More Abundantly

toomuchstuffI think we have a misconception about this verse:

The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” John 10:10

The same way that people interpret Psalm 37:4 to mean that if I try to like God, He will give me what I want, or that Romans 8:28 means that if I love God, everything will go my way.  We read our circumstances into the context, instead of looking at the context. How badly we misunderstand God’s love. It is not the if-then kind. His love gives without looking for anything in return.

The “abundantly” that Jesus is talking about is not more stuff, newer stuff, more impressive stuff. It isn’t stuff at all. It is the abundance of our very lives. The abundance of God’s grace in every moment. What that means is that we don’t view each trial or circumstance as a dead end street, a hopeless situation, some kind of “karma” coming down upon our heads. It is all purposeful, even when we don’t see it.

Because first we know that God is love. If we are His children (that is, in the John 1:12 sense…having received Him personally as Savior), then He has an obligation to look out for us, as it were. He will never leave us, or forsake us. We can trust that He knows what we need before we ask. He will be with us, to the end of the world.

Because He is God, we can trust Him to keep these promises, for He cannot lie. We can know that He makes no mistakes, because He knows everything, He never changes, He is perfection itself, and His ways are perfect. Nothing is “for nothing”.

This, my friends, is abundant life…even if you don’t have two nickels to rub together in your pocket today. Regardless of what challenges we may encounter.  We can KNOW these things. You’ve heard of looking at the world through “rose colored glasses”? Well, this knowledge helps us to view everything in our lives different than those who do not know Him.

Like a river, glorious
Is God’s perfect peace,
Over all victorious
In its bright increase;
Perfect, yet it floweth
Fuller every day,
Perfect, yet it groweth
Deeper all the way.

Stayed upon Jehovah,
Hearts are fully blest;
Finding, as He promised,
Perfect peace and rest.

“But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:42

Mary knew what the abundant life looked like. I’m sure she didn’t have much in the way of belongings, but what she had in God, she had in abundance, and it could never be taken from her. It would only “appreciate in value” in Heaven. That’s a good thought.


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