A Clay Jar

Encouraging, comforting, and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into his kingdom and glory. (1 Thess. 2:12 NIV)

The Breath of Life

Job 34:14

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What is life? The dictionary defines life as “the condition that distinguishes animals and plants from inorganic matter, including the capacity for growth, reproduction, functional activity, and continual change preceding death.” But that only tells us how to distinguish life from non-life. It does not tell us what life actually is. What is that thing whose loss changes me from living to dead?

I am not a biologist and am not up on the latest research in the field. But as far as I know, the answer to this question is still a mystery to science. The Bible does have an answer to this mystery, though.

But Moses and Aaron fell facedown and cried out, “O God, the God who gives breath to all living things . . .”

Numbers 16:22 NIV

God Is the Source of Life

God gives breath–or life–to all living things. Biochemical processes function when life is present, but they are the result of life being present, not the cause of life. God is the source of all life, whether that be a tree, a bug, a bacteria, or a human.

If God were to set his heart on it,
and gather in his spirit and his breath,
all flesh would perish together
and human beings would return to dust.

Job 34:14-15 NET

It is the breath of God that gives life to all living things. And, as Elihu says here in his speech to Job, if God were to withdraw his spirit and breath, all living things would die and turn to dust. Only by the ongoing breath of God within us do we continue to live.

God alone has life eternal and uncaused. The life of all other things comes from his uncaused life and depends on it. As Paul says in Acts 17:28, “For in him we live and move and have our being.”

But what will we do with that gift of life, the breath of God? Will we honor him as our creator, seeking him and the eternal life he offers? Or will we waste it pursuing earthly pleasures and riches, missing out on true riches and life eternal?

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Ed Jarrett

Just an old clay jar that God continues to see fit to use in his kingdom's work. I am retired, married with 2 children, and 4 grandchildren. I have followed Jesus for many years. And I love to share what He has given me from His word.

A Note to Readers

The views expressed here are solely mine and do not necessarily reflect those of any other person, group, or organization. While I believe they reflect the teachings of the Bible, I am a fallible human and subject to misunderstanding. Please feel free to leave any comments or questions about this post in the comments section below. I am always interested in your feedback.

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