Robert McLaughlin Bible Ministries
The Zoe life. Part 4. “Now” is the chance to seize the zoe-life!
Sunday, December 12, 2004
An infusion of divine justice – the mature believer realizes that whatever the Lord does in his life, it is just.
DEU 32:4 “The Rock! His work is perfect, For all His ways are just; A God of faithfulness and without injustice, Righteous and upright is He.”
He is being prepared to face what is before him without reservation and without any definite view in mind as to what the outcome will be.
This believer accepts whatever God sees fit to do and whatever He decides to do.
Because of the angelic conflict, we still have a free will and must make a choice as to how we will respond to these principles.
Take hold – aor-mid-imp – epilabou – e*pilabouâ€™ = to take hold, seize, grasp, obtain, be concerned with, take interest in; to take hold of what eternal life has to offer.
Take hold of what eternal life, or that zoe-life, a life filled with inner happiness and contentment, has to offer.
Because Timothy is already a believer, this means to take hold of all the blessings and benefits which are associated with eternal life in time.
1JO 3:2 Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we shall be. We know that, when He appears, we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him just as He is.
1CO 13:12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I shall know fully just as I also have been fully known.
“Now” is your only chance to receive spiritual blessings – maximum awareness of the zoe life.
The zoe-life, a life filled with inner happiness and contentment, means that you are very much alive and that you cherish every moment of life, whether in adversity or prosperity.
LUK 12:20 But God said to him, “You fool! This very night your soul is required of you;”
2SA 22:22 Indeed, I’ve kept alert to GOD’s ways; I haven’t taken God for granted.
In the zoe life, you have zest for life and an enjoyment of every moment of life, regardless of what it brings.
“Now” is your only chance to receive temporal blessings which vary with the individual mature believer and with his environment.
1CO 9:24 Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win.
1CO 9:26 Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air;
HEB 12:1 Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance, and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,
The fantastic decorations and blessings and the things that the believer will receive for becoming a winner believer in time are beyond human description and comprehension.
In between we have dying grace, the golden bridge to eternity.
1. These are times that the zoe-life, a life filled with inner happiness and contentment, is being cultivated within us as we are identified with our Lord’s sufferings. PHI 3:10 that I may come to know Him, and the power of [behind] His resurrection and the participation of His sufferings, being conformed to His death;
2. Many times what is hard to suffer is sweet to remember.
You do not develop courage and fortitude by being happy in your relationships everyday.
You develop it by surviving difficult times and challenging adversity and being content in whatever state you are in.
3. In this dispensation, it is not deliverance from trials, adversities and problems that are the issue, but the superior power that God gives to us to endure these things.
4. The path of least resistance is the path of the loser.
EST 4:16c “and if I perish, I perish.”
5. It is not the power for you that counts, but it is the power within you that counts.
EPH 3:20 Now to Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us,
2CO 4:7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the surpassing greatness of the power may be of God and not from ourselves;
In the Old Testament, the old way was to put people in the furnace and they were not burnt; they were put into the lion’s den and they were never touched.
But now we go into the furnace and we do get burnt, sometimes the lions may devour us, but we are not to give in; for it is not the power for us now that counts, but it is the power in us.
PHI 4:13 I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.
6. You will never know your own strength until you are faced with adversity.
Every defeat, every heartbreak, every loss, contains its own seed, its own lesson on how to live in the zoe-life, a life filled with inner happiness and contentment.
7. We can grow spiritually in all of our difficulties.
ROM 5:3-4 And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope;
8. When trials, difficulties, sorrows, or weaknesses come our way, the thing to consider is the grace and the power to be above them all through the experience of the zoe life.
Adversity is the perfect glass where we can truly see our own reflection and really know ourselves.
9. We shall never be victorious in this life as believers if we think that the zoe life, our life with God and hidden in Christ, means freedom from suffering, sorrow, and trial.
Trials teach us what we are made of.
We are to be anxious for nothing, not even our spiritual growth.
10. Every believer is commanded to take up his own cross and we must accept the fact that the cross has only suffering and death as its ministry.
When we realize that “always being delivered unto death” means the daily crucifixion of self, then we will begin to glory in the resultant freedom.
“A gem cannot be polished without friction, nor a man perfected without trials.”
ROM 6:7 for he who has died [has experienced crucifixion] is freed from the sin nature.
ROM 6:18 and having been freed from the sin nature, you became slaves of righteousness [the new nature].
The adversities and the afflictions we go through is what leads us to that zoe-life, a life filled with inner happiness and contentment.
The peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus,PHI 4:6.
Adversity is the state in which we become truly acquainted with ourselves because usually we are free of admirers at that time.
PRO 19:6 Many will entreat the favor of a generous man, And every man is a friend to him who gives gifts.
The believer who lives in the zoe-life realizes that even during times of adversity they are not retreating, they are simply advancing in another direction.
When some affliction happens to you, you either let it defeat you, or you defeat it.
Fire is the test of gold; adversity is the test of strong men.
Problems indicate that progress is being made, wheels are turning, you are moving toward your goals.
Problems are like landmarks of progress.
If we are going to receive the benefit of the cross, we must go through the suffering of the cross.
When it comes to TLJC and your relationship with God, the ultimate question that needs to be answered is, “What is your motivation?”
The zoe-life, a life filled with inner happiness and contentment, means we will experience deliverance from being in bondage to the world and the stronghold of the cosmic system.
1JO 2:15-16 Do not love the world, nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love for the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world.
1JO 2:17 And the world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God abides forever.
The soul of the believer becomes so confirmed in God that it can find nothing more satisfying in all creation.