When you read that Jesus says, “I came that you may have life and have it abundantly” (John 10:10), do you believe it’s really true for you? Most of us have the mentality that we have to win God’s favor rather than receive it as a gift. We think Jesus came to make us religious rather than bring us into a relationship with Himself—to walk with us, to talk with us, to live in us. We feel that we have to do good works so God will approve us, when He says He already has approved us. Jesus took our sin and shame, everything that would ever try to separate us from His love, and He paid our debt in full when He died on the cross and rose again in our place. “He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west” (Psalm 103:12). We don’t have to walk in guilt and condemnation. He freed us to live the resurrection life, the abundant life.
To live the resurrection life we have to have the same resurrection mindset that the apostle Paul had. He says, “I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of His resurrection…I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me” (Philippians 3:10, 12). He wanted to not just know about what Jesus had done, but he wanted to experience the power of it. Paul knew that God had an assignment for him and that despite the difficulties he faced for telling others about Jesus, the shipwrecks and the prisons and battles he had to fight, he had the resurrection power to win. He was saying, “You have to press on and take hold of what Jesus Christ has done for you. Press into that grace and mercy. Press into the abundant life He has given you.”
Jesus never said the abundant life was going to be easy. It wasn’t easy for Him. It cost Him His life on the cross. But on the third day when He came out of that grave alive again, He turned that bad situation around and brought it out for our good. He wants to take the situations in your life and turn them around for your good. His plan is still working. It worked the day He was raised from the grave, and it is still working for us today. But we have to press on and take hold of all the good things that Christ has done for us.