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Abundant Life: It's a Wonderful Life (John 10:10)

By William Richard Ezell
Life is__________. Forrest Gump filled in the blank by saying: "Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're going to get." F. Scott Peck began his best selling book The Road Less Traveled by writing, "Life is difficult." Once, I went to a time share sales meetings and the salesman in one last final effort to get me to sign the dotted line said, "Life is not a dress rehearsal, you only get to live it once." Others have described our existence by filling in the blank with: a rat race, a bowl of cherries, amino acids, a series of choices, a paycheck, the weekend, a party. Why is that we always want to reduce life in size?

For many, life is nothing more than the time spent between birth and death. The drudgery of existence. The boring monotony of the routine. The hope of having enough until the end. Have these people bought a lie? Has their life been stolen from them?

There are many avenues down which we can travel that leads not to life but to destruction. While we would never call these pursuits thieves and robbers they are just that. They, in there diabolical and methodical ways, attempt to destroy our attempts at life. Where do people go to find life to only discover despair?

One doesn't find life in pleasure. I've heard people say that if only they could take a cruise, or retire in luxury, or have their fantasies fulfilled then they would be living. Many people have done these things yet they still remain empty. No matter how much we see, we are never satisfied; no matter how much we hear, we are never content" (Ecclesiastes 1:8, LB). Try as they may in the pursuit of pleasure eventually the law of diminishing returns takes hold. It takes a bigger thrill, or a bigger event to bring another high. But it never lasts.

One doesn't find life in performance. Eventually workaholics learn that the satisfaction of one job completed is short lived. A Wimbledon tennis champion thought all his life that winning this major tournament would result in life has he had never known it. He said following his championship, "The thrill of victory lasts about fifteen minutes." A myth has circulated for years that says success produces life. The truth of Scripture states, "Man is always working, never satisfied" (Ecclesiastes 4:8, GN).

One doesn't find life in possessions. "He who loves money will never have enough. The foolishness of thinking wealth brings happiness. (Ecclesiastes 5:10, LB). Have you ever asked yourself, "Why is it that I have more money than I have ever had before and yet have less contentment?"

One doesn't find life in position. Too often people think that if they receive a certain promotion, or reach a certain status, or live in a certain area then they would be happy. Interestingly, those people who have reached that position still have not found the secret of a fulfilling life.

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