Many people feel their lives should have a purpose, and that their actions in this life have consequences beyond it.
This may be because of what some call God, Lord or Father, the Spirit World, or for a higher state of being.
This may be based on a belief system, or simply a hope you have.
It may be a private, difficult thing for you to talk about openly, or you may be comfortable expressing such views freely.
But either way, this section aims to build on the previous Daily Life, Worries and Disagreements sections to bring in this bigger picture context, and consider this in respect of your life that continues on.
The stories for each section may help to give the text further meaning for you.
God’s kingdom is coming, but not in a way that you will be able to see with your eyes. God’s kingdom is within you 3
To all who accept the life of Jesus and believe in him, he gives the right to become children of God. You do not become his children in any human way – by any human parents or human desires. You are born of God 4
It is the Spirit that gives life. The flesh doesn’t give life. The words Jesus spoke are spirit, and they give life 4
Those who believe in Jesus have eternal life 4
Fruits are the good things in your life 8
Don’t work for the food that spoils. Work for the food that stays good always and gives eternal life 4 – so this work of doing and being good will lead to a good setting in your life that continues on
This is the Good News
Try to keep an inner peace because of this.
Try to keep this in times of darkness and difficulty, in disappointment, sickness and suffering. 8
In Jesus there was life, and that life was the light of all people. The Light shines in the darkness 4 – let this life be a good example to you, like a light in dark
Growing with weeds
When you go to your life that continues on, it will be like a person who planted good seed in their field. That night, when everyone was asleep, a person who was against them came and planted weeds among the wheat, and then left. Later, the wheat grew, but the weeds also grew. This person’s helper came and said, “Do you want us to pull up the weeds?” The person answered, “No, because when you pull up the weeds, you might also pull up the wheat. Let the weeds and the wheat grow together until the harvest time. At harvest time I will tell the workers, “First gather the weeds and tie them together to be burnt. Then gather the wheat and bring it to my barn.” 1
A good catch
When you go to your life that continues on it will be like a net that was put into the lake, and caught many different kinds of fish. When it was full, the people fishing pulled the net to the shore. They sat down and put all the good fish in baskets and threw away the bad fish 1
When you go to your life that continues on it will be like this: Who is the wise and loyal servant that the master trusts to give the other servants their food? When the master comes and finds the servant doing their work, the servant will be blessed. The master will choose the servant to take care of everything they own.
But suppose that servant is bad, and thinks to themselves, “My master will not come back soon”, and so they begin to beat the other servants? The master will come when that servant is not expecting. Then the master will send the bad servant away 1
Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, the person who does not enter the sheepfold by the door, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber. The one who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. The one who guards the door opens it for him. And the sheep listen to the voice of the shepherd. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he brings all his sheep out, he goes ahead of them, and they follow him because they know his voice. But they will never follow a stranger. They will run away from him because they don’t know his voice.”
Jesus said again, “I tell you the truth, I am the door for the sheep. All the people who came before me were thieves and robbers. The sheep did not listen to them. I am the door, and the person who enters through me will be saved and will be able to come in and go out and find pasture. A thief comes to steal and kill and destroy, but I came to give life – life in all its fullness.
“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives his life for the sheep. The worker who is paid to keep the sheep is different from the shepherd who owns them. When the worker sees a wolf coming, he runs away and leaves the sheep alone. Then the wolf attacks the sheep and scatters them. The man runs away because he is only a paid worker and does not really care about the sheep.
“I am the good shepherd. I know my sheep, as your God knows me. And my sheep know me, as I know your God. I give my life for the sheep. I have other sheep that are not in this flock, and I must bring them also. They will listen to my voice, and there will be one flock and one shepherd. Your God loves me because I give my life so that I can take it back again. No one takes it away from me; I give my own life freely. I have the right to give my life, and I have the right to take it back. This is what your God commanded me to do.
“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life” 4
The vine and branches
Jesus said, “I am the true vine; your God is the gardener. He cuts off every branch of mine that does not produce good fruit. And he trims and cleans every branch that produces fruit so that it will produce even more fruit. Remain in me and I will remain in you. A branch cannot produce fruit alone but must remain in the vine. In the same way, you cannot produce fruit alone but must remain in me.
“I am the vine, and you are the branches. If you remain in me and follow my teachings, you can ask anything you want, and it will be given to you. You should produce much fruit and show that you are my followers, which brings glory to your God. I loved you as your God loved me. Now remain in my love. I have done what your God wanted, and I remain in his love. In the same way, if you do as I ask, you will remain in my love. I have told you these things so that you can have the same joy I have and so that your joy will be the fullest possible joy.
“This is what I ask: love each other.” 4