This message was delivered first in our annual Word and Wisdom Conference, which was on the 1st of October, 2018.
The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance [to the full, till it overflows]. John 10:10 [AMP]
According to Wikipedia, “Life is a characteristic that distinguishes physical entities that have biological processes such as signaling and self-sustaining processes, from those who do not, either because such functions have ceased (they have died), or because they never had such functions, and are classified as inanimate”.
However, some people believe that life is more than this definition from the Christian background, which I want to dwell on in this write-up. From a Christian background, life is the manifestation of the attributes of Jehovah, who created the world. As for man—that is the Adamic man—life is the breath of God into man.
The Bible says in Genesis 2:7 [AMP], “Then the Lord God formed [that is, created the body of] man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and the man became a living being [an individual complete in body and spirit]”.
The spirit of life that was breathed into Adam was different and superior to the life that was in plants and animals. God did not breathe into plants and animals; He only spoke them into existence; He did not form them with His hands. That form of life is called bios. It is the study of bios that is called biology.
The spirit of life or the infused life of God is called zoe in Greek language; it is the supernatural life. When Adam sinned, he ceased to reflect that glorious life. It was the removal of that glorious life that revealed the bios, which was their nakedness. The zoe of life was not extinguished at once; it declined gradually just like the luminance of your android phone or rechargeable lamp that reduces in intensity, gradually, with time. The decrease in zoe was exemplified with a decrease in lifespan from the time of Adam, gradually, until science (which is as a result of the thorns and thistles Christ placed on His head that made Him shed blood from His brow). The day Christ bled from His brow, man no longer had to sweat to eat or reap the benefits of the earth. Since then, man’s mental capacity was unchained like never before. The Christian now has the mind of Christ. Any human being who decides to improve on humanity is enabled to do so.
What most African Christians celebrate is the bios kind of life—a life of mere existence. Many of the testimonies we share, if animals can talk, they will share greater testimonies. If it is a building you built, even birds build nests and weaver birds also have large estates. If it is children you have, pigs give birth to more children. If it is longevity, tortoises live longer than you. If it is the survival of an accident, a lizard can lose its whole tail and survive without treatment. A cockroach can have two of its legs removed and it will still survive. If it is journey mercies, birds migrate long distances to nest and still return safely.
The abundant life is the life that reflects the nature, glory, and character of God. The template for the replication of this life is Jesus Christ. He is God in human form, which provides the model from which our lives can be replicated.
One year, around 1998, I told Jehovah. “Happy New Year”. I was thanking him for a new year that just came around. I can vividly remember the spot, just after my Hospital at No 59 Ikot-Ekpene Road, Aba. I heard vividly in my spirit, “My son, you have just been existing; you have not been living”. On further enquiry, my spirit told me that, to live is for people to thank Jehovah because of the visible impact of my life around them.
The abundant life is not measured by the abundance of wealth alone, but in the sense of contentment and overflow of the nature and reality of God to the environment and humanity.
You can have the abundance of bios and be dead in sin—Ephesians 2:1-7 (AMP).
Being dead is usually stimulated by a feeling of emptiness and dissatisfaction that needs to be filled with sexual promiscuity, drugs, gluttony, tattoos, emulation, greed, theft, and most times by cultism and violence. Even religious extremism and bigotry is a manifestation of this emptiness.
When you think you need to kill a fellow human being to have seven virgins in paradise, it is just a manipulation of your sexual greed. You want to have sex with seven virgins in heaven? Who gave birth to them there? What of the wife and children you will put in pains here on earth? When you need to intimidate your fellow Christian with material things and a sense of false righteousness, that is a manifestation of emptiness. A lot of the fellows you admire might just be empty and dissatisfied with life. Why would a very successful person, in the sense of the world, commit suicide?
The perception in African Christianity is a greater emphasis on religion, piety, regimentation, and self-denial and a life of deferred hope until we reach heaven. Emmanuel, which is the name of Jesus Christ, means “God with us”. Jesus is the fullness of the deity in bodily form, resident within, and amongst men. The Kingdom of God is at hand is both the nearness and availability of the kingship, reign, influence, and rulership of God through Jesus. It is not only the urgency to escape the ‘hardships’ of this earth. The African thrives on this “future life of bliss in paradise” to the neglect of the reality of life here on earth.
The Kingdom of God starts here! We can create Paradise from now; if you doubt me, visit Igieduma, the Jehovah’s Witness Center.
THE NATURE OF THE ABUNDANT LIFE
- It is a life that looks unto God, looks beyond self, and looks out for the good of fellow humans.
When we become more responsible to humanity and the environment, God and humanity becomes more responsible to our needs; that is the essence of Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness. That’s why all things would work together for them that love God and who are called according to His purpose—Romans 8:28.
The abundant life is a life of responsibility. Mary Slessor’s name can never be erased from the history of Nigeria because of her effort towards the eradication of the killing of twins; she lives forever in Nigeria and her country. That is an example of eternal life. That is the abundant life—a life that can influence people positively to radiate the glory and nature of God is an overflowing life.
