Is life to the fullest opposed?

Having been primarily focused on outreach ministry with teenagers for a number of years, I have become very comfortable quoting John 10:10:  “…I came that you may have life and have it to the fullest.”

Did you know that is not John 10:10?  Ok, it’s part of the verse, but only the good part.  Jesus gave a warning in the same breath that he offered hope.  “The thief comes to kill, steal and destroy; I came that you may have life…”  Wow!  It was only a few years ago that I gave the first half of this verse any consideration.  I was more than happy to communicate the hope of real life to high school kids and others, but I missed the reality of the thief.  What I have come to realize is that Satan is a real force seeking to steal our joy, kill our spirit and destroy our lives.  But I thought Satan was defeated through the Cross???

Does the first half of John 10:10 still apply?  If Jesus’ statement isn’t a valid warning, then why the words from Peter after the Cross?  “Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil, He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. .” (1 Pet 5:8)   Maybe the warning is because the thief is still permitted to carry out his work in some capacity.  As I look at the world I see one main focus of the evil one, to keep men and women from being in a real and growing relationship with the Father.  Maybe Jesus’ caution in the first half of John 10:10 still applies today.

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