For God so loved the world that He gave His Only Begotten Son,
that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.
This verse is perhaps the most quoted in the Bible. God did not want any of His Children to perish. Wait! Didn’t the above verse say Jesus was God’s Only Child? Why do we keep hearing about other people called “His Children?”
“Begotten” means “one of a kind.” Jesus was truly that in terms of His Birth. None of the rest of us can say we were conceived in the same manner He was. However, when we step up and claim our birthrights in Jesus, God instantly confirms we are His Children also.
Yet to all who did receive Him [Jesus], He gave the Right to become Children of God —
children born not of natural descent, not of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God!
Remember your mirror experiment from the last post? Why would you see God in your mirror? Because you are made in His Image and because, in fact, you are His Child! You are one of the sons and daughters of God, if you claim your birthright!
Let’s look at the rest of John 3:16. God does not want us to perish, but to have eternal life.
When Does Eternal Life start? What Is Eternal Life Anyway?
Satan has scored a big victory in convincing humans that God could not possibly mean what He said. Satan whispers, “Now hold on a minute. Don’t jump to conclusions. Eternal life is that place called Heaven you might get into one day. God’s Kingdom might come in the sweet by and by. Sure, go on, get your ticket. But hang on to it. While you are on earth, you belong to me!”
What is eternal life? Jesus said it plainly when He was praying to His Father on the night of His betrayal.
Now this is Eternal Life: that they know You,
the only True God,
and Jesus Christ, Who You have sent.
Eternal Life begins now, here on earth. You are in the midst of what is an eternal life!
Where is The Kingdom of God?
Isn’t the Kingdom of God yet to come? Isn’t that what we are waiting for? Where exactly is this Kingdom of God? Jesus answered that one too!
Now when He was asked by the Pharisees
when the Kingdom of God would come,
He answered them and said,
“The Kingdom of God does not come with observation;
nor will they say, ‘See here!’ or ‘See there!’
For indeed, the Kingdom of God is within you!”
Within me? How can that be? God and Jesus would have to be there for that to be true. Yep! You are right!
Jesus said, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My Word;
and My Father will love him,
and We will come to him and make Our Home with him.”
(Isn’t that neat? They come to our house!)
You might be thinking, “Ah come on. Earth is definitely not Heaven!” It is true that Earth does not look like Heaven at first glance, but Jesus invites us to take another look. In one of His Prayers, He asked God to reveal Heaven on earth. Jesus wanted us to know it is indeed here.
Your Kingdom come, Your Will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven.
How Can I See This Kingdom?
Why can’t we see heaven now? This world seems so evil. But remember we have a choice of what to look at, what to listen to, what to focus on. We never get away from the Truth that our reality results in large measure from what we choose. The Freedom to Choose is a Gift of God!
Satan comes to us in the same way he approached Eve. He entices by getting us to look and listen. He casts doubt on what God said. He will even quote scripture, if he needs to, as he did in the desert with Jesus. But he will use it out of context or change a few words here and there to make it more appealing to you.
He will tell you one bite … one look … won’t make that much difference. You can look at evil or listen to it this one time … or even more. Two characteristics of satan that make him deadly are that he is persistent and he is patient. He will come again and again and entice you to take baby steps to get off the path to the Kingdom of God.
Realize every second of your life, you are making choices that either plant seeds of Good or evil in your mind. Whatever you feed grows.
How do we find the road to the Kingdom of God?
I am The Way, The Truth, and The Life …
How is Jesus “The Way?”
Jesus is the Way because He is God’s Living Demonstration of how to live. We see numerous examples in our earthly lives of how to become winners by matching things up. When everything matches on the slot machine, you get a prize. When your numbers match the ones picked for the lottery, you win. When your key fits exactly as the lock is made, the door opens.
When your life matches Jesus exactly, you will find the perfect Life! The door to the Kingdom of God will open for you, right in the midst of the evil of this earth. But if you choose to take in the evil around you and try to open the door to all Good by simply using Jesus’ Name, it won’t work. Only following Jesus to the letter (the red letters) results in Heaven on earth.
