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Devotionals 2007-2008

Proof of Life
December 8, 2008 • By Ed Wrather

There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.” Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” - John 3:1-3 NKJV.
Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life. - John 5:24 NKJV.
In 1976, Lal Bihari discovered that he had a problem. He found out that he was dead! Bihari found out when he applied for a bank loan that he had been declared legally dead. In the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh when some greedy people wanted to inherit property and the relative continued to live, they bribed governmental officials to have them declared legally dead. This speeded up the process of obtaining the property. Even though Lal Bihari was very much alive it still took 18 years for him to prove it. Even though Bihari ran for office, filed lawsuits and even got himself arrested it was not enough to prove he was alive. He eventually founded the “Association of Dead People” to help himself and others to prove their existence. As a result of their efforts, more than 80 officials have been punished for their role in these scams.
Are you physically dead or alive? If you are not sure let me help you out. If you are reading this you are definitely alive physically. But what about spiritually? Are you dead or alive spiritually? Have you been “born again?” Have you “passed from death into life?”
In 1 Corinthians 2:14 the apostle Paul writes, “…the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” What are some of the easily identified “things of the Spirit of God?” Here are three: the Bible; prayer; and church attendance or fellowship with other Christians. So, one way to identify whether or not you have spiritual life and are not just a “natural man” is to ask yourself this question: Does reading the Bible, praying, and attending church appear to be “foolishness” to you? If those spiritual things and those who practice those things look like foolishness to you then that is an indication that you may still be a “natural man” and have not “passed from death into life.”
The apostle John gives some additional indications to consider in the determination of spiritual life. Do you have a desire to keep God’s commandments, to do what God wants you to do with your life? (Read 1 John 2:3-5.) Do you love God more than you love the things of this world, more than your job, more than your family, more than your money, and more than your possessions? (Read 1 John 2:15-16; Matthew 6:33.) Are you living your life as Jesus wants you to live? (Read 1 John 2:6.)
“Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you (2 Corinthians 13:5)?” Are you alive or are you dead?

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