John 3:16 is an amazing verse, spoken straight from the mouth of our Lord Jesus Christ. But is it becoming so over-familiar that you are at risk of losing the wonder contained in it?
This Lent, we invite you to join us as we delve deeper into John 3:16 through a short series of short weekly reflections. Let's pray that its truths will stir our spirits afresh as we approach that time of year when we marvel at the greatest gift of love the world has ever seen: the sacrifice of Jesus.
Lent reflection week 6 - ‘...but have eternal life’
‘...but have eternal life’
Scripture tells us that, because of the incredible work of Jesus, we are already seated in heavenly places with Him (Ephesians 2:6).
This can be hard to understand, especially when we’re sitting in our favourite armchair, or standing in the kitchen cooking dinner. But it’s a truth that is as real as the world we see around us.
So what does it mean to be seated in heavenly places, and how do we live life rooted in a heavenly perspective?
As Christians, we understand that when Jesus died on the cross, He took upon Himself the sin of the world; that is all sin, past, present and future – no matter how good or bad we think we are. We are washed clean, and stand spotless in His sight.
Not only this, but we know that when our earthly body dies, our eternal destiny is to reign with Jesus in heaven for ever and ever (Revelation 11:15). This is a sure and certain hope for all who know Him as their Lord and Saviour, and what an incredible thought it is!
But there’s even more. We are seated in heavenly places today, and our lives are not only transformed in eternity, they are transformed here and now. In Christ, our old self was buried with Him through baptism (Romans 6:4), and we are made new.
The old has gone, the new is here (2 Corinthians 5:17), and we have been filled with the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead (Romans 8:11).
We are no longer slaves to sin and death (Romans 6:1-22), but we are sons and daughters of the King of the universe.
When we understand this new identity in Jesus, we can live with a heavenly perspective. He has promised that we are more than conquerors (Romans 8:37), that we are no longer subject to fear, but have been given a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7). His supernatural peace is ours no matter what we’re facing (Philippians 4:7).
Jesus said, ‘I came that you might have life and have it in abundance’ (John 10:10). This is the powerful Gospel that MAF missionaries take to a world in need every day, and with every flight.
Today, as you ponder the finished work of Jesus, consider that He went to the cross so that you might have life, both now and in eternity.
See yourself as your heavenly Father sees you, seated with Him in heavenly places, set free from every sin and fear, and filled with His Spirit who gives you victorious life.
Prayer ideas for this week
✈ If you’re uncertain whether you know Jesus as Lord and Saviour, ask Him now. Accept the fact that He died for you on the cross and rose again, and ask Him to forgive your sins, come into your life and fill you with His Spirit.
✈ If you need to know His victory, peace, and a sound mind free from anxiety today, ask Him to give you a fresh revelation of your identity in Jesus.
✈ If you’ve never really known the Lord as your heavenly Father, and understood your inheritance as His son or daughter, then ask Him to reveal this to you today by His Spirit.
✈ Pray for MAF missionaries around the world who take the Gospel to the unreached. Pray they will know His presence and victory in their own lives, whatever darkness or difficulty they face.
Video: Emil Kundig, Pilot and Country DIrector, MAF Liberia
Reflection: Ruth Jack, Head of MAF in Scotland