God is the creative genius of all that scientists are only recently discovering in astounding detail under high-powered microscopes and through powerful telescopes. When God created mankind, He placed Adam and Eve in a beautiful garden. They were given dominion over all of creation and the task of tending the garden. Their greater purpose was to enjoy communion with God continuously.
Tragically, through mankind's determined disobedience to the laws of creation given by the Creator, we suffered the loss of that intimate relationship. As a result, this alienation from our Creator God became a tragic reality, not just for that first couple but for all mankind.
God knew before He formed man that He would lose the precious relationship He delighted in and enjoyed with the first couple, Adam and Eve. Scripture clearly states that God's remedy for mankind's disobedience was already in place at the time of creation.
In the book of Revelation, Christ is called "the Lamb who was slain from the foundation of the world" (13:8). To enjoy the "family" He wanted, God knew, even before He created mankind, that He would have to sacrifice His only begotten Son. Yet so great was His desire to express His love in a reciprocal manner with mankind that He chose to endure the suffering our redemption would require.
It will perhaps require all of eternity for us to appreciate the profound sacrifice that Christ, the Son of God, became for us at Calvary. The fact of His crucifixion and the unimaginable suffering and agony in the manner of His death is terrible enough. Yet we must consider that this was the Lamb of God, the perfect one, who had never known the terrible curse of sin. Yet He became sin for us so that we could be freed from its curse (2 Cor. 5:21). We can only bow our heads and our hearts at the foot of the cross and worship in deep gratitude for the peace of God we enjoy as believers because Christ loved us enough to lay down His life for us.
All of Scripture reveals the heart of our eternal Father, who longs to enjoy fellowship with His highest creation, mankind, forever. Simply stated, eternal life is knowing God. To know Him involves properly appreciating who He is, who He made you to be and all that He has given you for life. As we continually yield our lives to Christ, we can enjoy the quality of eternal life now, in this troubled world, which will prepare our hearts to live with God forever. These desirable qualities of eternal life are described in Scripture as peace, joy, righteousness, strength and rest for our souls. Love, patience, perseverance and every other named characteristic of God are worked in us as we yield our souls to His redemptive process, seeking Him to anoint our hearts and lives.
There are those who dare not assert that they will live with God forever; they cling to a vague hope that if they are a good person, everything is all right between them and God. That is not the teaching of Scripture. Being born again into relationship with God is a decisive experience, followed by cultivating a new lifestyle of obedience to the Word of God.
For believers, life becomes an adventure into truth and a satisfying relationship with the one who made them. It was John who made it supremely clear that we can know that we have eternal life: "I have written these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God" (1 John 5:13).
The supreme love of our heavenly Father permeates every facet of redemption. So great is the gift of His salvation of our souls that Scripture declares even angels desire to look into it (1 Pet. 1:12).
This article is adapted from A Journey to Gratitude: 30 Days to Discovering the Life-Changing Dynamic of Appreciation by James P. Gills, M.D. Gills is the founder and director of St. Luke's Cataract and Laser Institute in Tarpon Springs, Florida. In addition to earning a reputation as the most experienced cataract surgeon in the world, he has dedicated his life to restoring more than physical vision. Dr. Gills has been an active author about spiritual topics for many years. His books include Love: Fulfilling the Ultimate Quest, Darwinism Under the Microscope, Come Unto Me and the God's Rx series.
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