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WE CAN KNOW THAT WE HAVE ETERNAL LIFE

In 1st John 5:13 John writes:  “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life”.

Some churches teach that we can’t really know if we have eternal life. Even if you do right now, what if you commit a terrible sin in the next few minutes and then you die? Some churches teach that you can’t really be sure — but that’s not what John teaches. John is writing so that we can know that we have eternal life. He’s reassuring the church in Ephesus that they were right to believe in Christ. He wants them to continue to trust him despite the disturbance that had disrupted the church there.

We’re not facing the exact same situation, but it’s good for us to recalibrate even through we’re not in the middle of a crisis. Sometimes we wonder whether it’s all worth it. Every message we get in this world is to live for ourselves. It takes a lot of effort to keep showing up, to keep denying ourselves, to keep loving. John says that it is. We can know that we have eternal life right now. Doubt comes from many sources, but our assurance comes from one place: from the cross of Jesus Christ and its effects on our lives.

Robert Murray M’Cheyne got it right years ago:  “Learn much of the Lord Jesus. For every look at yourself, take ten looks at Christ. He is altogether lovely. Such infinite majesty, and yet such meekness and grace, and all for sinners, even the chief!  Live much in the smiles of God. Bask in His beams. Feel His all-seeing eye settled on you in love, and repose in His almighty arms…  Let your soul be filled with a heart-ravishing sense of the sweetness and excellency of Christ and all that is in Him.”

Let the Holy Spirit fill every chamber of your heart; and so there will be no room for folly, or the world, or Satan, or the flesh.

Look to Jesus, and you will have all the assurance and power you need in your life. The more you think about him, the more you’ll see your life change.

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PRAYER AND THE PRESENCE OF THE LORD

Psalm 27:7   Hear, O LORD, when I cry aloud;  be gracious to me and answer me!  8 You have said, “Seek my face.”  My heart says to you,  “Your face, LORD, do I seek.”

This is a beautiful prayer. We can learn so much about people's relationships with God by looking at or listening to their prayers. They help us know how we are to relate to God in our prayers. There's some amazing stuff about prayer in this short prayer. Let's look at it and talk about "Prayer and the Presence of the LORD."

One, he cries. Have you ever really cried when praying? Really got down on your knees and called out to the Lord?

Two, he knows he doesn't deserve God to answer, so he says "Be gracious." Grace is getting something you didn't earn or deserve. When we pray do we treat God like He is wronging us if He doesn't answer us in the way we want?

Three, he is seeking, hard. He senses God calling him into a deeper devotion, "You said 'seek my face.'" Maybe God is calling you to seek Him more than you ever have before. I want to grow deeper this next year in my life with God. I was challenged by these two short verses, to really, really spend time seeking God more. I was in a car wreck last week going 70 miles an hour and walked away.  (My car doesn’t look so great.) I’m turning 65 next year. (Most days I don’t feel a day over 90.) I’m a puzzle to my heart doctor. Life just happens to us at high speed. Don’t miss the best part of daily slowing down to enjoy His presence. Do you want to grow deeper with God? Often we have not because we ask not. Are you asking? Is your heart seeking “His Face”? What an invitation He offers to us.

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