“The thief does not come except to steal, kill and destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” John 10:10
We all want life. Abundant life. I think for many of us that means life without sickness, pain, or poverty. And while I believe God cares, sees and heals us in these earthly bodies, and I believe God loves and desires to lift up the lives of His beloved children that are hurting on planet earth, still I believe,
There’s more to the story…
There’s so much more and it is thrilling, exciting and better than we could have ever imagined. I think it has gotten lost behind well meaning and God loving Christians, lost in the pages of Scripture that sit in so many homes, unread. If only we would pick it up, blow off the dust and see afresh the glorious hope meant for those who would believe in Jesus Christ now, and fan the flame meant to ignite the whole world with His glory and love, it would absolutely change the world. This hope is life more abundantly.
See, what I believe Jesus is telling us in this well known passage (John 10:10) is something altogether different than what we normally hear echoing through church walls today. Instead of promises of abundant things in this life, I believe Jesus is simply promising more of life itself. Real life. More aliveness than we could possibly experience in this broken world. I believe Jesus is promising an eternal resurrected life! And this life begins and continues only in the Spirit of God (John 6:63, Romans 8:6, 2 Corinthians 3:6).
“Jesus said to her, I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” John 11: 25-26
Jesus is saying if you believe in Me and are in Me, when your body fails, your spirit will live on in a transformed, resurrected body, and if you are alive when I come again and believe in Me, your body will not die but be transformed into a new resurrected body. Here, Jesus was addressing a believer (John 11:27) and I believe He is asking believers today...do you believe this? With all that is said about Me in the world today, do you believe what I say?
Echoing Jesus words, Paul says:
“For we who are in this tent [our earthly bodies] groan, being burdened, not because we want to be unclothed, but further clothed, that mortality may be swallowed up by life.” 2 Corinthians 5:4 (brackets and emphasis mine)
Who isn’t burdened in these bodies at some point walking on this earth? And we are groaning. Not to attain more flesh, more earth, more mortality, but LIFE. And life is only found in Jesus. Life is Jesus. (John 14:6) When we believe in Jesus, the Spirit of God comes to live in our spirit, and that is where true, living, refreshing, life flows into our every situation and relationship. When we stop operating out of our own ideas about what we should do and how we can improve things, and when we humbly come to God and allow Him to do what He desires, obeying what He commands out of the power He supplies, that is where we find peace, love, joy, and goodness filling every one of our needs and desires.
We take up the life of Jesus when we yield to Truth: He is our salvation. We are sinners in need of a Savior and He is that Savior (Romans 3:23-24). And as we are being conformed to His image on this earth, we wait. We wait for our glorious hope- a truly resurrected life. We wait to see Him, for when we do we will be like Him and that is exactly what these bodies, bound for corruption, are aching for (1 John 3:2)
Our nature as sinners is to take spiritual realities and conform them to the images of earth. We take spiritual realities for life and make them to mean God wants us to have more things. We assume God is like us and He is not. We assume God wants what we want and He does not. We are the ones who must conform, by the power and grace of God, to His image, to His reality, based on Scripture alone.
Are you aching today for life? Are you finding this earthly life often disappoints and hurts? Self-improvement is not the answer, my friend, Jesus is the answer.