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The "will to live" is a strong force indeed. Doctors are often amazed at how some terminal patients can hold onto life despite diseases and injuries that are seemingly insurmountable. The human heart doesn't give up easily. And it's not just the biological state of being alive that we cling to. We want to live in every possible way. Physically, emotionally, socially, and spiritually, we have a deep desire to live and not die. When Jesus said that He came that we might have "life" and have it "abundantly" (Jn. 10:10), He touched on a subject that is very important to all of us.
But how do we get the "life" we seek? And what is "the good life" anyway, the best kind of life that can possibly be enjoyed in this world? These are questions that people have been asking since the beginning of the world. Many foolish answers have been given, of course, but it is at least significant that human beings are almost universally concerned with what "life" is, how we may get it, and how we may hold on to it.
It comes as no surprise that the Bible, God's word, deals extensively with the subject of life. What is surprising, at least to some, is what the Bible says about the subject. A distinction is made between the life we live in this world -- life "under the sun" (Eccl. 5:18) as Solomon called it -- and the life the saved will enjoy in the world to come, or "eternal life" (Tit. 3:7). As Christians, we are instructed to pay primary attention to the attaining of eternal life (2 Cor. 4:16-18; etc.). But the Bible does not diminish the importance of all we desire as "life" in this world. Instead, it teaches that the best of this life comes to us when we make the next life our main pursuit.
Often we find that seeking life requires that some choices be made. We must choose what kinds of life are the most important to us, and we must decide when to sacrifice lesser things so we can enjoy the greater. Throughout the coming week, may we be renewed in our determination to seek, above all else, that which our Creator defines as real life. In our "will to live," let's keep our focus on the Giver of life. Let's have both reverence and faith in seeking the life, both now and in eternity, that He desires for us -- and let's turn away from any path that leads the other direction. No matter what our adversary may say, he only wants our death. It is God who wants us to live.
Monday: 1 Timothy 4:8
Key Idea: Godliness provides not only the life to come, but also the best of this life.
Questions for Family Growth: What does it mean that godliness is "profitable" (NKJV) for both this life and the one to come? What advice does Peter have for those who would "love life and see good days" (1 Pt. 3:10-12)?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 22:10.
Tuesday: 2 Corinthians 4:16-18
Key Idea: In Christ, our "inner" person is being renewed while our "outer" person is perishing.
Questions for Family Growth: What are some of the differences between the "inner" and the "outer" person? What does Paul say will be the result of our "light momentary affliction" in this life? In v.18, what are the "eternal" things?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 22:11.
Wednesday: Philippians 3:7,8
Key Idea: The "surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus" is worth the sacrifice of all else.
Questions for Family Growth: What are some of the things Paul had lost as a result of his obedience to the gospel? What was his attitude toward the things he had sacrificed? In what ways does knowing Christ surpass the worth of anything else?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 22:12.
Thursday: Matthew 16:24-28
Key Idea: To "save" our life is to "lose" it, and to "lose" our life is to "save" it.
Questions for Family Growth: In your own words, how would you describe the meaning of v.25? How is it that we can lose eternal life by holding on too tightly to life in this world? What can we learn from this passage about the meaning of "sacrifice"?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 22:13.
Friday: Mark 10:29-31
Key Idea: Many who are "first" in this life will be "last" in the next.
Questions for Family Growth: What assurance did the Lord give to those who lose things in this life in order to gain the life to come? Who are the "first" and "last" in this life? Who are the "first" and "last" in the life to come?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 22:14.