The Lord's desire for His people has always been an abundant life. When we look to the past, we see that God created an abundant life initially in the Garden of Eden for mankind, but humans spoiled it with sin (cf. Gen. 2 & 3). When we consider the future, we understand that God has prepared an abundant life with Him in heaven for all the faithful, but most will never taste that glory (cf. John 14:1-6; Matt. 7:13,14). When we contemplate the present, we know assuredly that God has provided an abundant life now for His children, but many fail to embrace it or even perceive it.
I firmly believe there is no life like the Christian life. There is no better way to live on planet Earth than as a devoted disciple of Christ! This is not surprising since God has created us to serve Him; it logically follows, therefore, that we would find the most satisfaction (i.e., a truly abundant life) laboring to fulfill our God-given function. Such a person will likely not make the most money or be the most popular, but they will have joy, peace, and purpose beyond that which the world can fathom (cf. Phil. 4:6,7).
When one lives for Jesus, he ceases to live for self. Paul stated in Galatians 2:20 - "I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me." Paul lived an abundant life of joy and purpose as a servant of God, but he wasn't rich or loved by the world. He lived for Jesus to the best of His ability and disciplined Himself (cf. I Cor. 9:27). We too must discipline ourselves and flee sin. Paul wrote in Romans 6:1-4:
"What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life." The Christian life is a new way of living for the one who decides to strive to overcome the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life on a daily basis. Following the New Testament as our guide is not easy, but it is the best way to live. Renewing our minds regularly with the word of God is vitally important - "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God" (Rom. 12:1,2).
There are two types of thieves in our world: physical and spiritual. Thieves that can steal, kill, and destroy physical life and possessions will always exist in this realm, but we should not fear them (cf. Matt. 10:28). They cannot ruin the abundant life of a Christian even by inflicting harm. However, there are other "thieves," so to speak, that should be feared and avoided. Temptations that we are faced with daily are potential spiritual thieves. The temptation to lie, lust, live selfishly, etc. can destroy the greatest life available if we yield. We must remember what was written in I Peter 1:15 - "But as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct." No one can steal your Christian life from you if you continue living a holy life, but you can squander it through sin and give up peace, joy, and contentment for suffering, disappointment, and failure. But who in their right mind would do that?
Friends, there is no life like the Christian life; there is just no comparison!