Summary: This is the 3rd message in a series called Perspectives and this message is about looking at life with God's perspective, rather than with our own.

Hello and welcome back to another message on ‘Perspectives!’ This is the third message, and today I am dealing with the topic of ‘life’ itself. If you were to say to me, “How is life?” I’d say it’s wonderful, and for that I give praise to God. The question, “What is life?” has been asked by so many philosophers over the years, I guess there are more definitions to life, than there are philosophers.

1. The Origin of Life

Life originated with God, and did not evolve, as we were taught to believe in school. The book of Genesis 2:7 says, “And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.” (NKJV) The eternal God who is ever-living, breathed into humans, and we became living beings. So the originator of life if is God Himself. Let’s never forget that.

2. The owner of Life

Who is the owner of life? Do you and I own our lives? No, we don’t. If God originated life, then God owns our lives. We didn’t earn it, we can’t pay for it; we were gifted life. God gifted us life. We are mere stewards of life, and we’re supposed to take care of the life that God has so kindly, and generously gifted us. Let’s remember this - we were gifted life and we don’t own it, and therefore we are responsible to God and accountable to Him, for the way in which we live our lives.

For those of us who believe in Jesus, we know that we are twice owned. We were first owned by God because He created us, and we were owned again by God because God Himself redeemed us through the blood (or the death) of His son Jesus. So therefore, we are owned by God Himself. We don’t belong to ourselves. The Apostle Paul said in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.” (NKJV) This means we are not here to live any way we want. We are here to live the way God intended for us to live, when He created us in the first place - to love Him, honor Him, worship, reflect Him and serve Him.

3. The Temporalness and yet the Eternity of Life

During this Pandemic the one thing that has really come to the forefront is the frailty of life. Life is temporal; it’s here today, and gone tomorrow. The bible says that life is like a vapor and like the grass of the field. I am sure every one of us know at least one person who was here one day and gone the next, because of the virus. Now we know that with or without the virus we are all going to die one day, unless the Lord returns before we pass away. There are so many ways that one can die, but one thing is certain - we are all going to die. But that’s not what God intended for life to be, He intended for us to live forever when He created us. Man disobeyed God, and rebelled against Him and brought death upon Himself. Despite that, back in the day, people died at the ages of 900, 950 and 969 (Methuselah). After the flood and the times of Noah God decided that man’s life would not cross a hundred and twenty years. Later, Moses said in Psalm 90:9-10, “For all our days have passed away in your wrath; we finish our years like a sigh. 10 The days of our lives are seventy years; and if by reason of strength they are eighty years, yet their boast is only labor and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.” Anyway, it doesn’t matter how long we live on this earth, we are all going to die. That’s how temporal our life is.

There’s another aspect of man that we are not so conscious of all the time, and maybe sometimes not even aware of. It’s the fact that man is both body and soul. This body is going to die, but that soul is going to live on forever. Let’s remember that the eternal God created us in His image, which means that the soul that we have inside of us is going to live on forever. Where our soul spends eternity depends on whether or not we surrender our lives over to the Lord so that He takes control of our lives. When we give our lives over to the Lord and live our lives loving, obeying and serving Him, we know that we will spend eternity with Him. So, let’s not forget that our life is both temporal, and at the same time eternal.

4. The Value of Life

Another thing to remember about life, is its value. Sometimes we may not think our lives are valuable, we may not think other people’s lives are valuable, and sometimes other people don’t think our lives are valuable, but the fact of the matter is, to God, our lives are precious and valuable. No one can put a price tag on life. We hear the world around us talk about the net worth of somebody being so many millions or billions of dollars. But really there is no price tag on life. You can’t evaluate someone’s life based on his assets, or based on his popularity or based on his skills. There is no price tag. God says our lives are very valuable to Him. In Matthew 16:26, Jesus said, “For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” Jesus seems to say that a person’s soul is worth more than all the money in the world, in fact it can’t even be purchased with all the money in the world.”

During this pandemic I am sure you have heard of so many cases, where people are willing to spend all they have to save the life of a loved one. That’s how precious life is. But it is even more precious than all the world’s money put together.

I am reminded of the story of the demoniac in Mark Chapter 5, where Jesus casts out demons from a man who was bleeding, naked, and living among the tombs, cutting himself with stones. He had no sense of identity, no purpose in life, nothing to live for. It seemed like he was just waiting to die. And then the demons spoke to Jesus and asked, that when they were cast out of the man, that they be sent into the pigs. Let’s remember that these were not stray pigs. These were pigs owned by somebody - 2000 pigs in all. Jesus knew what would happen. He knew that that the person who owned the pigs was going to lose a lot of money, to save that one man. Jesus was willing to save that one man, even though it was going to cost someone else a lot of money. That gives us a glimpse of how valuable our lives are to God. He was willing that that one man’s life be transformed, and that man was healed. That man was delivered of demons, he got a brand new life, got a new sense of identity, found a new purpose in life, and that man went on to tell so many other people about Jesus, and what God had done in His life. That’s what can happen when a person understands how valuable he is to God.

And the Lord valued us so much that He sent His son Jesus into the world to die for you and me so that you and I would not have to spend eternity away from Him in a place that was prepared for the devil and his angels – hell. Instead, God planned that we spend eternity with Him in heaven. We are so valuable to God that He was willing to do such a heart-breaking, sacrificial act of sending His Son Jesus to die in yours and my place so save us from a lost eternity.

