Life in all its fullness
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The thief comes not, but to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. (John 10:10)
Most Christians are pretty familiar with this verse. Jesus promises us "life that is more abundantly". The greek word behind the word "abundantly" is the word "περισσος perissos per-is-sos'". Strong dictionary defines this as "exceeding abundantly above". Obviously, a life that is superior and better than a life without Jesus.
But what most people misunderstand today is what this "abundant life" actually looks like. In today's church the abundant life is generally considered a "comfortable life". Nice family, good money, no stress, no opposition. And of course no sickness. "Life the way I would feel most comfortable".
However, that's not the meaning of it. Let's think of some of the heroes of the Bible. Paul didn't have a comfortable life. Peter and the other apostles were pursecuted for the rest of their lives. Jeremiah had one of the most difficult callings you can imagine. Noah certainly didn't feel comfortable in the arc. And most importantly: Jesus didn't have a comfortable life. Waiting for 30 years, fully knowing who He is, but waiting for the Father's timing to start His ministry. Then facing opposition and trials for 3 years. And then the cross. All these years Jesus knew that to fulfill His mission, to redeem His bride, He cannot commit a single sin in all His life. Don't know about you, but I can't call that comfortable.
So what did Jesus promise us? Well, He promised us something that is beyond the circumstances. He promised us something better. He promised us a fulfilled life.
- Meaning and purpose in the midst of difficulties
- A joy that cannot be explained by this world
- A peace that surpasses knowledge despite the challenges we face
- The ability to forgive others who might have committed terrible sin against us, which sets us free
- A hope and a future for what is to come when this life is coming to an end
This list is certainly not complete. But Jesus promised us something that is so much better than comfort. Actually, I do believe that comfort hinders many people from experiencing full life. When we seem to have everything we need for life, why do we need God? When we have a lot of comfort, it's easy to not go deeper with God. Sometimes we make comfort our God, our goal. That however will leave us feeling tremendously insecure and empty.
Full life doesn't mean that difficulties are absent. Oftentimes the opposite is true. But it does mean that we receive something from God that is so much better than the comfort many people are looking for.
Ask Jesus for this kind of "full life". If He reveals to you what is hindering you from having a full life, then obey. Do your part. And see how your life will change!
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