Because He Lives

Because He Lives
Robert Wurtz II

Yet a little while, and the world will see me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also. (John 14:19)

It is hard to fathom the awesome change that was about to come to the Disciples lives. They had been with the Lord Jesus for over three years, but now He was about to leave this earth. Undoubtedly, they had no idea that He would leave in the way He went; both by crucifixion and resurrection. Had they known what awaited them in the days, months, and years ahead their hearts may have failed them for fear. God never allows more on a believer than they can bear and sometimes this means shielding the future from our eyes.

The thing they will need for the journey ahead is grace: indeed, much grace. It is hard to imagine that the same men that at one time wanted to call fire down from heaven to devour the Samaritans are about to deny and or forsake the Lord all together. One will swear with a loud oath. What a sobering reminder of how boastful we can be when things are going right. Call fire down on the ones that won’t believe and then deny Christ? Are we better than they? We all have to be careful. We have to consider our own weaknesses. The old time preachers used to warn against wanting to charge hell’s gates with a water pistol one minute, and then backsliding the next.

It is cliche to say, but we simply don’t know what tomorrow holds. Hindsight is 20/20, but foresight is legally blind. We can know nothing more of the future than what God has chosen to reveal to us. For this cause, this new year will bring with it many surprises, good and bad. Unless we see a move of God unlike any known in our nations history, we are bound, statistically and logically to continue spiraling downwards as a society. The world is becoming more hostile towards Christ and God’s word all the time. How long will it be before each of us are warming ourselves by a fire (as it were), only to be confronted by a hateful unbeliever demanding whether or not we know this Christ?


In time the Disciples will fail, but Christ will give them a new beginning. That’s what a new year has the potential to be: a new beginning. The Rev. D.L. Burch used to start off each new year with a sermon that gave everyone “permission” to put the previous year behind them. It was a formality really. Each day as the sun rises we have a new beginning, if we’ll just receive it. We can choose either to walk the same path as yesterday or detour onto a new one. Think of the times we have switched our daily calendar to today’s date, or flipped the page and rehung one for a new month. This year I did what I seem to always do: hold that old calendar in my hand and ponder the events of the past twelve months. Another year has passed.

2014 will be filled with challenges and opportunities. God will open doors and there will be many adversaries. The one who we all take into the new year is ourselves. Will we repeat the same patterns as last year- both good and bad or will we endeavor, by God’s grace and leading, to forge a path that pleases Him? For those that will turn to Christ in genuine faith- we don’t have to walk alone. We can know this truth… because I live, ye shall live also. Life in Christ can mean death to everything contrary to Him– if we will receive it. For those who know Christ it can be renewed in us again. Despite the shortcomings and failures of last year, we can begin again… refreshed in the very image of Christ. As the writer has so thoughtfully said it:

God sent His son, they called Him, Jesus;
He came to love, heal and forgive;
He lived and died to buy my pardon,
An empty grave is there to prove my Savior lives!

Chorus
Because He lives, I can face tomorrow,
Because He lives, all fear is gone;
Because I know He holds the future,
And life is worth the living,
Just because He lives!

How sweet to hold a newborn baby,
And feel the pride and joy he gives;
But greater still the calm assurance:
This child can face uncertain days because He Lives!

Chorus
Because He lives, I can face tomorrow,
Because He lives, all fear is gone;
Because I know He holds the future,
And life is worth the living,
Just because He lives!  

 …….

-Bill Gaither

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