As you read through Scripture, you find that Jesus has called us to live an amazing life. We are to be lights shining on a hill (Matthew 5:14). Our lives are meant to be full of abundance and lived to the fullest (John 10:10). Our passion for Jesus should spill out on all those around us (Matthew 25:31-40). To follow Jesus is difficult, but the fruits of our following are phenomenal! We live for a Savior whose love is uncontainable.
To know Jesus is to be consumed by Him. A life surrendered to Jesus is not easy, but it is victorious. It is exciting and beyond comparison. Each morning we awake to new mercies (Lamentations 3:22-23) and new possibilities of what Jesus might do through us. We need only surrender and allow Him to use and live through us.
My bet is most of us don’t feel this describes our lives. Perhaps we’ve had glimpses of the victorious life. We understand it from an intellectual perspective or see it as a theological possibility, but we don’t experience it. What are we missing? Since Jesus promised us an abundant life, if we are not finding it, I am confident the problem does not lie with Him. The abundant life is waiting for us, but Satan has deceived us into believing it is not there for us to seize. Jesus did not qualify who would benefit from following Him. It was and is a universal statement. Follow Jesus, have life. Abandon Jesus, and there is only death.
There seems to be a slight depression that has covered our country since the scourge of COVID-19 foisted itself upon our shores. Certainly, the media-fueled hysteria and the actions of government officials (regardless of their efficacy or your opinion of them), have deepened our discouragement. We long for our lives to return to normal, even if our normal was not very good before. At least we felt we could change it for the better. Now we are discouraged, isolated, and often angry or in despair. I think it’s safe to say most of us feel we are far from living an abundant life.
Yet we know if Jesus promised us an abundant life, then it is there for the taking. The problem then must be with us. We aren’t living an abundant life because we are too inwardly focused to understand the abundance Jesus promises is an outpouring of His love, mercy, and grace. The abundance is something we give to others out of the overflow Jesus is pouring into us.
Abundant life happens when we align ourselves to the mission of Jesus, stop focusing on our selfish desires, and begin lavishing the generosity of God’s love on others. I promise you that you will never find an abundant life In a self-centered person. Jesus calls us to be others-centered, to love others as much as ourselves (Mark 12:30-31). Something amazing happens when we live life focusing on the needs of others. We become more joyful and more alive. We look like Jesus. This is the goal of every disciple, to be so surrendered to Christ that when people look at us, they see Jesus. When that occurs, we will understand what it means to live an abundant life.