Have you ever wondered if there’s more to life than ‘this’?
I remember a few years after college being married and working and thinking something like, “So this is all there is, I guess. I settle down and then work the rest of my life. Maybe have kids. But then its over.”
The idea of it sounded not only sorta boring, but frighteningly empty.
It felt purposeless.
It seemed like a prison.
And it seemed like there must be something more to life than this.
But what if you and I are here to do more than simply survive, maybe have some fun along the way, and be comfortable doing it?
What if we were made for more than enjoying niceties in life and suffering as little as possible?
I suspect we all instinctually know there’s more to life than this. Our gut tells us there must be more. But when we look around at everyone around us, we see little evidence to the contrary.
We see little hope for anything else.
THERE IS HOPE
Hopelessness feels like a prison. It sees no other way but the present.
And hopelessness is a lie.
It’s a lie that tells us ‘this’ is all there is.
It also tells us we shouldn’t hope for more.
But oh, there is a truth far higher than this lie. Far better than we’re brave enough to imagine.
That truth is that there is hope. Great hope for more.
See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is. And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure. 1 John 3:1-3
The thing is, the enemy wants us to settle into surviving in comfort, as the only way you and I should (and can) do this life. He’s behind the scoffers scoffing at those who dare to dream otherwise. All the world is manipulated by darkness to drive humanity to settle for surviving.
To settle for bondage.
This is why the world does not know the children of God or her God. The Lover we serve rules a kingdom totally contrary to this. Many call it the “upside down kingdom” for this reason. He tells us there is more and there will be more. He tells us this system is not our master, and one day we’ll be completely busted out of it.
And this is our hope.
Actually, he has a name. Hope’s name is Jesus. Because he brought the enemy (in his flesh) to death on the cross, God changed him by filling him with glory. “In Him all the fullness of diety dwells bodily,” (Col. 2:9, cf. Rom. 6:4). In this, he was liberated from the enslaved creation, and in him, we are too (Rom. 8:1-2, 20-25).
This is why we call him “Lord.” “Lord” (Greek kurios) means “master”. Instead of following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit in the sons of darkness (Phil. 2:2), we’ve been freed to follow the King, the Master, the Spirit in the sons of Light (Eph. 5:8).
One day, when Christ returns, our bodies will be changed to be freed of darkness like his. This is our hope. He, as the firstfruits of this destiny, is our hope.
And, as 1 John 3:3 (above) says, those of us with this hope, purify ourselves even now.
LIFE WITH THE KING
We learned last week that to purify ourselves is to destroy the lies of the enemy within us.
The thing is, the Christian life is a lifetime spent defying the lies of the flesh, daring to believe one day we’ll be forever busted out of it. Really, it’s daring to believe who we already are in the glorified Christ—that we are Sons of Light, Sons of the Day (1 Thess. 5:5).
Remember, when we believed in Jesus, we were re-created as offspring of a new-human race. No longer descended from enslaved Adam, we are descended from the freed Christ. Until the day of our bodily change (the day of Christ’s appearing; 1 Cor. 15:51, 1 John 3:2), you and I can live from our glorified Head. Jesus himself.
And you and I are called to live in this very hope (Eph. 4:4).
Friends, you and I do not have to settle into simply surviving this life! We can fight and live contrary to the lies we hear.
We can live abundantly fruitful (John 15:5,8)!!
We must never lose sight of the fact that we’re in relationship with King Jesus. This is what Christianity is all about. True love is utterly selfless, and does not self-preserve. In relationship with him, we do what he asks, and he does what we ask. And in so doing, we each fulfill our purpose.
Food is for the stomach and the stomach is for food… Yet the body is… for the Lord, and the Lord is for the body. (1 Cor. 6:13)
Indeed, we, the body of Christ, were created for him, and he exists for us. We fit together perfectly. We find our whole purpose is fulfilled when we live serving him, letting him bear fruit through us here and now. And, as we’ve already learned, he lives serving us, letting us bear much eternal fruit through him (John 15:5).
In serving him, we defy the lie of “this is all there is.”
In serving him, we live a fruitful, adventurous, purposeful, fulfilling life.
In serving him, we live outside of despair and hopelessness.
In serving him, we live outside of prison.
We live in hope that there really is more.
That our Groom really is coming.
And we live preparing for his highly anticipated arrival. (Rev. 19:7-8, Eph. 5:26-27, 2 Tim. 4:8)
Therefore, my brethren, you also have become dead to the law through the body of Christ, that you may be married to another–to Him who was raised from the dead, that we should bear fruit to God. (Rom. 7:4, NKJV)
…looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus,who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds.(Titus 2:14-15)
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