There is a board game entitled “Life”. It brings with it a certain set of boundaries and rules for a successful life. The game has a starting point and a path that will lead you through the life, ending in retirement. The journey is dictated more by chance than it does the choices that you make. With each spin of the wheel you travel the path predetermined for your journey, following each direction you find when landing on a certain square. You begin your life with $10,000, a car, and a set of cards that will determine your education level, pay, and secrets that will be unveiled in retirement. You make purchases and borrow money from the bank that must be repaid by the time you reach retirement with interest. Retirement is at Millionaire Estates or Countryside Acres, but to be the winner of life you must create the greatest net worth by retirement.
Real life involves more than the spinning of a wheel, following predetermined direction, and creating wealth. Simply put, Life is hard! Real people are involved not plastic pegs stuck in a plastic car. I have yet to see an orange square under my feet, “buy a better home, draw a new home deed”. If only we had that option, have you ever said to God, “Just tell me what to do.” We make choices every day, but a single decision may alter your direction but often we find that a series of decisions have led us to our current situation.
Life can also be full of joy and peace. Speaking with my brother and sister-in-law just this week, we reminisced over a certain decade that brought us so much happiness. Our family life was so fulfilling as we made a special effort to come together for one purpose, just to see each other. Our church friends were of one mind and we pushed each other into a stronger relationship with Jesus. Work was steady with promotions and pay raises. Is life today just that much harder, or did we create memories minus the distractions and pain?
John 10:10 New Living Translation
The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.
Some translations read, “Abundant Life”. Rich, Satisfying, or Abundant, I want that type of life. We read and admire those who have made their billions, but do riches bring satisfaction that leads to worthy abundance. We know of several wealthy founders that left their companies to start a life of philanthropy. They found wealth, power, fame, but did it bring satisfaction? Jesus is promising a life that is rich and satisfying, an abundant life.
Maybe these last two blogs come at a time when I have celebrated my 61st birthday and my wonderful marriage of 37 years to the best wife a husband could dream of. For me, Life is closer to the end than when I started all those years ago. I am blessed, please do not misunderstand my writing today. You reach an age when you want to know, “Have I served my purpose and done all I can? Am I living my best life, an abundant life that is rich and satisfying?”
Psalm 37: 3-5 New Living Translation
Trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this:
What does the human heart desire? The very thing it cannot contain! A selfish world that revolves around us, without limits. This type of life is not satisfying. We can only understand satisfaction as we fight through struggles. An uncontained life will always desire more, believing that satisfaction can be found in taking another…
In Psalms I see David writing about doing good and enjoying safe pasture. When we think of a pasture our mind may imagine barriers that keep us corralled. When we trust Him and commit our ways to Him, then yes, we will have boundaries. Not to punish but boundaries that allow us the desires of our Godly heart.
John 14: 5-6 New Living Translation
“No, we don’t know, Lord,” Thomas said. “We have no idea where you are going, so how can we know the way?” Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.
Thomas wants Jesus to place one of those orange squares from the game of life in front of him and give him direction to the ultimate path. He and the twelve did not understand where the journey would take them. They still believed that overthrowing the Roman Government would bring Riches, Abundance and Satisfaction. Jesus has a pasture for us that is so much bigger than one government! Our minds limit us, whereas Jesus is thinking eternal. He is the Way, the Truth, and the LIFE!
John 10: 14-19 New Living Translation
“I am the good shepherd; I know my own sheep, and they know me, just as my Father knows me and I know the Father. So I sacrifice my life for the sheep.
Jesus provided a rich, satisfying, and abundant life, by dying on a cross. I know, it sounds crazy that life can come from death. Jesus is our perfect sacrifice and he allowed it to happen out of His abundance of enriching love that will allow satisfaction in our relationship with The Father.
Life is not a board game driven by a spinning wheel of chance. Life is best enjoyed when we are connected to the creator who died for us. He will guide us into the path that leads to life. If we choose to deny ourselves than we can find that Rich, Satisfying life.
True life begins at the Cross.