We begin this month on a series about Living an Abundant Life. Our Bible Journaling Scripture comes from 2 Corinthians 8:2, “During a severe trial brought about by affliction, their abundant joy and their extreme poverty overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part.”(CSB) The Apostle Paul held up the other Macedonian churches as an example to the Corinthians. The Macedonians gave above and beyond their resources and became an encouragement to Paul and the other missionaries because of the support they received from Macedonia. Despite their poverty, the Macedonian Christians lived lives of abundance.
Paul states that the churches in Macedonia endured trials, affliction, and persecution, and yet they lived lives of abundance even though monetarily they were poor. The dictionary definition of abundance is, “an extremely plentiful or oversufficient quantity or supply: overflowing fullness: affluence; wealth.” Abundance doesn’t necessarily mean overflowing in wealth, although it can be defined as such. Abundance can also be defined as a life filled with an overwhelming sense of peace and joy, a life filled with goodness, happiness, etc. I find it remarkably interesting that the Macedonians did not have easy lives, and yet because of the joy of the Lord and their commitment to support the church, they were joyful and gave generously of what they had.
In today’s world, we see people around us who don’t understand what living an abundant life is all about. They think that if they have the latest and greatest of whatever is being touted on television, that their lives will be fulfilled. What truly gives us abundance isn’t the accumulation of things or money, but the realization that we can have an abundant life through knowing Jesus as our Lord and Savior. It is He who gives us the joy, peace, contentment, fulfillment, and satisfaction of living a life in abundance.
King David knew the source of the abundant life. In Psalm 130:7, he encourages the children of Israel, “Israel, put your hope in the Lord. For there is faithful love with the Lord, and with him is redemption in abundance.” (CSB) We have an abundant life because God is faithful to us, He forgives us more than we deserve, and He provides us with His abounding love, over and above anything we have ever experienced before or will in the future. When we accept Jesus as our Savior and Lord, He supplies us with more than we can even imagine. It isn’t necessarily wealth in terms of money or possessions, but He gives us things that truly matter, love, joy, peace, contentment, and knowing that He is always and will always be with us, no matter what.
We can be like the Macedonians, full of “abundant joy” despite our seeming lack of material wealth, and eagerly willing to give to those who are more in need than we. We can be like the Apostle Paul and be content in whatever situation we find ourselves. “I know how to make do with little, and I know how to make do with a lot. In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being content—whether well fed or hungry, whether in abundance or in need.” (Philippians 4:12 CSB) The abundant life is grounded in knowing Jesus, it is taking this walk with Him one step at a time in joy and satisfaction, rejoicing in what He has given us, and being full of His love toward others.