21 For just as the Father gives life to those he raises from the dead, so the Son gives life to anyone he wants.
John 5:21 (NLT)
We shall continue to study the words of Jesus. The theme of the above verse is: Jesus gives life. The emphasis is life. Our God is a God of Life, not death. Where there is a presence of God, there is life. What is life? Here are a few meanings to it:
Life means growth.
One of the characteristic of life forms is growth. All of us began our lives as babies. We grew from there. I have a 3 year old son. I have been seeing him growing every day from the day he was born. I remember he was so small and fragile when he was first born. He has been growing ever since. Yesterday, when my wife bought him a medical set, he had been wearing the stethoscope, pretended to be a doctor and offered to check my health. Unfortunately, after his checking, he picked up his fake scissors and wanted to cut me.
Growth means improvements. Each day, we improve and get better in everything we do. We are to increase in our wisdom and our understanding of our God. God’s will for us to for us to grow richer, healthier, stronger and tougher as days pass. There is no peak for us. God does not believe in getting old. Even if you are 1,000 years old, you are still young in his sight. There is still a lot of room for you to grow. There is knowledge to be learned. There are a lot of friends to get to know. There is wealth to receive. As long as we keep growing, we are forever young. The only way we can grow old is when we stop growing.
Life means overcoming odds.
In Singapore, we have concrete pavements. You don’t have to worry about getting your shoes soiled. However, sometimes you can see the cracked concrete in the pavements. Why is that so? The roots of the trees caused it. The trees have been growing. As they grow, they displace anything that stands in their way, even if it is a concrete slab. Trees consist of wood, which is weaker than concrete. However, given enough time, they can crack the strongest concrete. The secret lies in life. Trees are alive and concrete is not.
You may be facing a lot of troubles today. You may even be thinking of ending your life. Jesus wants you to know that it is not over yet. You have not lost. You may be beaten but you are not out of the game yet. As long as you are alive, you can overcome any odds. Choose life, confess life and think life. Confess life in your situation.
Are you sick? Speak life to overcome your sickness. Are you facing a financial crisis? Speak life into your finances. Are you facing an impossible situation? Speak life to turn it around. As long as you speak life and not death, you can overcome any challenges in you life. We are called to battle and destined to win.
Life means going forward.
Being alive means moving from the present to the future. We can learn from the past but we are not going there. One of the thing religious people like to do, when presented with the truth that God wants us rich and healthy is to point out examples of Christians in the past who lived poor and sick. My question is, so what? What is past is past. We cannot go back in time to help them. We can only act on the present and hope for the future.
God wants us to have hopes for the future. Hopes keep us alive. It keeps us excited and make us expect good things to happen to us. It is better to be poor and full of hopes than be rich and live in hopelessness. Of course, the best combination is being rich and full of hopes.
“What should I hope for?”
What are your dreams and aspirations? What are the things that you look forward to? Hope for these things. When you hope, go for big targets. Think big. Your hopes must be big enough to get you excited and make you stretch your faith. Your faith will grow along with your hopes.
Here is an example. Don’t hope for 10% increase in your income. Go for 10 times. If you aim for 10% increase in income, you may be able to achieve it by working 10% harder. However, if you aim for 10 times increase in income, you know you cannot follow the same system and work 10 times harder. You will have to innovate and create a new system. You have to stretch your faith. In doing so, your faith will grow faster and you will see better results than aiming for 10%.
So, go ahead, think big and move forward.
Let there be life.