“There has to be more to life than this?”, is the cry of many who apparently have it all. Jesus says-
“I have come that you may have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:10)
So, what keeps us from it? Jesus began-
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy”
The ‘thief’ offers experiences to dull our pain. We take them, expecting fulfilment but find emptiness. Abundant life does not come through experiences, it is given to Jesus’ disciples.
‘Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. (Matthew 16:24-25)
There can be a great thrill when we begin following Jesus. There comes a time however, when he presents a choice: Jesus for his own sake, or all the things and experiences which I think give life. If I choose ‘my life’ then I discover this truth-
‘What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?’ (Matthew 16:26)
What I thought would bring life, opens me to the thief and I am left with an empty soul. When I choose Jesus, it seems like I am choosing hardship, yet after walking with him, I discover as I look back that his gracious provision and fellowship has transformed that path into abundant life.