Monday, March 7, 2005

The Shepherd of Abundant Life

The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have lie, and that they may have it more abundantly. (John 10:10)
Jesus is making a contrast between Himself, as the Good Shepherd (John10:11), and the thief who tries to sneak into the sheepfold. This thief is the devil, false teachers, the spirit of religion, and all who rebel against the authority of God. The thief comes for three purposes:
  • To steal. He does not add anything good to your life, but comes to take good away from you.
  • To kill. He may promise you a good life, but he actually comes to take your life away. He is a murderer.
  • To destroy. He comes to completely destroy you and everything about you — your life, your work, your home, your family, your inheritance.
Many people, even many Christians, believe God comes to steal, that is, to take good things away from us, to kill us or destroy us. They believe He does these things to punish us for sin, to teach us a lesson, or to test our faith in some way. They think He is waiting to pounce on us in judgment.

They’ve got the wrong guy. Jesus, who is the express image of God, does not come to do any of those things. He comes to give life, not just a little, but abundantly. He is overflowing with life, and He comes that you might overflow with it also. He is waiting for you to turn to Him so He can rescue you.

This abundant life is not just about living long, or even living eternally. It is much more. It is a quality of life. It is health and wholeness and prosperity. It is a life filled full to overflowing with the life and blessing of God.