You Can’t Give Away What You Don’t Possess

We all spend a great deal of time in our cars driving places our feet could rarely take us. I am no different. While on the road or highway I see a lot of bumper stickers. They are interesting, varied and revealing. They often make me think about what the person behind the wheel is like, what is important to them and what their worldview is. I saw one today that spawned a question within.
The one I saw read, “Donate Life.” Upon initial reflection I thought to myself, “What exactly does that mean?” Are they trying to say that we should donate our organs to someone who is dying and in need of a transplant? If so, then it was a little vague. But, then again, bumper stickers don’t afford one the space to be wordy.
Upon further reflection, my mind looked at it from a Heavenly perspective thanks to the Holy Spirit (Colossians 3:1-2). Not to be overly fastidious- my personal vocabulary word of the day to myself (it means picky) – but to be accurate and truthful, we simply cannot donate life. We can give away an organ which may, in turn, help save someone’s life but that’s different. And it is a noteworthy difference, for two reasons. One, whether we live or die in the process of harvesting and transplanting an organ, the recipient is not being given life. He or she is having his or her existing life extended.
Secondly, and of particular importance, is the fact that we have life but do not possess it; therefore, we cannot give it away. We have life because it was imparted to us. To possess implies or defines ownership. We do not own our lives. We do not have the capability in our nature to bring ourselves into existence, to sustain it indefinitely, or to ensure its continuation. We will all die at some point. If we truly had ultimate control over our lives and life was a part of our nature, we would not taste death.
Only one being has life, is life and can give it away- and take it away- and that is the one and only Living God: the God of the Bible, our Maker, the Creator of the universe and everything in it. If we recall the book of Genesis, God formed Adam out of the dust of the earth (chapter 2, verse 7a). For a moment, the first man had form but no life. The second part, or the continuation of that sentence, reveals that God “breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.” Am I splitting hairs? No. Does it matter, really? Yes! Did God make rocks, the moon and minerals? Yes, he gave them form but they are lifeless just as we can make furniture, jewelry and clothing. We can manufacture them. We even have the ability to combine different inanimate parts or ingredients to make something else altogether and with another form. But, again, it is only substance. It lacks life.
The Word of God reveals early on that God spoke into existence and created “vegetation: plants yielding seed, and fruit trees on the earth bearing fruit after their kind with seed in them.” Isn’t that what we do? Isn’t that the limit of our ability to create or to procreate? We can have intercourse, we can bear children from that act, but have we given them life? No. We have simply replicated, in a manner of speaking. We have life because God breathed into our forms the breath of life, as He does with our offspring. We cannot take credit for that. Many unfortunate women, including one of my sisters, have had miscarriages. These are painful reminders that we can bring forth the form or substance, but cannot give life itself. Why? Because we, ourselves, are not life.
The Bible tells us that it is the Holy Spirit who gives life. There are several verses which convey this truth:
 Romans 8:6, “For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace.”
 Romans 8:13, “For if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live.”
 Galatians 6:8, “For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption (death), but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.”
 Ezekiel 37:9-10, “Then He said to me, ‘Prophesy to the breath (Spirit), prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, ‘Thus says the Lord God, ‘Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they come to life.’ So I prophesied as He commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they came to life and stood on their feet, an exceedingly great army.’ “

In this last scripture from the book of the prophet Ezekiel, the word “breath” here is the Hebrew word RUAH, meaning the Holy Spirit or Breath of Life, which only comes from Jehovah God Himself. And, by the way, this is yet another proof that God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are One; not three beings as some opponents of Christianity readily and wrongly argue. The King James Bible offers a very accurate translation of the truth found in Ephesians 2:1, “And you hath He quickened (made alive), who were dead in trespasses and sins.” So God, who is life, gives us eternal life through His Holy Spirit upon salvation in, of and through Jesus Christ. We have breath which makes us and keeps us alive physically and the same breath, or Spirit, is needed to bring our dead souls to life. He can give life because He IS life (Ruah). We cannot because we are not life. We need God. Seek the Lord while He may be found; call upon Him while He is near” (Isaiah 55:6).


Would You Accept a FREE GIFT From a Friend? What About From God?

