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Recently I was invited to work on a project that aims to help people experience life more positively and more abundantly. The more I studied the ideas, the more I realised that they came straight from the teachings of Jesus and Paul. This was not promoting a kind of pop psychology or a short-lived trend. Significant amounts of research had been done to discover what helps people, families, relationships, workplaces, churches and communities to flourish and thrive, and all of the results connected with different verses and scriptures. This is exciting news for us! In a world struggling with pain and problems we have the best teachings for helping people to live more abundant lives, the abundant lives that Jesus created us to live (John 10:10).
Here are some of the ‘secrets’ we have as Christians that can help us and others to live well:
•    Knowing that we are unconditionally loved by a loving God (John 3:16; Psalm 145; 1 John 4:7-21).
•    Loving each other wisely and well (1 Corinthians 13; Philippians 1:8-11; 1 John 4:7).
•    Showing kindness to everyone we meet. (Philippians 4:5; Romans 12:10-13; Ephesians 4:32). Trying to end each interaction or conversation on an encouraging and uplifting note. Planning intentional acts of kindness that bless others.
•    Focussing on thoughts that are healthy and uplifting (Philippians 4:8).
•    Disputing negative thinking (Philippians 4:4-7, 13; 2 Corinthians 10:5). Negative thinking limits the abundance of our life and may cause us to respond negatively to others, too.
•    Finding the joy and blessing in every circumstance (Matthew 5:1-12; Matthew 6:25-34; Philippians 4:4, 12). Looking for the good and positive in each other.
•    Comforting and supporting each other when life is painful and challenging (2 Corinthians 3-4; Romans 12:15b).
•    Knowing that God will always forgive us when we confess our sins. Offering forgiveness to others (1 John 1:9; Matthew 6:9-15).
•    Being aware of our strengths and spiritual gifts and finding ways to use them to bless others (1 Corinthians 12).
•    Spending time in nature (Psalms 104). Walking in natural and beautiful surroundings and focusing on the beauty and wonder of God’s creation. Experiencing God’s creation with all of our senses.
•    Having a gratitude attitude (Matthew 7:7-11; Colossians 3:15, Ps 136:1-9). Thanking God for every good thing in our lives, and thanking everyone who helps and supports us.
•    Having a clear picture of a positive, joyful and hopeful future (John 14:1-3, Revelation 21-22).

The Beatitudes of Jesus and Paul’s letter to the Philippians are crammed full of practical suggestions for living a more abundant life. They are also summed up in Paul’s descriptions of the fruit of the spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). An abundant life is a life that is richly overflowing with healthy fruits. It is an attractive life, one that is a powerful witness in a negative and painful world.
How can we live our Christian lives abundantly and share the overflow of that abundance with others, so that they can taste and see that our Lord is good?