“Hello, my name is Betty Newman. I am the co-teacher, along with Janet Franklin, of a Disciper’s group in the rural area of East Knox County, just east of Knoxville, Tennessee. We have study groups that meet on Monday nights and Tuesday mornings. I have been excited to get to know Suzie Klein via e-mail over the past few months. I truly believe that the Lord has brought us together in our love of His Word.
My husband Joe and I live on a farm that has been in his family since the late 1700’s. I’m a former business owner (custom framing and chair caning) but now my days revolve around Bible study, writing and being a farm wife (and all the multitude of things that entails! Oh, I could tell you stories!) We have 2 sons who are married to precious wives, one grandson, and another grandbaby due in October.
I have a blog (www.prayerlogue.wordpress.com) on which I post devotionals, meditations, Bible Studies and prayers. Most weeks I also post my message from our weekly Disciplers Bible study. I hope you enjoy this devotional.”
A friend of mine said, “I had someone ask me this: ‘Give me your definition, as a Christian, of “abundant life”.’ I’d appreciate hearing your take on that.”
I told her that she’d better be careful asking me a question like that… I’m the kind of person, that if you ask them what time it is, they’ll tell you how the watch is made! And so I set off (as my husband often jokes) “on a mission!”
I guess because I first latched onto the word “abundant” my mind immediately went to Ephesians 3:20, “Now to Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly above all we ask or think…” And I began to think of abundant blessings, and about how abundantly blessed we are… but… not everyone is so blessed, and yet, they may have “abundant life.” Why is that?
Then I thought of John 10:10 “I came that they might have life, and have it abundantly.” What kind of life is this? It’s not just being alive. It’s not just existing. It is also more than just a quality of life, for quality of life has an external connotation, and “abundant life” isn’t (just) external, though it sometimes is that. So, what kind of “life” can one have that is “abundant” if it doesn’t mean blessings?
The word translated as “life” here is “zoe”. The Complete Word Study Dictionary defines it as “an absolute sense for the source of all life.” It’s the same word for life as found in John 1:4 “In Him was life; and the life was the light of men” and the same word describing the “tree of life” and the “book of life” in Revelation. And for Jesus to “come” that we would have the “absolute sense for the source of all life” and have it “abundantly” is “abundant life.” But still, how would one describe “abundant life?”
So, here’s the thing… life, in this regard, is like a dessert. Sometimes when we take a bite of a certain dessert we’ll say, “Ooooh, that’s rich!” What does that mean? It means… well… you know what it means! (I bet your mouth just watered!) You just taste it! You can’t tell by looking at the dessert that it’s going to be “rich”; you just know it when you partake of it! It is internal. It is determined by the ingredients. It is just the nature of the dessert that makes it “rich.”
And it is the nature of a life that makes it an “abundant life.” It’s like an old song says, “Richer, fuller, deep-er… Jesus’ love is sweet-er… Sweeter as the years go by.”
And that’s what “abundant life” is – the sweetness of knowing His love!
May the internal richness of God’s abundant love fill your heart and life today! “O taste and see that the Lord is good!” Amen!