Looking out of my window today it is grey, gloomy, the rain has been falling for hours and everything looks somewhat dismal. I spent a great deal more time travelling over the Christmas holiday than I had planned, due to the coldest December in the UK since records began, and along with many others I seem to have had some nasty bug or other! When I see a cluster of things like that I find it is easy to become low in spirit and I pick up on the first part of the scripture that says the thief comes ‘to steal, kill and destroy’ (John 10:10).
But hold on a minute, what is said next by Jesus is amazing! Jesus declares His intention to recover and restore to us what was His Father’s plan for us all along and to break and block the thief’s plans to stop us receiving it. He has given us the opportunity to not only have life, but to have it more abundantly. In Genesis God made everything, declared it good, and then gave it all to Adam. At the fall the thief came in, but Jesus is doing what He said and gives us the possibility to receive more life and to share this life with others.
How is it possible to receive more of the fullness of life and have abundant life, especially when things seem really hard? Well abundant life doesn’t mean an absence of adversity, but more about how we grow in the midst of difficulties. It’s about letting our character be grown towards Christ-likeness.
What does that mean in real life? Well thankfulness helps us see what Jesus has done for us already. We need the rain to top up the water table, and our immune systems have done a good job in seeing off the several thousand other viruses that have come our way. Little random acts of kindness help us give life to others, a smile on a long and tiresome journey, a kind word, and help with a suitcase. We receive life by giving out. Looking for the beautiful, the delightful, the amazing, and the good in all our every day, ‘ordinary’ things of life is how we will start to see and appropriate life more abundantly.
Prayer: Father God, thank You that Jesus has come so that I might have life abundantly. Help me to start to see and to take hold of all that this means for me. Thank You for all the ordinary things of my life, help me to see Your extraordinary hand each day that I might know the fullness of life You have for me and give all the glory and honour back to You. Amen.
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