I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly”

                                                Jesus speaking in John 10:10

What did Jesus mean when He said He came so that we could live abundantly?  Did He mean that He wanted us to be wealthy?  Did He mean that He wanted us to live without any problems in our lives?  Did He mean that we would be happy all the time?

Some TV evangelists and writers would suggest that the answers to these questions is “Yes”!  They would suggest that we are not good enough Christians if our bank accounts are low, the problems in our lives are tough to face, and we’re generally not happy.

I don’t think that this is Jesus’ message at all.  So what did He mean by an abundant life?  I believe the answer comes in John 14:27  when Jesus says:  “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives.” To Him abundance is not accumulated, it is experienced.  When at peace we can truly experience the joys of life, relationships, and His amazing love.  This is the abundantl life He wants for us.

Generally, in this world, people believe that personal peace comes from a sense of financial security and the ability to use that money to solve their problems.  Money is a great problem solver so it’s logical that if I have enough money, I can solve all of my problems.  We know that isn’t true, but it’s such a tempting and prevalent message in our culture, that it seeps into our brain without us knowing it.  So we work too hard, we compromise time with others, we aren’t as generous as we would like to be,….the list goes on and on.

Christ came to free us from the fear and anxiety caused by the challenges and problems of this world.  He came to tell and show us that God is in control of everything and that He knows our every need.  He came to reassure us that this life is not what we are living for, but that the glory of eternal life with the Father is our inheritance as His adopted children.

So why do we forget these promises of abundance?  I don’t know about you, but for me I’m often too busy living in the world – plain and simple.  When I spend all of my time rushing from one thing to the next, the problems hit me like bricks and I can’t cope.  I tell myself that everything that’s going wrong has to be fixed immediately or disaster will result.  My spiritual muscles are weak and I can’t be flexible enough to adjust.  I forget to trust in the Lord even though I love Him with all my heart.

Spiritual stamina is built when we spend time with the Lord – allowing Him to calm us, to teach us, and to remind us of His incredible power and grace.  Things look and feel differently when I’m filled with Him and not with the messages of the world.  I see my problems through different lenses and I see approaches that I’m blind to when fear and anxiety set in.  Simply taking time before acting – even just a few hours – can give God a chance to give me a whole new perspective.  It’s amazing what sleeping on an issue can do – God does work on us as we sleep.

Abundance comes not from the things the world values, but from the one who gives our lives value – our Lord and Savior.  Call upon His name today and live in abundance!

~Deb Griest

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