““Very truly, I tell you, anyone who does not enter the sheepfold by the gate but climbs in by another way is a thief and a bandit. The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep hear his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. They will not follow a stranger, but they will run from him because they do not know the voice of strangers.” Jesus used this figure of speech with them, but they did not understand what he was saying to them.
So again Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and bandits; but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the gate. Whoever enters by me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” NRSV
There are things in life that are humankind’s own creations. That would include almost everything around us that is not part of the natural order. Then, there are the things God has made. That would be everything not made by humankind.
So, when Jesus says he came that we might have life “abundantly,” I can only assume that Jesus is referring to the things that are actually his to give away. Things like love, grace, forgiveness, compassion, eternal life, and God’s justice and mercy. These are the necessary ingredients to live life abundantly as a part of God’s realm. Unless Jesus owns a car dealership or bankrolls the lottery, I don’t think they would be his to give away, no matter how hard we prayed for them.
The things that are Jesus’ to distribute, as he sees fit, are all relational gifts, the things that make life better, more blessed, between one person and another or one group of people and another. Love, grace, mercy, forgiveness, kindness, compassion, and the like are always free for the taking. So, let me suggest that you fill your pocket, or your purse, or backpack, and most especially your heart, with these things. And give them away freely, their supply is endless.
Be a blessing to someone today!