Holland: What is the abundant life Jesus offers?

Published 5:30 pm Wednesday, May 22, 2024

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In this modern age, religious seekers often comb the Bible for passages that promise endless blessings. People love to hear messages about God protecting His children from danger and suffering and how He wants to give us everything we dream about. The problem is that this is different from why Christian life was established. Christians should read and study the Bible daily while keeping everything in context, which is critical to understanding what God is saying more clearly. He indeed loves us, but even in His endless compassion, He did not promise this life would be a luxury bed while servants wait on us and we never have any pain or a need to have unwavering faith.

For example, we can cherry-pick verses from the Bible, such as Proverbs chapters 2 through 4. Still, the big picture of comprehension comes when we study each word within the entire section and spiritually connect it together. The same is true for Psalm chapter 103 and all the other promises throughout God’s word. Yes, every word in the Bible is God-breathed, and since they are divine words, we must interpret them through God’s Spirit. The Greek word logos (Λόγος) has multiple meanings, including “word,” “thought,” “principle,” “utterance,” “message,” “discourse,” or “reason.” In Christianity, it’s a title for Jesus Christ and identified with the second person of the Trinity. The term is most commonly used to refer to Jesus as The Word, as in John 1:1: “In the beginning was the word (logos), and the word (logos) was with God, and the word (logos) was God.” 

There is also another reference for the word of God called rhema. Both logos and rhema are instructions from God, as the former is His written word objectively recorded in the Old and New Testaments. At the same time, the latter is an explicit word He speaks personally on particular occasions through His Spirit. Have you ever heard God speak to you? A passage of the logos can move into being rhema if it is revealed by the Holy Spirit to apply to a particular situation. This explains why we must not attempt to piece together a theological view in our intellect without first listening to the still small voice of God directing and confirming His perfect truth. Explaining the Bible without praying for spiritual wisdom and discernment only increases the confusion.

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I once heard a story about a missionary wanting to travel to another country to preach the gospel. He had been seeking and praying for a rhema word that would give him the green light to move forward with his plans. He finally heard the word “go” and went off with his family. He spent all that he had and ended up in a difficult place that was filled with dead-ends and obstacles. After a year of frustration, discouragement, and defeat, they came back home and he fell on his face fasting and crying out to God asking what in the world happened? He then heard the Lord clearly speak, “I said go…and stay busy where you are and wait for my perfect timing.” He had only heard what he wanted and was so impatient he failed to listen to the complete message. God has a definite plan for us, but it will not be effective or successful unless we do it His way. 

Being a living sacrifice is the opportunity to have abundant life, as spiritual fulfillment is received through what we have invested in our obedience to God. Becoming one with Christ is how we are filled with the “abundance” of His joy and contentment. Jesus is always directing within the spiritual realm and the abundant life He gives is not based on materialism but for the Father to receive glory. How can we love God when our love is focused on our flesh? Yes, He provides our needs, but let us not twist His words around to satisfy our desire for earthly pleasures. True abundant living is about surrendering our will to Him so that we can accomplish His will. Everything we have was given to us, including our very existence, and yet it’s easy to ignore the principle of giving, which is the very nature of God. This means that a genuine, abundant life is not about obtaining worldly riches and power but is directly connected with our highest calling, which is to give all that we have and all that we are to Him. 

Dr. Holland is a Christian minister, chaplain, and author. Read more about the Christian life at billyhollandministries.com.