If I Choose to Follow Jesus, What Do I Get? It Doesn’t Seem Like Christians Have Any Easier Life Than Those Who Aren’t Christians?
You get One Who will level with you and tell you the Truth. Remember Jesus is not only the Way, He is the Truth! He frequently preceded what He was saying with the phrase, “I tell you the Truth …” So He told it like it is …
In this world, you will have trouble …
be of good cheer!
I have overcome the world!
You get The One Who will love you for all eternity … The One Who invites you to come into the very Center of His Love with the Father and the Holy Spirit.
As the Father has loved Me, so have I loved you.
Now remain in My Love.
If you keep My Commands, you will remain in My Love,
just as I have kept My Father’s Commands and remain in His Love.
You get The One Who wants you to have real JOY … not just an occasional grin or giggle … not even just a happy day now and then … But real JOY full to the brim and overflowing!
I have told you this so that My JOY may be in you
and that your JOY may be complete!
You get The One Who wants you to have real PEACE … not the kind like the world gives … not the kind that comes out of a bottle … or from some temporary thrill … but the kind of PEACE that passes all understanding … the kind of PEACE that even astounds you, as you realize there is no earthly reason to feel peaceful, but you seem filled with a Heavenly Peacefulness.
PEACE I leave with you; My PEACE I give you.
I do not give to you as the world gives.
Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
You get The One Who will never leave you or forsake you. You get The One Who will be with you always.
Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.
I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.
I am with you always.
You get The One Who will live inside of you and give you directions better than any GPS!
Whether you turn to the right or to the left,
your ears will hear a Voice behind you, saying,
“This is the Way; walk in it.”
You get The One Who will be a Teacher and a Reminder better than any web site or electronic device can provide.
But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit,
Whom the Father will send in My Name,
will teach you all things
and will remind you of everything I have said to you.
You get The One Who will be your personal Counselor. You get The One Who knows how you were created. You get The One Who knows what (Who) makes you tick. You get The One Who knows what tempts you and how you can avoid anything satan may offer you.
And I will pray the Father,
and He will give you another Counselor,
to be with you forever,
even the Spirit of Truth, Whom the world cannot receive,
because it neither sees Him nor knows Him;
you know Him, for He dwells with you, and will be in you.
You get The One Who is The Comforter … The One Who gives you such comfort, it overflows onto other people. No disappointment is too small for Him to care. No problem is too large for Him to handle.
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
the Father of Compassion and the God of all Comfort,
Who comforts us in all our troubles,
so that we can comfort those in any trouble
with the Comfort we ourselves receive from God.
For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ,
so also our Comfort abounds through Christ.
2 Corinthians 1:3-5
You get The One Who will always be your Friend. He will never gossip about you, stab you in the back, or decide you are just not cool enough anymore to want to hang out with you. He will be your Forever Friend.
I have called you friends,
for everything that I learned from My Father
I have made known to you.
You get The Only One Who can give you LIFE … real LIFE, starting right now! You get The Only One Who can put satan in his place and expose him as the thief he is.
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy;
I have come that they may have Life, and have it to the full!
You get The Only One Who can destroy death. You get The One Who will be your Personal Escort to your next assignment, when you leave your body behind on earth to go to a place where satan will be forbidden to go. You get The Only One Who can say to satan, “It is finished!” and it will be so!
Very truly I tell you, whoever hears My Word and believes Him Who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life.
I will come back and take you to be with Me that you also may be where I am!
How could satan possibly beat all that Jesus has to offer us?
In the next post, we will see how satan responded.
Just as Jesus warned, there was real trouble in this world when satan decided to take his best shot.
We will take a trip with Jesus to the cross.
You might be surprised at what we find.
It just may not be the way you always thought it was.
The real Easter Story overflows, not with evil,
The Greatest Love The World Has Ever Known!