Enjoying life

August 5, 2016 by  
Filed under newsletter-miscellaneous

Jesus told a story (a ‘parable’) that has intrigued people for two thousand years.  He rarely explained his stories, but it is safe to assume that he meant people to assume that God is like the father.

In the story a father watches his son leave home and squander his money.  The son has a wild time, but it doesn’t last.  With money and friends gone, the boy sinks fast and takes a job so repellent that he is forced to take stock.  He realises that his only option is to return to his father, acknowledge that he has done wrong, and ask for a menial post in his business.

The father, however, has been absolutely yearning to see his son again and, glimpsing him in the distance, is overwhelmed with love.  He runs to meet him.  There is an emotional reunion.  The son doesn’t get a job; he gets a party.  The restored relationship between father and child is a source of unending joy.

It was clearly Jesus’ intention that having a restored relationship with God would dramatically improve a person’s life.  To live that out by following Jesus’ teaching would be a challenging and sometimes sacrificial way of life, but it would increase the joy that a person experiences.  It would give a new understanding of why human life exists, and of what each individual’s purpose is.  He declared, memorably, ‘I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.’

Choosing to live at one with God and follow the way of Jesus changes people.  Christians speak of a sense of being accompanied and directed through life by an unseen presence.  This is the Holy Spirit – the form in which God invisibly lives within humans.  Being aware of the inner presence of the Holy Spirit gives a real enrichment to the lives of believers.

The Bible lists nine highly desirable features which Christians should expect to increase and to improve their lives as a result of a relationship with God.  They are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

– christianity.org.uk

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