Daily D – John 10:10
The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life. JOHN 10:10 (NLT)
Our black dog is half border collie and half Labrador retriever. She loves it when we go to our son-in-law’s family lake house. It does not take her long to jump out of the car and into the water. She swims, she runs and plays with the other dogs, she watches for squirrels, and she naps in the shade. Often this means lying on the table on the porch. She likes to sit up high so that she can enjoy a commanding position to view all the goings-on around her.
Our daughter observed all this a few weeks ago and said, “Millie is living her best life.” Indeed.
How would you describe your best life? What does a life of maximum expression look like to you?
From Genesis to Revelation we read how God prepares us for the best and provides all we need to enjoy our best life now. Adam and Eve had all they could want. In the most well-known chapter of the Psalms, we read, “The LORD is my shepherd; I have all that I need,” (Ps. 23:1). Jesus said to “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need,” (Matt. 6:33). Is this the truth, or is this a bait-and-switch scheme? Is there a catch?
There is no catch.
God’s purpose for me is better than my purpose for myself. There is no better way than God’s way. There is no self-improvement better than God’s perfecting work. Nothing I could ever desire could be greater than what God wants to provide for me.
Dallas Willard’s books make us think deeply. They almost require second readings. Life Without Lack is primarily about Psalm 23. This book has transformed my thinking about my needs and God’s provisions.
Think back a couple of paragraphs about your best life. How would your perception differ if you chose to look at life through the prism of God’s perspective and desires for you? What beautiful new shades of color and signs of deepest meaning appear? What if you focused more on those delights and less on the perceived burdens?
Jesus said he came to give you a rich and satisfying life. Why not try that for a while?
First, find out the kinds of things he wants for you. Hint: It is not the legalistic observance of rules. It is about experiencing and expressing the kind of love that gives and serves while seeking the highest good for others. It is simply amazing how often we discover our needs are most often met while we attempt to meet the needs of others.
Second, take a whole day and do those kinds of loving behaviors. Then give a whole week a try. Move on from there to a whole month. Keep going until leading with love is your default proposition.
I will live a rich and satisfying life.
Our Father, today has been filled with rich and satisfying relationships. We chatted with Mom who is celebrating her birthday. We enjoyed time with our son, his wife, and our granddaughter. We talked to our nearby daughter. The day was filled with meals, excursions, shared labor, and lots of laughter. Even the pouring rain could not dampen this day. Thank you for a rich and satisfying day. We look forward to rich and satisfying rest. Amen.
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Daily D – Psalm 143:8-10
Psalm 143:8-10 Let me hear of your unfailing love each morning, for I am trusting you. Show me where to walk, for I give myself to you. Rescue me from my enemies, Lord; I run to you to hide me. Teach me to do your will, for you are my God. May your gracious Spirit lead me forward on a firm footing.
Daily D – Psalm 142:5
Psalm 142:5 Then I pray to you, O Lord. I say, “You are my place of refuge. You are all I really want in life.”
Daily D – Ezra 3:11-13
Ezra 3:11-13 With praise and thanks, they sang this song to the Lord: “He is so good! His faithful love for Israel endures forever!” Then all the people gave a great shout, praising the Lord because the foundation of the Lord’s Temple had been laid. But many of the older priests, Levites, and other leaders who had seen the first Temple wept aloud when they saw the new Temple’s foundation. The others, however, were shouting for joy. The joyful shouting and weeping mingled together in a loud noise that could be heard far in the distance.
Daily D – 2 Chronicles 35:22-25
2 Chronicles 35:22-25 After Josiah had finished restoring the Temple, King Neco of Egypt led his army up from Egypt to do battle at Carchemish on the Euphrates River, and Josiah and his army marched out to fight him. But King Neco sent messengers to Josiah with this message: “What do you want with me, king of Judah? I have no quarrel with you today! I am on my way to fight another nation, and God has told me to hurry! Do not interfere with God, who is with me, or he will destroy you.” But Josiah refused to listen to Neco, to whom God had indeed spoken, and he would not turn back. Instead, he disguised himself and led his army into battle on the plain of Megiddo. But the enemy archers hit King Josiah with their arrows and wounded him. He cried out to his men, “Take me from the battle, for I am badly wounded!”
Daily D – 2 Chronicles 32:31
2 Chronicles 32:31 However, when ambassadors arrived from Babylon to ask about the remarkable events that had taken place in the land, God withdrew from Hezekiah in order to test him and to see what was really in his heart.