Jul 6, 2022, 11:08 PM
“This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life that you and your children may live.” (Deuteronomy 30:19)
Life is strewn with myriad challenges that oblige us to turn away from our main focus, which should be the essence of life. In many instances, we find ourselves battling with the problems that confront us; and sadly, they take up all of our time.
Yet life, according to the Bible, is about living. Life is about experiencing what the Creator of the universe has installed for us. He desires to bless us with – peace, joy, the fresh air we breathe, the seasons, the food we eat and the fellowship we share with loved-ones. He also demands our worship in return. Outside of this rhythm of life, we are merely chasing shadows. I dare say we are on the devil’s payroll.
Our lives should not be centred on entertainment and fashion - as these are mere distractions that would not qualify us for eternal life. When these take centre stage, we miss the very essence of a life well-lived. Because life is not about the ‘things or stuff’ that we accumulate – as none of them will transit into eternity with us when we exit this world.
Life is a training ground and God, the Supreme Being, has laid the ground rules. Going through this life in obedience to God’s word will prepare us for the next. This world, as we know it, is merely a stage; we come in, play our part and take our exit. Quality time on planet earth is limited to three score years and ten and some surplus if any. We therefore must learn “… to number our days, that we might apply our hearts to wisdom.” (Psalm 90:12)
Eternity is a destination and God promises that only those who believe in His Son will enter it. “And this is His command: to believe in the name of His Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as He commanded us.” (1 John 3:23) Jesus is the ultimate revelation of the Father, the physical expression of the glory of God. “Therefore God exalted Him to the highest place and gave Him a name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord...” (Philippians 2:9-11)
He Himself made a clear distinction between the ruler of this world [the devil] and Himself as the Messiah when He declared: “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life and have it more abundantly [to the full].” (John 10:10) “I am the Way and the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except by [through] me.” (John 14:6)
As the promised Messiah, Jesus went about preaching the good news of the kingdom of God, performing signs and wonders, doing great and marvellous things that attest that He came from the Father. Not to mince His words, He openly declared; “I and the Father are One.” (John 10:30)
Yeshua, in Aramaic means the Saviour – the Saviour of the world; not just for Christians but of all those who believe in His name. At the pronouncement of His birth, angel Gabriel said to Mary: “Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favour with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High…” (Luke 1:30-32)
Prophet Isaiah had prophesied some 760 years before the event; “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government shall be on his shoulders. And He will be called Wonderful, Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6)
Jesus, the Lamb of God, is the sacrificial lamb that father Abraham - in his obedience to God - would have sacrificed. However, though he passed the test, God would not let him carry the mission through. Only the untarnished blood of the Son of God could wash away the sins of the world. No wonder when John the Baptist came into contact with Jesus, the Lord revealed to him His identity. “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29)
A passer-by once questioned and cautioned the actions of some workers; one for cutting through a wall with an electric saw at a construction site; he was wearing googles but no mask. This worker was putting himself at risk - taking in loads of dust which could affect his lungs in the long run. On another occasion, he surprised a young adult at a worksite mixing bitumen in a metal container with his bare hands. Could that have been ignorance or a short-cut? Whatever it is, these acts could have disastrous consequences for both men. In like manner, there are life-threatening repercussions awaiting us if we are to miss heaven through ignorance or through our deliberate faults. Therefore choose life. And do not forget: LIFE is a person, so also is TRUTH. His name is Jesus.
We are called to take a stand or decide. Therefore, let us take a leaf out of Joshua’s admonition in the year 1451 B.C. before the Children of Israel who had departed from the Way and whose behaviour had been compromised. He cautioned: “Now fear the Lord and serve Him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your forefathers worshipped beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24:15)