"The Infusion of Forever"
The prayer of the Lord Jesus Christ offered just before He went to the cross provides an interesting insight regarding the matter of eternal life: "This is life eternal" said the Lord Jesus, "that they might know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent" (John 17:3).
Were it not for our Lord's declaration, we might think that eternal life primarily involves the quantity of our existence. Instead, we discover that God defines eternal life in terms of quality, based upon relationship and fellowship with the Father and the Son. This is not to deny the fact of living forever with our Lord if we have trusted Christ. Certainly we will. Nevertheless, how long we will live is not the main point or power of eternal life. Who we know rather constitutes the essence and meaning of this blessed gift of being genuinely alive. "To live is Christ" (Philippians 1:21).
The Apostle John also brilliantly illuminates the subject of eternal life.
"And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in His Son... These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God" (I John 5:11; 13).
In the past and present tense, John reveals that born again believers already possess eternal life. This again redirects our emphasis. Rather than longevity, the matter becomes one of living relationship and fellowship with God. Now. Moreover, we possess the capacity to experience the realities of eternity in our present temporal existence as we walk by faith and in submission to our Heavenly Father. Things happen in our hearts and in our outward circumstances, conditions, and situations that originate in eternal realities when we heed the Apostle Paul's command to "set your affection on things above, and not on things on the earth" (Colossians 3:2). Most such infusions of forever upon time occur quietly, and without spectacular pomp and circumstance. But they happen, and we know it. Or sometimes we don't know it. Indeed, many of God's eternal processes take place in a manner beyond our awareness and understanding. They happen nevertheless, and we experience the life of the risen Lord Jesus in ways that transcend the world in which we presently live. We know God and His Son, as revealed by the Holy Spirit because "this is life eternal", the gift of grace we have received and presently possess.
Eternity will offer many experiences of glory and wonder. It already does. Most of all, it provides God Himself as the very Life of our lives. We need not wait for such grace. The gift abides with and within us already if we have believed. We can know the Father and the Son, as revealed by the Holy Spirit in our hearts and lives. Presently, we "see through a glass darkly" regarding the gift (I Corinthians 13:12). But we do see as we open our eyes to the infusion, the infusion of forever upon time for those who "seek those things which are above" (Colossians 3:1). Thereby we discover the reality already present and active as we walk in loving fellowship with our eternal Lord (Colossians 3:1).
"For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit."
"God is the strength of my heart, and my portion forever."
Weekly Memory Verse
As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.
(I Peter 4:10)