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August 28, 2013


". . . God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. (1 John 5:11-12, NIV)

I'm constantly amazed that when many peopleeven Christians--hear this verse, they get bothered, upset, offended . . . and some of them get really angry! When the Apostle John wrote this, his goal wasnt to be mean, intolerant, or disrespectful. He was simply stating a reality of life. To make sure you don't miss this profoundly important truth, here it is: If you have accepted Jesus' offer to switch His life for yours, then you've got eternal life. If you haven't done this, then all you have is eternal death.

It would be silly to get angry with somebody and call them intolerant and a bigot if you told them that if they tried to go scuba diving without a tank of air, they would die! If a doctor told you that if you dont take a specific medicine for your illness, you would die, why would you get angry? The docs just stating a simple fact! But the same is true with our relationship with Jesus. John, who knew Jesus personally says it like this: In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. (John 1:4, NIV) Heres Johns equation: Jesus = life! Simple, right? Wrong!

There are many people today what want to split hairs, make excuses, and ask all kinds of convoluted questions try to complicate this issue, when it really is quite straightforward and simple. The question we all have to ask ourselves today--and hopefully ask others as well--is this: do you have Jesus? How can you actually have somebody? Okay, Ill admit, its a difficult concept to explain. Let me ask it another way, does Jesus have you? You know what I mean, dont you? This is the difference between knowing about Jesus and knowing Jesus. This is the difference between asking would doing __________ be breaking any commandments or rules? vs asking would doing ___________ take me further from Jesus or draw me closer to Him? Its the difference between a how much can I get away with and still slide into Heaven by the skin of my teeth attitude vs an I hate things that will hurt my relationship with Jesus and I want to stay as far away from sin as I possibly can attitude.

Many people see Jesus simply as a ticket to stay of hell. Jesus been jokingly called The Ultimate Fire Insurance. But Jesus tells us Himself that there will be others who think that they have Jesus, when in fact they dont. In the New Testament book of Matthew 7:21-24 Jesus makes this sad, and frankly, very scary statement: 21 Not everyone who says to me, Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles? 23 Then I will tell them plainly, I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers! (NIV) Dont you find it interesting that Jesus clearly states that not only does He not know all the people who did good things in His name, but that He never knew them.

So how do we keep ourselves from being members of this shocked group of folks who will be headed to an eternity without Jesus? How do we keep from fooling not just othersbut ourselves? Well, the answer lies in a deeper study of the same passage from which we got Jesus shocking statement: 13 Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. 15 Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheeps clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. 16 By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them. (Matthew 7:13-20, NIV)

Dont miss it: Jesus is saying that not everybody who goes to church is a true Christian. In fact, there are many so-called Christians who do all kinds of wonderful things in the name of Jesus . . . and those things in themselves arent bad, but Jesus isnt talking about doing things as the criteria for admittance into Heaven! Hes talking about choosing to have a real, vibrant daily relationship with Him! Did you notice he talked about choosing the narrow and wide roads? He wasnt talking about just non-Christians that choose the wide road. That verse was within the context of talking about Christians! He was saying that you can call yourself a Christian all day long, but walking the straight-and-narrowthis is where that term comes frommeans that you have to let go of a lot of stuff! Because the road is narrow, theres only room for you and Jesusnothing or nobody else!

Lastly, Jesus clearly states that if someone calls themselves a Christian, a good way for you and I to know if they really are one is simply to pay attention to their life . . . not just what they do during church time? Anybody can be good and do good things during church time or do good things in the name of the church or even in the name of Jesus. But a closer examination of their life will reveal what theyre made of? What do they listen to and watch? How do they talk? What kind of jokes do they tell? What do they laugh at? How do they spend their money and time? How do they treat their families and friends. What kind of employee are they? In Matthew 12:32-34 Jesus uses this same word-picture of tree and fruit while talking about the supposed spiritual leaders of His day and how they looked holy, but in actuality were hypocrites because of the words they spoke revealed what was truly in their hearts. In verse 33 He clearly states Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit. (NIV)

So if you truly care about your relationship with Jesus and dont want to fool yourself into thinking youve got life when in actuality, you dont, here are two suggestions:

  • Ask God to reveal the true intents of your heart. God says that our hearts are deceitful above all else. Ask God to wake you up. Pray the prayer that David prayed in Psalms 139:22-24 and then hold on. God will answer. When He brings things to your mind, confess, repent, and obey. Obedience to God paves the way for growing intimacy with Him. Then pray what David prayed in Psalms 51:10 and God will keep do it.


  • Ask others for their true and honest opinions of you. Tell them what youre doing and that you no longer want to live the life of being a Christian in name only. And when they tell you, listen and change. Dont be stubborn or prideful or make excuses. Change! Where has doing things your own way gotten you? Proverbs 11:14 states that For lack of guidance a nation falls,
but victory is won through many advisers. (NIV)

Someone a long time ago said the same thing that John said about Him, but it was a little more profound. Youve likely seen it on billboards, church signs, t-shirts and bumper stickers. The philosopher stated Know Jesus, know peace. No Jesus, no peace! Heres to a purposeful, powerful and peaceful life of knowing Jesus. Its really that simple.

This is Miranda Writing,


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