A fulfilled life?
Jesus made it clear that he had come so that those who accept him can live full lives. He said: "I have come so that they can have abundant life" (John 10,10). I ask you: "What is a fulfilled life?" Only when we know what life is like in full can we judge whether the promise of Jesus Christ is actually true. If we only look at this question from the point of view of the physical aspect of life, the answer to it is fairly simple and it would probably be basically the same regardless of where we live or where we live. Good health, strong family ties, good friendships, a sufficient income, interesting, challenging and successful work, recognition by others, a say, variety, healthy food, sufficient rest or leisure fun would certainly be mentioned.
If we changed our perspective and looked at life from a biblical perspective, the list would look very different. Life goes back to a Creator, and although it initially refused humanity to live in close relationship with it, it loves people and has a plan to bring them back to their Heavenly Father. This promised plan to divine salvation is revealed to us in the story of God's dealings with us humans. The work of his son Jesus Christ has paved the way back to him. This includes the overshadowing promise of eternal life, which we lead together with him in intimate father-child relationship.
The priorities that define our lives are significantly influenced by the Christian perspective, and our definition of a fulfilled life also looks completely different.
At the top of our list would probably be a reconciled relationship with God, as well as the hope of eternal life, the forgiveness of our sins, the purity of our conscience, a clear sense of purpose, the participation in God's purpose here and now, the reflection of the divine Nature in the imperfection of this world, as well as touching our fellow human beings with God's love. The spiritual aspect of a fulfilled life triumphs over the desire for complete physical-physical fulfillment.
Jesus said: "Whoever wants to keep his life will lose it; and whoever loses his life for my sake and for the gospel will keep it. After all, what does it do to help people win the whole world and damage their souls? » (Mark 8,35-36). So you could book all the points on the first list for yourself and still lose eternal life - life would be wasted. If, on the other hand, you can book the items on the second list for yourself, your life, even if you do not see yourself blessed with everyone on the first list, will be crowned with great success in the very essence of the word.
We know from the Old Testament that God was closely related to the tribes of Israel. He affirmed them through a covenant that he made with them on Mount Sinai. It included a commitment to obey his commandments and blessings in the event of obedience or curses that they would receive from disobedience (5th Mo 28; 3th Mo 26). The blessings promised to follow compliance with the covenant were largely material in nature - healthy cattle, good harvests, victories over enemies of the state or, in due season, rain.
But Jesus came to make a new covenant based on his sacrificial death on the cross. This was linked to promises that went far beyond the physical blessings of "health and prosperity", which was promised by the Old Covenant concluded on Mount Sinai. The New Covenant has “better promises” (Hebrews 8,6), which include the gift of eternal life, the forgiveness of sins, the gift of the Holy Spirit who works within us, a close father-child relationship with God, and more. These promises hold eternal blessings for us - not just for this life, but for all time.
"The fulfilled life" that Jesus offers you is much richer and more profound than a good life in the here and now. We all want to live a good life in this world - no one would seriously prefer the pain to well-being! Seen from a different perspective and judged from a distance, it becomes clear that your life can only find meaning and purpose in spiritual riches. Jesus remains true to his word. He promises you «true life in its fullness» - and now lets it be yours.
by Gary Moore