I recently had the opportunity to teach a large singles class at Hill Country Bible Church for three weeks and the topic was the abundant life. I explained how Jesus told us in John 10:10 that he had come to give us the abundant life, life to the fullest. So we talked about what this life was here on earth and and what it wasn’t. We discussed whether or not we personally had experienced the abundant life and whether you could say that God had done more in your life than you could have asked or imagined (Eph. 3:20). Or, had you felt that life had never met your expectations.
I asked the singles to help me come up with a list of the characteristics of the abundant life we experience while we are living. And through our discussions, these are the characteristics mentioned:
- Purpose and meaning
- Gifts of the spirit; love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness and self control
- Receiving and giving Forgiveness
- A new perspective of living for God and not self
- Power to overcome sin
- Healthy Relationships with others
- Grace-filled life
- Security and freedom (Bible is our road map and the Holy Spirit our guide)
And a few things that the abundant life is not:
- Material things, prosperity
- Status and power
- The American dream
- Life free of trouble
- A perfect spouse.
We also talked about obstacles that prevent us from experiencing the abundant life and decided the four most important were:
- Disconnection from the vine John 15
- Faulty Expectations
- Living outside the boundaries God established (Seven deadly sins)
- Living from fear instead of faith
We discussed how sad it is that some Christians never realize the life God would have them live. And yet many have experienced this life, whether for a moment in time or for long extended periods. And those times when we experience the full life are when we choose to die to self and walk through the doors of faith. God gives us opportunities and choice. But to experience the abundant life we have to say yes to God often. This usually takes risk and lots of faith and trust in Him. Those choices are not always the most logical ones and most of the time they require us to move from the security and safety of our comfort zone and to make changes in our lives. When we live from the purpose he called us to live, with passion from the unique talents He has given us, to love and impact others, we can and will experience this abundant life!
Keys to experiencing more of the abundant life:
- Stay connected to the vine. Prayer and reading the Bible
- Stay within God’s boundaries
- Dream God-size dreams that require risk and stepping out of your comfort and security zone
- Say yes to God often when He presents you with opportunities
- Choose people to join you on the journey who will encourage, direct and help you. You can’t do anything great by yourself!