- It is a life that breaks barriers and limitations like the wind.
Dr. Kasarachi Innocent gave his testimony on October 1st, 2018, in the Word and Wisdom Conference. Despite all the challenges he passed through, he overcame, all through grace, to become who he is today.
The abundant life is a life of grace. Grace is divine enablement to function beyond installed capacity. Anytime you meet someone who is filled with complaints, excuses, blames, self-acquittal, or justification, know that you have a presidential aspirant of backwardness. The forms for election into backwardness and poverty are free, but the cost of the occupancy of these offices is enormous.
- A life of contentment
No matter what you earn, financially, you can never be satisfied (if that’s your benchmark for contentment); you will always see someone richer than you in an area. The more you earn, the more you want to spend and tend to spend.
Contentment is gratitude to God for today and what we have, but with hope for a better future. The abundant life is not about how much you have; it is about how much joy you radiate.
- The fruit of the spirit
Ephesians 5:8-9 says, For once you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord; walk as children of Light [live as those who are native-born to the light] (for the fruit [the effect, the result] of the Light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth).
The passage, Ephesians 5:8-9, describes a sinner as ‘darkness’. Darkness is the ‘cloak of evil’ according to William Shakespeare. Darkness is unproductive and unattractive. When you get entangled in sin and corruption, you cannot progress as fast as you should. If you must live a productive life, you must not get entangled with too many worldly activities.
Value is not appropriately appreciated in darkness. You can’t distinguish colours in darkness. You can’t appreciate and distinguish between issues and things in darkness. The life of darkness is terrible. When darkness covers a nation, just like it is enveloping Nigeria, the beauty of the abundant life is lost. When darkness covered Afghanistan, Yemen, Syria, and Somalia, the progress of these nations have been stunted.
So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. Psalm 90:12
Chronologically, your lifespan is measured in time. The ability to manage time well is a reflection of the value you have for your existence.
Anyone that does not value your time has no value for your life. Life rewards the most productive persons. The most confusing thing is: what the least productive has, as little as it is, is taken from them and handed over to those who have more. The fig tree that was not fruitful, but was leafy, was cursed by Jesus Christ, and it withered.
MANAGEMENT OF RESOURCES
God is a great manager of resources; His ability to manage life in the galaxies and the milky way is astonishing. In fact, the primary responsibility God gave to Adam, and by extension, the rest of mankind, was the management of the earth.
Very unproductive people are very wasteful and consumptive. The wastage in Africa is very disturbing. When Jesus fed five thousand men, He collected the remnants and it amounted to 12 baskets. The Western world has its own wastages but they are by far better managers of resources. The day you start to productively manage your time and your resources, the abundant life starts to manifest.
Responsibility, Replication, and Reward (ANACONDA SUGARCANE)
Recently, August 2018, I harvested a giant sugarcane from behind my office near our fish tanks, which formed the post on Responsibility, Replication, and Reward.
One of the secrets of the abundant life is to delegate duties to others or transfer anointing to others, who can make what you delegated or transferred flourish more than what it was in your hands. When God transferred the responsibility of working and tending the garden to Adam, the aim was for Adam to keep improving on the earth. God was so confident in Adam’s ability that He allowed him to name all the animals He created.
When concepts and ideas leave you and flourish more in the hands of others, that is part of the abundant life. When you grow in others or your ideas grow beyond you, it is the abundant life.
The size of a problem is not important as long as there are hands and minds where the solutions can expand. The problems of Nigeria and Africa might loom large but the solutions are available, and the people are available. What we need is a link and synergy between those who have the ideas and a populace that can grow the ideas and solutions.
Elisha asked for a double portion of the anointing of Elijah. That is the mindset of producing ‘anaconda’ results. We need to persistently desire a double portion of the performance of our predecessors.
Gehazi was the servant of Elisha who demanded a double portion of Elijah’s anointing. Gehazi, instead of looking for a double portion of Elisha’s anointing, went after the clothes of Namaan of Syria. He subsequently had leprosy. Gehazi was given the rod of Elisha to raise up the dead son of Shunamite woman, but he couldn’t use it. He later became a storyteller in the Palace of the King of Israel. He was asked to come and narrate the stories of the miracles of Elisha. Gehazi became a storyteller instead of a history maker. You must not become a storyteller; be a history maker.
Elisha died with so much anointing such that when a dead man was thrown upon his grave there was still a thermonuclear anointing present that raised the dead man. Elisha did twice the miracles of Elijah. No miracles were accounted for on behalf of Gehazi. I will end by quoting a great businessman and administrator per excellence.
“Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.” Jack Welch
After reading this post, you must pray for the life and goodness of God to radiate from you. Your life will be a fertile ground for ideas and things to grow. You must not be a full stop. You will go beyond a statement to make history in Jesus name.
God Bless You.