“Abundant living is not absence of risk, it may mean increased risk—but intimately Spirit led.”
Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – April 5, 2021
The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. John 10:10, NKJV
Well, regrettably I tested positive for COVID. After a year of cautious, sometimes quarantined living—I became infected one day before my scheduled appointment to receive my first of two vaccines against the crafty nemesis. I felt like the football player running free for the end zone, and right before the goal line spiking the ball in a premature celebration. The consequence being a fumble, not a touchdown! Fortunately, seven days in for me and my wife Rita (she is three days behind me)—our infection looks like the short version. Fatigued but no fever. Still have taste and smell, just no energy. Ironically, I was probably exposed at church.
With more time for reflection, I turned my mind and heart this morning to Jesus’ reassuring promise of abundant living for those who love and follow Him. He contrasts His gift of abundance to Satan’s criminal attempt to take away and destroy life with a strategy to squash God’s offer of generous living. The Lord’s abundant living is not based on health or net worth, but on the life of Christ. Fear is foiled when love from above fuels faith. Abundant living is not absence of risk, it may mean increased risk—but intimately Spirit led.
“In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind” (John 1:4).
Is your life easily explained or is it inexplicable? Have you become so risk averse that God has been relegated to a small corner of your life, only available for emergencies? Your biggest miss may be the risk to not love—to not experience emotional pain. Instead, consider being cautiously careless with your love, and see if the Spirit can fill in the gaps of ingratitude with grace and jealousy with forgiveness. Jesus’ abundant living requires risks: risks related to a generous love. As the life of Christ shines through your life—you draw others to Him with your abundant life.
I am sad I inconvenienced others with my illness. Quarantines. Contact tracing. Infections. But I’m grateful that a fulfilled life is not based on a life sanitized from risks, but on Christ’s risky abundant life. His Father’s will seemed to always have Jesus living on the edge. The edge of misunderstanding. The edge of rejection. The edge of death. But mostly, on the edge of eternity. Jesus experienced abundant living, because He did His Father’s will—a union of perfect love. Living life has risks. Better to avoid a lifeless life by celebrating risks with an abundant life.
“Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found. So they began to celebrate” (Luke 15:23-24).
Heavenly Father, lead me by your Spirit to live abundantly in your love, through Christ’s love, and in His name, amen.
What area of my life needs to experience more of life?
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