For some, a title like this puts your guard up, as you brace yourself for the prosperity gospel. Others may be hoping for it, hoping I can promise you that, by giving a percent of your money, God will give you back that amount times one hundred–or some wonderful ‘get rich’ promise. But I’m not talking about the ‘name it and claim it’, or the ‘prosperity gospel’ version of abundant life. I’m talking about the real abundant life, the abundant life Jesus came to bring.
When I speak of abundant life, I speak of a heart that is full, when the wallet is empty, and being content with what God has given you. Sometimes ‘abundant life’ is sharing with those less fortunate, even if it means that you will have to sacrifice in some areas, because they are in a place of greater need than you
This is something my mother taught me, when I was a little girl in Mexico. We were poor and didn’t always have enough food for our family. Still, when homeless people wandered by, holding out their dishes for food, she managed to find something to feed them, even if only bread. She didn’t do it without fretting, feeling a sense of obligation, and yet worrying about caring for her own family. And though life was difficult for us in so many ways, watching my mother give in spite of her own need communicated a powerful message to me.
In different ways, Dad also gave when he had nothing to offer, did work for people without charging them what they owed and other acts of generosity that he could not afford. Both of my parents shone in this area and raised a family would sacrifice the shirts on our backs, to help others.
Abundant life is a life that gives generously of time, money and resources, giving where there isn’t always a return, pouring out and yet always being full and satisfied. But it’s more than just the material and physical realm.
Abundant life is a spiritual state of well-being. It is knowing that all is well, where it really matters—in relationship with God—whether there is lack in our present circumstances, or not. It is knowing that God is more than enough, and that He has more than enough where our resources fall short, and He will meet our needs.
Living with purpose, seeing our hopes, our dreams, and the desires of our hearts, come to life in our experience is also part of living an Abundant Life. When we know God, when we ‘delight’ in Him, He promises to give us these desires. (Psalm 37:4 and Psalm 20:4)
Often we view an Abundant Life through the lens of selfish, materialism, but that’s not what the Abundant Life consists of. Jesus came to give life, and life more abundantly. (John 10:10) We can only give what we have to offer. This means that Jesus lived abundant life, and as our example, He lived a life of sacrifice but a life so closely connected to God that His needs were fully met on every level. If once we get a revelation of this truth, we will never again life in want, but will live a full abundant life, a life of generous sacrifice and great joy.
© Trudy Metzger 2012