2022 Year-End Letter: Life as Father Intends It
Very recently a dear friend related his experience to me. He happened to share Luke 6:35 with his wife: “For He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men.”
She responded, “For some strange reason, I am unable to hear that.”
He repeated the quote.
“Say it again,” she pleaded.
He repeated it four more times with increasing volume and force. They broke into tears and began sobbing as the manifest presence of the Lord flooded the room. They were filled with life and freedom. The Logos, or written Word, was transformed into a Life-giving presence. Logos became Rhema, the living and present Word!
As my friend shared this with me on the phone, I was swept into the presence of the life of the Lord. As I wiped my own tears, I began to worship out loud: “Life—His Life is waiting to be discovered and embraced.”
I share this experience because Mark and I feel the Lord saying Lifechangers’ theme for 2023 should be Life as Father intends it. His Life is waiting to be discovered and become our habitation. His Life is not a concept or an impersonal force that energizes the Universe. Life is not an it; Life is Him.
There are three kinds of Life mentioned in the Greek New Testament. First is the Life of God, Zoe (133x). It most often expresses the spiritual life that comes from God’s very person. Zoe is life found in John 10:10. Jesus communicates to us that He has come for us to have Zoe and to have it more abundantly.
The second form of life is psyche (40x). This is the life of the soul: intellect, emotions, and volition. From this word we get psychology. It is the seat of our personality and consciousness. Paul says the natural (soulish) person’s knowledge is based in their sensual nature (1 Cor. 2:14).
The third kind of Life is bios (5x), signifying physical life in the body. The numerical emphasis tells us the central theme of the New Testament is Zoe.
To fully understand the impact of Zoe we need to extract it from a limited, futuristic, other-worldly emphasis, i.e., eternal Life is living in heaven, undisturbed, forever, reunited with family and shaking hands with the Apostle Paul. In the Greek text “eternal life” is literally “age-life” (See Young’s Literal Translation). It is not primarily a life of duration¸ but a quality of life. It is typified by the age to come when God will be all in all. Eternal life is the Life that we may now possess. It is the present experience of the Life of God’s presence on the earth that will one day fill the earth “as the waters that cover the sea.”
God, as our Father, has provided us with both freedom and Zoe. He has not only given us freedom from death and all its effects, but freedom to participate with Christ in returning the earth to its rightful Owner. Will you read Romans 8 with purpose and allow Zoe to break out upon you? Listen for these emphasis of Life as you read the chapter aloud:
Romans 8:2: Zoe in Christ sets us free.
Romans 8:6: To be spiritually minded is Zoe and peace.
Romans 8:10: The Spirit imparts Zoe as Christ dwells in us.
Romans 8:38: We are fully persuaded that nothing can separate us from the love of God (not Zoe or death…).
God the Father has Zoe in Himself. He gave the Son to have Zoe in Himself. When spiritual conflict ensues, we find the Son of God imparting and filling us with this Life. We have Zoe, the very Life of God, to give freely to every person who seeks truth. Jesus promised: “Rivers of living (Zoe) water will brim and spill out of the depths of anyone who believes in me in this way” (John 7:38, The Message).
The Life of God is imparted more than taught. It has never been more needed than it is today in the midst of disintegration, destruction, and decay. Will you join us in embracing this challenge for 2023: To seek out, nurture, and give freedom to the Life-giving presence that is in you? His Life in you is the Pearl of great price, the treasure in the field–it is worth all that we have and are!
I want to give Zoe to others. My personal desire is to become one in whom the Zoe of God is present, self-evident, and irresistible. May we become light, salt, and yeast, all forms of influence, in the depths of our beings. Our presences can bring healing to all who are tired and thirsty. There is wine and oil for wounds that are present, however concealed.
Approaching my 92nd birthday, I sense an increasing urgency from the Lord to express and impart the fullness of the life that Father has called me to. God continues to unfold and deepen the expanse of His eternal redemptive purpose in a manner that often leaves me in awe and tears. I would like to ask you to prayerfully consider a year-end gift to help us in 2023. Will you join with us in imparting the message of Zoe to those seeking Truth?
As I look to the Lord and the coming year, I must declare with Peter, “Where else can we go, You (Jesus) have the words of eternal life!”