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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

God Wants to Give Me Life

In review of John 10:10 it says, “A thief is only there to steal and kill and destroy. I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of.”

Bottom Line:
A thief’s purpose is to steal, kill and destroy. Jesus came in order for us to have life, a satisfying life.

What this means to me:
A thief will only come to steal, kill and destroy. Jesus tells me he came in order for me to have a much better, fuller and satisfying life than I could ever dream was possible.

I think some people think that following Jesus means that they would have to become judgmental and legalistic. However, this verse reminds me that Jesus came to give me a rich and satisfying life: “A thief is only there to steal and kill and destroy. I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of” (John 10:10 MSG).

In reality, it is the enemy, Satan, who wants to “steal, kill and destroy” my freedom and joy.

There are some Christians, who while being well-meaning, end up misguiding people causing some to avoid God because of their fanaticism. Rick Warren points out four the of religious fanatic types he has observed over the years:

Freddy the Pharisee: Rigid, narrow-minded, and legalistic, he has a rule for everything. His favorite word is “don’t.” And it’s only natural for some people to fear they may become just like that if they become a Christian. But Jesus called people like Freddy the Pharisee “blind guides,” saying, “You strain your water so you won’t accidentally swallow a gnat, but you swallow a camel!” (Matthew 23:24 NLT, second edition)

Susie Self-righteous: With a holier-than-thou attitude and judgmental of others, her favorite phrase is, “Thank God I’m not like you!” Jesus told the story of two men praying, one self-righteous and one humbled by his failures: “I tell you, this sinner, not the Pharisee, returned home justified before God. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted” (Luke 18:14).

Billy Bible-thumper: He’s an obnoxious and overzealous crusader. His favorite phrase is “Turn or burn!” Yet God’s plan for bringing us home to him is full of love, grace, and sacrifice: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him” (John 3:16-17 NIV).

Pauline Praise-eluia: She can’t speak without religious clichés. Everything is a miracle or the Devil did it. She’s put her brain on the shelf. But God doesn’t want you to stop thinking when you become a Christian; in fact, he wants to give you the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16).

These are all stereotypes, however they represent people who have abandoned their relationship with Jesus to instead embrace a religion. But Jesus says, “I have come that you might have life [not religion] and have it to the fullest!

In summary, Jesus came to bring me a different kind of life, a real and eternal one that is better than I can ever dream of. Anything else I could adopt will end up robbing me from it.  This morning, I thank you Father for saving me from a life that will end up being destroyed and robbed of long lasting joy. Jesus shows me how to have a real and eternal life, one that will be satisfying. In light of today’s verses and the reminder from Rick Warren on the types of religious fanatics, While I’m no means a fanatic, I can see where I can trend in a few of these areas; holding up others against standards and being judgmental without considering I miss the mark all the time as well. All of these are internal thought patterns that keep me from being as loving as I can be with others and showing compassion, and being able to share. I will seek to live my life as a forgiven sinner, no better than anyone else - just saved. It would be my hope that the way I conduct and lead my life will help open doors for others to see what it is like to have a personal relationship with God, using Jesus to lead my life.