Abundant Living (1)

W. Terry Varner
May 18, 2014

It is a tragedy of our times that so many within and without Christ who believe following Jesus subtracts from real life (living). No theory of life (living) could take you farther from the truth.

There is something wrong with a person’s outlook on Christianity when they get more enjoyment out of missing Sunday and mid-week services instead of joining with fellow Christians to sing, pray, study, and worship God. If we really valued and enjoyed Christianity, we would be motivated within ourselves to importance of living the abundant life.

A Sunday school teacher entered the classroom and asked her young students the question: “Who would most like to be?” The answered varied as one would expect. Here they are: A little boy said: “Tiger Woods.” A little girl said: “To have all new dresses.” Another said: “To grow up and live forever.”

Christ came to give people life here and hereafter (John 10:10). He came to expand life in order that we might grow like Him. In the prison of sin, a person’s life is limited.

Biblical Words that Describe Real Living. Consider just two of the many biblical words that describe real living.

Joy. There is joy in salvation from sin and fellowship (1 John 1:3) and the joy of assurance (Jude 24). From the start to the end of our Christian life, it should be an occasion for joy. This does not mean we will have no bad times. Jesus wept three times. Salvation contains within itself joys unrealized and unappreciated until we truly live and enjoy life. The incredible news of the gospel is that God delights to save (Rom. 1:16; 2 Peter 3:9). Jesus “freely gives us all things” (Rom. 8:32). Happiness is not an accident.

Peace. The universal search of all men is peace. What men fail to realize is that when we obey and live for Jesus the search for peace is over. We define peace as “life at its best.” God’s aim through the ages is for man to enjoy peace.

Evidence of the Lack of Peace Among Men. The lack of peace among our culture is evident. The search for peace will continue until men run out of time searching or until he finds Jesus. When the Prince of Peace (Isa. 9:6) is found men have that which makes for “abundant life” (John 10:10). Men turn to everything to find peace of mind.

It is estimated in America that there are about 9 million alcoholics and another 8 million on the verge.

United Press International (UPI) reports a crisis in religion in America. The ebbing of interest in religion began to be apparent in the mid-60s and has now reached the point that many local congregations and many denominational churches are seriously hurting. Since the mid-60s, attendance at worship services has declined in America by 40% Bible sales, while still the top seller, has declined by 35%. Sunday school enrollment has declined each decade since the mid-60s. Something is wrong.

It is reported that better than 50% of all marriages (men and woman marriages) end in divorce. One person in every 20 has some form of venereal disease. It is estimated that 1 out of every 6 brides is an expectant mother before marriage.

What does all of this prove? Man is insecure. Man places emphasis on the wrong things. Man is unhappy. Man has not found life at its best. Man has not obeyed Jesus to have the “abundant life.”