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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Acts 21:10, 11 Several days later a man named Agabus, who also had the gift of prophecy, arrived from Judea. He came over, took Paul’s belt, and bound his own feet and hands with it. Then he said, “The Holy Spirit declares, ‘So shall the owner of this belt be bound by the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem and turned over to the Gentiles.’” (NLT)
Acts 20:33-35 “I have never coveted anyone’s silver or gold or fine clothes. You know that these hands of mine have worked to supply my own needs and even the needs of those who were with me. And I have been a constant example of how you can help those in need by working hard. You should remember the words of the Lord Jesus: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” (NLT)
Acts 18:9, 10 One night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision and told him, “Don’t be afraid! Speak out! Don’t be silent! For I am with you, and no one will attack and harm you, for many people in this city belong to me.” (NLT)
1 Kings 19:11-13 “Go out and stand before me on the mountain,” the LORD told him. And as Elijah stood there, the LORD passed by, and a mighty windstorm hit the mountain. It was such a terrible blast that the rocks were torn loose, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake there was a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire there was the sound of a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. And a voice said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” (NLT)