Recently we learned about the passing of NBA player Kobe Bryant. He was an accomplished basketball player, having won numerous individual awards, along with six NBA championships with Los Angeles Lakers.
In addition to this, he traveled the world and was fluent in several languages. After his retirement, he became an international ambassador for the game of basketball and even won an Oscar for being an accomplished filmmaker.
I guess we can say that he had a full life.
I don’t know how many times I have heard that same expression. When a famous person dies or when the deceased is very old, they are considered to have lived a very full life.
What makes a life full?
Is it living life to the fullest in the pleasures of sin?
Is it living to a very old age?
Is it becoming wealthy, or famous?
According to the Scriptures none of the above choices indicate that a person has lived a full or even a good life. A life filled with sin is no life at all; it is a mere dark and hopeless existence and all the riches and pleasures of this world can’t bring joy, peace, purpose or salvation to anyone. Mark 8:36 puts it well:
“For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?”
A full life is one that begins and ends with Jesus. He came into this dark world to die for the sins of his chosen people and to offer us eternal and abundant life (John 6:47; 10:10). A full life is not achieved by a multitude of activities and accomplishments. A full life is realized as we abide like branches in Jesus, who is the Vine (John 15).
Do you want to live a full life?
The only way to live a full life is to die. As we die to sin and the flesh, the life of Christ is fully manifested in and through us. The apostle Paul shares the secret of a full life in Galatians 2:20,
“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I, who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”