“I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” John 10:10
What does it mean to really live? Is life just existence, just taking up space on planet earth – or is there something more to life than that? What is the difference between “life” and “living?” On this fifth day of Advent we are going to look at a Life of Hope, tomorrow we will expand our focus to the Hope of Eternal Life.
God meant for our lives to have real meaning and purpose. No one ever set a life goal to just exist. Our lives matter – and that was God’s intention. So how, then, can we move into this purposeful and meaningful life?
First, we must come to the One who promises life. We must come to Jesus Christ, the One who died to give us life. You may be reading this and thinking, “My life has no great purpose,” or even “I have made such a mess of my life, there is nothing left for me.” God says differently. There is no life – no person – that God cannot touch and change. Here is a wonderful word of hope for you and me: “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation: the old has gone, the new has come” (2 Cor. 5:17, emphasis added)! If you have received Jesus Christ, you have been given a new life. And if you have not – there is no better time than now. Pray this simple prayer to begin a new life in Christ: “Dear God, I know that I am a sinner, and I need Jesus Christ to save me and cleanse me. I receive Jesus by faith, I receive this new life by faith. I am Your child God, lead me in this new life.” God promises new life to all who will come to Christ.
With that new life comes the abundant, or “full” life, as our key verse says. Jesus was not talking about an abundance of things, but of purpose and meaning – namely an abundant, fruitful life. Jesus declared it just prior to His arrest saying, “I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit – fruit that will last. This is to my Father’s glory.” (John 15:16, 8). Paul reminds us that “We are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Eph. 2:10). Now, mind you, this is not to say that Christ saved us because of the good work we do, nor did He save us merely to do good work. This good work is the calling of God on our lives, the purpose for which we are here on earth. There is much hope in knowing that God has chosen and called you to serve Him by serving others, and that He receives your good works as a fruitful offering.
If you have received the new life Christ offers, you are a child of God. And if you are a child of God you have a calling that will result in fruitfulness. Because of this helpless little baby in the manger, we have hope for a new and meaningful life here on earth. That is real hope for a real life indeed.
My God and Father, I pray that You will receive my “work produced by faith, labor prompted by love, and endurance inspired by hope in my Lord Jesus Christ, (1 Thess. 1:3)” as an offering to Your glory. Amen