What Does It Mean to Have Abundant Life?
By Brenda Rodgers
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. –
Around my daughter's first birthday, mealtimes became unbearable. She couldn't communicate with words yet, so she whined, grunted, and threw food. As a solution, I taught her a few words in sign language. The sign for "more" was one of them.
My daughter is now two-and-a-half and articulate for her age, especially with the word "more." If she begs for something she'll say the word "more" and sign it. I guess she thinks the sign gives her extra chances of getting what she's begging for.
As I've watched my daughter I've asked myself, "Are we much different from toddlers?" From our youngest ages, we desire more. We pine, crave, beg and covet for more. Typically we see this as negative - a part of our sin nature. But what we don't realize is that our desire for more is God's design, and He is happy to give it.
God created us to have an insatiable thirst as we live in this world. When sin entered the world, so did discontentment with life. God desires for us to seek more out of life. The problem is we displace our desire for more because of our discontentment.
The purpose of the tension we feel with what we want and what we have is to point us to God and to eternity. We're meant to desire more of God.
At first look, we might be tempted to say, "What? I rather have a life of abundance so I can have the stuff I want and be happy!" But when you're in a state of crisis, what's worth more - a life full of fear, anxiousness, and tension, or a life full of tranquility and the fruit of the spirit? I think we'd agree that you can't put a price tag on love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control.
An abundant life comes from following God's ways, pursuing holiness, and seeking to be more like Him. "This God—his way is perfect; the word of the LORD proves true; he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him" (Psalm 18:30). As a result, others see the abundant life in you and are led to Jesus through your example: "In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven" (Matthew 5:16).
God created us to want more. But which kind of "more" will we seek? Abundance in worldly pursuits or an abundant life? The more we desire God, the more abundant our life will be.
Editor’s Note: This devotional was taken in part from Brenda’s article What Does it Mean to Have Abundant Life?You can read that piece in full here.