“I have come that you might have life and have it more abundantly.” Don’t you just love these words that Jesus spoke in John 10:10? More abundantly . . . do our lives feel “more abundantly” today? All that sacrifice that Jesus made on the cross. He was beaten, whipped, spit upon, and crucified. I often wonder how excruciating the pain must have been. The deep pain of nails being pounded into his innocent hands and feet. All for what? Oh I know that if we grew up in church or have been around the Christian faith for very long, we know it was for the forgiveness of our sins, but how does that really translate into our daily lives? Am I grabbing and owning and living that abundant life that He purchased for me?
I would like to propose that He died and rose again for us to have life here on earth full of His presence—His life-giving presence. His joy. His peace. His victorious, conquering spirit. He died so that we might live in total freedom. He paid such an extravagant price to purchase life for us: guilt-free life full of victory. Religion tells us that we must perform. We must cross every “t” and dot every “i”, but Jesus says, “Come unto me all who are weary and I will give you rest.” It is a finished work.
What is happening in our country? Who will the next President be? Will I lose my job? What about this rocky marriage that I am in? Can these bills be paid? The list of questions that can hit our minds can be overwhelming at times. When we try to handle life with our logic, we often feel steamrolled. But when we submit to God’s way, when we submit and really believe that He gave us a life of victory over anything we will ever face, that is where true “freedom living” happens. Freedom to know that He has our steps ordered (Psalms 37:23). Freedom to know that He will never leave us nor forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:8). Freedom to know that He paid for our physical healing (Isaiah 53:5), our financial provision (Malachi 3:10), and our mental peace (Isaiah 26:3). He has our past, our present, and our future.
When I find myself taking life here on earth a little too seriously (you know those times when we get so focused on accomplishing or figuring out the plan), I remind myself of a boy whom I never met but preached a sermon to me without even knowing it.
One morning as I was driving out of my neighborhood, I passed by the school bus stop like I did every day. The same group of backpack-clad elementary kids stood around the red mailbox like they always did, but today the scene looked different. As the neighbor’s sprinkler system was busy doing its job, all of the children were dry except one pudgy, brunette boy who looked to be about eight years old. He was dancing through the sprinklers and had his head back, laughing with as much joy as I had ever seen on a face. With arms flapping, he was half running and half skipping as he yelled, “Woo-hoo!!” He didn’t have a care in the world, and I couldn’t help but laugh out loud right along with him in the solitude of my car. Oh sure, he would arrive at school wet and that probably would frustrate his teacher, but maybe—just maybe—she would also enjoy the life lesson that he had just shared with me. Life is made to be enjoyed!
So how about you? Wanna join me today? Let’s enjoy the freedom that Jesus purchased for us. I can just hear us “woo-hooing” throughout our day.
It is for freedom that He set us free!