I sometimes wonder what it is that drives us onwards and upwards – a phrase I often hear and in fact use from time to time at work. It took me to John 10 v 10 that reads: The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.
What does He mean by “life . . . more abundantly”? A problem I get when considering this is the lack of clarity of the term “abundant.” What is abundant living for one person may be absolutely unsatisfying for another. A hard-charging, A-type businessman – into exotic vacations, sports cars, and rock climbing – would not consider a rocking chair in a quiet lounge, a vegetable garden, and a weekly round of golf at the local course to be fulfilling, yet they would probably suit a retired person who was elderly and had some creaks and groans fine. I read a quote that goes: One person’s bowl of cherries is another’s bowl of cherry pits.
The Greek word Jesus uses here to describe the kind of life He came to teach His disciples is perissón, meaning “superabundant,” “overflowing,” “over and above a certain quantity,” “a quantity so abundant as to be considerably more than what one would expect or anticipate.” In other words, He promises us a life far better than we could ever envision, I Cor 2 v 9 comes to mind, “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him” Paul informs us that God “is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think” (Eph 3 v 20).
However, before we begin to have wonderful dreams of palatial homes, big cars, around-the-world trips, and wads of cash, we need to step back and consider what God says comprises “life.” Once we determine His view of living, we will have a better grasp of what kind of blessings we can expect as Christ’s disciples. All we need to do is glance around at Christians around the world to know that wealth, prestige, position, and power in this world are not high-priority items on God’s list of blessings.
Perhaps the most telling biblical definition of life – particularly eternal life – is given by Jesus Himself in JOhn 17 v 3: “And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.” Note that this definition makes no mention of length of days, health, prosperity, family, occupation – in fact, the only thing it does mention is knowing God!
What can I take from this as I press on at work….?
God is not overly concerned with the physical circumstances of our lives. It is enough that He assures us that we need not worry about what we will eat or wear, He has that covered, and eternal life, the kind of life in which a Christian is truly interested, is not determined by duration but by a relationship with God.
So here is my question – – IS my relationship with God so strong that I can say I have abundant life?
Have a good weekend all