Jesus’ promise of living life in all its fullness is available to everyone, but it is not automatic. The Lord has shown me that the most important key in attaining this quality of life is that it cannot be the goal.
Rather it is a by-product of our primary goal.
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. (Mat 6:33)
Abundant living is the fruit of being and remaining in a right relationship with God.
That’s why I used the term reaping instead of getting in the title of this blog. This relationship begins the moment we accept Jesus’ free gift of eternal life.
And this is eternal life: [it means] to know (to perceive, recognize, become acquainted with, and understand) You, the only true and real God, and [likewise] to know Him, Jesus [as the] Christ (the Anointed One, the Messiah), Whom You have sent. (Jn 17:3 AMP)
God created you to be in a love relationship with Him forever and that way is found only through His Son.
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (Jn 14:6)
Why do we have to come through Jesus? Because God is pure, righteous, and holy and we are not; we are sinners.
But you are pure and cannot stand the sight of evil. (Hab 1:13 NLT)
The good news is Jesus makes us clean by taking the punishment we deserve for wrongdoing upon Himself. By accepting His work on the cross, He gives us His purity (righteousness) so that we can draw close to this most holy God. (Click here for a more detailed explanation.)
So the abundant life starts with being in a right relationship with God through His Son.
Next, we need to remain in a right relationship.
We do that by living an obedient life. Now please don’t let that be a turn off! His commands are not burdensome (1 Jn 5:3)! They are good and beneficial. Would you, as a loving parent, tell your child something that would hurt him? Of course not!
In the same way, our heavenly Father only wants what is best for us—even though it may include restrictions and some things we may not like at first.
…Fear the LORD your God as long as you live by keeping all his decrees and commands that I give you…so that you may enjoy long life…be careful to obey so that it may go well with you…. (Deut 6:2-3)
Being a gardener, I just love the word picture Jesus gives in John 15 of abiding in the Vine.
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener…. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself…. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you…. As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.” (Jn 15:1, 4, 7, 9-11)
I believe the phrase, “If you remain in me and my Words remain in you” means to live in Christ and by His Word. It means we need to
- Know it*
- Ponder it, so we can
- Apply it (=obey)
By obeying God’s Word, we will not restrict the life flow of the Vine into us, the branch. His nourishing truths and Living Water will result in the much desired fruit of love, joy, and peace (Gal 5:22). In other words, the abundant life!
Next time, my friends, I will discuss how to keep it. Until then, abide in Christ—it is a sweet sweet existence!
*Click here to learn more abundant life Scriptures
New International Version (NIV) Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Amplified Bible (AMP) Copyright © 2015 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, CA 90631. All rights reserved.
New Living Translation (NLT) Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.