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I Have Eternal Life: A Devotion for "Life in the Overflow!"

John 3:16.

It shows up on posters at sports events and is memorized by little kids at Vacation Bible School. It is perhaps the most well-known Bible verse of all time. Yet, sometimes our familiarity of something clouds us from rejoicing in the treasure of its substance. Like a song that has been overplayed on the radio, we sing along word for word without even thinking about what it means anymore.

We might know all the words to John 3:16, but when I look around, I see precious few celebrating in the present reality of its life-changing meaning. How do I know? In any place we actually understand and believe what this simple verse says, we will find it impossible to experience any stress, anxiety, or fear.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” John 3:16

What's it saying?

First, God loves you.

The word for "love" here (agapao), means to be fond of, to treat affectionately, to welcome, and to be well pleased in. It means "beloved." It means to know someone completely and to desire intimacy with them. He loves you and He likes you.

Second, God gave something precious.

He adores you, and because of that, he gave what was most precious to him — his own Son — so that he could be reunited with you. By definition, a gift is not something that can be merited or earned. It isn't based on performance at all. Everything the sacrifice of Jesus offers is FREELY "given" to you. All you and I need to do is take it.

Third, the gift is Life...full and forever.

The gift he extends is "eternal life." Here’s the kicker: it isn't just a far-off notion, like a savings bond you can’t access until you are retired. No. For the believer, eternal life is a gift you started walking in the moment you accepted Jesus. The truth is that you and I are eternal beings and are now already forever alive in his love.

Every trial is temporary.

Every setback is momentary.

You are already more than a conqueror and are presently living under the adoring eye of your Father — and that will never change. What could happen if we would allow the truth to go past our lips to the deep corridors of our hearts? We don’t need to live from what is passing away for another moment. We have eternal life. May we live like it!

“But whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become a spring of water welling up to eternal life” John 4:14

“I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand” John 10:28


1. What trial, setback or opposition is trying to steal your joy today?

Remind your soul — your mind, will and emotions — that you are eternally alive and ask for God’s provision and his perspective in your trial.

2. Read Romans 6:20-23. Spend a few minutes thanking God for his gift of eternal life.

Prayer: Thank you, Jesus, for eternal life and for the first fruits of this life I am already experiencing. Thank you for adoring me and holding me securely in your hand. Remind my heart today of the temporary nature of my setbacks, and that even in these, you are working for my maturing, completeness and my good. I trust you with my life today and forever. Help me to live, not from what is passing, but with my eyes on my eternal inheritance with you! Silence all doubt or confusion that tries to hold me down and instead, fill my spirit with rejoicing. Amen!"

Listening Time: Stop for a few minutes and ask the Lord what he wants to say to you. He might bring to mind a picture, a word, a song, an encouragement, a Scripture or an answer to a burden in your heart. Don’t rush or feel pressure to figure out the meaning of your impressions. Just invite him to speak and draw or write down what you sense. Afterward, ask God to help you discern and understand what he is saying to you. You might want to ask other trusted friends in the Kingdom for their input as well.

Adapted from "Life in the Overflow Devotional" © 2017 by Chuck Ammons, with Cindy Ackerman and Chris Thomas. Available on

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