiritually grow and mature, just as we grow physically. The only way to do that is by talking and listening to God, and obeying Him. The Holy Spirit also helps us to find our place in the church. We're all given different jobs, and it's up to us to discover what ours is.
Only those led by the Spirit are children of God, adopted into His family and heirs to His kingdom. Those without the Holy Spirit find it difficult to accept these truths. Without the Spirit, some believe that there is no heaven or hell. Others believe that we'll all go to heaven, and that as long as we're good, we can live the way we want. Some think that it's enough to believe there is a God. We may believe that it's enough to attend church regularly, or we may decide that we don't need to go at all. Maybe we think it's enough to pray only when in need. But Jesus is very straightforward:
Matthew 7:21a,23a – Not everyone who says to me, "Lord, Lord," will enter the kingdom of heaven. … I will tell them plainly, "I never knew you." (NIV)
God's Spirit convicts us of sin and makes sure that we grow. His job is to make us like Jesus. If we remain stagnant — failing to turn away from sin and failing to move closer to Jesus — then we're not allowing the Holy Spirit to work in us. It isn't easy to hear that God is not concerned with our comfort. He's concerned about our eternal life. So what does God want from us? He wants everything. He wants our life, literally. In return, He gives us eternal life.
And what is eternal life? _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _.
Would you join me in this prayer, today and every day?
Prayer: Heavenly Father, knowing You as Lord surpasses everything else. Please forgive my sins and take control of my life. I want to really know You, and live with You forever. I pray this in Jesus' name. Amen.