10:10 “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”
John 10:10 (ESV)
Jesus contrasts His shepherd-like care to a thief who only seeks to steal, kill and destroy. The world and its false leaders will want to steal your joy, peace and contentment in Christ.
The devil will always try to derail a person who is being led by the Spirit and living a life to the full as Jesus intended. He can be subtle going about it, too. Perhaps he will try to steal our personal time with God, or destroy our relationship with our teammates, friends and family, all in order to rob us of the life Jesus came to bring.
There are few things more infuriating in sport than unsportsmanlike players, especially when they seem to get away with playing dirty. Satan is such a player, he will try to make you trip in your walk with the Lord by any means necessary.
Thankfully for us, there is a “but.” Jesus says He has come to give life to the full. We are on the winning team, with the best team captain possible!
We could be tempted to think that life to the full means full of victories and achievements, but that is not the case. Jesus is talking about what is left when everything else is taken away — Him.
The life Jesus gives is abundant and overflowing in quality. This abundant life isn’t necessarily long, pain-free or successful in accordance with earthly standards. It is, however, successful in Christ.
Jesus is talking about a spiritually fulfilled life that finds contentment in Him alone. Come what may, Jesus will be our main source of peace, joy and hope.
This gift of abundant life should be used to bring honor and credit to the Giver of life. Whether that is through sport, personal relationships or academics, the life we have been gifted should honor God and overflow into the lives of those around us.
Reflect: Athlete, are you experiencing a life to the full? Is your life so full of the Spirit you can pour into others? Has Satan’s dirty playing pushed you to match his tactics?