“I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.
(John 10:10b NASB)
Jesus intends that the life experience of those who follow Him should be rich and rewarding, exciting, and full of joy, meaning, and purpose . . . in a word, abundant. Jesus revealed the secret to experiencing abundant life in a prayer to His Father, “And this is eternal life, that they may know You and Jesus Christ Whom you have sent (Jn. 17:3).
The quality and quantity of our experience of Christ’s abundant life depends on how well we know Him. We will make ourselves miserable as Christians if we don’t develop an experiential relationship with God through His Word. We can’t settle for believing in Jesus simply so we won’t go to hell when we die. He’s more than just “fire insurance.” Jesus wants us to experience real joy – His joy – to the full by developing a deep love relationship with Him (Jn. 15:11).
God has given us the Bible, not as a rulebook to keep us in line, but as a guidebook to lead us to His heart. Prayer is not a way to get from God the things of this world we think will make us happy. It’s a way of getting happy by getting into God.
This is the focus of Paul’s prayer in Ephesians 3:17-19, “I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have the power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge – that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”
Paul prayed for God to enable us to comprehend the incomprehensible love of Christ so that we will be filled to overflowing with the fullness of God. In other words, the “abundant life” is the experience of the fullness of God that comes from seeking to know Him in ever-increasing depths of intimacy.
Brothers and sisters! Abundant life awaits us. Let’s count all other things as loss compared to the surpassing value of getting to know Jesus our Lord! (Phil. 3:8)
© Paul R Downing, Daybreak Devotions