The Full Life

Kenyan_XC_SkierPaul writes in Galatians 5:1, “for freedom Christ has set us free…” and Jesus himself says, “… I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10). Contrast that with perhaps the most central theme of the book of Galatians: the Law of Moses (i.e. what we do) cannot give life; God Himself is the only true source of life.

But what does this really mean? Certainly God created every one of us, and everything in this universe. So in that way He is the source of life. But the curse of sin has resulted in death and an eventual end to our lives on this earth. The good news is that God, in His providential plan to redeem the world, has provided a way back to life (eternal life even) through the sacrifice of His son Jesus.

If we consider ourselves children of God, we are freed from the finality of death and we are freed from the oppression of trying to earn God’s favor. But it is so much more than that!

God desires that we have life to the full. This only happens when our will aligns with God’s will and we live according to the purpose for which we were created. The Westminster Shorter Catechism states we were created to “glorify God and enjoy Him forever.”

I was reminded the other day of watching highly successful Kenyan distance runners who had switched sports and participated in a cross country ski race in the Winter Olympics. These runners were not familiar with how to use cross country skis and eventually fell so far behind that they tried to move forward by jogging with their skis still attached. This did not work well. The Kenyans were not experiencing the blessings intended by the ski manufacturers because they were not using the skis as designed.

In the same way, we experience the fullness of life when we live as we were created to live. There are all kinds of promises that bombard us daily about what we need to have a satisfying life: possessions, entertainment, social status, and the list could go on. But in the end even Solomon in all his wealth and achievement concluded in Ecclesiastes that it was all meaningless. I was challenged recently to trust God in everything. For me, this includes trusting that the things of this world are empty and meaningless compared to knowing God (how can we enjoy Him if we don’t know Him) and living in such a way that brings God glory. This is what we were created for.

Naturally, we might wonder what this looks like. Our North American culture makes us keenly aware and interested in how we as individuals should react. But as we contemplate where we as individuals need to re-align our hearts, mind and body closer to God’s intent for us, let’s not forget that God has entered into covenant with people collectively. In addition to our personal responsibility, we have a responsibility to seek a full life free from slavery on behalf of our community.

Let’s go and seek to experience the sweetness of trusting in Jesus both for ourselves and our world.

~Kyle C.

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