What is the Christian Life… A Rich, Abundant Life (Originally posted April 29, 2014)
“So being a Christian is synonymous with having an abundant life right? Great…where do I sign up? Has God promised us a rich, abundant life? Well yes and no. Today’s post on living as a Christian will focus on what a rich, abundant life really means in God’s eyes. First let’s look at the verse that sparked this study, John 10:10. Jesus said in that passage, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”. Some versions refer to it as an abundant life. There is no doubt that God provides us wonderful physical blessings but many have interpreted this verse to mean that God promises what we would call the good life. Wealth, power, life on easy street. If you’ve taken the time to read much of the rest of bible or study the lives of Christ’s followers, you’ll know practicing a Christian life is anything but easy. So what does this “abundant life” mean? We must shift into eternal thinking and read some other passages to fully understand this concept.
Lets look at 2 Corinthians 9:8. “And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.” The abundant life is about the grace of God as well. It’s about using that grace through the work we do for others. God blesses us so we can then bless those around us. It’s a beautiful way to show the love of God to the world and praise Him for the love he shows us.
The abundant life is also a life of power, or better yet, of God’s power living through us. Ephesians 3:20-21 says, “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever.” We need to view ourselves as vessels carrying the message and power of God throughout the world.
Finally, the abundant life is having our needs met. “My God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19). Suffice it to say that needs and wants are two very different things. But as the parable of the talents teaches, those who use God’s gifts wisely will be blessed with more. God has always provided for his children…the entire bible speaks that message. All we need to do is put our trust in him, obey and practice his teachings, and he will give us that abundant life we all hope for and dream of.”
For today’s “Blogs Revisited” post, we’re going to take a look at post I wrote as a month-long series back in April of 2014 answering the question of what is a Christian life. I chose the topic of the rich, abundant life because this idea is so misunderstood and misinterpreted. Of course that’s easy to do when we only use our physical world as a means of understanding Scripture. As we grow more spiritually mature, we can hopefully understand the eternal ramifications of God’s word and the promises that lie within.
The idea of a rich and abundant life is a good example of thinking that God’s promises have to do with the here and now. For sure, this passage of Scripture found in John 10:10 does promise us blessings, but we may have misinterpreted that God wishes for us to live a carefree life full of financial and material success. As the post above mentions, one need only to study the Bible in its entirety to see that Christians throughout history have not always lived a life that we would consider comfortable and easy. And if we only think of this life here on earth, it would make sense to think in this way, but God is preparing us for eternity and gives us the blessings (grace) we need to do the good works he wishes for us to do. God does indeed meet our physical needs in this life and he does promise to bless those who are good stewards with more, but that abundance is meant to be shared rather than hoarded.
There’s no doubt that Christians should approach life with the mindset that they are rich in Christ. But those riches have nothing to do with the physical things we have here in this life. The riches of God are attributes like peace, contentment, joy, wisdom, and love and if you ask me, those things promise a much more abundant life than what this world could ever offer.