The Abundant Life: Riches money can’t buy…
Our theme this year is exploring what it means to have an abundant life. Jesus tells us in John 10:10 that He came so we might have life and have it more abundantly.
What is this more abundant life Jesus spoke of? Is it having robust health? Is it materialism and wealth? Is it success, power, and prestige? After all, aren’t these the things most people yearn for and naturally associate with an abundant life? Well, that might be our interpretation, but our view and God’s view could be vastly different. (Isaiah 55:9)
Many think the more abundant life refers to great prosperity. They measure faith by how much God blesses us materially. But do new cars, million dollar homes, plasma TVs, diamonds, rubies, private air planes, or bags of money really draw us closer to God? Contrary to popular opinion, God is not some big Sugar Daddy in the sky eager to give us everything we ask for.
Most know the primary focus of the Christian life should not be on getting things. It would be difficult to find scriptures that focus on Christians “getting” instead of “giving.” The Bible leans more towards contentment than wanting more, more, more. (1 Timothy 6:8-9; Philippians 4:1-3; Hebrews 13:5) In fact, Jesus said that a man’s life does not consist of the abundance of the things he might possess. (Luke 12:15)
I’m not saying an abundant life precludes wealth, health, or worldly success, but it does not depend on it either. Paul knew this better than anyone. He knew how to be abased or exalted, have a full tummy or an empty one, and abound or suffer—and through it all, be content and give thanks. (Philippians 4:11-13; Ephesians 5:20) He knew what the abundant life was all about.
The life referred to in John 10:10 is eternal life, everlasting life, and life without fear of death. The phrase “more abundantly” is the Greek word “perissos” meaning “beyond, more, and above measure.” It refers back to the word “life.” Not only did Jesus come to give us eternal life, but even more than that, He lives His life within us right now. His very presence in us adds something immeasurable to our existence. He is what makes our life abundant and worth living.
Man views abundance in terms of physical possessions. God has a different perspective. His abundant life is filled with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, self-control, compassion, humility, character, wisdom, enthusiasm, dignity, optimism, confidence, honesty, and a relationship with Him. In other words, the more abundant life is full of all the things money can’t buy. The more we open our hearts to God, the more abundant our lives will be.
“…I have come that they may have life and that they
may have it more abundantly.” ~John 10:10 (KJV)