I heard one of our staff members, Betty Blake Churchill, say the phrase “Life-Giving-Life.” The more I sit with the phrase, the more I see the message of Jesus in it. Really it sums up what Jesus came to do, but it also sums up what it means to follow him. So that’s a great question for every serious Christ-follower to ask, “Am I experiencing Life-Giving-Life?”
Jesus came to give us Life. Not just life (as in physical existence), but Life that’s like living water flowing into the spirit of his children from the Source of every good thing. The problem is most Christians think they possess that Life by simply saying a prayer to “accept Jesus” or by believing certain things. This might be the entrance into Life (assuming they truly shift allegiance in faith), but to experience Life like Jesus came to bring us, we must grow up spiritually.
How do we know if we are growing up into Life? Look at evidence of spiritual changes. If a newborn baby stays alive for years, yet she doesn’t see certain physical changes 3-5 years later: growing taller, walking, talking, reading, writing, relating to others, if these evidences of growing up are not there—something’s wrong. So we can look at these evidences:
- Spiritual Life – Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control will grow within us if we stay connected to the Source. Ask, “Am I growing up to experience more of this Life that comes from God’s Spirit?” (Galatians 5:22-23)
- Relational Life – We can also look at our relationships since Jesus said loving God and loving people sums up the whole Bible. Am I experiencing growing relational closeness to God? (John 17:3) Would people around me say I’m growing to be a better spouse, friend, parent, co-worker? Am I loving and serving the people around me in growing ways that reflect Jesus’ Life? (John 15:9-13)
- Life-Giving-Life – And we can look at our impact. Is my Life-Giving-Life? Jesus told those that he imparted Life to that they were to go into the world and share that Life, helping others grow up spiritually. (Matthew 28:18-20). This means not only helping others understand the loving heart of God and find faith, it means helping others grow up spiritually until they experience more of this Spiritual, Relational Life and can give this Life to others.
Life-Giving-Life-Giving-Life, such a beautiful word picture of God’s Kingdom invading our often-lifeless world. But what if you’re not growing up to experience Life so that you have Life to give away? That’s what I’ll talk more about in the next blog.