Summary: The purpose of this sermon is to describe and explain the abundant life in Christ.
Living an Abundant Life in Christ
Introduction: Our world is full of unhappy and dissatisfied people. For this reason, people everywhere are looking for answers to the emptiness they feel inside. These people will try anything, if it might bring them some sort of satisfaction or happiness. Perhaps this explains why there is so much divorce, suicide, thoughts of suicide, drug dependecy, alcohol abuse, criminal behavior, prostitution, sexual impurity, depression, pornography, eating disorders, emotional, and psychological disorders. We are messed up. So, what is the solution? Materialism and wealth? Pleasure and enjoyment? Power and prestige? Religion? Wisdom and understanding? Everybody has an answer. But I believe the Bible when it says, "There is a way that seems right to a person, but in the end, it produces death," Proverbs 14:12.
There is an answer to the eternal question, "How do I find happiness and satisfaction in life?" Jesus stated in John 10:10 the purpose of why he came. He 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". What did Jesus mean when he said that we can have "life to the full"? You deserve an answer to this question.
A good dictionary will define the word "full" as "complete, perfect, being at the highest or greatest degree, the maximum". So when this word is in reference to one’s life, it would mean a life that is complete, not lacking in anything essential. It would imply that one’s life was successful, superior, having an abundance of quality and life. The good news is that not only did Jesus come to save us, but he also came to give us an abundant life. This is much like a second blessing: eternal life, plus "life to the full"! I’m convinced the reason why so many Christians are not living life to the full is because they don’t know what it is! Many Christians don’t really think that such a life is available to them. How sad!
Jesus said, "I have come, that they may have life, and have it to the full." This tells me that God desires that his children are living a life full of happiness, peace, and a genuine friendship with God. Through Jesus, it is without a doubt, still available today. It can be done and Jesus came to do it! Christians call this quality of living, "Abundant Life!"
I. There really is an "Abundant Life."
It does exists. And Christians all around us have discovered what it is and how to live it. And so can you!
1. Abundant living is a life that is filled with the things that are good for us.
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. But the Bible also says, "You do not have, because you do not ask God," James 4:2.
Are you in pursuit of the abundant life?
2. The "abundant life" is free from the things that are bad for us.
Everyone who lives the abundant life avoids these negative qualities: Selfishness, hatred, lust unforgiveness, envy, jealousy, fear, drunkenness, sexual immorality, discord, fits or rage, dishonesty, greed, gossipping, slander, pessimism and dispair. In other words, people with these issues often spend lots of money on therapy and marriage counseling in order to keep it from destroying themselves and their relationships with their loved-ones.
The more these negative qualities are a part of a person’s behavior, the farther they are from obtaining this thing called "abundant life". And yes, God can remove all of these negative characteristics from a person’s life. Everyone of them! God is greater than our sins! At one time, the people of Corinth, lived a life full of much wickedness and evil, but when Jesus was introduced to these people, by the power and grace of God, many were able to free themselves from these immoral actions. Paul wrote "And this is what some of you were. But you were washed,you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God." 1 Corinthians 6:11