LENTEN DEVOTIONS 2018 – Day 38

March 23, 2018

By Rev. Dr. Arnetha E. Bell-Inge, Compton First UMC, West District

1 John 5:13-15 The Message (MSG)

My purpose in writing is simply this: that you who believe in God’s Son will know beyond the shadow of a doubt that you have eternal life, the reality and not the illusion. And how bold and free we then become in his presence, freely asking according to his will, sure that he’s listening. And if we’re confident that he’s listening, we know that what we’ve asked for is as good as ours.

According to the Word of God, salvation is a reality, it is not guesswork, nor is it a “I hope I have eternal life,” claim. Resurrection is about eternal life and eternal life is a reality, because God has spoken it. I believe His Word is true and His promises are also true.

John states, that the purpose in writing this Scripture is, that we believe that Jesus is the son of God and confess this belief; by doing so, we may know, without a shadow of a doubt, that we have eternal life. This is a reality for the believer in Christ. Paul confirms (Romans 10: 9 & 10 CEB), if you confess with your mouth “Jesus is Lord” and in your heart you have faith that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. Trusting with the heart leads to righteousness and confessing with the mouth leads to salvation.

Thus, eternal life is in Jesus membership, not church membership. Joining a local congregation is the avenue by which we work out our soul salvation. But, Jesus membership is the reality of eternal life. Sometimes church membership gives an illusion of eternal life; however, Jesus membership is the promise.

So, by believing and accepting the Son, we have confidence, assurance, no doubt, no worry, no fears; it is a confident reality that when we pray according to His will, He hears us. We can take our belief to the Bank of Heaven and withdraw from the promises of the Father. This is the confidence of an individual with Jesus membership.

Prayer: Gracious and eternal Father, the creator and sustainer of this great universe, thank you for loving sinful humankind so much, that you gave your only son to be the propitiation for the sins of the whole world, your promise of eternal life, and answers to our prayers. In the Name of the one who is the Alpha and Omega, the one who said, “Before Abraham was, I am.” Thank you God, for the great “I am.”