The Abundant Life
[Jesus said,] “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.”
– John 10:10b
Well, it’s here. The push for us to buy, buy, buy is in full swing. Newspapers are bulging with ads and sales designed to make our pocketbook a little bit lighter. The stores want us to buy a great and plentiful amount, which, by the way, is the definition of abundance: a great and plentiful amount; fullness to overflowing. The abundant life is held out before us like a carrot—urging us to accumulate and to give and to eat and to indulge.
Of course, everyone wants an abundant life. The goal is not simply to persist, but to thrive; not simply to exist, but to flourish. And we regularly make all kinds of sacrifices hoping to earn or achieve or purchase this kind of life, and each time we fail it kills us just a little. In John, Jesus too talks about the abundant life. Of course, his definition is not the same as our culture’s.
I would like to hold up two truths: the first is that we often look for the abundant life in all the wrong places. In this consumer age, we’ve more than cheated ourselves by giving the world too much power in determining who we are and the quality of our life. No amount of possessions will bring us joy, security, purpose or satisfaction.
The second truth is that the only place to find this abundant life is in Christ. God in Christ understands, embraces, and redeems us in love so that in him we find true joy, security, purpose, and satisfaction.
Please note that the abundant life is not void of troubles or suffering. Friends and relatives will still get sick and die. So will we. It will still be possible for tragedy to enter our lives. Financial problems will not go away. And neither will the abundant life change the way other people live. Our enemy will still be our enemy. But the abundant life will help us to love them and to be at peace with them. God does not always change the situation in which we live life. But God changes us and the way we approach the situation.
The abundant life does not just make everything around us peaceful, but it does give us the ability to be at peace with everything around us.
Hard to imagine? Sure. Because the abundant life is not something we shop for—it is freely given. It is not something to achieve—it is something that has been promised. And a promise can’t be earned or achieved or bought or bartered for. Rather, it is the sheer gift of a loving God.
Being Human connection: Blessings to you in the name of the One who came so that we may have life, and have it abundantly.