When Christians talk about abundant life in Christ, they share some common beliefs and have points where their ideas diverge. Ask 10 Christians to define abundant life and you may get 14 answers. But Scripture is clear that our new life is a reality. 2 Corinthians talks about this life when it says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. Old things have passed away and new things have come.” Jesus said “A thief comes only to steal, kill and destroy. I have come that they might have life and have it abundantly” (John 10:10). Paul talks about God doing “exceeding abundantly, beyond all we can ask or think” (Ephesians 3:20). Throughout Scripture we see God blessing people, and promising blessings to people. Proverbs speaks often about ways we can become prosperous. Is God trying to tell us that prosperity is the sign of the abundant life? Because many in the Bible and throughout history have had lives of struggle, suffering and pain, yet seemed to experience abundant life.
We sing about it, we preach and teach about it, but what does “abundant living” really look like? Like most of the things our Lord taught us about kingdom living it has to do with a succession of small events that, when put together, make a very large life. Abundant living doesn't show itself just in magnificent conversion experiences, or awesome miracles, or martyr-type deaths. Instead, it is seen in the giving of food to the hungry, or water to those who are thirsty, or being hospitable to a stranger, or clothing the naked, or ministering to the sick and hurting. So subtle are these things in themselves that those who practice them regularly will say, when commended for them at the Judgment, “When did we do these things?” and the king will say….”to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of mine...you did it to me….and these will go away into eternal life.” (Matthew 25:40f) Why? Because that is the abundant reward that seems to accompany that kind of abundant living. And that kind of life is urged upon us all.
Senior Pastor of Cactus Christian Fellowship