Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The Power of the Promise of Abundant Life

At our weekly Bible Study we are looking at the promises of God.  This week is the Power of the Promise of Abundant Life.  John 10:10 states "The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy.  I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly."  But exactly what does abundant mean?  According to abundant means "present in great quantity; more than adequate, over sufficient, well supplied, abounding, richly supplied, to be filled."

Bottom line......the Father loves us.  Why?  Well God is love and He cannot act contrary to His very nature. He created us for share His extravagant love.  He loves us so much that to build the bridge between sinful man and Himself, He sent His Son, Jesus Christ to die for our sins.  He wants us to live life abundantly.  Now this doesn't mean having a life full of things & material stuff.  It means living richly in Christ Jesus.   Living filled with the love of God.  Abounding in His mercy & grace.  Richly supplied with the fruits of the Spirit to face any circumstances of life to overcome them.

When I reflect on the past few years of my life, even in what seemed like a dark lean time I truly lived an abundant life.  Oh yes, in the natural it was rather lonely at times, but I was surrounded by many friends who love me & prayed me through.  All my earthly needs were met & I didn't lack for any good thing.  I was able to give richly what God so amply supplied.  I really didn't lack for any good thing.  God was my husband & provision.

When I became content with what I had,God decided to bless me even further.  He gave me the desires of my heart.  A husband, a new home, a new church family.  When I went through this week's lesson, I had time to reflect with God all the good moments and all the rough things He brought me through.  I am learning to be a conqueror as promised & spoken of in Romans 8:37 "Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us."  More than conquerors - to over conquer, to conquer completely without any real threat to personal life or health.  

1 John 5:5 poses the question "Who is he who over comes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?"  The word for overcomer comes from a Greek word meaning to conquer, to have victory, to have superiority or a conquering power.  Saving faith is the first characteristic of an overcomer.  The term "believes" conveys the idea of continuing faith throughout one's life....good times or bad.  Faith that God is who He says He is and that He is faithful to sustain us in all circumstances.

Love is the second characteristic of an overcomer.  The overcomer not only believes in God, but loves both God & fellow believers. I am not talking about fickle man's love but real love.  1 Corinthians 13:4-8 spells out clearly what real love is "Love suffers long & is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.  Love never fails."  I am still learning how to love like God does, to be kind to those who aren't kind to me.  Not an easy feat on my own, but through Christ I can do all things.

Obedience is the third characteristic of an overcomer.  Let's face it faith, love & obedience exist mutually in a dynamic relationship.  The genuine proof of love is obedience.   If you love someone, I mean love like God loves, you will want to do things to please them, things that will delight their heart.  Same with our relationship with God  If we truly love him we can't help but be obedient to His Spirit.  The way I see it we have the promise of Abundant Life & God has equipped us to achieve this by His our relationship with Jesus & through the promptings of the Holy Spirit.

Make yourself a journal of all the things God has brought you through.  Get into His word and allow the Holy Spirit to reveal God's truth & promises in His word.  Get some good praise & worship music & have a dance party when the mully grubs try to rise up & envelop you.  Surround yourself with godly friends to help pray & encourage you through rough times.  But most of all, persevere, don't give up, keep on keeping on walking with the Lord.  It's an excellent if not precarious journey, but one worth taking.  God Bless.