Living the abundant life

 

. Suppose I had the ability to guarantee you a life that was full of joy and happiness beyond measure and a peace in your life that surpasses all understanding? What if I could also give you the assurance of entering into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord where there will be no more pain, sorrow, or death? 
 
Would you be interested?
 
Well, I wish I could personally do that for everyone, but that is beyond my ability. However, I can point you to the man that can provide you with all of these things so you can live the abundant life, and that man is Jesus the son of God. 
 
John 10:10 Ö I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.
 
One of the reasons Jesus came to this earth was so that we could have the abundant life, and He teaches us how to live the abundant life through His word. Many of the secrets to living an abundant life can be found in John 15. 
 
John 15:1"I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser.2 "Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.3 "You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you.4 "Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.5 "I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.
 
The first thing we learn about living the abundant life is that we must be part of that true vine, which is Jesus Christ. A person cannot begin living an abundant life until they accept the gospel call and are baptized into Jesus. Paul makes it clear that baptism is the point that one enters into Jesus the true vine. 
 
Galatians 3:27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
 
Many people in the religious world try to make baptism into Christ a formality, and they teach that it is not necessary. They would say that all you have to do is believe on Jesus and say a sinnerís prayer and you will be saved. Now I donít know about you, but I am going to take word of the inspired apostle Paul over those who teach this false doctrine. 
 
Once we do obey the gospel and are baptized into Christ for the remission of our sins, Jesus tells us that we must abide Him, and if we do this, He will abide in us. Jesus describes us as being branches that are attached to Him, and if we want to live the abundant life and remain in Christ, we must learn to bear fruit and realize that we cannot produce any fruit that will be acceptable to God unless we are attached to the true vine. So with this thought in mind letís take a look at few ways that we can bear fruit for the Lord and what it will do for us. 
 
Our first example is found in.
 
Romans 1:13 Now I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that I often planned to come to you (but was hindered until now), that I might have some fruit among you also, just as among the other Gentiles.
 
Paul really wanted to visit Rome, but he had not been able to. However, when he gets there, he was looking forward to preaching the gospel and winning more souls to Christ, which is what is meant by him saying ďthat I might have some fruit among you also.Ē So, one of the ways that we can bear fruit is by teaching others the good news of Jesus Christ and how they can become part of the true vine so they can bear fruit that is acceptable to Lord as well. 
 
Why should we do this? Well as Christians, we realize what God has done for us and everyone else on the face of this earth. God loved us so much that He gave us His only begotten son so that we could have the hope of having an eternal life in heaven, and when we read our Bibles, we know how important it is to God that people are saved by being added the true vine of Jesus. There are 2 verses that teach us how much God wants all of us to know His truth and His love. 
 
1 Timothy 2:3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior,4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
 
2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.
 
It is Godís desire that all people be saved, but is it is up to all Christian in the world to bear this fruit by spreading the good news. One thing that should help motivates us is the illustration that is given by Jesus on how the Father and the host of heaven reacts when a sinner comes to the Lord. 
 
Luke 15:8" Or what woman, having ten silver coins, if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp, sweep the house, and search carefully until she finds it?9 "And when she has found it, she calls her friends and neighbors together, saying, 'Rejoice with me, for I have found the piece which I lost!'10 "Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents."
 
This shows us how much Love God has for us and how happy it makes Him when a sinner repents and turns to God. So all Christians who love God for what He has done for us should want to help as many sinners as they can to turn back to God so that all of heaven will rejoice. 
 
But what is our benefit from this? 
 
I believe we benefit from winning souls to Christ because it brings great joy to us knowing that we had a hand in leading a sinner to God. I think we can all understand this concept. How many times has someone done something for you in your life that you could never repay? But when you have the opportunity to do something for that person, no matter how small it may be, you jump at the chance and it makes you feel good to do so. Well, this same thing is true when it comes to God. He has given us the forgiveness our sins and a promise of a home in heaven. We can never repay or merit this gift, but when we see an opportunity to serve Him or to bring glory and honor to His name, we should jump at the chance to do so. When we do, it will bring great joy into our lives because we know that have done something for the Lord. The apostle Paul understood this idea, and we can see that winning souls brought great joy to his life. Please notice what he said to the Thessalonians. 
 
