The Voice Of One Transcript

various digital viewing/listening devices

Living Life to the Full

If one were to ask, What does living life to the full mean? there would be so many answers; it would be difficult to put them down on a few pages, but let us consider a few briefly.

To some, living life to the full is based on the value of a mans possessions. Others say that the higher you are in society, the more you can be said to be living life to the full. Some others still, refer to Maslows hierarchy of needs, and infer that living life to the full is attaining self-actualizationthe place where you can say, I have arrived! Yet others still, look at the enjoyment value of life, and postulate that the happier you are, the more you are living life to the full.

These different responses show that, the perception on living life to the full is relative to the individual; and seem to compare it with possessions, status, and personal satisfaction. Nothing can be further from the truth! For if these opinions were true, we would have to conclude that those without material or intellectual resources and means (that is, those considered poor or illiterate by society) are not living at all.

Indeed, the responses put forth to the question of living life to the full do not even come close to what it is about.

There are people who believe, and insist that they are living life to the full because they are able to get whatsoever they desire. These people desire to have everything and anything they set their eyes on. If they bought a new car yesterday, and today, see someone else with another brand of car, they will not rest until they have acquired that one too. Their homes are littered with all kinds of possessions. Seeking to acquire whatever you desire, just because you can afford it, or because you just must have it, is not living life to the full at all, but a serious spiritual problem called, covetousness. Covetousness is that strong desire to keep on acquiring more and more of anything; and is not limited to wealthy people. Covetous people believe that every new acquisition will bring them lasting joy. Unfortunately, what they end up with is temporary happiness, which is neither satisfying, nor fulfilling.

While happiness is the result of owning or having something that is considered pleasurable to the individual; joy is the result of giving something that makes others live a better life.

Happiness is based on happenings that momentarily gladden the heart, and can change whenever prevailing conditions change. It is an emotional expression of gladness experienced by a person only when things he considers pleasant are happening to him: like obtaining his dream job, getting a dream car, marrying a dream spouse, building a dream house, picking up a dream political appointment, getting high on drugs, etc. When things are not going his way, he is sad, upset, and irritable. In most cases, shortly after these dream things have been obtained, or the effect of the drug wears out, the happiness wears off, and the search for another thing that can bring happiness beginsit just never ends!

There was a wealthy man, who had great possessions, and built warehouses to store them in. The night he finished storing all his possessions in his warehouses, he died! Had this man known that he was going to die that night, he probably would have spent more time disposing of his possessions, than storing them up. Buying what is needed for daily sustenance is not the problem; the problem is the uncontrollable desire to keep on acquiring things! Someone may ask, And what is wrong with saving for a rainy day? Nothing! Acquiring things just so that you can have more is not saving for a rainy daythat is selfish living and not living life to the full!

Unlike happiness, joy has nothing to do with acquiring something that is pleasing to a person. Joy is the result of giving oneself to others. When a man does something to change the lives of other people for the better, he will experience joy, which is a direct result of the joy that has been made possible in the lives of others. And although this is indicative of living; it is nonetheless, not living life to the full. While selfish people can never experience joy and are not really living; people who give themselves to others can be said to be living life, but not to the full. Indeed, this kind of joy never lasts; because it can easily give way to boasting, arrogance and a desire for recognition. Also, there is no acknowledgement of Gods involvement in such acts of benevolence; and if there ever is, it is only lip service. No, this kind of joy never lasts, and is not indicative of living life to the full!

By now it should be apparent that living life to the full has to do with God! Indeed, living life to the full comes from living for God, which manifests as an inexpressible joy that lasts forever. We shall call this lasting joy, true joy.

True joy is something that can only be experienced. It cannot really be described, which is why it is called inexpressible; and is imputed in a person by God, the Source of true joy. This is not something that happens because God gave you something physical, or because you received a miracle. Neither is it something that happens because you attended an anointed church service. Rather, it is something that happens in you because God forgave you of your sins! Forgiveness of sin comes from God because of what Jesus Christ did for us when He died for the sins of men. Thus, a man can be said to be living life to the full, only after he has received Jesus Christ into his life.

Unlike the joy that does not last, there can never be any boasting here, because true joy is not worked for, but freely given to those who have Jesus Christ in their lives. True joy is not dependent on having possessions; neither is it based on pleasant conditions; nor is it there because of an exciting event. Even when there is the loss of a loved one, true joy remains. We may weep because we will no longer see that individual again here on earth, but our inexpressible joy will remain, because Gods comfort is more than sufficient, to take away the hurt. This is what makes people look at those who possess true joy in awe and wonder how they are able to cope with major losses and great upheavals in life. When God is in control of your life, and unpleasant things occur, there will always be that blessed assurance that all is well. Thus, it is possible, for example, for a gateman to experience true joy and be living life to the full; whereas a CEO of a global company quoted on several major international stock exchanges may know nothing of true joy!

If all you have experienced is the non-lasting joy, it is because you are yet to hand over your life to God. You may have taken in the less privileged, taken care of widows, taken things to motherless babies homes, and even brought positive change to the lives of many people; you may even be attending church regularly, and giving to pastors, and to missionary work; yet you will be unable to experience true joy, because, God is not involved. The joy from doing good deeds, without God in a mans life is shallow and temporary.

The good news is that you can experience true joy, my friend. And if you have only experienced momentary happiness or have never experienced happiness at all, you can begin today.

First, you must realize and accept that your life is empty without God, and then, be ready to ask Jesus Christ into your heart. Only after this act of genuine repentance before God, will God respond by coming into your life, and give you true joy with the peace it brings.

Living life to the full is what happens in you when Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is your Lord and Saviour. For without Jesus, you will be living an empty life. Good deeds, possessions, and friends, without Jesus are meaningless. So, my friend, come to Jesus today.

Let us pray!