How important it is that we understand just what Jesus was saying by breaking down and studying the verse. Knowing what He said, however is only the starting point. We need to see the implications of it for our own lives.
Even more essential is that we live it out, but how?
To answer that question, we will have to get into the paradoxes of the Christian life … lose in order to find, die in order to live, deny self in order to gain.
Living within the abundant life Christ came to give requires dying to self for it is HIS LIFE in me that makes life so full and abundant. “For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it.” (Matt. 16:25)
Here’s Why Dying to Self is Necessary:
- My perspective isn’t broad enough.
- My efforts aren’t good enough.
- My intentions aren’t pure enough.
- My love isn’t deep enough.
- My thoughts and ways aren’t high enough.
The abundant life cannot be found in “me.” Only when I lay all that down will I truly find the abundant life Jesus came to give for His plans, power, and personhood are broad enough, good enough, pure enough, deep enough, and high enough to produce not only life but life to the full.
Here’s How It Works:
Unless I die, I can’t be raised up. Unless I am raised up, I can’t see life from a position that enables me to live it abundantly.
And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. (Eph. 2:6-7)
We have to see life from His perspective and live it by His power. Otherwise attempts to live an abundant life will take on a worldly skew and be no better than what we can muster up. Certainly that won’t be sufficient to call it abundant.