but here's what does.
"THE THIEF COMES ONLY TO STEAL AND KILL AND DESTROY; I HAVE COME THAT THEY MAY HAVE LIFE, AND HAVE IT TO THE FULL." — JOHN 10:10
Growing up, Barbie was life.
In my Barbie pretend world, I imagined and played out my future life. I had an awesome house (paid off, of course), a sweet convertible, the most fashionable clothes, whatever boss-lady career I felt like doing at the moment, and even a pool. In my young mind, my future awesome life revolved around having cool stuff, looking good, and being successful. But here’s the wild thing: even though my grown up mind knows these things can’t fill me up, when I think about “the good life,” very similar images play through my mind like: a new kitchen, a new car (doesn’t have to be a pink convertible, just a fresh paint job would be nice), success in my job, and a sweet wardrobe. I know this isn’t the good life I truly long for, but what is the REAL good life, and just exactly how do I get it?
The good life is so much more.
The good life (or life to the full) is exactly what Jesus is offering us in our verse. But he’s not talking about having the coolest stuff or a successful job—he’s talking about something so much bigger and better than those superficial things, where all that stuff moves to the periphery (where they belong). You see, Jesus isn’t offering us things, he’s offering us himself. When we are known, valued, and secure in the love of Jesus, we truly have the good life we long for.
The good life is being known and loved.
Unlike my plastic Barbie pretend world, real-life humans can’t be satisfied with mere stuff. We long to have deep, meaningful relationships—to be known and loved. This is one aspect of the good life Jesus promises is found in him. In John 10, he uses a shepherding metaphor to paint an increasingly intimate picture of the Good Shepherd’s (Jesus’s) relationship with his sheep (his people). He starts by saying, “the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out” (John 10:3). In other words, Jesus knows his people, calls them by name, and leads them to life. Then Jesus further expands on this by saying, “I know my sheep and my sheep know me—just as the Father knows me and I know the Father” (John 10:14-15). Jesus likens his intimacy with his people to his relationship with the Father—the most intimate relationship ever. No love has ever been more patient, more kind, more selfless, more close, or more fully reciprocated than the love the Trinity has for one another, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. And no relationship has ever been more unified or more satisfying than theirs. Do you hear what Jesus is saying here? He’s saying, “my relationship with you is like that.” What more could we want than the full, pure, loving intimacy of Jesus? This is the good life—being known and loved like that.
The good life is being valued.
In Jesus’s metaphor, all the selfish enemies of the sheep only value the sheep by what they’re able to gain from them (read more about the enemies of the sheep here). But not the shepherd. The shepherd is selfless. The shepherd cares for his sheep. He protects his sheep. He leads them into the safety of the sheep pen. And when the wolf comes to devour the sheep, the shepherd exchanges his own life for theirs (John 10:11). Here is the wonder of the gospel: that the supreme Son of God, worthy of all our praise and worship and service, humbled himself to serve and save us. This is the marvelously good life—being valued, far beyond what we could have hoped for, by Jesus.
The good life is secure.
There are other things I could point out about the good life, but I have just one more I couldn’t pass up on. The good life Jesus offers us is forever secure. He says, “I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand” (John 10:28). The world promises the good life only for right now (a promise it can’t even make good on), but Jesus promises us a full life not just now, but for all eternity—a life that will never spoil, perish, or fade. We are safe in his strong hands. He tells us that no one, NO one, can ever snatch us from him. We are his and he is ours. Period. The good life he offers is secure.
The good life is for you!
If you're reading this and wondering how you get this good life that Jesus offers, let me encourage you that it’s shockingly simple. Jesus, the Good Shepherd, knows his sheep and calls them by name. If you hear him calling you, you merely need to respond to his call and follow him. It’s just that simple. Come as you are, confess your sin, and you will find a Savior who knows you and loves you, who values you and is safe. He laid down his life to give you the good life, life with him.
What ways are you trying to live the “good life” without Jesus?
How can you more fully walk in the good life that Jesus offers?
If you’ve never embraced Jesus and believed his promise of giving you life to the full, maybe today is the day to set some time aside and consider it. Pray that Jesus would tear down any barrier, move in your heart, answer your fears or doubts, and help you see what he’s offering you. And of course, we’d love to be a resource, if we can help in any way!
Thanks for reading,
Meet Natalie,Dwell co-founder
Hi there, I'm Natalie. I'm so glad you're here. I'd love to connect with you and hear more about what God is doing in your life!
ON THE PODCAST
A Warning and an Offer // Natalie Abbott & Vera Schmitz
If somebody were going to look in on your life today and make a list of how you spent your time, what would that tell them about you? Where are you looking for peace and rest today? Listen in as Vera and Natalie, co-founders of Dwell Differently, talk about John 10:10, encouraging us to experience fullness of life and abundance in Jesus by choosing to follow him and listen to his voice.