Sunday, 12 December 2021

The Abundant Life

 Scripture: John 10 v 10: "The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly."  

3 John v 2 - 4:  "Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth. 
3  For I rejoiced greatly, when the brethren came and testified of the truth that is in thee, even as thou walkest in the truth.
4  I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth."

In this conversation with His disciples, Jesus compares His mission to Earth with that which Satan continues to do.  Jesus calls him a thief, even The Thief, because he originated nothing, created nothing, improved nothing, yet conned Adam and Eve to relinquish control of this world to him.  He then managed to twist everything into a downgrade through sin against God.

He first stole the innocence of Adam and Eve, which caused them to wrap their bodies in fig leaves and then warped all creation with his venom.  Venomous insects, snakes, plants, mushrooms, animals, fish - many species have the ability to kill mankind.

And not only plants and animals but tornadoes too!  A very devastating tornado ripped through  Mayfield, Kentucky, USA last night and was tracked on the ground for over 250 miles.  Making it the longest tornado in US history.  There were others in nearby states and the death toll is over 100 people, with a state of emergency declared.  Such sad news.  Let us pray for them all that they will receive abundantly to rebuild their homes.

In the third letter of John, he desires that we prosper and are healthy because of fruitfulness in our souls.  This comes from walking in the truth concerning Jesus and His Kingdom.  Therefore, it is essential that we know the difference between truth and error.  

Jesus came to give us the abundant life!  The life that has more than enough.  Not so we can wallow in wealth and feel superior to those who have little or nothing.  No, He has given us abundance so we can share it with all who have need.  

This is not just giving to charities, humanitarian organisations, or save the animals funds, this is giving as He directs.  Luke 6 v 36 - 38: "Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.
37  Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven:
38  Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again."

You an never outgive God!  He is faithful and when we obey His instructions on giving, He repays it 100%.  I have seen this in my own life so many times that I never even think of actually asking about it.  When it comes I acknowledge it with praise and thanksgiving.  And I am not alone in this, it is for all who do the will of the Father.  Many years ago He gave me the verse from the testimony of the good Samaritan, Whatsover more you spend on the less fortunate, I will repay.  And He has kept His Word.

Many years ago as a young Christian my family moved into a new home.  From that moment on everything suddenly went wrong.  Our business failed, other ventures we attempted failed, we did not have jobs, no income at all.  We cried out to God for His mercy.

We had to see our bank manager.  We were asked to wait as Head Office had suddenly sent a new manager and they were busy handing over the reins.  Ten minutes later we met our new manager, which changed our trembling hearts  into great joy as the new manager turned out to be a dear cousin and friend.  He immediately turned our disaster into a win-win situation.  

It took two years to pay back the bank loan, but the really weird part was on the day we went into the bank to pay the last installment, we saw our manager cousin coming out of his office saying that he had just been transferred to Head Office!  So from the moment we needed financial protection to the moment our debt cleared, God had the right man in charge.  Now that is abundant living!

His one desire is to give life to us, and that life begins the moment we are born again and cleansed of sin by His Blood.  We are then a work of restoration in progress and must co-operate with Him to let Him change us into His likeness.  We need to be a tissue perfect match so His Body will not reject us.  Like every good transplant specialist now knows.

When our new life as new creations begins to grow, we start to experience the abundant life.  Abundance means more than enough!  We flourish in our spiritual lives and that filters down into our emotional, mental and physical lives.  We have abundant health because Jesus the Healer reigns supreme within our spirit.

We have love, power and a sound mind when we are nourished by His presence within us.  We are able to help others who are struggling with addictions, infidelities, infirmities, diseases, sorrows and we become ministers of God to them.  It's not a college degree and a collar, its the love in your heart that earns you favour with the Lord.

1 John 2 v 27: "But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him."

The best Teacher for all time is the Holy Spirit.  When God calls us into the ministry He equips us every step of the way for the walk of Faith.  He does not want us to follow traditions of man, which leads to compromise, but to follow Him in truth and love.  

He blesses us with abundance in every sphere of life when we earn the right to be trusted with His riches.  We will always have enough to help others too.  He came to rescue us from sin, poverty, squalor, famine, disease, addictions, bitterness, degenerate behaviour, murder, rape, abuse and death.  Trust Him and learn to hear when He sounds alarm bells.

Many do not know what they have inherited because they do not read the Bible.  They don't know that demons have been defeated and we can now deal with them like Jesus did.  They don't know that divine faith and life are our portion until we tell them the truth.

So let us rejoice and be glad and give glory to Jesus who has turned the tables on our enemy and given us an abundant life.  Let us give with good grace and receive with humility for this is how we should be.

Prayer:  Heavenly Father, we bless Your name and give You praise for all the abundance You give us to enjoy.  Help us to do as it says at the end of Acts 4, to have all things in common with fellow-believers.  To share from our hearts as You choose.  In Jesus' name. Amen.