Suggested Reading: John 1:1-18
In him was life, and the life was the light of men—John 1:4
Sometimes people mistake earthly riches, possessions, and a lavish lifestyle for true life. But plenty of wealthy people who enjoy lavish lifestyles and have just about everything any human could want or dream of are miserable people. There is nothing wrong or sinful with having these things if that is what life has afforded, but they should not be confused with or mistaken for true life.
John describes Jesus as the “life” which became the life and light of humanity. Before Christ we were in darkness, but when he entered so did our light, our enlightenment of what true life was, came with him. Once we have received Christ into our heart, we understand this completely. It is a mystery we cannot solve that we can be lacking in material wealth, lacking in earthly riches, lacking in perfect health, lacking in fulfilling relationships, yet feel a sense of peace about life, testify that we have a good life, or have contentment with the shape and outcome of life.
As David wrote, “You are my Lord and apart from you I have no good thing…Lord you have assigned for me my portion and my cup…the boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely, I have a delightful inheritance (Ps. 16:2,5,6).
For David, as it can be for us, Jesus makes all the difference in our understanding of true life and no matter what else we have, what kind of lifestyle we create, without Christ we still do not have or enjoy true life. Because Christ has entered in, we accept that true life or an abundant life is not predicated upon possessions or lifestyle because even these will one day come to an end, rust, rot and decay.
Through the Scriptures God continually shows us when we try to find peace, enjoyment, happiness, and contentment in possessions or a lifestyle we create, we will be disappointed and eventually become discouraged and disenchanted with life. Possessions are nothing but a false foundation. Lavish lifestyles are only a path to temporary happiness and fleeting joy. Like false floors that cannot support our weight, eventually real-life crashes in and destroys the perfectly ordered life we have created for ourselves through temporal efforts. People who put all their hope, place all their trust in material possessions or lifestyles eventually discover their possessions cannot help them when they need it most or when a crisis comes. Human wealth cannot keep troubles away, cannot guarantee health, cannot even control the outcome of relationships.
Jesus is the source of all life and outside of him there is no true or lasting life. In him rests all our peace, joy, contentment, strength, hope, and healing; none of which can be found in the world around us, nor in the lifestyles we try to create for ourselves. True, we can find momentary happiness, a little bit of peace, short-lived healing, strength, or contentment, but they are all fleeting and contingent upon everything going perfectly for us.
Once we put our trust in Jesus, allow him to become the foundation upon which we build we will also discover true life. We will know everything else is simply an illusion. What a powerful name it is, what a powerful light it is that enlightens and opens us up to see and recognize that true life is in none other than Jesus alone. Let’s Pray,
Precious Savior, outside of you there is no true or lasting life, no real light or joy. Keep us rigidly fixed on this truth. Even as we set up lives for ourselves, choose lifestyles, and gain material possessions, may we always remember these things can bring only momentary joy or peace, they cannot take the place of true life. In Your name we pray, Amen