Life, more abundant life

John 10--10

The Verse of the Day for December 5, 2017 offers another metaphor used by Jesus Christ to help his followers understand who he and why he came on the scene:

John 10:7, 9-10 (AMP):

So Jesus said again, “I assure you and most solemnly say to you, I am the Door for the sheep [leading to life]. I am the Door; anyone who enters through Me will be saved [and will live forever], and will go in and out [freely], and find pasture (spiritual security). The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance [to the full, till it overflows].

He begins by describing himself as the door or gate to the sheep that serves a dual purpose.  Such a gate or door can be used to keep enemies or those with harmful motives from entering the sheepfold. It can also be used to keep the sheep within the confines of safety.  The passage goes on to contrast the “thief” who comes with ill intent and attempts “to steal and to kill and to destroy the flock.” On the other hand, the Lord Jesus Christ comes not only to give life but more abundant life,

Verse 10 also brings to mind the Hebrew expression L’Chaim, literally meaning “to life!” The phrase is often used as a toast to celebrate a special occasion. L’Chaim reveals a great deal about the Jewish approach to life. The phrase is not to a good life, to a healthy life, or even to a long life. It is simply “to Life!”, recognizing that life is, indeed, good and precious and should always be celebrated and savored. According to a noted Rabbi, “L’Chaim” does not just mean “to life” as it is commonly translated, but “to lives”—to life in the plural: overflowing cup life, “bright and bubbly, doubly lovely,” life in all of its fullness.

John 10:10 serves as the epigraph or opening scripture for the following poetic expression:

Life

The thief does not come except to steal,

and to kill, and to destroy.

I have come that they may have life,

and that they may have it more abundantly

John 10:10

 

From the fountain, never-ending waters of life,

Countless blessings flow from the one who lives and gives

Wisdom, knowledge, understanding and new meaning

That we might conquer the last enemy called death

And know exceeding great and precious promises

Of His kingdom, ruled by righteousness, joy and peace.

 

Surpassing all our understanding is His peace,

Refreshing cool water from the river of life

To satisfy and fulfill all His promises:

The everlasting portion of the grace that gives

Beauty for ashes to resurrect life from death

And unfold mysteries to give life true meaning.

 

Along the journey, each soul seeks to find meaning,

To sail through the storms of life to a place of peace,

To walk through the valley of the shadow of death.

Every page recorded by the author of life

Speaks of the comfort and assurance that He gives

To all who decide to believe His promises.

 

Far beyond earthly treasures are God’s promises

To His dear children who come to know the meaning

Of true love from our most gracious Father, who gives

His spirit to season our speech with words of peace.

To minister to one another, to speak life:

In the tongue is the power of both life and death.

 

We know nothing separates us, not even death,

For God’s love still gives birth to untold promises

That we might be changed and walk in newness of life.

We strive to know God’s ways, understand their meaning.

To know the depths of boundless grace, mercy and peace

And endless love that empties itself yet still gives.

 

Our lives illumined with the light only He gives

To dispel darkness and nullify even death,

To brighten the way and lighten our paths with peace,

That we might stand upon abundant promises,

That enlighten us to understand the meaning

Of our fully partaking of the Bread of Life.

 

The faithful God who gives will keep His promises.

Even death can never alter the real meaning

Of perfect peace that leads to everlasting life.

We close with this lively musical rendering of John 10:10: “I have come”

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