Last winter we purchased our girls 'The Game of Life.' I must confess to being pretty excited about this - we had never owned this particular game when I was growing up and I had fond memories of playing it at my cousins' place, so owning one made the kid inside me very happy! We've had some fun nights playing it with our girls but it turns out that playing the 'Game of Life' as an adult is not quite as appealing as when you're young. Spinning the wheel, going through the motions of study, work, collect the paycheck, buy a house if the game goes your way, pay the bank and see how many babies you can fit in the car (our girls produced so many grandbabies for us that they had them stacked on their car roofs!) - well, the now-known reality of these grown-up responsibilities can feel more exhausting than exhilirating!
Recently I was reading through 1 John and got stuck in the opening verses:
That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched - this we proclaim concerning the Word of Life. The Life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the Eternal Life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us.
Three times in just two verses, John gave Jesus a name that included the word 'life' - he called Him the Word of Life, THE Life and the Eternal Life. The Greek word for life is 'zoe', which in addition to meaning that we are alive and breathing, also means the absolute fullness of life which belongs to God. These three names tell me that God never intended for our lives to resemble a board game where we go through the motions, rolling the dice and leaving things to chance - no, He intended that there would be a fullness, an abundance to our lives as we enjoy the benefits of living in relationship with Him and come to understand the power of His Name.
The first name - The Word of Life - is what initially arrested me and had me digging deeper. What did it mean practically for Jesus to be a Word of Life for me?
In our western culture we can use words quite flippantly - speak now and apologise later. But for the Jewish people this ‘word,’ this logos, was something much more than a mere sound. It was something that actually did things – one writer describes it as ‘fearfully alive… a unit of energy charged with power.’ Another said, ‘a word is not merely a sound, it is a power which does things.’ Logos also meant ‘reason’ -the thought of God stamped upon the Universe. This 'word' was not just power, it also contained the wisdom and the purposes of God.
So John is saying to us – Jesus is both the creative power and the wisdom of God come together and that Word – that power and that wisdom brings about life and life in abundance!
In every situation that I face, Jesus is God's Word to me
As I sat in my armchair, looking up cross-references, I realised that I needed a fresh revelation of what Paul said in 2 Cor 1:20 - that Jesus is God’s ‘yes’ to every promise God has made. You and I need to have an agreement in our spirits with the Word of Life. We need to be confident that His Word to us will not return void, it will come to pass in His time and it will produce life in us.
It is the same with My Word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it.
Sometimes we ‘know’ something, but then God by His Spirit takes us to a place where we know something. At the time that I was meditating on and studying this passage, Lucas was just a few weeks old and some old fears were rearing their head. When I had my girls we had been heavily in debt, with my husband alternating between self-employment and unemployment, which impacted on our confidence and mental health as individuals and as a family. In the midst of it all, God had called us to foster our young nephew who required much care and attention - I felt like so much rested on me in that season; like I was the glue of my family and our provider.
That season of fostering had also required me to lay down my desire for another child, so when God began to reawaken that dream some years later, I had to deal with my fear that having another baby would look the same as it had in the past; that we would be limited by lack and it would all fall on my shoulders.
As I meditated on the names of Christ - that He is both the Word of Life and the Word of God (Revelation 19) - and as I reflected on the truth in Isaiah 55 - that God's word cannot return void to Him - faith began to arise in me in a new capacity that God was my provider. I sat down and took communion privately, and with the revelation that Jesus is the physical embodiment of all that God has spoken in His Word and that as I receive Jesus, I receive all that God has promised, I praised God in advance for His answers of provision in my life.
In the next few days there were 3 specific answers of provision and over the past 6 months God has continued to astound me with His faithfulness - meeting both big and seemingly insignificant needs as He has fulfilled His Word to me.
There is a word that God wants to speak over your life through Jesus. He doesn't just want you to hear it, He wants you to be able to say that you have seen it, you have touched it - that it is your experience and your reality. He wants you to hold on to that Word of Life even when circumstances suggest otherwise; to trust that it will produce fruit in you and through you.
Let's not settle for going through the motions and racing to the finish line - let's receive the fullness of His life that is promised to us as we stand on His Word.
What is the word from God that you need to receive through Jesus today?
Live today with purpose
P.S. You can listen to my message 'The Power of a Name' which unpacks these three names and their invitation to experience the abundant life of Jesus, here.
One of my favourite pass-times as a kid was writing. I used to make my own books and write poetry on our old type-writer. Thankfully both my writing and technology have come a long way!
It is my prayer that these posts from both myself and guest contributors encourage you to embrace the season that you are in and to live it with purpose for God's glory.
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