To some it is a temptation to regard a relationship with God as primarily something belonging to the after-life. For others the difficulty is to believe in a life after death; or to believe in God at all.
People with all these, and many more, kinds of doubts, came to Jesus. How interesting that they came to him! If they didn’t believe in what He said, rejected His claim to be the Son of God, and didn´t believe in an existence after death, why did they bother about Jesus? He should have been of very little interest to them, but instead they spent lots of time and energy on discussions with Him. It’s hard to find answers to life´s questions if you leave Jesus out, even if you call yourself an agnostic or an atheist. That’s why even His opponents came to Jesus, and they still do.
Some of the opponents of Jesus had made up fairly complex theories about God´s personality, abilities and authority, but Jesus gave answers that were far more down-to-earth. God is a God for the living, not for the dead. That means that there is a life after death and it also means that the relationship with God is not a thing for the unknown future, but for the situation here and now, right where we live, right now.
We may sing about heaven and glory, but we mustn’t forget that God is our God right where we are now, and He’s deeply interested in our situation as it is today. God´s kingdom is not somewhere outside this present time, but in the midst of it. Just as Jesus brought the Kingdom into the places and homes of the poor and sinful, the weak and the downtrodden, so He does today. God is a God of the living, and regardless of what kind of life they’re living, He’s there, and He’s concerned. He gave us life, and He wants that life to be as He intended it to be.
The only requirement for God to be interested in us is that we’re alive! That’s why there was still hope for the thief on the cross. As long as there’s life, there’s hope. Some give up hope long before they give up their breath, but God never gives up on you and your situation. So why should you?
I know there are Christians that are in the most difficult situations and horrific trials. But God is your God as long as you breathe, and when you pass through the valley of death, you will find that He’s your God even on the other side! ‘I will never leave you, nor forsake you’ takes on an even deeper meaning in this light.
It’s a word for us all today - for ourselves, but also for the people around us. God is also a God for them, so don’t give up trusting Him to find a way to their heart, despite the rough looks and the coarse words. God is a God for the living. He’s a God for them too!
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