When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory. (Colossians 3:4-11)
I have read and heard this verse many times, but last night, as I read it again, I was struck by the singular simplicity of this statement: Christ who is our life. While the general context is right living, and looking forward to spending eternity with Jesus, this particular phrase contains a wealth of truth for the here and now – truth we need to take hold of, because it’s so wonderfully practical for our daily lives. Consider the many ways that Christ is, indeed, our life, and the grace that this imparts to us will empower, encourage and enlighten our faith and worship. The idea of ‘living waters’ is contained in these few words, a wonderful sense of continuing, ongoing grace.
He is the source of life. Through Him, salvation comes to anyone who believes and receives. His death made it possible for us to not only receive eternal life in the future, but to receive new life here on earth – a life renewed and restored. In believing, the old life has passed away and a new one comes through Him. We are new creatures, and Christ is the absolute source of that renewed life within us. The same resurrection power that raised Christ from the dead has worked a spiritual transformation in us.
He is the substance of our life. We no longer live the old life because we live His life. Christ in us is the proof of our faith, the living testimony that we have been renewed and transformed, set free forever from the law, and from sin and the spiritual death it brings. Christ in us is our hope of glory, yes, but it is also a very practical and real presence that enables us to live in the newness of life He has given.
He is the sustenance of our life. He is the the bread that feeds us, the living Word. Like manna from heaven, He imbues the Word with the life-bringing power. Each and every single word contained in the Bible is spiritual food, the essential thing we need to sustain our spiritual growth and our faith. It is divine sustenance, perfect and complete, and able to meet every need.
He is the solace of our life, our comfort, our strength, our joy. His very presence in us and with us is beyond measure, beyond price. He puts Himself into everything we do, everywhere we go, everything we experience if we will only allow Him to do so. His faithfulness is constant, His love and mercy without end. All that we need, physically, emotionally and spiritually, is in Him, and available to us at any moment. His nearness alone is enough. Like the woman who knew she had only to touch the hem of His garment to be healed, so we have the assurance and certainty that He is the I Am to every need.
He is the focus of our life. For us to live is Christ. He is God, Master, Teacher, Saviour, Redeemer, Comforter, Guide and friend. He imbues life with meaning and relevance that transcends the things of this world. He is the General who leads the battle, the source of wisdom and understanding, the very centre and source of everything we see and experience. He is the root and we are the branches. He is the head and we are the body. Without Him, life would have no purpose, no relevance, no real value.
He is the example of our life. Everything we need to know or learn, He has already revealed through His own life. He hasn’t only given the Word and the Spirit, but also provided a living example for us to follow. Our struggles and questions are reflected in and through His ministry on earth. We are encouraged though His teachings and made bold through His faith. Whatever our need, we can look to Jesus for a living example of what and how.
Finally, He is the glory of our lives. In Him and and through Him, we look to eternal life in His presence. We have a future that exceeds expectations or imaginings. We have a comfort that looks beyond the physical limitations and lamentations of our earthly life to one of eternal joy in glory. We have a promise of eternal unity, the Bridegroom and the Bride together forever.
To look forward to and even long for eternity is good. To fix our eyes on Him and move ever closer, day by day, to that eternal, joyful oneness with Christ is a noble and desireable thing. But, while we are here, let us take hold of the life we already have. Not the one of the world, but that new and wonderful life that is sourced, sustained and centred in Him. What an incredible gift, that the Son of God Himself should not only give up His life for us, but should also give us His resurrection life to empower us in our walk with Him. This is abundant grace beyond measure.
Thank You, Jesus, for the wonderful gift of life You have given, not only for eternity but in every practical measure here on earth. Help us to see You in all we do, think, or feel. Help us to remain rooted in You, to learn from You, to find our joy in You, and to live as we are called, wholly set apart for You.