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April 9th: There’s More To It

..because of the finished work of Christ, He promises to give us, “everything in abundance,” and more than we could ever expect!

            I think one of the best feelings on earth is when somebody pays for your food. (I know what Jesus said. Just hear me out.) I love food. I love people. So, of course, I love getting food (or coffee) with people. It’s one of the ways I get to see people I love, connect and grow a deeper relationship with those people. Many times, I set up a lunch date with a friend or a group and I expect to just eat, talk and go about my day. But, sometimes what I thought would just be “lunch” ended up being some of the best days of my life.

            I went to lunch with a friend I have not seen in years. We ate at Sonny’s (and I love Sonny’s), got caught up in each other’s lives, and had great conversation! What I thought would be the end of that, my friend ended up paying for my food and invited me to his house right after. I agreed. We get to his house, and we end up on his parents boat, ate some more good food and we ended up spending the entire day together. What I thought would be an awesome lunch, ended up being one of the most cherished memories and best adventures of my life!

            I think too often, we miss out on the fullness of what God has for us (especially me). Sometimes, I see Jesus as my ticket to Heaven and the One to forgive me when I slip up. Jesus did become our way to eternity in the presence of God, and He did die for us to be forgiven. In John 10:9-10, Jesus evens says He is the gateway. But Jesus follows that up with so much more.

            Jesus says, “to enter through me is to experience life, freedom and satisfaction.” We think Jesus is our way to Heaven, but because of the finished work of Christ, He promises to give us, “everything in abundance,” and more than we could ever expect!

            Of course, Christ died for us to be washed clean of our sin and so we can spend eternity with God. But Jesus also died so we no longer have to live in shame. Jesus died so we can have purpose here on earth. Jesus died so we have hope. Jesus died so we can be made whole. Jesus did not take the beating He did, shed the blood He shed, die the death He died just to be our ticket to Heaven. Christ did and always will always exceed our expectation. What Jesus did, did not stop at the cross.

            I want to challenge you during this sacred season to truly reflect on what Christ did. When you pray, ask God to show you how Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection influences your life today.

I am the Gateway. To enter through me is to experience life, freedom, and satisfaction. 10 A thief has only one thing in mind—he wants to steal, slaughter, and destroy. But I have come to give you everything in abundance, more than you expect — life in its fullness until you overflow!

– John 10:9-10 (TPT)

*written by Chris Alvarez

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