1 Thessalonians 2:17 But we, brethren, having been taken away from you for a short time in presence, not in heart, endeavored more eagerly to see your face with great desire.18 Therefore we wanted to come to you -- even I, Paul, time and again -- but Satan hindered us.19 For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Is it not even you in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His coming?20 For you are our glory and joy. 
 
So, we should be able to see that leading people to Christ is part of living the abundant life. 
 
Another fruit that we can be bear is found in, 
 
Romans 15:26 For it pleased those from Macedonia and Achaia (ah-kay-ya) to make a certain contribution for the poor among the saints who are in Jerusalem.27 It pleased them indeed, and they are their debtors. For if the Gentiles have been partakers of their spiritual things, their duty is also to minister to them in material things.28 Therefore, when I have performed this and have sealed to them this fruit, I shall go by way of you to Spain.
 
Notice, Paul describes how these Gentiles were sharing their material things as a fruit, and this is something that we can do today. We can share our material things with those who are in need. There are many different ways we can help those who are really in need. It may be that we open our home to someone or feed them a meal. We might have the opportunity to help an orphan or a widow in need, and as far as that goes, there are times when we might be able to help a brother or sister in Christ when they are in bind. 
 
The first century Christians understood how to give and to help each other and those in need. 
 
Acts 4:32 Now the multitude of those who believed were of one heart and one soul; neither did anyone say that any of the things he possessed was his own, but they had all things in common.33 And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all.34 Nor was there anyone among them who lacked; for all who were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the proceeds of the things that were sold,35 and laid them at the apostles' feet; and they distributed to each as anyone had need.
 
Please understand, I am not suggesting that we must go out and sell our land and our homes as they did, but I want you to see how they were unified, and how they understood that the material things that we own are temporary and are not as important as serving God and helping each other. This is why Jesus tells us in, 
 

Matthew 6:19 " Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal;20 "but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.21 "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

 

As Christians we must be careful not to allow material things to become our treasure because if we do, it will distract us from living the abundant life. I like what Paul says in,

 

1 Timothy 6:7 For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.8 And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content.9 But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition.10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

 

Some Christians are so concerned about their possessions that it keeps them from serving God, and some seem to think that they can take there riches with them to the grave. As Paul said, we came into this world with nothing and we are going to leave this world with nothing. The sooner we learn this lesson the better off we will be. Keeping this thought in our minds should help us to learn to be better givers of our time and of our material possessions.

 

Galatians 6:10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.

 

Again we might ask, how does this benefit me? Have you every given something to a needy child who had very little, and when you gave it to them their eyes opened and glistened with excitement. When you did this for this child, didnít it fill your heart with happiness and joy. Well the same feeling can be experienced when we give a needy person our time or part of our material possessions because we can know that we have brighten there day and given them a little bit of hope. That it why Jesus said,

 

Acts 20:35 Ö It is more blessed to give than to receive.' "

 

So sharing with those in need will help us to live the abundant life.

 

Another fruit we can bear in found in,

 

2 Peter 1:5 But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge,6 to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness,7 to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love.8 For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

This is a perfect recipe on how to have the character of Christ, and it important for every Christian to learn these virtues in order to live life to it fullest. I know of no greater work that a Christian could do than to follow in footsteps of Jesus and learn to be like Him. Adding these virtues to our life will cause us to produce much fruit for the Lord such as, 
 
Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,23 gentleness, self-control.
 
Now we will never be perfect at all the virtues, but God wants to continue to work on these virtues because the more we put them into our lives, the more abundant they will be. One of the greatest benefits that we receive from following these virtues is the assurance of a home in heaven. 
 
2 Peter 1:8 For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.9 For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins.10 Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble;11 for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
 
Another fruit that we can bear is found in, 
 
Hebrews 13:14 For here we have no continuing city, but we seek the one to come.15 Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.
 

If there is one thing that every Christian should do, it is to praise God and give Him thanks because itís though Him we live, breath, and have our very being. I think David puts it best in the Psalm he wrote for the Lord in,

 

Psalm 30:1-12I will extol You, O LORD, for You have lifted me up, And have not let my foes rejoice over me.2 O LORD my God, I cried out to You, And You healed me.3 O LORD, You brought my soul up from the grave; You have kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit.4 Sing praise to the LORD, You saints of His, And give thanks at the remembrance of His holy name.5 For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for life; Weeping may endure for a night, But joy comes in the morning.6 Now in my prosperity I said, "I shall never be moved."7 LORD, by Your favor You have made my mountain stand strong; You hid Your face, and I was troubled.8 I cried out to You, O LORD; And to the LORD I made supplication:9 "What profit is there in my blood, When I go down to the pit? Will the dust praise You? Will it declare Your truth?10 Hear, O LORD, and have mercy on me; LORD, be my helper!"11 You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; You have put off my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness,12 To the end that my glory may sing praise to You and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks to You forever.

 

I say amen to that. What a wonderer fruit to bear, to give God praise and thanks for what He has done for us, what He is doing for us, and for what He is going to do for us. We benefit from this fruit because it gives us peace in our lives knowing that our God is watching out for us.

 

Philippians 4:6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

 

So giving thanks and praise to God will help us live the abundant life. Now we could examine more fruits that we could bear, but lets move on to our next point which comes from part of our original text in John 15.

 

John 15:4 "Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.5 "I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.6 "If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.7 "If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.8 "By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.9 " As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love.10 "If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father's commandments and abide in His love.

 

Jesus used abide 10 times in these verses, which makes it clear that the only way we can bear fruit that pleasing for God is by being attached to that one true vine and remaining there. Again, I canít stress it enough, only those who have obeyed the gospel call and have been baptized into Christ for their remission of their sins can be grafted into this vine. There are a lot people out there that call themselves Christians, but many of them have never fully obeyed the gospel call because instead of being baptized into Christ for the remission of their sins, they were told to say a sinnerís prayer. Some have turned baptism into something you do to join a denomination.

 

Friends, I want you to understand that the Bible teaches that unless you are baptized into Christ for the remission of your sins you cannot be part of the one true vine, which is Jesus. This means that no matter how many works you do in the name of God, they will not be acceptable to Him because your labor and your fruits did come through Jesus because you have never been grafted into the true vine. This is why Jesus says,

 

Matthew 7:21 " Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.22 "Many will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?'23 "And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!'

 

I canít tell you had sad it makes me to know that there are so many people out there that are working hard to do things for God, but many of them have been robbed because they have believed a lie that they Christians when they are not. I hope that if you are here today and you have not obeyed all the gospel, I hope you will stop allowing yourself to be deceived that you were saved by just believing and saying a sinners prayer or by accepting Jesus into your heart because these are manmade teachings. All I ask that you do is to accept what the Word of God says and believe, repent, confess and yes baptized into Christ for the remission of your sins so that you can be grafted into that true vine so that you can produce fruit that is acceptable to God and have the assurance of heaven as your home. .

 

Those of us who are truly branches of Christ can say what Paul did in,

 

Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

 

Every Christian that abides in Christ can have the confidence that God will be there to help and strengthen us in our time of need. Again, it is only when we abide in Christ that we can bear fruit that will be pleasing to God and make it possible for us to live the abundant life. This brings us to the end of our lesson this morning and I hope that you will return this evening as we continue to examine living the abundant life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This morning we began a 2 part series on living the abundant life. We talked about how every Christians can have the abundant life through Jesus. Most of our lesson this morning came from John 15, which taught us that in order to live the abundant life we must be part of that one true vine Jesus Christ because if we are not, we can never bear fruit that will be acceptable to God. We looked at some fruits that we can bear as Christians and then we talked about how we must abide in Christ to be able to produce that fruit.

 

Well tonight, I want to examine the question, how do we abide in the vine? Again Jesus answer this question in,

 

John 15:10 "If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father's commandments and abide in His love.11 "These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.12 "This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.13 "Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends.14 "You are My friends if you do whatever I command you.

 

Did you see the answer? Jesus said if you keep my commandments you will abide in my love, and He says if you keep His commandments, you are His friend. Also please note,

 

1 John 3:24 Now he who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. And by this we know that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us.

 

So, if we want to abide in Christ so that we can live the abundant life, then we must obey Godís commands. Many today seem to think that the word obedience is a dirty word, but the Bible makes it clear that obedience to Godís will is absolutely necessary.

 

For instance, notice what Jesus says about this in:

 

Mark 3:31 Then His brothers and His mother came, and standing outside they sent to Him, calling Him.32 And a multitude was sitting around Him; and they said to Him, "Look, Your mother and Your brothers are outside seeking You."33 But He answered them, saying, "Who is My mother, or My brothers?"34 And He looked around in a circle at those who sat about Him, and said, "Here are My mother and My brothers!35 "For whoever does the will of God is My brother and My sister and mother."

 

Here Jesus makes the point that whoever is obedient and does the will of the Father will be His mother, brother or sister. Since obeying Godís will causes this kinship with Jesus, if we donít obey Godís Word then the opposite will be true. We will not have any kinship with Jesus, which stresses the importance of obedience.

 

Jesus came across some people who recognized who He was, but they were not following His words, so He asked them a question.

 

Luke 6:46 " But why do you call Me 'Lord, Lord,' and do not do the things which I say?

 

It is not enough to call Jesus your Lord, because we must be willing to obey the things that Jesus has taught us through the Word. Obedience to Godís Word has been taught throughout the Bible. Therefore, whether you are reading in the O.T or the N.T. you will discover that God has always demanded an obedient faith. Jesus understood this and lived His life by it. Since He is our example, we should follow in His footsteps.

 

For example, in John 4 after Jesus had talked the Samaritan women at the well about how we must worship God in spirit and in truth, His disciples came to Him encouragingHim to eat some food, but notice Jesusí response in,

 

John 4:32 But He said to them, "I have food to eat of which you do not know."33 Therefore the disciples said to one another, "Has anyone brought Him anything to eat?"34 Jesus said to them, "My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work.

 

Jesus understood His priorities, so He was always ready to put the will of the farther first even before filling His own belly. I like what Job says about this concept,

 

Job 23:12 I have not departed from the commandment of His lips; I have treasured the words of His mouth More than my necessary food.

 

This should give us an idea of how much importance we should place on Godís Word, and how we should make it our first priority and live our lives by it. Jesus is the greatest example of this, and he states with clarity in,

 

John 6:38 "For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.

 

I donít know of anyone who would be bold enough to say that Jesus was not obedient to the Father in all avenues of His life. Even when Jesus was in the Garden of Gesemene and the weight of the worldís sins were on His shoulders, and He was so stressed that He began to sweat drops like blood from His head, He still said,

 

Matthew 26:39"O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will."

 

No matter what situation Jesus found Himself in, He never ever put His will before the Fathers and that is why the Hebrew writer says this.

 

Hebrews 5:8 though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered.9 And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him,

 

Just as Jesus was obedient to the Fatherís will, we too must do our best to be obedient to Godís commands. Please notice very carefully that Jesus is the author of salvation only to those who obey Him. So donít ever let anyone try to convince you that obedience to Godís Word isnít important because it is. John said,

 

1 John 2:3 Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments.4 He who says, "I know Him," and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.5 But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him.6 He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.

 

It should be easy to for us to see that in order to abide in Christ, we must obey the will of the Father in order to live the abundant life.

 

But what should be our motivation for obeying the will of the Father?

 

Well the way I see it there are at least 3 different reasons a person might obey God.

 

1. Someone might obey because they are motivated by fear. All they know is that they donít want to face any punishment. It is kind of like a dog that has beaten in the past and every time you go near it, it cowers in the corner because it is afraid you are going to beat it again. Now God does want us to respect His power and the punishment that will follow if we are disobedient, but He does not want us to be motivated into following Him out this type of fear. He doesnít want our tails tucked in between our legs.

 

2. Another way some people are motivated to obey is if they feel like they need to in order to get what they want. For example, a teenager may obey their parents or do little jobs for them, but not because they want to do it, it because they feel like they need to do these things in order to get favors or things from their parents. This describes someone who goes through motions, but their heart isnít into it because their real motivation is just their own selfish gain, and God does not want us to obey Him for this reason.

