I'm not much for resolutions, but I'm all for change. So, in response to a fantastic message in church yesterday regarding the fruitless fig tree, I want to do my part to make sure this coming year is full of digging and fertilizing and greater fruitfulness. You might even say abundance.
I want the gospel to get down inside of me and move around inside of me and rearrange the inside of me so that I can leave this life FULL, not full of STUFF, or even full of HAPPINESS, but FULL of Gospel living, and THAT'S what abundant life is.
"A thief comes only to steal and to kill and to destroy. I have come so that they may have life and have it in abundance." ~ John 10:10
When Jesus spoke these living words, He didn't mean that you would have THINGS. What a preposterous thought! We here in the western world might think that. But a great percentage of our brothers and sisters on this earth don't live in a land of plenty. How unfair, how bigoted of Jesus to say that we would have abundant life if He meant that we would have STUFF, because then he just outed the majority of his family.
What a slap in the face to those believers who are starving in third world countries.
What a slap in the face of those believers who are beaten up and dragged from their homes and thrown in a cold prison.
What a slap in the face of those precious sheep who are suffering with disease, far from adequate medical care.
That's not very abundant is it? So is Jesus lying? Of course not!
He meant something else, because that's not what abundance is. Abundance means to be abundant in Gospel living, because that's what we're saved TO: Gospel living. We're saved FROM slavery INTO Gospel - good news - FREEDOM...
Freedom to see merciful Spirit led change our hearts, freedom to have godly relationships while this life lasts, freedom to live and walk in the light in the midst of a dark world - THAT is abundance. NOT. STUFF.
So get it out of your head (I'm speaking to myself). The same Jesus that said He had come to give abundant life, is the same Jesus that said not to worry about your life and your clothes and your food. The same Jesus also said, don't store up treasures (stuff) on earth. He did not mean abundance from a fiscal or physical standpoint (though certainly He may bestow these blessings on anyone He chooses). Any message or messenger that says differently is LYING.