September 01, 2013


John 10:1-21

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”
—John 10:10


Of course, “happier-ness” is not a word. But let me explain: according to God’s Word in the Bible, “happiness” in its full form does not exist in this world. We are living under a curse. It’s like living in a house in which nothing is level; everything in life is just a little “off,” and much of it is hellishly bent.

So I’m not going to sell you false promises. Let’s not use Jesus to try to sell a pipe dream. And yet here is a liberating truth: the message of God can make you happier. The core message of Jesus, if you accept it, will bless your soul. If you follow him and submit your life to his influence, his blessings will pour down on you and his goodness will fill your soul.

Jesus presents this fundamental choice: you can have life that circles the drain and eventually drops into hell, or you can have life propelled by God’s power and goodness. Life, as God gives it, is far better.

It doesn’t solve everything right away. It doesn’t fix every problem. People get sick; people die. Life is hard. Things fall apart.

Jesus, in the short term, does not deliver full and complete happiness. Yet he makes “happier-ness” possible. Jesus promises life to the full—not complete on this earth, but with him in the future.

This month I am hoping we can search for that together.

Walk with me, Lord. Lead me on a clear path in this life and into the next. I am off-level in so many ways. Still, minister to me and set me right. In your name I pray. Amen.

About the author — Keith Mannes

Keith Mannes serves as pastor at Highland Christian Reformed Church in McBain, Michigan. Keith and his wife, Alicia, recently celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary,
and they are thankful for their three children—Eben, Charis, and Breanna.

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