Recently I was listening to someone give a testimony. They were saying that they’d spent most of their thirty or more years as a Christian wearing black and being a mousey servant. They’d believed that they were only worthy to die, because Jesus had had to die for them. So they were somehow trying to make up for it; to pay him back. The thief and robber had stolen from them the truth of what Jesus intended: that we should have ‘a rich and satisfying life’. Praise God this person was being set free to enter into this new life in Christ and beginning to enjoy a full and satisfying life. They’re now walking in the gifting that God has given them. They’re far from mousey and, also now enjoy wearing bright and pretty colours. Jesus didn’t just die for us. He was raised again, that we might also rise again, to new life in Him.
My own testimony is a bit similar. Not that I wore black, but just that I always felt a bit guilty if I wasn’t doing something that was specifically for God. I could only listen to worship music and read Christian books. Work was an intrusion into serving God. It’s such a relief to be free from that attitude, and be able to enjoy and rejoice in all sorts of things, that could be said to make up a rich and satisfying life; including music, art, creativity and work.
I was sad and rather shocked recently when I overheard a group of women chatting in their lunch break. They were sharing stories of how they’d taken their children to various scary things for Halloween and how terrified the children had been. They thought it was very funny. It made me think a bit more about abundant life and what it means. I got home to find the local paper full of stories about the alcohol problems among the young people on Friday and Saturday nights in the local town and how every bus shelter for eleven miles had been smashed. How differently the world sees abundant life. They’ve been blinded by the lie of the enemy whose purpose, as Jesus said, is to ‘steal, kill and destroy’.
Prayer: Thank You, Father,, that Jesus not only died, but rose again. He’s rescued us from being victims of the thief’s purpose to steal, kill and destroy, and we can now enter into the rich and satisfying life that’s Your purpose for us. Lord, as we do that, may we be witnesses to those in the world who don’t know You, and don’t understand what abundant life is like. Amen.
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