PASTOR'S PEN: Taking full advantage
“I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:10)
“…godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.” (1 Timothy 4:8)
“…that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.” (1 Timothy 6:19)
Who doesn’t want the best life possible? I think we all do and God seems to promise us just that, however; most of us don’t buy into it. Christ promises "life to the full or abundant life," but we want it our way and not His. Those verses above, if we read the verses around them, all talk about the best life and how to have it.
John 10 tells us that we can have an abundant life, but that life comes by listening to the voice of the good shepherd and running from the stranger’s voice. The best life is one that follows God’s leading all the time.
1 Timothy 4 is quite similar. Here the valuable life is one that has "nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales." It’s one that runs from lies about God and His Word and, instead, strives to honor God because their "hope is in the living God."
1 Timothy 6 telling us the "life that is truly life" comes by being "rich in good deeds," "generous and willing to share."
From these passages it sounds like the best life involves "loving God above all else and loving your neighbor as yourself." (Matthew 22:36-39)
It’s kind of like this. Four teens get tickets to go to Michigan Adventure. It’s known as a place that’s a lot of fun. They all get in the car and head over. They go inside and one of them just sits on the first bench he sees, refusing to ride any rides, see any shows or swim in the pool. He just sits there. When they arrive home, their parents ask how it went. Our bench sitter says it was hot and boring and he about starved to death! The other three look at him like he’s crazy. They had a great time enjoying all the park had to offer: riding rides, playing games and eating park food. They took advantage of everything that was offered.
Christ offers us an abundant life. Many Christians sit on the side lines refusing to participate. They don’t want to stand in line or go out in the sun or touch the handles so many have touched before them. It’s too hot and boring and messy! They’re certain it will be bad so they miss out on the abundant life. They miss out, not because it’s not offered to them, but because they refuse to participate in it.
The abundant life is offered to you through Christ. Will you live the adventure and “the life that is truly life” or will sit and complain that it’s not what you expected?