There has been a scripture that seems to keep cropping up and has been floating from my tongue lately.
“I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”
John 10: 10b
I know that I have written this before on this blog but God keeps reminding me that the abundant life is for now…not for another time…not just secured in heaven but for those rainy days…those days, weeks, months, years where nothing seems to be just right and everyday seems to be a struggle to get out of muddy shoes.
The thing about living the abundant life is that it isn’t about living in denial of what ones current reality is…it is still experiencing all of “that” and being able to have abundance nonetheless.
So just what is abundance?
These are the words and phrases that Strong’s defines as abundance:
- exceeding some number or measure or need
- over and above, more than is necessary, superadded
- exceedingly abundant, supremely
- something, further, more
- much more than all, more plainly
- superior, extraordinary, surpassing, uncommon
- pre-eminence, superiority, advantage, more remarkable
- more excellent
The root is of abundance means in the sense of beyond.
In Jesus we can live beyond what stares us right in the face…beyond the face of reason or insanity.
The challenge today for each one of us is to ask ourselves this question:
If I believe that Jesus came to give me life…do I believe that this life is meant to be abundant in all ways…
- a life that is exceeds my needs?
- a life that is over and above what is necessary?
- a superadded life? I love that!
- a life that is superior, extraordinary, surpassing or uncommon?
- a life that is not just excellent but more excellent?
It would seem to be impossible to live a life that exceeds my needs…when I am really in need! Surely this is not what Jesus meant, is it?
It is easy to forget the first part of this verse…10a!
“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy.”
John 10: 10a
Jesus tells us without hesitation that we have an enemy…one that only wants to take from us…kill us…destroy us.
This enemy is one of the ways that we can easily lose sight of the abundant life that is ours.
In this small verse we are given a key because Jesus has contrasted the life of the believer with the life that the enemy wants us to live.
The enemy life is contrary to the Jesus life.
If I wonder if I am living in abundance or in lack…I can easily see which camp I reside by seeing if there is plenty or want in my life.
- Am I content or discontent?
- Do I have joy or am I grumpy?
- Do I have words of peace or words of complaints?
- Do I have peace or am I anxious?
- Do I talk more than I pray?
- Am I surrendered or am I straining for the reins of control?
- Do I have open hands or clenched fists?
- When my life gets out of control…do I reach for a temporal fix or to what provides lasting satisfaction?
I know we have all read that when we think we are hungry…lacking something…that we might actually just be thirsty.
Perhaps it is better to take a drink rather than consume something that isn’t designed to satisfy and instead rach for what will quench our thirsts.
Drink in His Word…His Presence…His abiding Spirit…
These life-giving words come in the midst of Jesus telling us that He is the gate or the door for the sheep and that He is the good shepherd that knows His sheep…and His sheep know Him and they listen for and to His voice.
The abundant life is all about continuing to enter through the door to Jesus…spending time in the sheep’s pen and being known by the Shepherd and getting to know Him.
When we know Him would we choose to live a life that is diametrically opposed to His?
Would I rather lay down in green pastures or attempt to recline in the weeds?
Try a little exercise this week with me…put your own name in the place of mine and insert the words that fit your personal life situation and definition that you like best of the abundant life described here.
don’t ever forget that the thief has come only to:
steal your joy
kill your dreams
destroy any lasting fruit in your life
render you useless;
I, Jesus, the Lover of your soul have come so that you may have
an absolutely full life here in this world
this life is nothing that you have ever known
what the world could come close to supplying you…
it is a life that could be described as uncommon,
whatever could be added to it…
I will superadd to it
it’s yours today,
just take it
don’t ever let go.
It bears repeating…let it be repeated all over your life!