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  • Writer's pictureJane Wheeler

What if...

I heard a statement in a song on the radio and it made me sad. It basically stated that God has saved us and we get to go to heaven and they couldn’t wait.

It gave me such a heavy heart because if that is all that God has given us, I would find that rather boring. It does not make sense to me that I get to sit here for the rest of my life, tapping my toe and waiting to go to heaven to start to “live.”

Is that what Jesus said?

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” John 10:10

These are the words of Jesus. No where do I find that Jesus says, just sit, wait and hold on, the good stuff is coming some day. (yes there is good stuff but that is not all there is)

No where do I see that Jesus says – there is nothing to enjoy now.

Jesus’ words give us an amazing promise that we can have life to the full, abundant, rich, over flowing….. Now.

Let’s analyze, who is the thief? Most of us would pop right up with the famous answer “satan”.  Is he a thief, bent on destruction? Absolutely, that is his job description.

However, I think perhaps there is a broader meaning – the thief is anything that steals our abundant life away. Let me throw this one out there… social media, tv, video games. How many of you looked a little sheepish when you read that. I did when I wrote it!

Yesterday I heard that there was a Facebook shut down for a number of hours. Apparently it caused anxiety in a lot of people worldwide. If you think about that, it is pretty sad that a social media platform caused such anxiety. What ever did we do before we had it?  My phone, I confess, often takes a good number of hours out of my day. It is almost like it “robs” me of time and when I look at it, I was honestly doing “nothing”.

There are other life robbers as well, our work if we work to the excess, how about “control or perfection”. If we let our need for “control” over every circumstance in our life take over, it soon takes over us. We are almost slaves to the “control” state.

Perfection on the other hand, is a state of never to be… you see none of us is perfect and this addiction to be that person, will ruin your life and possibly the life of those around you.

There is a never-ending list of things you have to do and don’t do, living this way. To be honest, in North America a lot of us grew up in an environment of the do’s and don’ts. There were so many rules to follow and some of them were very necessary. But we became “rule followers” to the point where it took the fun out and put the judgement of others in.

Unfortunately in some families it was and still is, you must be good enough, follow the rules to be loved and fit in, we long to be loved and we strive to prove we are good enough to be loved. We often view God the same.

It is not new, there has been extensive lists of what you should and should not do for thousands of years and in fact the Top 10 are named as the 10 Commandants, these are necessary for life! The Bible has a list of rules 613 Jewish rules that the people needed to follow, God gave them the rules.

What if I told you that there is no one who could actually maintain those 613 rules? You were often breaking a few daily. The rules were to show people that they actually needed help, possibly someone to save them, a Savior to live up to the expectations of God.

These rules cause us to strive to be “good enough” to earn our way to the heart of God and our fellow man. It is a useless battle.

Here is the thinker for the week, compliments of Pastor Amy at my church, Beaverlodge Alliance:

“Our relationship with our Heavenly Father sometimes looks like us trying to live life earning points from someone who isn’t even keeping score.”

This way of trying to earn points is sucking all the joy out of us because we do not know if we are good enough, if we are going to make it, do I have enough points, is it even possible?  What a load of pressure!

The really good news is that God loved you before you were good enough, there is nothing you can do to earn more of God’s love, even if you “blow it” and stumble, God will love you the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.

“But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8

You heard that correctly, God cannot possibly love you more than you are loved at this exact moment. Are you a Christian = God loves you. Are you a non Christian = God loves you. God loves His children, ALL of them. Black ones, white ones, brown ones, pink and polka dotted ones. He loves His children. God is about people, God is for people, God is for you.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son….” John 3:16 God so loved the whole world, not just a few, not just the ones we think deserve it.

What would this world be like if we could honestly believe we are loved by our God, no striving, no score keeping, no living like we are not good enough, what if we lived like we were loved by the Creator of the world right now at this time, in this moment?

Now that truly is something to strive for.

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