Devotions to help you live out your faith


Embrace Life

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” Jesus, John 10:10 NIV
Jesus came in order to give us life in all its fullness. He did not come to save us that we would merely wait until heaven to start enjoying life. He wants us to enjoy life now, here, on earth. So often people have this perception of Christians as kind of dull, boring people who don’t know how to party, disapprove of all the fun stuff and just hang out in their little church huddles singing old hymns written hundreds of years ago. We need to challenge that misconception. We need to show people a life worth living, a life worth being a part of, a life in all its fullness.
At the start of this new year, resolve to live life to the full. Resolve to live a life that draws others in. A life that inspires others to get along side you in what you are doing. And through doing so provides opportunities for you to show them the love of Christ and share the Gospel message with them.

What does life to the full look like? It means doing more of the things you love. God gives each of us passions, and He gives them to us for a reason. If you have a passion for art, God wants you to use that passion to give glory to Him through your artistic abilities. And that doesn’t mean every piece of art you create has to feature a cross on it. Don’t feel you have to do something more “holy” with your time. Yes things like Bible reading and prayer are important, time spent at church services and Bible studies are vital, but they shouldn’t occupy your every free minute. As Martin Luther once said, “God writes the Gospel not in the Bible alone, but also on trees, and in the flowers and clouds and stars.” Get out there and enjoy the world God created, and encounter him out there.
Go and climb a mountain and enjoy the scenery God has created. Take a trip to a history museum and be amazed at the array of different cultures of people, all made in God’s image. Spend some time sitting under the night sky marvelling at the majesty of the One who breathes out stars (Psalm 33:6). Find opportunities to hang out with friends doing meaningful epic things (not just watching a movie…) and seek out ways to speak words of encouragement into their lives (“So encourage each other and build each other up” 1 Thessalonians 5:11). Embrace life. Get out there. Live a little. Do things that fill you with joy (Paul commands us in 1 Thessalonians 5:16 to “always be joyful”). Enjoy the good things God has created – he made them for us to enjoy the pleasure they bring, not for us to deny ourselves – as one of my favourite verses in The Message translation says “if you eat meat, eat it to the glory of God and thank God for prime rib” (Romans 14:6 MSG) And in all things live “a life of goodness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. If you serve Christ with this attitude, you will please God. And other people will approve of you, too” Romans 14:17-18.
Make 2013 a year when you embrace life. When you do epic things, to the glory of God. When you say no to apathy. When you say yes to your passions. When you use the talents God has given you. A year when you pour out love in the relationships you have with friends and family members. When you seek the majesty of God in all His creation. A year when you are known for your joy. When you encounter Christ like never before. A year where you live out life in all its fullness. At the start of this new year, choose to make it a year when you will resolve to embrace life.
{Erin this one’s for you }