"I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows)."
- John 10:10 AMP
I have a dear friend, Peggy, who is showered with blessings wherever she goes. I have never known anyone who was living the "abundant life" quite like this dear lady is. She is a true inspiration to me and to countless other believers, and I admire her immensely. We were chatting together the other day, and we began discussing what it could be that enabled Peggy to be blessed "exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think." (Ephesians 3:20) We decided that one possible reason was the fact that Peggy always EXPECTS to be blessed. I've often heard her say, "God loves an expectant heart," and I believe this is true. She says that she always holds her "umbrella" upside down, to catch showers of blessings from heaven. She has no problem receiving from the Lord, as some of us do, so she is always ready and willing to accept the good things He offers.
Peggy prays BIG prayers. She sees her God as a BIG God--an all-powerful God, with whom nothing is impossible. (Luke 1:37) She doesn't put limits or restrictions on God. She gives Him plenty of room to work in every matter she prays about. And she always has a positive outlook, no matter how hopeless a situation seems. She truly believes that no matter how bleak the circumstances appear, God will turn them into good for her and other believers. (Romans 8:28)
Another reason that Peggy is so blessed may be because she believes God DESIRES to bless her, simply because she has a personal relationship with Him, and not because she does everything right. Peggy is not perfect. But she is the perfect example of someone who is truly "abiding" in Christ, and who is living in union with Him every moment of every day. (John 15:5) Peggy prays about everything. (Philippians 4:6) She doesn't view any matter as too small or insignificant to bring to the Lord in prayer, and she does her best to be sensitive and obedient to His leading at all times. When she does sin, she is quick to repent and receive God's forgiveness. (1 John 1:9) She doesn't dwell on her mistakes, and it is very rare when she allows herself to be overwhelmed by guilt and condemnation. Peggy's relationship with the Lord is the most important thing in her life, and she is committed to doing whatever she needs to, in order to maintain a vibrant and intimate relationship with Him.
Perhaps most importantly, Peggy is always quick to give God the thanks and the praise for all of her blessings. (Ephesians 5:20) She feels that more believers would be blessed if they would acknowledge to the Lord--and others--that every good thing that comes their way is from Him. (James 1:17) Even if a blessing that she didn't pray for or expect comes her way, she promptly and sincerely thanks God for it. She never uses rationale or reasoning to "explain away" the good things she receives daily. She always maintains "an attitude of gratitude," and the Lord continually honors and rewards her for it.
When someone comments on Peggy's extraordinarily-blessed life in her presence, she always tells them: "God is no respecter of persons. What He does for me, He'll do for you!" Peggy doesn't just say that to try to make people feel better--she knows that God says it in His Word, so it must be true. (Acts 10:34) She has a sincere love for the Scriptures, and she takes every promise from God personally. If you don't have someone in your life like Peggy to encourage and inspire you, I hope you'll pray and ask the Lord to send you someone. Better yet, ask God to help YOU be a shining example of someone who is living the abundant life in Christ!
Prayer: Lord Jesus, You said that You came so that I could live the abundant life, and I ask You to teach me how to do exactly that. Surround me with people who will challenge and inspire me to live a blessed life that will draw others to You. Expand my vision, and enable me to see You as the big, loving, and giving God You are. Thank You, Lord, that what You've done for Peggy, You will do for me!
- J. M. Farro