Way Truth Life Part 3: Life In All Its Fullness
On Sunday 26th March at our morning service, we continued our series 'Way Truth Life' with the topic 'Life In all Its Fullness'. In this blog you will find a summary of the talk and then some questions and reflections for you to think through on your own or to discuss in your small group.
To listen to the talk on-line, please click here.
To download the talk to listen to off line, please click here.
At the start of our service we watched a Youtube clip called 'The Hardest Job in The World'. You can watch that by clicking here.
Today we are continuing our series; Way Truth Life. This we time we are looking at “Life in all its fullness”. So what is life in all its fullness, and how can we achieve it? Any of us can have that fullness of life snatched away.
Last year I was going through a very tough time getting squeezed from all directions. Family life and work was making me physically and psychologically ill. I knew I shouldn’t worry, I knew that I should trust God, I knew that I should rest and try to strengthen my faith. But knowing isn’t enough is it; you have to do something about it. Most of us may well experience something similar in our lives. We all experience knowing what to do but not doing it. For example dieting; you understand how it works. But knowing isn’t enough is it; you have to do something about it.
Jesus tells a story to explaining that he comes from God the father and talk about being the one who brings life to the full. This is his purpose for us.
Today is Mother’s day. Most mothers do their best for their children.
They give them life and want that life to be full and satisfying. Both mothers and fathers usually want the best for their children. We don’t want them to be ill, sad or miserable. We want them to be all that they can be.
If we flawed human beings want life in all its fullness for our children, how much more would our heavenly father want that for all of us?
John, one of Jesus closest friends and followers wrote about this in his account of Jesus life. You can read this by clicking here.
I want to take us back to verse 9
This is a very nurturing picture.
Jesus saves us and leads us into pasture. He feeds and protects us. What is this full life that Jesus talks about here? Not wealth, fame, or possessions; these can often drain life from us. Jesus is talking about a life lived well that travels on into eternity. He demonstrated a full life confidant in the love of God. So many of us live diminished lives because we don’t know just how much we are loved. We may live with the sting of regret about the things that we have done or failed to do. We live with unforgiveness holding on to things others have done to us. Or perhaps we cannot forgive ourselves for something. We know that we are forgiven. But knowing isn’t enough is it; you have to do something about it. Maybe stuff in our past haunts us. Sometimes our upbringing leaves scars, and make us feel unworthy, useless or unloved. Maybe experiences at school or work make us feel diminished. All these things could leave us with the possibility that our lives are not lived to the full. Instead we stagger through life. Most of us crave to be loved, to feel secure, or to be of significance. This is what Jesus offers all of us this. When we feel these things then our lives become full. God loves us, he gives us security and significance.
The next few verses help us to understand how this works a bit more.
Jesus talks over and over again about laying down his life for us so that we can enjoy that fullness of life. He takes the consequence of our failures on himself and releases us. His death buys our life. Why does Jesus lay down his life for us, because he loves us? He loves us enough to go through the pain and agony of torture and execution so that we don’t have to. He cleans away our sin. The Father loves us, the son Jesus loves us and the Spirit of God loves us and together they do all that is necessary for us to live life to the full no matter our circumstances, our age, or our past.
God gives us a full life that goes on to eternity.
So how did I recover from feeling desperate about life last autumn?
Practically there was not much I could do to change the circumstances. But what I could do I did? I asked lots of people to pray for me. And in the dead of night when negative thought assailed me I chose to think of the way God loves me and those I was worrying about. I stopped focussing on the stuff I couldn’t change and focussed on God. I worked at my relationship with him.
Verse 10 says this; 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy;
I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
You may know that you are not living life to the full. It is probably because it is being stolen from you. We have to take hold of the life that Jesus has bought for us and not allow it to be stolen from us. It is a choice. Choose life.
Questions and Reflections (for you to think about on your own or to discuss in your Life Group)
Read John 10: 7-18 over a few times
1. What is it from this story that strikes you? What word phrase or idea?
Why do you think that is?
2. What would life in all its fullness look like to you?
3. What for you is it that the thief comes to steal and destroy?
4. Are there experiences in your past that can sometimes have the power to adversely affect your relationship with God? What are they and what can you do about them? What do you think Jesus would want you to do about them?
5. Do you find it hard to believe that God can love you? If so why and what do you think that you can do about this?
6. Do you sometimes struggle to forgive or to know that you are forgiven? What does Jesus tell you about this?
7. If you are living a full life can you see ways in which you may be able to help those that are struggling?