The key to abundant life

::The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.:: ~ Jesus {John 10.10}

::I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.:: ~ Jesus {John 6.35}

In light of those verses, why do I so often not feel full of life?  I often consider myself empty, or on the verge of emptiness.  If Jesus came to give me abundant life, and I love Jesus, then I ought to feel vibrant, full, joyful… right?

Maybe you’re in my boat today.  I think the context of John 10 sheds light on your problem and mine.  John 10 talks about thieves, robbers, and strangers climbing in the back way into the “sheepfold” of Jesus’ elect, and the “sheep” running away because they don’t recognize the voice of the robbers.  You’ll have to read it to see that.  In other words, John 10 gives us a visual depiction of what it looks like when Satan tries to destroy believers with his lies.

Here’s the question: when you and I don’t feel full of life, could it be that we’re succumbing to the lies of the robbers rather than the truth of God?  I never come to the other side of asking if I’m “good enough” for God and think, “Wow, I’m so glad I thought that through!”  I never come to the other side of thinking a lustful thought or saying an unkind word to a sibling and think, “Wow!  I feel vibrant now!”

It’s only when I meditate on the truth of the gospel… that I am perfected in Christ (2 Corinthians 5.21), that God loves me as a son (2 Corinthians 4.4-7), that God in Christ has given me everything I need to fight sin (Ephesians 6.10-20) and for life and godliness (2 Peter 1.3), that I truly feel alive, and that I am truly empowered to be the man that God has called me to be.  I believe that the Bible would say that there is only one key to abundant life: believing and acting upon believing truth.

So, a simple test that I’m going to try on as many thoughts, actions, or words as I can, is this: I will ask myself whether said thought or action or word breathed life into my soul, or quenched life from my soul.  If my answer is the former, then it was of God that I said, did, or thought what I did, and was meant for my encouragement and becoming more like Jesus.  Otherwise, I will be forced to conclude that the word, action, or thought in question was a fiery dart from Satan intended for my harm and discouragement.

Armed with the knowledge of whether I’ve just been hit with a truth or a lie, I will either fight or pursue it with all the strength that God gives me.

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About Joe Eaton

I praise God that my standing before Him has nothing to do with who I am or what I've done; it is found solely in the perfect life that Christ lived in my place, and His which atoned for my sin. "For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that IN HIM we might become the righteousness of God"..."There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus."

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