Life More Adundantly
By Clayton Adams Jesus said, “The thief comes 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) I have thought of Jesus' words, especially the part, “they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly” What exactly did Jesus mean when He said this? What does it mean to have life more “abundantly?”
One dictionary defines “abundantly” as, “existing or occurring in large amounts” and “amply supplied.” Without understanding the first part the second part becomes difficult to understand. The first part, “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy” The second part, “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”
“The thief” is the enemy of your soul, the devil. He knows his ultimate doom and sentence and he is working to deceive and take as many people with him. Hence he steals your hopes and dreams. He kills your spirit through the denial of a living God who forgives. The devil doesn't mind you believing in God, but the devil will throw everything in your path to keep you from having a personal relationship with God. Lastly, he destroys many souls through false pleasures and expectations, pain, humiliation, troubles, sickness and death.
It's the first part of what Jesus said, “the thief comes to kill, steal and destroy” that gives understanding to the second part, “life…more abundant.” We all want a life that is amply supplied, and lengthy. Unfortunately we are not promised a long life nor are we promised a life well supplied with all we need or want. I understand why some people doubt Jesus' words when they look around and see their lives not well supplied and full of problems and difficulties. What we see and experience often does not compare with what we read and believe.
Was Jesus referring to material possessions? I do not believe He was. In another talk He gave, Jesus said, 'Beware, and be on your guard against every form of greed; for not even when one has an abundance does his life consist of his possessions.' (Luke 12:15) Could it be that we miss an “abundant life” because we fail to understand that possessions do not quench the desire of the human heart? Many in church are confused on this issue, the thinking is that because they attend church and live right that life should have less confusion and trouble than what they experience.
Some how, many Christians don't know that it is 'Through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God.' (Acts 14:22) Originally, God intended to have a personal relationship with His creation but the enemy of your soul came to kill, steal and destroy. Everything in this Earth was and is for our benefit, our good. But sin entered into the human heart and caused there to be a break in the relationship between God and His creation.
God foresaw this separation and bridged this gap between His creation and Himself. This bridge was His Son Jesus the Christ.
(Ephesians 2:1-10) The Bible is clear, there is no other bridge to God. There is no other name given under heaven whereby man can be saved. (Acts 4:12) If you have a life of abundance in this earthly life God has blessed you. But this is not the “abundance” Jesus spoke about. I have been to twelve other nations and my first hand experiences tell me I am blessed with more material wealth and luxuries than most people of the world have knowledge of. Even the poorest among our American people are wealthy compared to most of the world. Having an abundance of material things is not what Jesus was speaking of.
Jesus was speaking about eternal life. We can have life because of Jesus' death. We can have “abundant life” because of His resurrection from the dead. Jesus did die on the Cross, He was buried in a tomb and He did resurrect to life again. Because of His resurrection we can have “life more abundant.”
In John chapter ten, Jesus asserts Himself as the “Good Shepherd” and His Deity – that He is God. We can have a good life now but our best life is to come in heaven with Christ who has made an abundant life possible because of His life, death and resurrection. Your best life isn't now but it is coming soon and it will be more abundant!
Clayton Adams is pastor at Earle First Assembly of God. You can e- mail him at cpalaa@ yahoo. com, or find Earle First Assembly on Facebook.
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