Jesus boldly claimed that he came so that people could have life. "I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly." (John 10:10). He used his divine power to shower people with bountiful life-healing the sick, feeding the hungry.
As Christians who seek to live as Jesus lived, we can make choices so that others have life. Jesus also said that he is life (John 11:25, 14:6). To be in Jesus is want to be full of life and to choose to live so that others have abundant life.
To choose Christ is to choose justice and peace.
Repeatedly, Jesus raised the status of the low and despised. Samaritans were enemies of Jesus' followers, yet he chose a Samaritan to be the hero in a favorite story (The Good Samaritan, Luke 10:25-37) and first revealed himself as the Messiah to a Samaritan woman (John 4:7-38). In a society that told women to be quiet and serve, he invited Mary to sit with him and learn (Luke 10:38-42).
Economic justice-everyone having enough material possessions-mattered so greatly to Jesus that his two parables about hell center on people who don't share with the poor. The rich man paid no attention to poor Lazarus at his gate and ended up in agony (Luke 16:19-31). When Jesus explained the last judgment (Matthew 26:31-46), he proclaimed that those who met the needs of the hungry, the thirsty, the stranger and the prisoner are the ones who will stay by his side.
Jesus made the conscious decision to allow himself to be arrested and to face death, rather than harm someone. When the disciples saw that Jesus was to be taken away, they remembered all the good Jesus had done, considered all the important things he had yet to do and decided that, yes, this situation demanded violence. But Jesus disagreed. "Then Jesus said to him, 'Put your sword back into its place; for all who take the sword will perish by the sword.'" (Matthew 26:52, also John 18:11, Luke 22:51)
Every day you make decisions that increase or decrease the quality of your life or someone else's. God's design is that every person have a full life-not only enough food to eat, shelter from the weather, clothes to wear, but also a chance to learn, to love, to find joy in Jesus.
These pages provide resources as you consider choosing life in Jesus: