The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.

John 10: 10

 

Defining abundant can be a challenge. It is often determined by the circumstances surrounding us, by where we live and the general expectations of our immediate culture. In some places abundant is satisfied only by having an almost ridiculous level of wealth. In others it is found in possessing enough food to last beyond tonight. There are certain things that are true about all of the elements of that thing that we think of as earthly wealth; they are readily consumed, they wear out and break down, and thieves target them. If we make it through to the end of life with excess we can will it to our heirs, but that gift does not define our true legacy.

 

Legacy is something that is defined in relationships. It comes from the way that we live and the manner in which we deal with other people and with our world. The sort of wealth that lasts and that passes on to those who follow after us is a gift from God to those people who seek after Him. Jesus gave all that He had so that each of us could gain this gift. As Satan is the robber and the destroyer, Christ is the anti-thief. He brings life out of death, and He provides real and lasting abundance in place of this world’s perishable trinkets. God’s definition of abundance is grounded in love and grace. It involves such culturally odd ideas as sacrifice, humility, suffering, pain, and surrender. It is found in service to God. Abundance is measured in the currency of our souls.

 

For any of us to know abundance and to live an abundant life, I would propose that we must know Jesus. This knowing goes far beyond a simple decision to accept Christ as our Savior and Lord. That is the starting place, but that is certainly not the end of the treasure that God has stored up for us. We come to understand what abundance is as we surrender our wills to Christ. God calls us into a life that is framed by His will. He remakes us into eternally minded and other focused beings. In Christ we are led to dwell in the abundant pasture of His presence. As we meditate on God’s Word and submit to His will, we are filled to overflowing with a wealth that can not be stolen. This is the sort of abundance that we can share generously with the entire world without fear of having nothing left. It is out of Christ’s abundance that we can leave a lasting legacy of faith.

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