Abundant life?

Jesus said  “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly”.

What does He mean by this? What is abundant living for one person may be absolutely unsatisfying for another. A hard-charging, A-type businessman – into exotic holidays, sports cars, and rock climbing – would not consider a comfortable seat 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. I know such people in both camps!

The Greek word Jesus uses here means “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 Corinthians chapter 2 v 9 comes to mind if you have a Bible.

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 a Christian. 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 chapter 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?

God’s top priority may not be 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 the question is….. do i and you have abundant life?


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