Today’s Reading: Acts 13:48-49 KJV
48 And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed. And the word of the Lord was published throughout all the region.
Acts 13:48-49 The Message
When the non-Jewish outsiders heard this, they could hardly believe their good fortune. All who were marked out for real life put their trust in God—they honored God's Word by receiving that life. And this Message of salvation spread like wildfire all through the region.
I was checking the employment opportunities online today and noticed that in almost every job description, the words, “experience necessary” were printed in bold type. Many of the open positions go as far to identify the number of years of experience they are looking for in a qualified applicant. I wondered as I read the ads, why they do not place greater emphasis on “life experience.”
If you have a beating heart, then you unequivocally possess life experience. Our lives are unique, impacted by our family, environment, geographical location, and the culture in which we are raised. Yet, we all share a commonality in our life’s breath. We all bleed, we cry, we hurt, and we love. We learn how to overcome insurmountable obstacles; we find a way to care and share with our extended families, even while caring for ourselves. We understand the importance of our interpersonal relationships and learn how to choose our friends wisely, especially after experiencing a disappointment. Growing in grace helps folks admit their weaknesses and focus on their inherent strengths; grace allows us to cut each other a little slack. I think life experience is an important part of who we are and whose we are, and it should count for something, wouldn’t you agree?
How do you find real life? Many folks believe real life is attained through the things we possess, or the lifestyles we keep. Take away an executive’s blackberry and suddenly, all life seems lost without his contacts and appointment times. Remove a name plate from the desk where someone sat at for fifteen years and suddenly, their identity seems lost in the whirlwind of a stark unemployment reality. What if real life for you consisted of scavenging for food to eat, a roof over your head, and help for extreme medical needs? If you are reading this blog, you probably have a computer within your possession. How many people in the world live without electricity to power such an expensive piece of equipment, much less have the necessities they need to live? What is real life? Is it possible for all to receive it?
A loving Father never denies His treasured possession a cup of real life. He offers His love freely to all who will accept His gift. For God so loved the world, He gave Jesus, His Only Son, that whoever would believe and receive Him, would inherit eternal life, real life! No matter who you are or where you live; it does not matter whether you have zero income or are listed in the top ten of the Fortune 500®, real life is a package deal, and its ready and waiting just for you. The Good News of Christ’s death and resurrection is that He is the real deal. He offers real life, not just to a certain class of people or culture. He offers real life to all of us who will receive Him today. You cannot purchase real life; you will not find what you are looking for in a cheap date or a pill bottle. Real life comes through life experience; we struggle and search for greater meaning, intrinsic value, self-worth, and the only One who can adequately fill our void is the Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Jesus came for all people, not just for His people, but for all people, everywhere. You see, I am a non-Jewish outsider, and today I find myself extraordinarily thankful for Christ’s gift of real life, eternal life, given to me. We honor the real life we’ve been given by receiving His gift with humble, grateful hearts. Real life is available – it is free for you and me! This is the kind of news that we should spread like wildfire! Won’t you help me share the Good News of Christ this week with the people you know and love?
Grace and peace,
Faith UMC - St. Charles, MO
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