The Heart of a Life-Giver
Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son does not have life.
1 John 5:12
“Oh, look! I used to go to youth group at that church!” My friend and her daughter were Christmas shopping. The daughter’s invitation to go to the mall shocked her mother because of the ongoing conflict between them. Her daughter’s life choices did not align with the way “she had been raised.” Festering anger, hurt and disappointment bubbled up unexpectedly and the mother retorted to her daughter, “Yes, that’s where you learned about Jesus and the right way to live.” Her cutting words killed the seeds of fun and a day planned as a peace offering turned sour. How could my friend have used this moment as a life-giver rather than a life-taker? She reads the Bible every day, prays for her daughter to live the way she was raised. Yet she missed an opportunity to show love to her daughter.
This is a hard place for anyone, yet Jesus, the Source of all life, wants us to seize such opportunities to reflect His presence in us. I don’t think that is possible without getting a sense that we are part of a bigger picture. That we need to see life through the grid of God’s eternal purposes, not our momentary needs. As we begin this devotional on Life-Giving Encouragement, we need to start at the beginning, with the One who gives life.
God is the one who gives us physical life. He also gives us new life, spiritually, when we are “born again” by His Spirit. When God breathes life into our dead hearts enabling us to trust Jesus, our potential changes from life-taker to life-giver because our status has changed:
“Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son does not have life.
1 John 5:12
Go back to the very beginning of mankind and take a closer look at Eve, whose name means life-giver. What intrigues me is that God gave the first woman the name “Eve” AFTER the Fall, after she sinned. We might find it easy to believe that God expected Eve to be a life-giver in the Garden of Eden. That place was perfect! Yet even in the timing of God naming Eve, we find grace and hope. She was given that calling after God kicked Adam and Eve out of the Garden of Eden. What an incredible picture of hope for us today! God named Eve “life-giver” with full expectations that she would find a way to be a life-giver in a sinful, broken world. We, too, have the capacity to be life-givers in whatever part of this messed up, sinful world we are living in.
Just for today, think about this powerful picture of a sinful woman being transformed from a life-taker into a life-giver. If you know Jesus, you are that woman. While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. When we recognize our need for Jesus, repent of our sins, surrender to His love, He “comes in to our hearts” and we can know that “whoever has the Son, has life.”
But notice the flip side, “whoever does not have the Son, does not have life.” So I ask, do you have the Son? Do you know Jesus? Or perhaps you have grown stale in your intimacy with Jesus. I have great news for you! You can know Jesus today and you can renew your love for Him today. Our team is praying for you to fall more and more in love with the ultimate Life-Giver as you intentionally look for ways to offer life-giving encouragement to others.
Oh Father, You are the Life-Giver. You give us physical life. You transform our dead spiritual hearts into living hearts that fall in love with Jesus. Lord, we ask that you give new life to those who are reading this devotional, who do not know Jesus or who long for more of You and intimacy with You. We love you, Lord.