• Trey Harper

Life Abundantly

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. (John 10:10-11)

Medically, possessing life is binary. You either have life, or you do not. Similarly, God offers two choices for eternity: “Come…inherit the kingdom…”, or “Depart from me…into the eternal fire” (Matthew 25:34, 41).

However, there is another medical diagnosis which helps explain the term “abundantly” as used by Jesus in John 10:10. The term is “failure to thrive”. When a person seems to waste away for no apparent reason this term is applied. If you can fail to thrive then it only makes sense that you could also ‘not’ fail to thrive.

In using the phrase “have it abundantly”, Jesus is defeating the thought that we will just exist. Not only are we going to exist, but we will have life- and vibrantly so! I think of the hymn “Everybody Will Be Happy Over There” {Sacred Selections #398}. Now, cynically I consider the colloquialism, “you can’t make everyone happy” and wonder just how God is going to accomplish such a feat. And then I smile, “He’s God”.

The limitations of human thought and nature restrict any understanding of eternal happiness. How can we be happy forever? What is “forever like”? God has not answered this for us but He does tell us that He is a forever God (Exodus 3:14). Since He is the only thing that is forever, and since He is faithful to His Word, and since He can not lie, I will trust that He can make me- yes, and everyone else- vibrant forever. I trust, and I do not have to know how. There is no place else I would rather be.

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