“I have come that you may have life and have it abundantly.”
The Lord spoke to me through a bumper sticker.
Let me explain.
I recently saw a car with a bumper sticker that said, “Pizza is life.” As the car drove away, the Spirit of God asked me a question: “Jonathan, what is ‘life’ to you?”
Each of us must wrestle with this question because we are always looking to someone or something for life. By “life,” I mean more than just our physical existence; I mean that which brings vitality to our spirit. Unless you’re a die-hard pizza fanatic like the driver of that car, it’s probably not pizza, but it’s something.
How do you know? Simple. Remove the word ‘pizza’ and you’re left with a fill-in-the-blank: ________ is life. What would you write in that blank? In other words, if that bumper sticker was on the back of your car, how would it read? Work is life? Entertainment is life? My Boyfriend is life? Whether we realize it or not, how we choose to “fill in” our blank is on constant display to those around us. Our daily behaviors testify where we believe real life is found.
The truth? The resounding message of the Bible says “Jesus is Life.” (Many of us say we believe this, but our actions are often out of sync with our beliefs.)
Jesus gives an open invitation to come to Him as the Source of satisfying, overflowing, eternal life. “Apart from Him, we are physically alive, but spiritually dead and separated from our Heavenly Father” (Ephesians 2:1).
You see, when we turn to Jesus, we experience life according to His original design: a life lived in fellowship with God. Intimacy with the Father, Son, and Spirit is the essence of abundant life (John 17:3). And life is abundant, not because of material prosperity or minimal suffering, but because we have been reconciled to the Author and Sustainer of life.
Here’s the problem: While we are free to enjoy the blessings of life, like pizza, we must keep them from becoming the center of our life. Each day, we are bombarded by messages telling us that life is found everywhere except in Jesus. Even committed believers can easily drift away from Him, seeking life elsewhere.
Author and pastor Paul Tripp says, We are all searching for life, and there are only two places to look. You can look to the Creator for life or you can search for life in what He created.
Take a hard look at your thoughts, the motivations of your heart, and how you spend your time and resources. Follow the trail and it will reveal the truth of what life really is to you. Is it the Creator or His creation?
How do you fill in the blank? Be careful – you may want to re-think your answer.
Written by Jonathan Munson, Executive Director, RFTH