Imagine a man who wanted to travel from Columbia, SC to Los Angeles, CA. He looks at a map and sees that Los Angeles is directly west of Columbia. So he sets off, armed only with a compass.
Eventually, he may arrive at his destination. But the journey is going to be very frustrating, filled with wrong turns, dead ends, distractions, and numerous occasions of being completely lost. Not what he had hoped for.
Now imagine a woman in Columbia who is also traveling to Los Angeles. Instead of a compass, she whips out her smartphone, pulls up Google Maps, types in her destination and Viola! she’s given turn-by-turn directions to get from Columbia to LA.
It’s still going to be a pretty long ride, but she’ll enjoy a much more efficient and fulfilling roadtrip.
Jesus said He came to bring us Abundant Life. Yet, most of us feel as if we’re barely hanging on. We sit in church week after week, listening to the preacher elegantly describe the life of abundance (or maybe we are the preacher), giving us a sense of hope and determination. But as soon as we walk out the door, life happens, and instead of actively pursuing that abundance, we find ourselves reacting to the demands of everyday living.
We’re like the man above with the compass. We have a general idea of where we want to go, but our day-to-day decisions are not in alignment with our destination.
The good news is there’s a better way. God does not leave us fumbling in the dark with our good intentions. He has blessed us with a collection of books – the Bible – filled with stories and wisdom from ordinary people who found their way, by His grace, into the Abundant Life. And though these books are not a GPS giving us turn-by-turn instructions, they do provide us with a clear path to our destination.
One of the clearest passages for seeing this path is 2 Peter 1:3-11. This passage is the basis for our Pursuit. Throughout our Journey we’ll go over it in much more detail. But for now, I would like to give a short summary, which is also the core conviction behind our pursuit:
Abundant Life is a life of rich, moment-by-moment interaction with God. The way into that life is through the cultivation of thoughts and habits that meet with God’s grace to move us down the path of a gentle, yet persistent, pursuit of agape love – the love that characterizes God Himself.
I’ll leave you with the words that Peter used to conclude our chosen passage – words that express the beautiful promise that though we each must decide to walk this path, we are never alone. God wants this more than we do and we can count on His Presence, step-by-step, to carry us into this life of abundant goodness:
Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall. For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.