What can I be assured of, when so much what we are told shifts, or proves insubstantial — or simply untrue?
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In His great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. — 1 Peter 1:3 NIV
Jesus is alive, and because of that we can know Him and receive new life from Him. Turning to Him and receiving Him as Saviour and Lord is a choice, not a duty, nor a form of words, nor a holy accomplishment. It is a relationship.
At a time of great uncertainty — the US election with its posturing and appeals to the courts — we have a promise that is certain. Because Jesus is alive — our crucified Saviour resurrected and enthroned in heaven — we can be changed from spiritual death to spiritual life by believing and trusting Him.
We could never earn it or deserve it, and if we try, that gets in the way of our receiving what is a gift. It is the one thing in life which is too good to be true — but it is true.
New life in Jesus changes our whole perception and our bearing. Now we can head out in life, not alone but together with Him, and with a confident expectation. This is a path that not only leads somewhere, it is somewhere very good. The brambles and branches we may encounter don’t seem important with that view in sight!
The fact of the resurrection of Jesus is vitally important. It is the difference between a religion and a relationship. Conforming to the rules and requirements of a religion — any religion — is not of itself life giving. It is more of an insurance and a subscription, which confers a sense of belonging to that institution or grouping.
Knowing Almighty God through the perfect representation of Him we have come to know through the Bible, and chosen to belong to by asking Him into our heart — that is a quite different kind of belonging. It is gaining a new spiritual dimension, in which we are joined with the Person who has conquered sin and evil, sickness and death and who presides over a fair and free world order.
It is not just the real sense of belonging — it is also putting us into the place where we can make a difference. Everything about Jesus and His kingdom is making a difference, pushing back what is dishonest, selfish, harsh and hurtful and replacing it with His goodness. When we know we are teamed up with Him, and empowered by His Holy Spirit working in us and through us, we are bringing His good and making His kind of difference, little bit by little bit. If we needed a purpose in life, this is it.
Because Jesus is alive, we can be made alive in Him with the confident expectation that this life doesn’t deteriorate like earthly life, but gets stronger and leads into eternity.
Above all, it is living in love. It is by God’s great mercy, His generous love, that we are given this new start. Belonging to Him is belonging to His love. It is living in the security of His love, such that we can love others, even when human love isn’t enough. This is infusing love into the world, a powerful antidote to the hatred of terrorists and the division of political wrangling, and the fear and anxiety which otherwise dulls our thoughts.
Thank You Jesus for this new birth and living hope we can choose in You!