In Matthew 10:29-31, Jesus said, “Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will. 30 But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.” God loves you, God values you. It doesn’t matter what other people say about you, it doesn’t matter what you think of yourself. You need to know that God values you, and once you believe that, your life will change, for you will understand that God has a purpose for your life as well.

5. The authority over Life

Who has authority over your life or my life? To answer that question let me ask another question, “Who has authority over a house?” (I am talking about a building). It’s the one who paid for, and built the building, or the one who purchased the building. That person has ultimate authority over the building. Somebody may pay rent and occupy the building, or someone may take it on lease, and stay in the building, but the authority over the house is with the one who owns it. So also, you and I don’t have authority over our lives – only God has authority over our lives. You and I should not for one moment think that we have authority to take our life or somebody else’s life. That’s why God considers murder a sin. It’s very sad when we hear of doctors or relatives of patients having to make decisions to ‘pull the plug’. Euthanasia, abortion, suicide - who gave us the authority to take ours or somebody else’s life? Just because a fetus in the womb, or a person in a coma can’t speak, does not mean that one has the authority to take that person’s life? God calls it murder.

6. The Quantity and Quality of life

The next thing I am looking at is the quantity and quality of life. Sometimes you say to somebody, “How are you keeping?” and the answer could be “Fantastic,” “Life is great,” “Life is good” or “Well, life can be better,” “Can’t grumble” or “Just pulling along.” The way one responds to the question, “How is life?” gives a glimpse of what the person is going through. Yes, don’t all go through good times every day, especially now, when things are difficult for almost everybody. If we are not infected by the virus, then we are at least affected by it in so many ways. Life is hard, but let’s remember that we were called not to be overcome by difficulties in life, but to overcome them and move on.

Jesus came to give us life, and give it in abundance. He said in John 10:10, “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” (NKJV) He is not talking here about health, wealth and prosperity, but He is talking about living life in such a way that reflects God’s amazing character in our lives. We’ve been called and chosen to reflect God’s character in our lives to the fullest - His love, His joy, His peace, His faithfulness, His goodness, His grace, His mercy. The same attributes of God can be demonstrated in our lives as well. That’s the most beautiful life that we can live. Life is really about who we, are and not so much about what we have and what we don’t have, who we know and who we don’t know, what we do or don’t do. We’ve got it all mixed up. Difficulties will be there in life but Jesus says we can overcome them and nothing can separate us from God’s love. We are more than conquerors, means nothing can conquer us, but we can conquer every situation. It’s not about conquering people, it’s about conquering the situations we face, overcoming them and not letting ourselves be overcome by them. Let’s remember - no difficulty, no trial, no temptation, no persecution can separate us from the love that God has for us. Just because we have difficulties, it doesn’t mean God has stopped loving us. In fact, He will shower His love much more on us during those difficult times. He will help us overcome the difficulties. So let’s make best use of every situation knowing that the Lord is with us, the Lord is for us and the Lord will help us overcome the difficulties we face. We can live a life that reflects God, and we can live abundantly - a life that is full and overflowing. God can transform our lives to that extent.

7. Contentment in Life

The next thing I want to talk about is contentment in life. Very often life is measured by the abundance of the things that we possess. We think we have a great life if we have lots of money or lots of things. We think we have a mediocre life if we have a little of everything, and we think we have a very poor life if we don’t have much. But, that’s not the way we are supposed to look at life. Somebody asked a philosopher, “What’s the secret to being happy?” and he said, “To have a little more than you already have.” The point he was making is that the more we have, we are going to want more and we are never going to be satisfied. Contentment is an amazing attitude to possess. To say, “I am happy with what I have.”

The Apostle Paul said in Philippians 4:11-13, “I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content. I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (NKJV) It’s in that context he said, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”

Again Paul said to Timothy in 1 Timothy 6:6-7, “Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.” (NKJV) Paul was saying that godliness with contentment was great gain. He was not saying that if one was godly and content they would get great gain. In fact he was saying that to be godly and content was itself great gain.

In Luke 12:14-15 a man came to Jesus and asked Him to ask his brother to divide his property with him. Jesus said to him, “Man who made me a judge or an arbitrator over you.” And then He said to those around Him, “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.” So what Jesus was saying in effect was that our life was not all about what we possessed. It’s a strong and loaded statement to us today, where for many of us, the quality of our life depends on the abundance of our possessions. He was saying that is not what life is all about.

Discontentment if often the reason why the world is in debt, companies are in debt, individuals are in debt, people are taking their own lives because they can’t repay loans. That’s not how we were supposed to live, and that’s not how we were supposed to die either. My wife Esther and I have a policy about taking loans, it’s a ‘no loan policy.’ We say, “If we don’t have the cash for it, we don’t make a dash for it.” It means that if we don’t have the money for something we don’t buy it. We wait until we have the money for it. That’s a beautiful life to live, to be content with what you have. I believe we don’t need more than we need, and if we have more than we need let’s see how we can help other people who are in need. There’s a lot more to life than merely living to possess more, because at the end of it, it doesn’t really satisfy. You get something and then the novelty wears off. You want something more, something bigger, and better, and costlier, and better looking.

In conclusion, God is the originator of life, God is the owner of life, we are only stewards to take care of the life He has given us, life is both temporal and eternal there is much value for our lives in God’s eyes. God has authority over our lives not me, not you and certainly not anyone else. It’s not about how much we possess but how we live our lives that matters. And lastly, it’s about being content with what we have. Let me encourage you to live life to the max. Be all that God intended for you to be; you will never regret it. Give your life over to the Lord. Let Him take complete control over your life. He knows how to help you live far better than you do. He leads, and when we follow His leading, life can be beautiful.

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