"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 (NIV)
Life to the full - what does that mean? Could it mean money to do and buy anything your heart desires? Could it mean traveling all over the world and experiencing different cultures? Could it mean a huge home, fancy cars and clothes, friends constantly visiting? Could it mean having a huge loving family and spending time enjoying each other's company? Could it mean being able to help others whenever the need arises? It could, and does, mean one or all of these things for a lot of people and a whole lot more.
However, when Jesus talks about life to the full in this verse, He's not talking about any of the above. He's not talking about a life full of worldly things. He's talking about the life He provided for all of us by coming to earth. Life to the full is a gift from Jesus. We can't find it in money, or travel, or family, or friends or things. We can't buy it, bargain for it, trade for it or steal it. No matter how hard we try. All we have to do is accept it. Life to the full is experiencing the love, spiritual abundance and eternal life that Jesus gave His life for.
Jesus is the Giver of life to the full. When we accept Him, He will fill us with His abundance. Through Him we can have unimaginably full lives, no matter where we live, who we know or what we earn. Can you imagine always being at peace, always having joy deep down in your soul, being filled with love for everyone, having the courage and strength to face down every challenge, being filled with wisdom to always make the right decisions, being so full of grace, mercy and forgiveness that it doesn't matter what anyone says or does to you? To be so compassionate, empathetic, understanding and kind that it's returned to you a hundred times over? To have the discipline, self-control and confidence to do anything? No? I can hardly imagine it either but I believe that is what Jesus meant when He said he came, "that they may have life, and have it to the full.".
I can choose each day whether I want a full life in God or a full life in the world. Life in full with God is eternal, everlasting; it will never be taken away. Life in full in the world is fleeting, temporary; it can disappear in an instant. The world is the thief; Jesus is life to the full. I choose to accept the life that Jesus offers.
Precious Jesus, I accept Your gifts. I want a life to the full with You. Nothing You offer me is temporary, Lord. Whatever today brings, I have the opportunity to live it with abundance. Thank You. Let me lean on You as I experience this life You've given to me. In Your name, Amen."God is the giver, and we are the receivers. And His richest gifts are bestowed not upon those who do the greatest things, but upon those who accept His abundance and His grace." - Barbara Whitall Smith