“You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me…”
These words of Jesus carry a startling implication: we can be people intensely in the scriptures and still miss everything.
This means that we can do devotions every single day this year… and still miss everything… And still not have really lived.
So how do we not do this? How do we not confuse the means for the end?
1. Remember, Christ is the Prize.
First of all, we must know that the end we’re seeking after is God himself (Phil. 3:14). You and I are seeking life, which is union with God himself.
Christianity is not a good moral code nor simply a different way to live. Christianity is union with the Divine. Two lives fused into one. This is what we’re after. Who we’re after.
2. Remember, Life is Entered through Glory
If life is union with God (yes, think marriage union), we enter and experience it by receiving his glory. (Rom. 1:17, 5:17, 6:4; 2 Cor. 3:18)
Glory, in the Greek (doxa) literally means “opinion.” You and I need to know that God’s glory is literally his opinion. Since God is love, his opinion of us is only always love.
When we receive the perfect love he has for us by faith, we live in his love, and he lives in us. This is union with God!
This is the eternal life.
God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. (1 John 4:16)
3. Remember, Life is Realized by Faith
But how do we abide in God who is love? By exercising faith, and only by exercising faith.
Everything in scripture—in both testaments—points to God’s perfect love for us. And everything in scripture—in both testaments—directs us to believe it. The most scripturally educated in Jesus’ day missed this. If they can miss this, so we can we.
When you and I are spending time in the scriptures during our devotional time this year, may we be looking for the truth of his perfect love for us. And may we respond with faith.
“It is they that testify of me,” Jesus said. (Jn. 5:39)
Oh that we’d follow the scriptures’ testimony all the way up and into Christ this year! Oh that Christ would dwell in our hearts through faith this year! Oh that we’d be strengthened to comprehend the vastness of his infinite love for us this year! Oh that we’d come to know his perfect love which surpasses knowledge this year! Oh that we’d be filled increasingly to the fullness of God who is love this year! (Eph. 3:14-19)
Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen. (Eph. 3:20-21)