Abundant Living

“I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows)” (John 10:10 amp).

LIFE IS NOT A PROBLEM TO BE SOLVED BUT AN ADVENTURE TO BE EXPERIENCE.

By John David Hicks

The abundant life that Jesus promised is experienced only by faith.  For Without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him” (Heb. 11:6). Note that this faith-trust is the foundation of all love and relationships (1 John 4:16).   God loves you and “demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom.5:8).  Knowing this, God will reward those who earnestly seek him—for they know that they are completely accepted and have the requests they desire from Him (1 John 5:14-15). “For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith” (Rom. 1:17).

In the garden, Adam withdrew his surrender and obedience from God so he could be independent, in control. The desire for control comes from pride—a heart that craves to be in control, like God.  Control tries to define what is good and what is evil. It is so selfish that it wants life to revolve around itself.  Nevertheless, uncooperative people, life’s circumstances, health problems, and money troubles show us that we are not in control. 

You were created in the image of God to be in a loving fellowship with God. The Bible calls this relationship faith, trust and dependance on God.  When you become a Christian, Jesus becomes your “Master and Lord.” God wants to conform you into the likeness of Jesus Christ as He prepares you for life and eternity with Himself (Rom. 8:28-29).  “We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one” (1 John 5:19).

 As you see that life is beyond your control, you learn to depend on the Lord and live by His life (Gal. 2:20; Phil. 4:13). When we give the Lord control of our lives, the scriptures promise, “In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence” (Eph. 3:12).God is faithful (reliable, trustworthy, and therefore ever true to His promise, and He can be depended on); by Him you were called into companionship and participation with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord” (1 Cor. 1:9 amp).

The abundant life comes out of your walk with the Lord. God’s Word is God sharing His life and His promises with you that cannot fail.  God’s Word is a part of Himself. When you step out by faith to do it, you are rewarded.  Living by faith (Heb. 11:6) is the key to your walk. “It is the same with my word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it. You will live in joy and peace. The mountains and hills will burst into song, and the trees of the field will clap their hands!  Where once there were thorns, cypress trees will grow. Where nettles grew, myrtles will sprout up. These events will bring great honor to the LORD’s name; they will be an everlasting sign of his power and love.” (Isa. 55:11–13 nlt). That is called abundant living.

Therefore 1 Peter 5:7 tells us, “Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully” (amp). When you “cast your cares on the Lord,” you are “living by faith,” dependent on Him.  James 1:2-4 tells you the reward of casting all your cares on Him?  “Consider it pure joy, my brothers whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.  Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”  James is literally saying, when you have a problem, “Jump for joy, because you get to see God work.” Life is an exciting adventure with the Lord (Eph. 3:20-21). Life is not a problem to be solved, but an adventure to be experienced.

In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus says: “Pray to your Father in private. Then your Father, who sees everything, will reward you…I tell you not to worry about everyday life…Seek the Kingdom of God above all else.”  These are Jesus’ steps to abundant, powerful living. Rather than being “conformed to this world,” you will be “transformed by the renewing of your mind and will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—His good, pleasing and perfect will” (Rom. 12:2).  You can say by faith with Paul, “I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day” (2 Tim. 1:12). In addition, you can say with David, “You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance” (Ps. 32:7). “You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand” (Ps. 16:11).

When you surrender control, you “Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall” (Psalms 55:22). This is your security, significance, and sufficiency in Jesus, that God wants you to have. “For it was I, the LORD your God, who rescued you from the land of Egypt. Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it with good things” (Ps. 81:10 nlt). “For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God” (Rom. 14:17–18). “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly (John 10:10 nkjv). The abundant life flows out of fellowship and the adventure of casting all your cares on the Lord.    E-mail: jdh@faithencounter.org  —  © 2021 • Faith Encounter