Jesus said, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:10 NIV) The New Living Translations puts Jesus’ words this way – “My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.” Most other versions say, “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”
The abundant life. Life to the full. A rich and satisfying life. A full-to-overflowing life. Plentiful. Abounding. Ample sufficiency. Plenty. Thriving. Profusion.
Does that accurately describe my life today? My first response was “Nope.” Then I got to thinking seriously about what an abundant life is like.
To have a roof over my head with a functioning heating and air conditioning system that makes it comfortable year-round. To have the shelves of my pantry, freezer, and refrigerator loaded with enough food for the rest of the month (and beyond). To have semi-fashionable and clean clothing with more than one pair of hole-free shoes in my closet. To have a reliable car (with radio and air-conditioning!) to get me and my kids to and from all our activities. But abundance goes far beyond material comfort and a bank account with a positive balance.
To have family and friends nearby and be able to spend time with them. To laugh easily and often. To live in a beautiful part of the country complete with a snow-capped mountain view while sitting on lush green grass beside a lake underneath a deep blue sky. To appreciate the additional beauty found in art, sculpture, literature, and music. To be blessed with health and the ability to do the activities I enjoy.
So far my list is getting full. If this was all there was to life, I might find contentment and satisfaction and feel pretty good about it.
But, wait, there’s more!
To receive forgiveness for all my sin. To live free of guilt. To find comfort in the day of trouble. To never be alone. To walk in close relationship with the One who defends, heals, and provides. To be loved for who I am not what I’ve done. To experience true joy, peace, hope, and contentment. And to know there’s an eternity stretched before me with exceedingly, abundantly MORE than I could ever ask for or think of!
Have I received the abundant life Jesus promised? Absolutely yes.
What about you? Do you have an abundant life? What would you add to my short list? Why do we sometimes lose sight of the abundance? Or have we let the thief steal it away?