 

3. Some motivated to serve God is because they want to because of their love for the Father. For example, when children love their parents, they will do things for them and obey them because the respect and love them. This is what God wants us to be motivated by. He wants us to obey Him because we love Him. As John 14:23 says,

 

John 14:23 Jesus answered and said to him, "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.24 "He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father's who sent Me.

 

And again John says,

 

1 John 5:3 For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.

 

It is very important that we realize that love should be our motivation for obeying Godís commands. Think about it, if God wanted to make us obey through fear, I guarantee you He could make ever single person cower like a dog, but if He did this, He would be violating our free will. If God wanted to force us to obey Him, He would have made us that way from the beginning, and if He wanted to change His mind about our free will, He had plenty of opportunities and encouragement to do so by the behavior of the children of Israel in the O.T. Since God respects our free will it shows that He loves us, and He wants us to choose whether we will love Him back.

 

The only way that we will be successful in remaining committed to obeying the Fathers will is if we are motivated by love. Let me give you an example.

 

Hebrews 10:24 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, 25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.

 

This passage teaches us that we should not forsake the assembling of saints. Now those who look at passages like this with a motivation of fear or with the attitude that I have to will be the type of people who will only assemble with the saints enough to sooth their own conscience. For some this may be only coming Sunday morning. To others it may mean coming once or twice a month. When we have the wrong motivation, passages like these can become a burden to us.

 

When a Christian is motivated by love and they see passage like this, they donít look at them as a burden or something that they have to do. No, they look at as an opportunity to love God back by obeying His commands. They will find great joy in assembling with the saints every opportunity they have because they understand that it brings glory and honor to the Lord. If we are ever going to learn to live the abundant life, it is imperative that we learn to make love our motivation for obeying God. I want to end this point with the words of Paul.

 

1 Corinthians 13:1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal.2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.4 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up;5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil;6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth;7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.8 Love never fails.

 

Ok, we can see the importance of love and how we must learn to love God, but how do we love God?

 

Well the answer to this question should be obvious. We must learn all we can about Him. We have no problems understanding this in our everyday relationships. For instance, many of us in the room are married. Did we just instantly fall in love with our mates when we first meet them or did it take time? Well, for most us it took time for us to get to know each other, and the more we learned about each other the more we began to fall in love. Once our love was developed we are willing to do just about anything for our mate.

 

The same thing is true with friendships that you make. You donít just become friends with someone the instant you meet them. No, it takes time develop that relationship and for you learn to love that person as a dear friend. Well the same thing is true when it comes to God. If we ever hope to learn to love Him we must get to know Him.

 

How do you get to know another person, and how do you effectively grow in that relationship? 1. I think most of us would agree that we must be willing to spend some time with that person in order to get to know them. 2. We must have effective communication to find out what we need to know. If we have poor communication, then we will probably never get to know that person.

 

So in order for us to learn more about God so that we can develop a love for Him, we must read His Word because this is the only way that we will learn about Him, and we must pray. God has provided us with everything we need in the Bible to learn to trust Him and to love Him. This is why Paul says to Timothy,

 

2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. ††

 

And Peter tells us that,

 

2 Peter 1:3 His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue,

 

So everything we need to know about God to love Him is found within the Bible. Now just like a marriage, when a couple spends more time with each other, they learn to love each other more and more. Well the same thing is true with God. The longer we are Christians, the more we are going to love Him. But the only way that we will grow in that love is by reading more and more of His Word, and by spending more and more time in prayer. As Peter says,

 

2 Peter 3:18 but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

 

Paul also understood how important it is for us to continue to study Godís Word, which is why he commanded Timothy to:

 

2 Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

 

Simply put the more we read, the better we will know our God and His will. As simple as this sounds, I believe that reading our Bibles is the foundation of living the abundant life.

         By reading we learn to know God

         By knowing we learn to love God

         By loving we learn to obey God

         By obeying we learn to abide in God

         By abiding we learn to bear fruit for God

         By bearing fruit we experience the abundant life.

 

So if you want to learn how to live the abundant life you must not neglect the Word of God. Instead you should make it part of your everyday life and never forget to pray and talk to God on a daily basis. If you do this you will have an abundant life. As Jesus said,

 

John 10:10 Ö I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.