By Fred Van Tatenhove, Professor of Pastoral Care and Counseling, Retired
Asbury Theological Seminary
John 10:10 “I have come that they may have life and live it more abundantly.”
Have you embraced “life more abundantly?” In recent weeks I have been thinking about my journey with God, reflecting on how through Christ, my life has been blessed. I suspect it is part of entering into the mid period of my 70’s.
Abundant life! That is what the Lord wants for us. We receive it through the presence of the Holy Spirit in our life. It is God’s grace given to us as we believe in Jesus and seek to live out his presence in us with others. The context of this “living out” is the world God created, right where we live, to live one day at a time. God has provided this “abundant life” through Christ. It’s the good news we see revealed in the Bible.
We turn to him, repent of our sin, embrace his forgiving grace, and learn to do his will.
One way God helps us experience this abundant life is through the community called the Church. The Church where we worship is not the limit of our world. We don’t just go to Church – we are the Church. Our goal is not merely to bring people to Church, but to bring people to Christ and bring Christ to them. This is what the Church does if it is healthy and alive.
We worship God and grow in his grace. We give generously out of what he is giving us. We serve creatively with our gifts and skills. We connect relationally with others in the name of Jesus.
God gives us what we need to share his abundant life that we have in him. He gives that through his word, through his abiding presence, through authentic relationships with other fellow believes, and through our personal encounter with the gospel. And God is always with us!
God doesn’t only empower us to endure in our life journey, he also will influence our journey. That influence is felt in his power working in us. It is what the Apostle Paul identified as the “fruit of the Spirit,” it is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
Jesus came so that we can experience life abundantly. I take John 10:10 as a promise for all who believe in Him. That describes abundant life for me!