Tuesday, May 6, 2014

words of life

For us Christians, Easter is a day we remember Jesus dying on the cross — dying for our sins — and coming back to life, allowing us to become a new creation. It is a day we celebrate as we recognize and proclaim freedom we have through Christ, that we are no longer held captives by sin. Many times on this day, we are reminded of His unconditional love, or for others it’s the beginning of a new life. And although it’s a day worth commemorating, we know that it doesn’t end the moment we leave church. The question we should be asking ourselves then is “What now?”
As we enter into this new series titled “Words of Life,” we dive into the teachings of Jesus, to understand who He is. Josh posed the question to all of us on Sunday: “Who is Jesus?” And the answer? The greatest man who ever lived, and so much more. As Christians, our ultimate goal is to follow Jesus, to learn from Jesus how to live. Following Jesus is living out our lives as the way we should be, the way that God intended us to live in in Genesis.
Right after Jesus performed the miracle of the bread and fish, the disciples rushed after him seeking more bread. As Jesus reminded them that they need to work for “food that endure to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you ” (John 6:27), the disciples ask how. And Jesus answered, “To believe in the one he has sent” (John 6: 29), to which they basically tell Jesus to prove that He is the one sent.
They missed the point that eternal life is Christ’s gift and were thinking in terms of achieving it by pious works.  Like them, we, too, can completely miss the point, focusing only on the miracles of Jesus instead of the life He lead, in which we ultimately need to live as well. We also need “to believe in the one he has sent.”
The disciples needed a sign that Jesus was indeed the Son of God. They still wanted to be fed by the bread Jesus had given them earlier, not realizing the truth of what Jesus was telling them. How often do we find ourselves in this same position as the disciples? We desire to know more about Jesus, yet we often ask (or continue to ask) the wrong questions instead of the looking at the answer in front of us.
“Then Jesus declared, ‘I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.’” (John 6: 35)
Jesus always has more to give. It is up to us if we want to receive it. Eternal life is not something to be achieved by works; instead it is given to us by faith in Christ. Believing in Jesus is the essential work God calls for — the one the leads to eternal life.
As we enter this new series for the next four and a half months, let’s be reminded of who Jesus truly was and how we need to live out our lives. No one ever said following Jesus is going to be easy, but it’s worth it and worth it to Him. We tend to get caught up with the holidays in which we are reminded of Jesus, but then it stops there. Instead, allow this series to point yourself toward Jesus and press into Him.

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