A friend of mine has recently been sick for almost a week. He’s had a hard time sleeping, been vomiting and been weak. He’s been toughing it out, though. He told me several of his extended family members have the flu. He texted me and told me that his wife finally told him she was going to take him to the doctor when he got home. Then he informed me that he had neither insurance nor the money. I sympathize because I don’t have insurance either.
I called my wife and she agreed that we would help him pay for it. He didn’t text me back right away, so I wrote and asked him if that was agreeable so we could make plans for later. He thanked me very sincerely, but declined the help in a way that I incorrectly perceived meant he found another way to pay for it. That was that. The next day, Saturday, I was thinking about him and texted him (because I thought he might be sleeping most of the day) to see if he had gone to the doctor and if he was feeling okay. He responded that he did not go, but was feeling a little better.
I was lovingly firm with him, but asked him if that wasn’t being stupid. I reminded him of how he had a need, how God had put it on my heart to help him while we were able and that he didn’t need to be proud, but to accept the help the Father was willing to give him in whatever manner He chose to give it. I told him about the scripture in the Bible (James 4:6) which reads, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” He again expressed his gratitude, admitted that maybe he was being a little prideful, but explained that now that his life was getting a little more in order- himself as well- he only likes to ask for help as a last option. I know that’s a very common attitude, but I got to thinking how, because of Jesus’ work in my life, I now gladly accept gifts- monetary or otherwise- from people whether I actually need it or not. My mother is very generous to us and we’re adults. We praise God that He chooses to bless us and that she is the willing vessel He uses! They are unexpected blessings from God! Am I only going to receive if I have need? Hopefully not; that would be foolish. I will gladly accept the gift, be extremely grateful to my abundantly generous Heavenly Father, and put it to good use. By denying the blessing of God (through us), my friend continues to suffer unnecessarily.
This is a very real, practical, earthly example of what nearly everyone in the world does today. Almighty God long ago sent His Son (who is God) Jesus Christ the Messiah to the earth with the sole purpose of dying in our place to pay the price of death our sins warranted—all so that we would have an otherwise impossible opportunity to be reconciled to the Creator of the universe; that is, to go from being sinful enemies of God to being a cleansed people He calls His own.
We are born into the world with a deadly disease, a sinful nature. Man’s sins and God’s holiness are like oil and water. They cannot mix. They cannot share the same space. Heaven is perfect, blameless and sinless, and nothing which is imperfect or sinful can enter. We are sick. Actually, worse. The Bible says that we are dead in our sins. If nothing changes, we will die in that same state and our eternal fate is Hell. Our souls do not have life, even while we are alive in the world, if our sins have not been paid for. God, as the righteous Judge, deems us worthy of death. Since He, Himself, is Life anything unlike Him without holiness experiences physical death and eternal, spiritual death.
Like my friend in need of a doctor’s or a friend’s help, mankind desperately needs the Father’s help, compassion, mercy, forgiveness and salvation. Yet, we do one of two things: we either choose another path to God- what we think is an option, but it is not. God has said in His perfection that the only path to Him is through His Son Jesus. We think if we are good enough (whatever that standard might be even if it were true, and we ourselves don’t even know), we can somehow obtain eternity in Heaven. Many people across the globe opt for false religion such as Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Secularism, Pantheism, Humanism, “Christian” Science, Scientology, Mormonism, et al. Or, equally bad and fatal, they choose atheism (pretending or living under the delusion that there is no God, accountability or judgment) or agnosticism, neither accepting or denying belief in God and the need to answer for and to deal with the sin in our lives.
You see the parallel? We are sick. We have a need. God provides the solution. And we say “No, thank you, we’ll get by on our own.” It doesn’t work that way. 1 Corinthians 1:18 says, “For the word of the Cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” Proverbs 14:12 and 16:25 say, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.” John 10:10 records the very words of Jesus who is Life, “…I came that they may have life (in God) and have it abundantly.” The choice is really what we, today, would call a “no-brainer.” Are you living foolishly and going your own way, sick and dying in sin? Or wisely, taking the free gift and receiving healing and eternal life? The time to choose is winding down. I hope you choose wisdom over foolishness, life over sickness and death. I am praying for you.