And this is the testimony: God has given us
eternal life, and this life is in his Son.
He who has the Son has life;
he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.
I write these things to you who believe
in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.
1 John 5:11-13
Even before I was one year old, my life almost ended. Have you had any near-death experiences? My parents were in a canoe with me, enjoying a ride on the river. Suddenly, the canoe tipped over and they couldn’t find me. After multiple dives underwater, I still couldn’t be found. Too much time had elapsed, and it appeared I drowned. On a third and final dive, my mother located me trapped under the corner of the canoe and pulled me loose up to the surface of the water.
I don’t remember that day, but gratitude swells in my heart whenever I hear the story. God has used my mom to rescue me on a number of occasions. It makes me realize my life is a gift. God has purposes for you that start on earth and lead into eternity.
God’s grace never ends. Jesus wants you to always experience His grace. God says that you will have eternal life when you put your trust in His Son, Jesus, as your Savior. These verses were written so that you will have God’s promise given to you very clearly. Eternal life and the forgiveness of sins is not something you can earn; it is an undeserved gift! If it was based on your performance and morality, then your confidence would waver.
But this promise is based on Jesus and the fact that He died for our sins at the cross and overcame death. This is not only the greatest pardon known to humanity; it is also an assurance that God wants you to have: you have been eternally rescued! No one can change the reality and reliability of God’s promises. The gift of eternal life is free for you. But this gift cost Jesus His life and The Father His Son.
Let these verses sink in deeply. This is an aspect of future grace that many people unnecessarily resist. Since you can trust Him with heaven, know God is also faithful to you in your daily schedule and relationships. Next time stress increases, demands are overwhelming, the pace is exhausting and no relief is in sight, remember Who holds your future. Let Him give you His perspective and His plan. He is Lord of the big picture and the finer details. Serve God with gratitude, confidence in His Word, and a teachable heart.
Can anyone find ultimate security or lasting joy in these options? Not everything on this motley list is detrimental, but how do we know when something becomes a substitute for God in our lives? What are the limitations of each topic on this list? Do you ever see people pursuing these aspects of life, hoping to discover lasting contentment?
1) Accomplishments: Having awards, good grades, and an impressive resume.
2) Beauty: Looking into the mirror with the right outfit or plenty of muscles.
3) Toughness: Putting up walls and not admitting needs or letting people help.
4) Popularity: Constantly trying to impress people.
5) Money: Loving it and placing wealth as the highest priority.
6) Dating: Thinking if we find just the right person we will finally be secure.
7) Drugs: Hoping chemicals will bring happiness and eliminate pain.
1) What kind of security do each of these seven options bring and for how long?
2) What is the price tag for putting our trust in these seven options?
3) Can you know that you have eternal life and acceptance from God?
4) What happens when you are secure in the deepest part of your being?
John 10:27-30. No one can snatch you out of God’s hand. 1 John 4:13-18. God’s Spirit lives in you forever.
Deuteronomy 33:12. You can find rest and security with God.
John 5:24-27. Putting your trust in Jesus changes your eternal destiny.
Titus 3:4-8. No one can earn their way to heaven—it is by the grace of Jesus.
Faithful God, all of Your promises are reliable. I receive Your word today that You give me an eternal promise because I have put my trust in Jesus. I want to believe Your word even when it seems too good to be true. There is real peace and rest deep within me because I know You love me. I am so grateful that You give me eternal life with You, and that no one can take it away. I thank You for your grace to me in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Jesse Bradley is passionate about helping people discover the grace of Jesus- both in practical and eternal ways. He serves as Senior Pastor of Sebastopol Christian Church (www.sebchristian.com) in Northern California, with degrees from Dartmouth College and Dallas Theological Seminary. Once a professional goalkeeper in Scotland and Zimbabwe, God redirected him into ministry through a life-threatening illness. He is the author of Rooted In Grace and A New Season. Jesse and his wife, Laurie, have three children.
Excerpt republished with permission from Rooted in Grace by Jesse Bradley c. 2012