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Life Abundantly

In John 10:1-21, Jesus is talking about himself, the Good Shepherd, looking out for the Jews, his sheep. Sheep listen only to the shepherd’s voice and willingly obey. When wolves go in and try to snatch away sheep, a good shepherd won’t run away; he will fight to protect the sheep, even to death. The shepherd willingly lays down his life to protect his sheep. At the time, the people listening to Jesus didn’t understand what He meant, but we are blessed that we can find understanding in Jesus’ story.

As the Bible always does, this passage has much depth, shares encouragement, and gives warnings. But the verse that the Lord has allowed me to hold onto in this season is verse ten. I have known this verse for decades, but God’s grace has recently presented it to me again with new life.

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.

John 10:10

We know we are supposed to memorize scripture (Joshua 1:8; Psalm 119:9-11); we know we are to use scripture to fight our battles (Matthew 4:1-11); we know the word of God is powerful, living, and active (Hebrews 4:12). But if we know that, why don’t we always act like it?

I have always struggled with memorizing scripture continually and consistently, but I found an app (Fighter Verses) that helps me to memorize and review Bible verses (when I actually use it). John 10:10 is one of the verses I have saved in that app as memorized.

As someone who has ADHD and has struggled with anxiety and depression in the past, one of the Biblical truths that rings so strongly is to take every thought captive (2 Corinthians 10:4-6; Romans 12:1-2). Intrusive thoughts and lies can take over and cause you to dive into a tail spin if you don’t grab ahold of them and fight back with the Truth (Ephesians 6:10-18). Sometimes those thoughts are lies you tell yourself; sometimes they are lies that Satan is telling you.

Over the summer I had a moment of hopelessness, which is rare these days. God has given me a lot of peace that surpasses understanding these days, but I’m not invincible. Some moment of discouragement, lack of control over a situation, or disappointment took over my headspace and I felt that creeping hopelessness I used to feel often. But a lightbulb came on in the darkness, a sword (Ephesians 6:17), thanks be to God and His Holy Spirit within me. “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”

I knew in that moment that whatever words were going through my head were lies. I knew Satan wanted to steal, kill, and destroy. I knew that Jesus died so that I could live.

As these simple truths ran through my head, for the first time in a long time, or maybe ever, I was able to take that thought captive, fight it with Truth, and claim victory over it. Thanks be to God. What a victory!

It’s not that this verse makes me feel like I should have a happy, perfect life, filled with things I want and achievements I gain on my own. This verse reminds me that Jesus loves me, He gave up His life for me so that I could live in hope, even now, while I wait for someday in heaven with our King Jesus, truly living life abundantly, no more tears, no more pain (Revelation 21:1-7).

I hope this encourages you to memorize scripture to fight your battles, whether that battle is mental health or anger or discontentment or heartache or something else. I hope this verse reminds you that while Satan lives to steal from you, kill you, and destroy you, Jesus lives after giving up His life for yours, that you may have life and have it abundantly.

Published by Liz Davis

Liz Davis is a casual & inconsistent writer. Besides writing, her hobbies include house plants, gardening, decorating, traveling, and embroidery. She lives in Oklahoma with her husband and their pup.

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