March 15, 2013
Much is made in some Christian circles of what Jesus said in John 10:10:
I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
Abundant life – doesn’t that sound appealing? But to what kind of abundant life is Jesus referring? Too often it is the idea that God wants all His children rich, healthy and happy. All you have to do is ask and believe, and “you too can be a millionaire in perfect health!” But most of us are not millionaires and most of us have our share of aches and pains, and sometimes a lot worse! So what is Jesus talking about?
I do believe that the Lord is referring to the life we live, here and now, upon this earth. You see, He speaks twice of life in this verse, first life and then life more abundantly. The first mention refers to spiritual life, given to those who are spiritually dead by being born again.
Spiritually dead? Yes, for it says in Ephesians 2:1,
And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins….
We are all born sinners – with a sin nature – and that nature separates us from God – spiritual death. If this situation is not corrected by accepting into your heart and life Jesus Christ and the redemption He purchased for you on the cross, that condition of spiritual death becomes permanent, and it is called eternal hell!
But God has given us the opportunity to be born again – spiritual rebirth – that connects us back to our Creator by the Holy Spirit. It says in John 1:12,
But as many as received him [Jesus], to them gave he power [authority, right] to
become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name….
That’s life, eternal life, which means we will be with God now and forever. And the forever part is called heaven, and obviously life in heaven is going to be abundant! So the second mention of life in John 10:10, life more abundantly, does not refer to heaven, because that would be redundant. Of course eternal life in heaven will be abundant, much more abundant than anything we have experienced here on earth!!!
So life more abundantly in John 10:10 must refer to life on earth, life in the here and now. If it is not riches and health, what is it? Turn to Galatians 5:22 & 23 and read in your own Bible what God has provided for you. This is from the NIV:
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness,
faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
It doesn’t matter what situation you find yourself in, even hard trials and testings; if you have the fruit of the Spirit in your life, you will get through that situation just fine. I call that abundant life!!! Just take the first three manifestations of the fruit of the Spirit – love, joy, peace. Even if you are facing a life-threatening circumstance, you will not be overcome if you are filled with love, joy and peace. And the other six manifestations of the fruit of the Spirit is like a bonus!
In my next blog, I’ll discuss what the Lord has shown me concerning how to be filled with the fruit of the Spirit. It’s really not complicated! Until next Monday, may God hold you in…
…love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.