(Jesus said) ‘ I am come that they (you and I) might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.’ (John 10:10b)
Someone recently remarked in our adult Bible class that he did not think that many Christians seem to know and experience the ‘abundant life’ Jesus spoke of.
Abundant life is not about financial prosperity, worldly possessions and material goods, luxury cruises and vacations, or fine dining restaurants. It is not even about a comfortable home and closet full of clothes; it is not club memberships, one’s life style, a steady job and popularity, or anything associated with the world we live in. The abundant life/prosperity message of many ministers and teachers today is deceiving many Christians into thinking that the focus is on living in the here and now, rather than focusing on where they will spend their eternity.
Jesus came preaching about the kingdom of God, the kingdom of heaven, a soon coming kingdom, unlike any of the kingdoms on earth (Mt 4:17). The apostle Paul was commissioned to reveal the mysteries of the kingdom of God/the mystery of Christ more fully (Col 1:27, 4:3; Eph 3:1-12).
‘My kingdom is not of this world. . .’ (John 18:36)
‘For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost’. (Rom 14:17)
The abundant life will not be fully realized until Jesus returns to establish His Kingdom on earth (John 14:1-3). In this present earthly life, Jesus will never leave us, nor forsake us (Heb 13:5) and is our advocate, interceder for us to our Father in heaven, even as the Holy Spirit is our Comforter and Teacher. Jesus is our Savior and Redeemer and coming King, our Rock and Fortress, our Deliverer in time of trouble and need; He is our Blessed Hope (Titus 2:12-13).
What is this ‘abundant life’ in John 10:10b? It is about having ‘the peace of God that passeth understanding’ (Phil 4:7) which comes with placing our trust in God, and obeying His Word; it is to live without fear, having been given the Spirit of ‘love, power and a sound mind’ (2 Tim 1:7) to endure living in a dark and sinful world.
The abundant life is to know the joy of our salvation. It is to know God’s love and abiding presence in our hearts and lives, His blessings and promises to all those who love Him and are His children. We will be His heirs to rule and reign with Him in His Kingdom (2Tim 2:12; Rev 20:6).
Without Jesus, we would not experience any measure of abundant life now or ‘life more abundantly’ later.
‘Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom though ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:’ (1Pet 1:8)
‘Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him?’ (James 2:5)