The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.
How are you doing? Truly think about that for a moment. As you read this verse about abundant life ask yourself, do I live an abundant life? Is that what I would tell others? Or is your experience in life something quite different? Dry land, bitterness, hurt, struggling to make it day to day. There is a third and perhaps the most common place most of us fall: auto-pilot. Auto-pilot is what you would do without thinking. Auto-pilot is the status quo. It’s how you act at the end of a long day at the office, or when you are stressed out, or struggling to handle all that is going on in life. In most cases auto-pilot is not healthy, it is the patterns and behaviors that we fall into. For you auto-pilot might mean you are impatient with your loved ones, that you don’t listen well, that you create drama and conflict; or that you withdraw from it all.
When Jesus speaks about the abundant life, it is in the context of him talking about being the Good Shepherd, about the care He will provide for His people. He offers us more than just survival, but instead abundant life, a life fully alive, living into who and what God has created us for. More than auto-pilot.
Here is the challenge of auto-pilot. You might not know it’s there. You are so used to zoning out, losing your temper, causing drama, and avoiding people that you are not even aware you are doing it. Jesus call to abundant life is a call to personal transformation. It is not a short road to see real transformation, in fact it is often a long, hard road, and it will take real effort to see breakthrough. Jesus offer is not to live in auto-pilot but instead to live full alive, to set aside auto-pilot and experience life the way it was designed by God. For the next few weekly posts I will write about a few of the road markers on this road to transformation as Jesus sets them before us on the journey towards living into who God created you to be.
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