By Rev. David S. Evans
Jesus said, “I am come that they might have life and have it more abundantly.” This statement is found in John 10:10.
If anything Jesus said speaks to the people of today, this statement does. People give evidence of the quest for abundant life. Practically every free hour is given by the people of today to create meaning for life and to “relax” from the cares of the day. People try to flee the pressures that keep them from finding the greatest meaning for life. How hard many people work!
Multitudes try simple recreation. They get off from work and run to the nearest spot to get away from people and things. Evenings and weekends are spent in getting away. Others flee to alcohol and drugs, thinking a flight into some fantasy will make the pressures go away. Being brainwashed, many have come to feel that this is a worthwhile way to follow in order to enhance life. A look at the gigantic fact sheets available will give an answer. It is known that such indulgence takes away from life rather than adding to it. Personality is destroyed, the brain deteriorates, and the organs of the body suffer. Over six million alcoholics, in their rational moments of truth, would tell you of the torment to which these methods have led them. Many hopeless drug addicts, if they could achieve enough moments of real comprehension, would tell of the same miserable existence. These indulgences don’t improve situations. They make them worse.
Jesus Christ offers all these things for which people say they are looking. He offers release from pressures. When you have assurance that Christ is caring for you, there will be little anxiety over the cares of each day that would cause pressure. He offers fullness of life. The greatest thing about this is that when Christ offers abundant life, it is real. He delivers what he promises. The other methods are temporary. Christ’s method is permanent. You ask, “How do you know?” My answer is, “Through experience.” It is real!
If I were a person who was running around from here to there trying to relax and find meaning out of chaos of existence in which we find ourselves involved, I believe I would start listening to Christ. I believe I would stop going out on recreation trips on the Lord’s Day and go to church and worship God. I believe I would stop all this nonsense and take those cares to Jesus and leave them with Him. I believe I would commit my life to Christ, repenting of my sins, and let Him transform it into a relaxed life filled with joy.
Then, when He gave it back to me all fixed up, I would seek to let His Holy Spirit come into my life that He might purify my inner being, motives and attitudes, and be my guide. His Spirit can guide us through life in such a manner that we will miss many of those pitfalls which create pressure. I believe I would simply seek first the Kingdom of God and let the rest of life be added unto me. Why not try it? What have you got to lose? You will lose nothing except a lot of pressure and heartache, both present and future.
Rev. David S. Evans is pastor of Hickory United Methodist Church in Hermitage.