Live Life to the Fullest. Now. Please.

I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. (John 10:10)

I’ve shared this before, but I feel compelled to share it again. Chokes me up every time.

The following essay was written by a twelve-year-old girl named Brooke Bronkowski. Read every word. Please.

The Way, Truth and Life

GUWG-Cross-SkyWe continue our journey into every word spoken by Jesus in the Gospels to help us all KNOW JESUS MORE NOW.

We’re taking a deeeeep dive into this rather provocative question: Who did Jesus say he is?

We started with these three answers: Son of Man, Son of God and Messiah.

Now we’re in the midst of eight “I am” statements Jesus made that further define who he is. The first five: the Bread of Life, the Light of the World, the Gate, the Good Shepherd and the Resurrection and the Life.

Jesus next “I am” is from his final week on earth. He’s giving final instructions to his disciples:

The Resurrection and the Life

GUWG-ResurrectionWe continue our journey into every word spoken by Jesus in the Gospels to help us all KNOW JESUS MORE NOW.

We’re taking a deeeeep dive into this rather provocative question: Who did Jesus say he is?

We started with these three answers: Son of Man, Son of God and Messiah.

Now we’re in the midst of eight “I am” statements Jesus made that further define who he is. The first four: the Bread of Life, the Light of the World, the Gate and the Good Shepherd.

Today’s “I am” is embedded in a story about a man named Lazarus.

Like Father Like Son

GUWG-Jesus-CrossWe continue our journey into every word spoken by Jesus in the Gospels to help us all KNOW JESUS MORE NOW.

We’re in the midst of a deeeeep dive into a really BIG question: Who did Jesus say he is?

Yesterday, we looked at Jesus’ first words in the Bible. Right off the bat, he referred to God as his Father.

That claim led to a public clash with the religious leaders. They considered it blasphemy punishable by death because Jesus was “calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.” (John 5:18)

How did Jesus answer the religious leaders with his life on the line? He didn’t back down and told ’em the truth:

New Life

If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation:
the old has gone, the new has come! (2 Corinthians 5:17)

One of my favorite things to do when I’m traveling is to check out local churches. Yesterday, I had the extreme privilege of attending New Life Church on the campus of the University of Michigan.

The above is New Life’s theme verse. From what I experienced, it certainly strives to embody the “!” at the end. My ears are still ringing from the rather rockin’ worship.

The service centered on reconciliation as demonstrated by the parable of the prodigal son. Besides learning that Badgers like myself can actually learn to love Wolverines, here’s what we covered:

  • If you’re a prodigal son, go home. Get out of the pig slop of sin and run to your Heavenly Father. He’ll welcome you with open arms, forgive your sins and throw you a party.
  • If you’re like the other son in the story, stop living like you’re dead. Stop judging others and grumbling about what God has given you.

The service concluded with a call to action:

All this is from God,
who reconciled us to himself through Christ
and gave us the ministry of reconciliation:
that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ,
not counting men’s sins against them.
And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.
(2 Corinthians 5:18-19)

Here’s the kicker:

We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors,
as though God were making his appeal through us.
(2 Corinthians 5:20a)

We’re Christ’s ambassadors. Let Him reach out to others and make his appeal of reconciliation through you. Live like you’re alive.

Everybody Falls

. . . all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God . . . (Romans 3:23)

Everybody sins and falls short of God’s glory. You. Me. Your pastor. The President. Billy Graham. Mother Teresa. The Apostle Paul. Everybody.

God makes it 158% clear that we can’t work our way into Heaven on our own no matter how hard we try. If that’s the way you approach life, it’s a bit like being in a high-jump competition where after years of training, vitamin supplements and maybe even some blood doping your best effort barely clears five feet but the qualifying height is a googolplex times infinity plus a zillion miles. You’ll always come up short.

So, what’s the solution? The Apostle Paul grappled with that very question in the greatest Bible tongue-twister of all time . . .

I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do, I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do — this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but is sin living in me that does it.

So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Praise be to God — through Jesus Christ our Lord!

So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law but in the sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.

Therefore, there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. For what the  law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man, in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit. (Romans 7:15-8:4)

As if that wasn’t enough, Paul adds this:

Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace . . . (Romans 8:5-6)

So, stop jumping and let Jesus carry you. It’s a matter of life and death.

LET JESUS SET YOU FREE