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  • Joyce Heinrich

Abundant Life in Christ (John 10:10)

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” —John 10:10

In these very few, deft and defining words, the Lord Jesus describes a life with Him and one without. If we follow Jesus Christ as God and Savior, He becomes to us an abundant fount of life while we live on this earth, and He will give us the perfect, abundant life in heaven! It was His self-confessed purpose and goal. If we deny Him as Lord and Savior, we are doomed to suffer the wiles of Satan whose complete agenda is to steal, to kill and to destroy.

What a riveting, stark contrast lies before each of us to consider. On one side sorrowful, terrifying torture, devoid of hope or joy—on the other, full, complete, God-assisted living now, and exhilarating, glorious life eternal with our beloved Christ Jesus.

Jesus claims in this verse that He will give us an abundant life. Have you ever noticed that it’s true? Have you understood that He can hardly do otherwise, for everything about our God is abundant? Everything!

What He has created:

  1. Vast reaches of space

  2. Complexities of the human body, and of all animal life

  3. Enormity of the world and its precarious balance that guarantees life can exist

How He attends us:

  1. Abundant love—He loved us even to and beyond His death.

  2. Abundant forgiveness—He not only forgives our sins, but forgives even our innate iniquity. He promises and demonstrates constant presence with us.

  3. Abundant life—For He opens His hand and satisfies every need of the believer and He takes us to glory forever at death.

The hope He has given us:

  1. The hope of life with Jesus Christ after death—forever!

  2. The hope of seeing again all the saints we have known and here—and to know them made perfect!

  3. The hope we have of His assistance for every challenge we encounter here on earth.

We could add millions of blessings and advantages to the list above of what it means to live an abundant life in Christ. But maybe sharing with you an event that happened to me would be a good graphic to help us see God at work in providing us an abundant life.

I was paying bills in the dining room—my oldest 2 children were in the basement playroom, and the baby—just learning to walk—was in her “walker” (a round scooter for little ones to sit in and make it go by walking it around). My 4-year-old came up from the playroom with a question and then went back downstairs to play. I called out to her that her sister was in the walker so to be sure to close the door behind her.

But being a 4-year-old, she forgot to do it, and I heard the walker heading in the direction of the stairs. I jumped up, dropped the pen and ran to the basement door. In frozen horror I saw my baby, still in the walker now upside down in the air, gravity pulling her down head-first to the un-carpeted stairs. Then, without any rational explanation, the walker changed its course and appeared to be pushed sideways through the open space below the banister and then deposited–still head-first–in a toy box full of stuffed animals. I ran to her, pulled up the walker and grabbed her in a sobbing embrace…she wasn’t at all rattled. No bruises, no cuts, not even tears. God had held her in perfect peace.

When I read John 10:10 now, I see it all in this unforgettable moment. The infamous thief, Satan, had come to steal, to kill and to destroy. But he was too late. For the Lord Jesus had already saved my soul—so Christ was with me and my little one. Whether it was an angel that pushed her through to safety or our Lord’s hand, I don’t know. I saw nothing except the moving walker. But I saw the Lord’s order fulfilled to deny the force of gravity and save my little daughter. Jesus Christ fulfilled His word in this passage and gave me an abundance of help and deliverance, part of His plan for my abundant life in Christ.

Please do not think that I believe we always get a happy ending; there is a good deal of struggle and pain in life. Sometimes God—even though we belong to Him—does not order preservation. I know. I lost my husband 19 years ago. But His care for me without my Bob has been absolutely abundant. There is no better descriptor than the word “Abundant” to explain how He has provided for me and kept company with me. If we are His, we will have an abundant life in Christ! And if we have no part in Christ, we know that disaster is ahead without the saving and abundant help of our Lord.

Oh, dear Christian brothers and sisters, such a God we have! What a joy to come awake each morning into the awareness of His abundant presence in us and with us! Praise God from whom all blessings flow!


For Reflection

  1. Tell of a time when God intervened in your lives, and describe the difference it made for you.

  2. Share answers to your prayers to the Lord, and give Him belated thanks!

  3. Talk about the differences between the thief and Jesus given in John 10:10. What will it be like to be the Christ acceptor? Or the Christ rejector?

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