Posted by: pastormikemcdowell | December 18, 2014

December 18, 2014 “A Wonderful Life”

“Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16)

Good Morning Dear Friends!

I wish I’d never been born!” These six simple words uttered by George Bailey in Frank Capra’s classic “It’s A Wonderful Life” sets the premise of all that follows in this imaginative tale of a man who does not realize the true value of his life until an angel (second class) named Clarence Oddbody is given permission to grant this ill-advised, albeit ultimately revealing wish, described as a “wonderful gift”…the ability to see how many lives would have been affected had he never been born. George soon learns that his good deeds in the life he lived profoundly affected the lives of those around him in many positive ways and how the absence of his “wonderful life” would have had devastating consequences on others he knew. Coming to that realization, in a climactic scene in the movie, George cries out to God “I want to live again…I want to live again.” All is restored and he sees clearly how a life well lived impacts many people. His friends rally around him in a time of need, returning blessing for blessing.

The spiritual parallel I draw from this fanciful tale is found in Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5. Jesus has given each of us a “wonderful life” to live for his glory. He has placed us here to shine for him. Look at his instructions once again as to how we should live: “shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives.” Living a welcoming, hospitable life not only benefits us, but many other lives as well for the good and for the glory of God. He goes on to say, By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.” Living an exemplary life truly touches other lives, as George Bailey came to realize.

But unlike George Bailey, we do not need an angelic visitation to remind us of this. We have the Lord’s word on it! That word is completely reliable and we can stake our lives upon it. In James 5:20 we read, “remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins.”

Our life impacts the lives of many others. It really is a wonderful life we’ve been given. Be a blessing, that others may be transformed by the love, grace, and mercy of God as well. Let’s pray!

Glorious God; Thank you for the life you have given me. Especially, Lord, thank you for the new life that is mine in your Son Jesus. May I share that joy with those around me, that their lives may also be impacted for Your glory. I pray this in the name of Christ my Lord. Amen!

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