Summary: One might think living an abundant life would be about having a surplus of money, things, power, etc. But the abundant life that Jesus promises in John 10:10 is not about that. Let's see what living an abundant life in Christ is all about.
LIVING AN ABUNDANT LIFE
1) Jesus came to offer us the fullness of life. John 10:10, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” Jesus starts out by talking about the thief-who is Satan. And Jesus reveals what Satan wants to do to us-steal, kill, destroy. Here we can see the digression-first he wants to steal-steal our joy, our love, our peace-not for himself-he wants nothing to do with any of these things and he doesn’t want anyone else to benefit from so he tries to steal them. Then his design is to kill us-take our very lives. He wants to kill our spirit, he wants to kill our hope; he wants to bring about the end of our lives. Finally, he wants to destroy us. It’s not enough that he would be successful in killing us, he want to take it to the next level and completely annihilate us. Satan wants to completely destroy our soul so that it rots in hell along with his. Satan wants nothing but evil for us.
Jesus, however, wants nothing but the best for us. First, he says that he came to bring us life. Jesus came to die on the cross that we would have eternal life. But not only did he come to bring us eternal life, he also came that we would have the fullness of life here and now. The KJV words it, “and have it more abundantly”. Abundantly (plentifully, richly). What does this mean? Does it mean that I am to live a life of luxury? Does this mean that I am called to be rich and have lots of stuff? I believe this is an erroneous way to interpret this. The abundant life is found in having an overflow of spiritual blessings, not material ones. We may wind-up being blessed materially but I don’t see scripture teaching us that this is what God intended for us to pursue. On the contrary, I see passages that speak out against having the desire to be rich. The Greek word for “full” can mean completely or no need. This tells me that Jesus offers me a complete life where he will meet all my needs. Phil. 4:19, “And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.” God’s glorious riches are without limit. No matter how much we receive from him there is plenty more where that came from. Christ uses the Greek word perissos. In this context, it means ‘superior in quantity or quality’ ‘exceedingly’ ‘very high’ ‘advantage’ ‘beyond measure’. perisson echein, "to have a surplus," true to the meaning of overflow. David said, “my cup runneth over”-I have an overflow; a surplus. The fullness of life that Christ offers is never short of blessings.
2) What is offered to us in abundance? Abundant=plentiful, bountiful, overflowing.
• Abundant grace. 1st Tim. 1:12-17. We are able to recognize how abundantly grace was given to us when we recognize our sinfulness. Paul saw his wretchedness and he recognized how much he had been forgiven. He saw the ways in which the Lord had gifted him and was using him for divine purposes and he recognized how much grace he had been shown. We have been given abundant grace but in order to recognize that we need to see it in the contrast of our own unrighteousness.
• Abundant peace-Jer. 33:6-9. God’s people were bound in captivity but God promises them restoration and abundant peace and security. We were once held in captivity by sin. But we were freed by Jesus and now we have an abundance of peace and security. We are sealed with the Holy Spirit. And if we allow the Holy Spirit to have his way in us we don’t have to worry about being taken captive again. If we stay close to Christ we won’t have chaos in our spirit. We don’t have to live in worry, fear or doubt; we can have the assurance of knowing we will be okay.
• Abundant goodness. Psalm 145:3-7. God has abundant goodness and he chooses to bestow that goodness in abundance towards us. It says in vs. 16, “You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing.” And we are called to celebrate that abundant goodness. And we should also tell should tell others what the Lord has done for us in praise and glorify his name. We need to acknowledge to others that the only place this wonderfully abundant goodness can be found is through God. Lay Minister John Mayes writes, “People who enjoy the abundant life will possess all of these qualities: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control, compassion, purity, humility, modesty, faith, character, wisdom, enthusiasm, dignity, optimism, confidence, honesty, and a relationship with God. In other words, the abundant life is full of all the things money can’t buy. No matter how much money you have, you can not buy more patience, self-control, or salvation! Hardware stores do not sell wisdom or hope. And yes, you can possess all of these qualities! You can get everyone of these things from God, who is the giver of all good things. The Bible says, "Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change...", James 1:17.”