Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Are you really ALIVE?


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


All who ever come before Jesus claiming to announce life apart from faith in Him cannot make themselves the door of the sheep. Actually they are thieves and robbers—whether they are priestly rulers, religious politicians whose hands have been dirtied ever since the time of the Maccabees, or those eager for power and recognition, claiming to be "the Messiah," leading the people astray with false promises, selfishly preying on them, dividing and robbing them. But the sheep have not heard these confusing, alien voices.

So when Jesus says, "The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy," He is speaking to those who are standing before Him at this very moment. They have betrayed their calling to be spiritual leaders in the very way they have thrown out this one who has been healed, and in so doing have rejected the One who has healed him. Their motives to steal and destroy have been unmasked.

The church in every age has had to deal with those who try to crawl over the fence to take over the flock, claiming to be the door. In our day of anxiety and confusion, we confront everything from Eastern mysticism and "thought control" to the Unification Church and the Bahais; they are false prophets promising life, but in the end bringing death.

But with Jesus, there is life abundant. Those who enter by Him "will be saved" (John 10:9). They are given wholeness as they join the other sheep in the fold. Here they live in liberty, freely going "in and out," led by the One to whom they belong. They have heard the Shepherd call their names. And they are satisfied, for He provides "pasture." He shares with them the abundance of His own life.


In contrast to the thief who takes life, Jesus gives life. The life he gives right now is abundantly rich and full. It is eternal, yet it begins immediately. Life in Christ is lived on a higher plane because of his overflowing forgiveness, love, and guidance.

A couple of years ago Captain Sullenberger successfully landed a jet airplane in the Hudson River. All 155 passengers survived. It’s known as “The Miracle on the Hudson.” A reporter asked one passenger what he thought about it all. He was soaking wet, freezing cold, a little bit frazzled, but he had this incredible glow about him, an excitement in his voice as he said “I was alive before, but now I’m really alive.”

My question today is, “Are you really alive?” Are you passionate about the life God has given you? Do you get up every morning with enthusiasm, pursuing your dreams? God doesn’t want you to just “be alive” or just exist or endure. He wants you to be really alive! There is something more for you to accomplish. Get excited about what God is doing! Lift up your eyes of faith to Him. Keep praying, keep hoping, keep dreaming, keep believing, keep trusting and keep living because God has a wonderful plan in store for you!


"Lord, I want to thank You for making me alive in Christ! I declare that Jesus is my Lord and Savior, and because He died for me, I can live the abundant life here on earth. Help me stay focused on You this day and live with the enthusiasm that comes from knowing You in Jesus’ name. Help me to be aware that the enemy of my soul comes to steal, kill and destroy, but Jesus You have come to make me ALIVE. Help me live the life You planned for me. In Jesus' name, amen."