Originally published Monday, 15 April 2019.
Seasons of abundant life by the world’s definition will ebb and flow. You may be prosperous with a cushion in your bank account. Maybe a bounty of food overflows from your cupboards and refrigerator. It may be time to declutter the personal items and belongings that you are stepping over in your home. Abundance. A rich supply. More than enough.
Or, you may not.
Perhaps you’ve lost your job or your hours were cut. The shortage in your bank account and your cupboards may be and make you feel hollow. Perhaps there is a small supply of friends and family in your life and relationships feel destroyed or withered. Maybe, just maybe, your life feels anything but abundant right now.
John 10:10 says “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”
When we know that Jesus came to give his followers abundant life we are inclined to ask, how do we live that out when life feels like a shortage? Can we share when we lack? How do we give when we don’t have the finances to gift? What does life abundant look like when our life does not match what the world says is plenty?
God was and is abundant in power, in righteousness, in mercy, in goodness, and in love. In Him, we have the power to give and live abundantly as well – yes, even when our life doesn’t look or feel rich. We all have access to a wealth in Him to give to others.
We can share joy abundantly.
- Putting a smile on your own face and greeting people earnestly, giving encouragement or a compliment to the mom in the grocery store, engaging with strangers in the park, or waving and saying hello to your neighbor are all simple and easy ways to share joy and connect with people. Even when our days feel spread thin and our life feels in shortage, we can always abundantly smile and rejoice in the Lord for he is good.
“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.” Philippians 4:4
We can give an abundance of our time.
- Giving of our time could be serving someone or an organization, helping a friend or coworker with a project, or inviting over someone who is lonely or in need of relationship. So much goodness, love, and faith can be shared when we spend our time devoted to someone else. We can give abundantly by sacrificing our time for the sake of someone else.
“Let brotherly love continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.” Hebrews 13:1-2
We can live abundantly with purposed fellowship with people and with the Lord.
- When we love our brothers and sisters and continue in fellowship with them, we continue to grow ourselves. We continue to see the needs of others and can practice the command of treating others as more important than ourselves. (Phil. 2:3) As we tend to or nurture our relationships, we can become true friends with others: helping, caring, praying for each other, serving, encouraging each other, and admonishing each other at times out of brotherly or sisterly love. We can live abundantly in our life by being in community with fellow believers and point each other back to what Christ says about the ways we ought to live.
- We can fellowship with God by purposely spending time in His word and in prayer. When we devote our time to fellowship with God, we grow in relationship with him, grow deeper in our understanding of Him, his heart and his character. We can live abundantly when we purpose to know this God which we are serving.
“If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.” 1 John 1:6-7
All followers of Christ can live greatly abundant lives if we just continue to look to Jesus and his example. Jesus was a carpenter; he didn’t come from a wealthy family nor did he have an abundance of finances, or of food (remember when he took only 2 fish and 5 loaves and still fed the 5,000), or of material items. Yet, he lived his life in an abundance of love, of serving, of giving, of his time, and of rejoicing in his friends and in the Father. When we put our emphasis on what God had in mind when he sent his son for us to live life abundantly, we can all live abundantly. We ought to aim to live abundantly by Jesus’s example, not by the world’s.
Kayla Anderson is married (for better or for worse) to the one who she knows without a doubt that God created her to be companions with. Together they have four young children, Ezekiel, Asher, Ellery, and Alder, and run a hand-crafted soap shop. She is a stay-at-home, homeschooling mom and is in a season of learning how to gracefully be the central point and glue of their family. Thank the Lord that she has Him to look to for wisdom, guidance, and strength! She loves reading in the quiet, early morning hours, decorating their sweet little home, writing has been part of her soul since she learned how to write letters, and her love of coffee runs deeper than her coffee pot. You can find more from Kayla on her blog or Instagram.