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If Anyone Keeps My Word, He Will Never See Death

21 March • Thursday of the Fifth Week in Lent


John 8:51-59

51 Truly, truly, I say to you, if anyone keeps my word, he will never see death.” 52 The Jews said to him, “Now we know that you have a demon! Abraham died, as did the prophets, yet you say, ‘If anyone keeps my word, he will never taste death.’ 53 Are you greater than our father Abraham, who died? And the prophets died! Who do you make yourself out to be?” 54 Jesus answered, “If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing. It is my Father who glorifies me, of whom you say, ‘He is our God.’ 55 But you have not known him. I know him. If I were to say that I do not know him, I would be a liar like you, but I do know him and I keep his word. 56 Your father Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day. He saw it and was glad.” 57 So the Jews said to him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?” 58 Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.” 59 So they picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple.


Meditation

 

Jesus promises us eternal life with Him which physical death cannot extinguish.


We will do anything to avoid death. We will change our lifestyle, fast and exercise daily, decline promotions, even drain our bank account. Yet we can only postpone death within the limits God wills for our lives.


This fear of death robs us of the joy in the life we still have and it constrains us to live safe, self-centred lives that miss the opportunities God invites us to.


Psalm 104:33 calls us to a victorious posture while acknowledging the inevitability of death—“I will sing to the LORD as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have being.”


What’s your posture towards death?


Jesus didn’t just claim authority over death or existence before Abraham, but that He is the “I AM”.


This is the personal name that God revealed Himself when He liberated Israel from slavery in Egypt.


Today, this same I AM declares that if anyone keeps His word, he will never see death. To “keep His word” means to believe His promise, hang on to it, obey it and live by it.


As Jesus is the I AM, then all that awesome power seen in the burning bush, the 12 plagues, and the parting of the Red Sea is also available to us.


So, how then should we live in the light of our inevitable death and this promise from the great I AM?


We have a short time to live out God’s purposes for us in this world. Let’s not grasp desperately to stay alive like the world does.


Instead let’s live out our role in God’s Kingdom victoriously. When our work is done, let’s listen with anticipation to His words “Well done you good and faithful servant!”


Prayer

 

Dear Jesus, I thank You for conquering death. Free me from the constraining fear of death. Grant me the ability to live a victorious life until my work for You is done and I see You face to face!


Action

 

Recall the times when you had given in to fear instead of obeying Jesus the great I AM and confess these moments to Him.


Do you know your role in God’s Kingdom? Would you re-commit yourself to follow Him until God calls you home? Or do you need to talk to someone who could guide you to discover God’s role for you in His kingdom?


Pastor Lim Kee Oon

Senior Pastor

Woodlands Evangelical Free Church

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