John 10:10 (AMP) has been a favorite Scripture for me for many years now. It says, "The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance [to the full, till it overflows]."
This verse opened my eyes to the truth that Jesus gave His life so I could have a good life now, here in this world, and not just when I go to heaven someday. But the question was: How can I actually have abundant life in Christ?
There were many years when I was a Christian, yet I struggled and strived much of the time to live the way Jesus teaches us to live in God's Word. I saw in 2 Corinthians 5:17 and 21 that I had become a new creation and was the righteousness of God in Christ, but there were still many things about me that needed to change.
Honestly, I was a mess! I was insecure, unhappy most of the time and hard to get along with. My father had abused me for years when I was growing up, and it had caused a lot of damage in my soul—my mind, will and emotions.
But when I saw that God wanted me to actually enjoy my daily life and have it "in abundance [to the full, till it overflows]," it gave me hope that there was more for me through my faith in Christ. And it was possible by His grace.
Grace, Grace and More Grace
A common definition for grace is "God's undeserved favor"—something God does for us that we don't deserve and can't earn. But it's also power to become more like Jesus and live in a way that shows His love to the world.
Ephesians 2:8 (ESV) says, "For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God." I understood that salvation—the forgiveness of my sins—was a gift that was given to me by God's grace. What I didn't know was that His grace is also the source of power to change and live right.
James 4:6 (AMPC) says, "But He gives us more and more grace (power of the Holy Spirit, to meet this evil tendency and all others fully). That is why He says, God sets Himself against the proud and haughty, but gives grace [continually] to the lowly (those who are humble enough to receive it)."
The same way we come into a personal relationship with Christ—by grace through faith—is the same way we must live after we're born again if we want to have the life Jesus died for us to have. And He gives "more and more grace" as we need it, so it doesn't matter what we've been through, what we've done, where we come from or whether we got a good start in life.
The power of God can work in our lives to bring healing, restoration and transformation to our souls, giving us the freedom to fulfill our God-given destiny!
There's No 'Case' That's Too Hard for God
Sometimes people ask, "If I'm a new creation in Christ, then why am I still doing wrong things and failing to measure up to the life Jesus teaches us to live in the Bible?" They may feel they are a "special case" because of something that has happened to them or something they've done.
It's easy to discount yourself and think, You don't understand my situation. After everything that's happened, I can never be healthy and whole. And after years of sexual, emotional and physical abuse at the hand of my father, I understand that feeling.
But God's love for you is greater than your mistakes, failures and any hurt you've experienced from what others have done to you. His grace can work in your life, transforming you into the person He created you to be.
I know this is true from personal experience. Learning how to live by grace through faith in Christ has literally transformed my life! Now I have real peace, joy, contentment and fulfillment in my everyday life. It's truly amazing to live this way.
You can have this abundant life in Christ, too. Make a decision to diligently seek Him ... spend time with Him in prayer and Bible study. Ask Him to help you live by grace, and He will meet you where you are and show you the way. God cares deeply for you, and He wants you to succeed in having the life He's created you to live.
Joyce Meyer is a New York Times best-selling author and founder of Joyce Meyer Ministries, Inc. She has authored 100 books, including Battlefield of the Mind and Get Your Hopes Up! (Hachette). She hosts the Enjoying Everyday Life radio and TV programs, which air on hundreds of stations worldwide. For more information, visit www.joycemeyer.org.
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