THE GATE, THE GATEKEEPER AND THE SHEPHERD – Part 4 – reflections on John 10:1-18

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy;

I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”

John 10:10

The thief comes. No doubt about it. No choice about it.

The thief comes against our souls, coming against the truth of the Living God with the sole, and very definite, purpose: Only to steal and kill and destroy us. The thief has no other plan or passion except to steal our hope, kill our faith and destroy our lives. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy every shred of peace we have. To steal and kill and destroy every relationship we have – beginning with our relationship with the One True God, our Lord Jesus Christ – the one relationship upon which our very lives depend, now and for all eternity.

Our Lord Jesus, the Lord who has conquered sin and death, proclaims that He not only comes, but that He has already come for us. Jesus has come for us to offer us true life, full life. The thief gives us no choice about what he will do in, and to, our lives. Yet, the Lord Jesus will not force Himself on us. Instead, Jesus offers Himself and His life to us.

Jesus tells us that in Him we may have life. It is up to us to make the choice as to whether or not we will put our lives in His hands. Into His good and holy hands that were nailed to the cross for the forgiveness of sins. Into His good and holy hands that were raised in eternal, magnificent triumph through His resurrection from the dead! Jesus Christ offers us life – life without the certain condemnation and punishment for our sins that we deserve, which He took upon Himself. Jesus has already come to set us free and to offer us fullness of life in Him.

We have a choice to make. We may have life in Jesus – a life that holds the absolute promise of eternal life. A life that holds the absolute richness and abundance of the fullness of life that we may have only when we choose to live our lives in the grasp of Christ’s intimate love as our Savior and Lord. Jesus has already come to give us a full life beyond what we could ever imagine, both for an eternity with Him and for right now as we walk with Him daily, listening to His heart of love for us, obeying His word and letting Him lead us in everything we do.

Having life to the full in Jesus does not, and will not, protect from hardships and hurts on this side of heaven. To believe that would be a lie from the thief who comes only to steal and kill and destroy our lives – our minds, our bodies, our souls and our trust in God. Life to the full in Jesus means that we are fully loved by our Heavenly Abba, fully held in the presence of God at all times, fully filled with His promised Holy Spirit, fully made new in God’s sight, fully given access to God’s throne of grace, fully offered transcending peace in all circumstances, fully assured that there is nothing and no one in all creation that will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord!

This full life that Jesus offers is a life filled with God’s unfailing love, grace, truth, forgiveness, resurrection power, freedom, peace, wisdom, courage, joy, hope and great eternal purpose! And there is nothing and no one who could ever steal or kill or destroy what Jesus gives to us. May we each enter into the full life we may have – the full life Jesus offers to each of us and for which He has already come!

In love, peace and purposeful passion,