Living Life to the Full

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.  John 10:10

When I attended Ontario Theological Seminary, Kevin Quast, the professor of New Testament Studies began a class by writing on the board:


I was somewhat perplexed. I thought Kevin was losing it. The stress of marking our assignments had no doubt brought on some kind of anaphylactic shock. On the other hand, maybe it was a case of excessive academia resulting in a rare outbreak of theological dementia. It’s not every day that a professor sees a bun dance on the table!

But I was wrong. Kevin was illustrating how the ancient Greek manuscripts were written without spacing of the letters, capitalization or punctuation, and how, as a result, one could miss the point.

Which makes one wonder. If we miss the point with little things, do we miss the point with bigger things? For example, when it comes to our relationship with Jesus is it possible that some of us fail to see what it’s all about? Do we get part of the picture but not the whole picture? Can we read the script yet be blind to the intended meaning? Do we see buns dancing on the table or do we see abundance on the table? Jesus said, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”

In other words, God hasn’t come to give you a life that’s 90% full or even 99.9% full. He’s come to give you a life that’s 100% full. An abundant life, a plentiful life, a great life, a life heaped with oodles and oodles of good things. As it says in Luke 6:38 He’s come to give you “a good measure, pressed down, shaken together . . . running over . . . poured into your lap.”

I think we sometimes miss this reality. Caught in the modicum of mediocrity we often fail to see the abundant table God has laid before us. We miss the largess that we have in Christ. We miss the flood of blessings God sends our way. We miss the liberal provisions waiting for those who are prepared to “taste and see that the Lord is good” Psalm 34:8. And in so doing we settle for the good and miss out on God’s best.

But it needn’t be that way. You can live life to the full. Christ has laid a table fit for a king. Consider the abundance you have in Christ:

You’ve been switched on. When you were born again you received light – the light of the world. You have Jesus, “the true light that gives light to every man” John 1:9.

You’re alive. “God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having cancelled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross” Colossians 2:13-14.

You’ve had your tanks filled with a high octane blend of joy, peace and hope. The God of hope fills you “with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” Romans 15:13.

You have rights. You have the rights of a son. “God sent his Son . . . to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons . .. and since you are a son, God has made you also an heir” Galatians 4:4,7.

You have an inheritance. You’re a citizen of heaven. Eternally secure. “When you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession – to the praise of his glory” Ephesians 1:13-14.

You have freedom in Christ. “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free . . . but do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love” Galatians 5:1,13.

You can do all things through Christ. Philippians 4:13 says you “can do everything through him who gives” you “strength.”

You are filled with God’s power, which works mightily in you. “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self discipline” 2 Timothy 1:7.

You don’t have to be anxious about anything (Philippians 4:6). You can “cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you” 1 Peter 5:7.

You are complete in Christ. “You do not lack any spiritual gift” 1 Corinthians 1:7. “God lives in us and his love is made complete in us” 1 John 4:12.

It doesn’t stop there. If you scour the Scriptures, you’ll discover a whole lot more. So why not open the Word and find the texts that reveal how you’re protected by the name of Jesus; have peace with God; share in the righteousness of God; set free by the truth; kept from the evil one; free from condemnation; cleansed by Christ’s blood; healed by His stripes; being conformed to the image of Christ; inseparable from the love of Christ; more than a conqueror through Him who loved us; have eternal life in Christ; have the image and glory of God; a new creation in Christ; have wisdom and insight to know His will; can come boldly into Christ’s presence; can receive way more than all you ask or think; guarded by God’s peace; able to walk worthy of the Lord; presented to God as holy, blameless, and beyond reproach; can come boldly before God’s throne of grace and find mercy every time; and blessed with every spiritual blessing in Christ Jesus.

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