Jesus said in John 10:10, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (NIV) One version of the Bible puts it this way, “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.” (NKJV) One of my favorite versions of the Bible words it like this, “A thief is only there to steal and kill and destroy. I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of.” We find within that verse two different purpose statements:
Satan’s purpose: to steal and kill and destroy.
Jesus’ purpose: to give a real eternal life that is abundantly full and more and better than you ever dreamed of! Satan wants to steal, kill and destroy everything good in your life, including your life. Ultimately leaving you nothing to celebrate. Jesus wants to give you a real eternal life, an abundantly full life, a more and better life than you ever dreamed of. Ultimately leading to the celebration of all celebrations! It is only in Jesus that we experience this life of celebration. How do we celebrate life in Jesus?
May I suggest three ways:
By Loving God… When we fall madly in love with God we begin to celebrate life. Problems still arise. We still deal with all the trash of this life. However, we have a brand new perspective. We have a new passion…for God! God desires to have a close, intimate relationship with each and everyone of us. He is just waiting for us to desire the same thing with him.
By Loving People… We cannot celebrate life when we are focused on ourselves. Self-centered people are the most miserable people on the planet. Albert Schweitzer put it this way; “The only ones among you who will be truly happy are those who will have sought and found how to serve.” When we are fully engaged in loving the people around us we do not have time to bicker, argue and complain. We only have time to serve and celebrate what God is doing in us and through us.
By Growing Together… John Maxwell tells of an African tribe that puts this curse on people they want to punish: “May you stay in one place forever.” If you are the same person at 45 years old as you were at 25 years old then you have wasted 20 years of your life. The only way to continue to celebrate life is to keep growing. Become a life long learner. Never stop growing. Find some way to keep growing. Read books, take classes, keep a journal of the life lessons you have learned, ask older wiser people to share some of their knowledge with you. Keep growing! in the words of Bob Dylan, “He not busy being born is busy dying.”
At New Castle Christian Church we have actually made this our purpose statement: Celebrate life by loving God, loving people and growing together in Jesus! We do not believe there is any better use of our time than that.
Lead Minister of New Castle Christian Church.