“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.”
Many of you might have heard this verse in relation to material wealth and maybe for protection. That is a really small part of the verse and does not do it justice at all. This verse stands as one of my life verses along with Romans 8:32 and Psalm 91:10. It is a verse that I heard first as a child of about 9 years old and it just never left me. I have pondered for years what abundant life really meant because I refused to accept it was just about material things.
Jesus could not have come all the way just for us to have money, after all, even unbelievers have material things. I now understand what that verse is really about and I can tell you, money is way down the list. Let’s dig in and learn:
The word ‘abundantly’ used in this verse is the same used in the verse, Ephesians 3:20 and it means superabundant, superior in quality, excessive, over and above, more than is necessary.
This means that there is no limit to what we can get from God according to His promises. It means we have far more in Him than we could ever need or even think of asking.
The word ‘life’ used here is Zoe, the life of God! This word is used in several other places in the Bible, let’s look at some for better understanding:
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” John 3:16
“For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has granted the Son to have life in Himself,” John 5:26
The life of God is the eternal life Jesus came to give us.
The life that God Himself carries.
The same life Jesus had on His inside while on earth as a human being.
The life that is never-ending and eternal.
Abundant life is simply a life without limitations.
For me, this blew my mind! I have the same life Jesus had and I even have it excessively and abundantly without any limits. It makes me want to break out in tongues. Powerful!
Receiving this life at salvation is the most amazing thing to happen to a person.
For too long, we have focused on the human kind of life we have. We have focused on the actions we take rather than who we have been made to be at salvation. Instead of focusing on a relationship with the Giver of the life for us to shine brighter, we have focused on our acts/behaviour to the exclusion of Him.
Let us look at some truths about abundant life:
- Darkness cannot overcome it – This life is what is referred to in John 1:4-5 as the light of men, that darkness cannot overcome. That light is the life of God in us that the devil and the world cannot overcome.
- Eternal life starts on this earth – The Bible used this life in all the places eternal life is mentioned. The life of God is evident in our lives from this earth and we are carriers of eternal life even in our mortal bodies. As Jesus is, so are we in this world. John 17:2-3. Romans 8:10. John 5:24. 1 John 4:17
- Found only in Jesus – Jesus is not an option of many, He is the only source of the life of God. “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” John 14:6. Another verse that explains this is John 5:26
- It is a gift – We only get this life as a gift from God. You do not deserve it and neither can you earn it. Romans 6:23
The next question is, why then do we have so many limited and subpar lives among born-again Christians? Let us look at it from the Bible in the following stages:
First, it is established that we were dead in our sins and Jesus gave us life for it.
“For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.)” Romans 5:17
Secondly, the life of Jesus can be made manifest in our human body.
“always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.” 2 Corinthians 4:10-11
Thirdly, we are to walk in the light of this life. Light is for direction and it shows us the way. We walk in light to see and do everything we need to do.
“In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.” John 1:4
We have missed it clearly as most of us stop at the first point. We have only exchanged the death of our sins for God’s life and left it at that, this life is not manifested in our flesh and neither do we walk by the light of that life.
This is because we do not have the knowledge of this light. Many of us do not know the depth of God’s promises for us and you really cannot act on what you don’t know.
I resigned from a job once and did not realise that I still had unpaid tax refund. I lived my life in complete ignorance of that until a day I received a bank notification of a credit into my account. While balancing the books, I was paid my entitlement. Did I know about it? No. Did that make me any less entitled to the money? No, I was still fully entitled to it. I could not plan my life with the money either because I had no idea what was available to me. This is how a lot of us believers live our lives, without knowledge of the provisions available to us in Christ.
We would study more next week on this topic and find out what is available for us as carriers of God’s life on this earth!
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