Abide in God’s Love: How to Get Real with Our Faith Life

Day 4 Bible Readings: John 15:5-7, John 10:1-21

Read John 10:1-21 on Biblegateway.com here.

Abide in God's Love Day 4

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What is Abundant Life?

In John 10:10 Jesus says, “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” What is the abundant life that Jesus talked about?

The Greek word here for “abundant” means “filled to overflowing.” Jesus did not put us on the earth to live a life of mere survival.

When I was caught in the compulsive overeating and binge eating cycle, I numbed my feelings with food. The thing about numbing feeling is that while I was numbing the negative feelings, I was numbing the positive ones too. A person doesn’t get to pick and choose.

Once I started therapy and began to wake up to my feelings without food as my drug of choice, dealing with the painful feelings of life was harder, but the good stuff was so much more amazing. It was as if everything was more crisp and brought into focus. God was graciously there, guiding me through the process step by step.

This is the abundant life. It’s not easy, but it’s REAL.

We are in the thick of it. We don’t run away from the hard things. We as Christians go where other people are afraid to go, because God is with us. Maybe for you that is talking to a coworker you really don’t like, or maybe it’s going on a mission trip to Africa. It might be becoming a foster parent, or it might be lovingly confronting a loved one who is in a sinful situation. Maybe it’s pursing God’s call on your heart to start a new ministry.

How to Get Real with Our Faith Life

When we first became foster parents, Mike and I attended a foster parent support group meeting where the director of foster care explained “abundant life” this way. He said that for a Christian, the highs are really high, the lows are really low, and God is with us through all of it. We wouldn’t have it any other way.

I have never forgotten his words, and in fact this has become a guiding principle for my life. Our journey in the world of foster care and special needs adoption has brought me highs that I never could have dreamed possible. Knowing I have impacted a child in a positive way for life — what could be better? The day of adoption for both of our sons was a high like the birth of each of our children.

I have also been brought to lows that I didn’t know existed in this world. I have experienced grief and fear as dark as a death — in some ways worse. When a child returns to his or her birth family, and we live in constant fear the child is being harmed at that very moment, with us powerless to stop it — that is a grief like no other.

I continually feel desperately inadequate to the tasks before me. So many days I feel Mike and I have gotten totally in over our heads with the task of parenting our children with their needs.

I find myself humbled again and again as I prepare topics when I speak and write. Who am I to say anything, when I myself struggle with the exact same issues about which I teach?

Yet isn’t this exactly where God wants us? 

When I come to the end of myself — this is where RADICAL abundant life begins. When I finally, FINALLY give up on trying to go it alone, and I run into the arms of the Good Shepherd by praying a prayer of desperation, this is where I find abundant life happens. I find a renewed strength I didn’t know was possible. Resources become available when just hours before I continued to hit roadblocks. A child who has been giving me fits for days on end will show me a sweetness that brings hope of healing.

The radical life God calls us to live is intense. It’s incredibly difficult and fantastically amazing. Will you answer His call to get real and walk in it?


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