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What is Abundant Life?

The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly (John 10:10 KJV)

Although we often use the phrase abundant life to describe the life that Jesus gives in John 10:10, Jesus used the term abundant to describe the manner of possessing the life He provides—quantitatively and copiously.

Abundant life is not eternal life as an entity Jesus gives but the manner we possess that gift of life He supplies. Therefore Jesus’s focus in John 10:10 was not to explain the kind of life—eternal life—He came to give. Instead, His subject was how eternal feels like to its recipients, and He explains this experience of eternal life with two main ideas. First, He teaches us we can possess enteral life in various amounts, so eternal life is possessed quantitatively. Second, His desire is for us to have it in excess, “to the full, till it overflows”; eternal life can overflow as a cup full and running over with water.

The idea of having a life, and doing so abundantly, also has two significant ideas closely interwoven. First, having or possessing life, comparable to having a physical object such as a  phone, means receiving and possessing something not part of your being. Second, though eternal life comes from God and is external to us, having or possessing describes the psychological and physical experiences of the qualities of that life as one with it. This means our minds, emotions, desires, and bodies experience and manifest the qualities of life such as joy, peace, power. This human experience of the divine life in copious degrees is nothing short of glory— this is what Christ is referring to having His life abundantly!

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Abundantly as described above, it functions as an adverb. What verb in  John 10:10 does this adverb more likely modify?

Apply the Word

Abundant life, or more correctly, abundant possession of eternal life, is divine life in extravagant manifestation in us. This is what Jesus wants. He wants you full of wisdom, power, love, joy, health, peace, and all the beautiful manifestations of His life in such extravagant measures that we are overwhelmed by the abundance! Jesus is here: enjoy life, to the full, until it overflows!


Thank the Father for such extravagant kindness poured out upon us.

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