We meet our Creator in Jesus Christ. He is the source of life and the one who introduces us to God’s love. Too often we forget that we are God’s creation; simply to be alive is an immeasurable gift and a sign to us of God’s love. The gift of our life finds its home in the gift of God’s Son, Jesus. These two gifts merge into one through the journey of our life with God. God intends our life journey to be one in divine love, knowing and trusting a God who has given us all things in Jesus Christ. God’s love, once we yield to it, will shape the way we live our lives.
Yet difficult times and dealing with difficult people can dull our senses to the greatness of life’s gift in Jesus Christ. We easily squander moments, days, even years distracted by our troubles and closed off from the joy of seeing each new day with God. We cannot ignore our problems; they can feel like a deep inescapable pit into which we have fallen.
But God has raised us up with Jesus Christ, drawing us out of the pit and placing us with Christ high above our troubles. They yet exist, but we are not trapped in them or by them. We are with Christ. Our problems don’t define our lives; Christ does. Those who acknowledge life as a gift found in relationship with Jesus Christ ready themselves to do good work.
We find ourselves destined to bear witness to God’s victory over death and despair and to declare by our lives that God’s love surrounds us from our beginning into eternity, drawing us toward our destiny in this life and beyond.
I give you thanks, glorious God, that your love for me is greater than anything I will face on this day or any day. Amen.
Sometimes we get ourselves into trouble by our words and actions. It’s okay to admit it. It happens to all of us. The Israelites experienced this when their constant grumbling provoked God’s wrath in Numbers 21. Yet even in this story, God provides the means of salvation. The psalmist echoes the refrain that when we put ourselves in bad positions, we may cry out to the Lord for deliverance. We read in Ephesians that all of us were living in disobedience to God, but God has done all the work of reconciliation by grace given through Christ Jesus. John ties all this together, gesturing to the story in Numbers 21 to teach us that Christ is the means of restoration and salvation for all who believe in him.
• Read Numbers 21:4-9. When has your complaining distorted your sense of reality? How do you maintain a sense of God’s presence?
• Read Psalm 107:1-3, 17-22. Consider implementing a practice of rising from sleep to give God thanks and to call to mind the many ways God works in your life.
• Read Ephesians 2:1-10. Does your sense of God’s salvation engender a sense of grace within you and a desire to do good? Why or why not?
• Read John 3:14-21. Do you consider yourself a creature of light or darkness? Why?
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