Do you believe that God wants us to live a rich, fun, full, and abundant life? Does He want us to really enjoy life?
The Abundant Life
Jesus once said “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly” (John 10:10) but was does He mean to have life and have it more abundantly? Well this at least means He wants us to enjoy a more abundant life. God is not against anyone having fun or enjoying activities but when these start having us, it can become an idol. God blesses some with more financial means than others so that they in turn can bless others. God will return His blessing upon them. God gives so that we will give. It is written that “Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the LORD, and he will repay him for his deed” (Prov 19:17) so if you want a more abundant life try giving some of your own abundance away.
A Joy-filled Life
God doesn’t want discontented Christians. We should be the most joyful people on earth. We have ever reason because we’ve had the peace of God through Jesus Christ (Rom 5:1) and now we are not under condemnation anymore (Rom 8:1). That should compel us to be overflowing with the joy of God. Prior to Jesus leaving the disciples before Calvary and His subsequent return to the Father, they were feeling rather lost so Jesus reassures them “These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full” (John 15:11) and “I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them” (John 17:13). Don’t you want that “full measure” of the joy Jesus promised the disciples? When John the Baptist’s disciples started dwindling and Jesus’ followers started growing, John the Baptist said “The bride belongs to the bridegroom. The friend who attends the bridegroom waits and listens for him, and is full of joy when he hears the bridegroom’s voice. That joy is mine, and it is now complete” (John 3:29) therefore “He must become greater; I must become less” (John 3:30). The humility in John made his joy even greater.
Even Jesus required some down time as He was in His humanity and traveled on foot, slept without a home, ate irregularly, and came to the point of exhaustion in His ministry so one time “After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone” (Matt 14:23) and again, “after sending away the crowds, he got into the boat and went to the region of Magadan” (Matt 15:39) which was a smaller, more Roman town near the Sea of Galilee. More than once His disciples came looking for Him (Mark 1:36). Jesus was pressed hard on every side during His ministry and was once so exhausted that He was able to sleep on a fishing boat during a fierce storm. No wonder He got up early to pray and to get away as in Luke 4:42 where it says, “At daybreak, Jesus went out to a solitary place. The people were looking for him and when they came to where he was, they tried to keep him from leaving them” so we see this pattern in Jesus’ life where He “often withdrew to lonely places and prayed” (Luke 5:16). If Jesus felt the need to get some downtime and to get away from the crowds and rest in a solitary place then I believe we need it too; at least from time to time. Naps are not illegal on Sunday afternoons where I live.
God created us to rest, recreate, and rejuvenate. We are finite creatures. We need to rest and get away for a time. We need to go out and enjoy life and do some fun things for a change. Take the family or take a friend with you. There is everything right about seeking a solitary place, resting, having some recreation, or just enjoying life. God is not anti-fun. He wants us to have a rich, abundant life of enjoyment and fun. That life begins with Jesus Christ.
Article by Jack Wellman
Jack Wellman is Pastor of the Mulvane Brethren church in Mulvane Kansas. Jack is also the Senior Writer at What Christians Want To Know whose mission is to equip, encourage, and energize Christians and to address questions about the believer’s daily walk with God and the Bible. You can follow Jack on Google Plus or check out his book Teaching Children the Gospel available on Amazon.