Abundant Life in Christ – John 10:10
We Have an Abundant Life in Christ
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. – John 10:10
In my years of sharing the gospel, I have heard many objections for why people do not want to accept the gospel. One of these is that the Christian faith is a list of do’s and don’ts. They don’t want to be subjected to all of the religious rules in the Bible. After all, the Bible is a thick book, right? Who would want to read and follow all of the regulations inside? Life is all about having fun and enjoying yourself. Going to church on Sunday instead of playing golf, not fun! Reading the Bible in the morning when you can sleep in, not fun! Giving a tenth of your hard-earned and desperately needed income to the church, not fun! Let’s face it. Christians are often viewed as living boring lives. Since the Christian faith is all about going to heaven after you die, why not just enjoy your life how you want to, and then accept the gospel later?
Whether spoken or unspoken, many people hold this kind of view. But is the Christian life boring? Does God just want us to trudge through our existence on this earth until we get to the really exciting stuff, heaven?
Jesus blows this theory out of the water on many occasions, most notably in John 10:10 where He says, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” God wants us to have a meaningful and full life.
When God created Adam and Eve, they could see God face to face. They had a good relationship with God. When they sinned, this relationship was severed.
Isaiah 59:2 says, “But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God. And your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear.”
From the time of the first sin until now, there is a void in the heart of people.
We try desperately to fill this void, to make some kind of meaning out of the seeming randomness and chaos around us. Many methods are tried, but basically fall into one of the following categories: money, pleasure, achievement, respect, relationships, or lust. The problem with all of these “solutions” is that they at best short-term. Someone who tries to achieve happiness through money wants to get more and more of it no matter how much he has. This attitude was summed up best by Rockefeller, the famous oil baron. In an interview he was asked how much money was enough, to which he quipped, “a little more.” These methods fail because we know there is something more. There has to be more meaning in life than this!
The good news is that there is. If we trust in Christ, He restores this lost relationship with God. He fills the void in our hearts. He is the “bread of life,” meaning that He can satisfy all of our spiritual needs. He gives us peace (John 14:27). He gives us joy (John 15:11). He gives us a purpose (Ephesians 2:10). This is not just an abstract concept, but a very real change that will affect our lives to the core.
Paul followed Christ and could truthfully claim to be content all the time in Philippians 4:12-13, “I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.”
An abundant life doesn’t mean that we will be rich or healthy. It does mean that we can be content and happy. As for all of the “rules” in the Bible, a true Christian delights in following God’s principles.
1 John 5:3 “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome.”
God’s commands are not a burden. They are the method by which God gives a full, joyful, meaningful life. God wants each of us to enjoy life, and enjoy Him fully. Obey His commands, and we will.
The life of a believer is not boring or drab. It is exciting! Everyday we celebrate God’s goodness in our lives. We enjoy our God-given families while recognizing they are from Him. We enjoy this world which God has made for us while recognizing He is its designer. We enjoy our God-given sense of humors while thanking God for laughter. We enjoy fellowshipping with our Christian brothers and sisters while encouraging them in their walk with God. We enjoy our God-given skills and interests by exploring nature, pushing our bodies in athletics, or using our creativity in art, all while thanking God for these gifts and opportunities.
The thief comes only to steal and destroy. From the very beginning he has made big promises and failed to deliver. He told Eve if she ate the forbidden fruit that she would be like God. It was a big promise. But it was a lie. After eating the fruit she was further from God than ever and Adam went with her. Satan says, “God is holding you back from something good. He doesn’t want you to have fun. Follow my way and you can have an abundant life.”
But it is a deception. His goal is to steal and destroy. He wants to destroy your life, filling you with sin, shame, and guilt.
Jesus makes a promise as well. He promises an abundant life to those who follow Him. And He delivers! Faithfully follow Him and experience the abundant life He offers.
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