By Anne Graham Lotz | First Published: October 30, 2015
On August 19, my husband went for a swim in our backyard pool … and stepped into eternity. I found him unresponsive, and in a nanosecond of time, was faced with death. His death. The death of one who had been my life’s companion and love for almost 49 years. At that moment, the only thing that truly mattered was the decision he made as a 5-year-old boy in vacation Bible school to trust Jesus as his Savior. As a result, he knew for the rest of his life that his sins were forgiven, he possessed eternal life, and he had peace with God. What a gift his faith was, and continues to be, to his family and his friends. We know our goodbyes were not final. We grieve, but with hope. We know we will see Danny Lotz again in Our Father’s House not because of anything that he did, but because of God’s amazing grace extended to him at the cross.
By His own example, Jesus teaches you and me how to face death or any impending crisis—we are to pray as He prayed the night He was betrayed. Within hours of His trials, torture, crucifixion and death, His disciples overheard Him in private conversation with His Father. Instead of being filled with horror, panic and fear, Jesus was filled with confident peace. He was:
READ JOHN 17:1-3
CONFIDENT OF A PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD
• From the following Old Testament passages, how was God addressed? Genesis 15:2, 32:9; 1 Samuel 1:11; 2 Samuel 7:27; 1 Chronicles 29:10-13; Nehemiah 1:5; Psalm 7:8-9.
• How did Jesus address God in John 17:1?
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• Describe the difference between the way people had been addressing God and the way Jesus addressed God.
• What is necessary before we can address God as our Father? See John 1:12-13.
• How do the following verses emphasize the personal relationship that God has with those who receive Him by faith through Jesus? Read Galatians 3:26, 4:6-7.
• When did you establish a personal relationship with God?
CONFIDENT OF A PERMANENT RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD
• What word in John 17:2 indicates your personal relationship with God is also permanent? Give phrases from the following verses that confirm this: John 3:16, 3:36, 4:14, 5:24, 6:40, 10:28; Romans 6:23; 1 Timothy 1:16; 1 John 2:25, 5:13.
• From the above verses, what is the condition for receiving eternal life?
• How does Ephesians 2:8-9 indicate that receiving eternal life is apart from anything we can do?
• If you could do nothing to earn, buy or deserve eternal life, what do you think you could do to lose it?
• If you could lose eternal life, why would it be called eternal?
• Would you take a moment now and thank God that your relationship with Him is permanent and cannot be broken, even by death?
CONFIDENT OF A PRIVILEGED RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD
• How does Jesus define eternal life in John 17:3?
• How did He confirm this privilege in Matthew 11:27? Revelation 2:2, 2:9, 3:8? John 10:14-15, 17:23, 17:26? Give the phrases.
• How does John describe this privilege in 1 John 1:1-3, 4:13, 17-19, 5:19-20?
• List as many different aspects of this privilege as you can from: Hebrews 10:19-22; Ephesians 1:3-9; 1 Peter 1:3-9; and 1 John 5:11-12, 14-15.
• Is it possible to be religious, yet stop short of this privilege? See John 7:28-29.
• How much do you value this privilege? What difference does it make in the way you spend your time? Set your priorities?
• When you step into eternity, what regrets will you have because you were casual in your pursuit of knowing God?
After establishing a personal, permanent relationship with God the Father through faith in Jesus Christ, His Son, don’t stop short of the privilege! Make every effort to grow in a vital love relationship with Him. Make Him your magnificent obsession. It’s the only way to face death with confident peace. I know. ©2015 ANNE GRAHAM LOTZ
Anne Graham Lotz has proclaimed God’s Word worldwide for more than 30 years. Her re-release of Heaven, My Father’s House, is available at annegrahamlotz.org.