John 10:10

The thief comes only to steal, and kill, and destroy; I came that they might have life, and might have it abundantly.

One cannot claim every verse in the Bible as their favorite, but this one certainly ranks well towards the top on many people’s lists. We can see why. First of all, these are the words of Jesus. All the words in red tend towards the top of folks’ lists. Second, he revealed one of the key reasons he was sent to earth. That makes this a very important verse for us all. Mostly, though, I think we like it because of the monumental promise it contains. The promise of a full and abundant life.

Jesus is so big, and his thinking is so big that it is hard for even his words to express, much less our minds to absorb, his thoughts. Had he said that he came to earth so that we might have life, that would have been good. There would be tomes of theology from that statement alone. He didn’t stop there though, because that did not express what he was thinking or trying to convey. He didn’t just come so that we would have life, but that we would have abundant life.

Immediately, that phrase takes our minds out of the eternal life paradigm and lands us right here on planet earth. Of course, we will have abundant life in heaven. Since that truly goes without saying, that is not what he was communicating. Besides, there will be no thief in the after earth life to steal, kill or destroy. Yahoo! So, Jesus’ message has something important to say about our life here on earth.

The New Life Version of John 10: 10 reads, “The robber comes only to steal and to kill and to destroy. I came so they might have life, a great full life.” Think of Jesus’ statement this way, God sent Jesus to earth to bring us not only life, but a great, full life. First, It wasn’t life such as just breathing and hearts beating that Jesus came to bring. People were already living on earth. So, when God said to him, “Go to earth and give them life,” He must have had something else in mind. Second, when Jesus said he came to bring us a great, full life, there was certainly a great deal implied in those words. We need to consider what that means. What did God intend in sending us abundant life through Jesus? The answer to that question affects every facet of life. That is why I think we need to seriously ponder these questions and this verse.

Of course, life is certainly not ours in abundance without our health. A healthy body is foremost to a great and full life. So, did God have our health in mind when he sent Jesus? Of course, He did. Remember that Isaiah foresaw the torture that Jesus would endure so that he could bear our disease and infirmities in his body.

A full life also suggests a long rich life. Surely no one would consider a full life to mean thirty or forty years of abundance and then a bunch of years of a half empty life. That doesn’t make sense. The glass must be full and overflowing from beginning to end.

Jesus came to earth to bring us life in abundance. It was one of his main objectives. Let’s not let anyone talk us into anything less than God’s intention and Jesus’ purpose. Believe God for fullness. Believe Him for overflowing abundance. It is His will.

18 = Life

John 14: 6

I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.

Jesus is the source of life. Everything which has life has it in Jesus. Whether or not a person chooses Jesus as his lord or not, his life force is only because Jesus lives. What is life though?

I think we tend to have a rather narrow view of what life means. We equate life with having a pulse. However, Jesus said, John 10:10 that he came to earth to give us life and that more abundantly. I don’t think he was just talking about abundant health. I know he was not referring to eternal life only. That wouldn’t even make sense. Eternal life with the Father will necessarily be abundant. That is the only way God knows how to do life. No, this that Jesus is talking about is in the here and now and it is much bigger than just having a heartbeat. Jesus came to give us a life worth living. A life as big as him.

I have a friend who has a Jewish background. He explained to me recently that Hebrew letters, and hence words, have numeric values. For example, the word “life” has a numeric value of 18. But wait, we are living in the year 2018. That went off in me like a gun. This is a year with a numeric value of life. Ponder that a moment.

When Jesus came to give us life, he had in mind something supernatural. The people in the earth already had physical life. He came to give us life in the Spirit, a life where all is rightness. Our health should be right, our finances, relationships and everything else you can think of. He came to restore our spiritual life as well.

We were separated from God. Jesus restored our spirits, made them new and restored the connection between us and the Father so that now we can walk boldly into Father’s office and talk with Him. Jesus restored our spiritual eyes and our spiritual ears. Because we are in Christ, because we dwell in him and pursue the life of Christ within us, we can now hear and see spiritual things. Most importantly, we can hear the Father’s voice using our spiritual ears. We no longer exist on just one plane, if we choose. We have entrance to the spiritual realm. Everything that was stolen from us has been restored by Jesus including our ability to walk in the cool of the evening with the creator.

Some people are concerned about what they will have to give up in order to be a Christian. Man, that is totally the wrong perspective. It’s what you gain that folks should think about. We gain everything, including real life, not this shadow of existence that most people experience. We can walk in true light and life right now, right here. Perfect health is part of our inheritance, abundant friends, adventures, riches; whatever you want but the most amazing life of all is the life in Christ which allows us admittance into the spiritual realm. He bought our ticket. He restored our rights. He is the invitation into a life which is above and beyond mere physical life. He will have us soaring on wings if we will open our eyes and ears to what the Spirit is saying to us right now. There are so many fascinating and wondrous things Jesus wants to experience with us, so broaden your definition of life. Imagine what a Jesus kind of life should look like. There is no brokenness in Jesus, no lack and no weakness. Rise up on your wings and breathe in life. Make this the year you embrace more life and more of what Jesus offers than ever before.

Overcoming Peace

John 16: 33

These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.

Jesus says to us, in this passage, that we can have peace “in” Him. He has already overcome the world and all of its tribulation and trouble. Being “in Him” means we do not have to participate in that tribulation. Yes, there are always bumps in the road but because He has already overcome, we can keep our peace. We do not have to get all upset and worried. Really we should not. He came so that we might have life in abundance (John 10:10). As we roll all of our care onto him; putting our full trust in Him and in His victory, then we do not have to suffer the emotional turmoil that the world is tortured with. Jesus is with us every day and we are everyday learning to draw closer and closer to Him and into His peace. He is, after all, the Prince of Peace.