The Door to Abundant Life

IMG_3181[1]If you’re wondering what a blow up water slide has to do with an abundant life, keep reading.

In my last post you were asked what it means to live an abundant life. I thought on this for myself. If I ask you a question I need to be ready to answer it. Jesus made it clear he is the door to an abundant life when he said,

“I am the door:

by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved,

and shall go in and out and find pasture …

I am come that they might have life,

and that they  might have it more abundantly …

He that findeth his life shall lose it:

and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.”

John 10:9,10b; Matthew 10:39

Living the abundant life involves losing self and gaining Christ. It occurs when we live the life we know God has created us for.

My Story of an Abundant Life

Two words of Jesus began my walk of an abundant life. “Follow me.” More than several years ago, the Lord’s words started me on a journey I never imagined. My journey included college, a family, teaching, and whatever else came along. My journey and God’s weren’t exactly alike. I envisioned life one way and God saw it another. College didn’t happen. But the Lord has given me a family. He did make me a teacher, not in the public schools but in his church. Here I have taught children, teens, and adults the word of God. He even opened the door to mission work that weighed in my heart; He lead the way to open a camp for teens and children, of which, I am working in this week. And as I share this, tears fill my eyes for the abundance of grace He has poured out in my life for letting me share in his work.

This week we have seen God dissipate the storm that threatened our first day of Day Camp. In its place, He gave us a day of unusually mild temperatures and filled these last days with sunshine and more mild weather. The Lord also blessed us with the volunteers we needed when it looked like we might have to turn children away. He even blessed us with a wonderful fun day through the gifting of a church with a blow up waterslide. We all had a blast. But today, today was the best. Two children believed the gospel and received God’s greatest gift of Jesus Christ. Three others made clear their desire to draw nearer to Him. This is living the abundant life of grace.

That’s how the Lord answered the question in my life. Here is how He answers it for us all: Israel, the church of the Old Testament, and for us, the church of the New Testament.

“And now, Israel, what doth the LORD thy God require of thee,

  • but to fear the LORD thy God,
  • to walk in all his ways,
  • and to love him,
  • and to serve the LORD thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul.” Deuteronomy 10:12
  • And Jesus said unto him, THOU SHALT LOVE THE LORD THY GOD WITH ALL THY HEART,
  • AND WITH ALL THY SOUL,
  • AND WITH ALL THY MIND.” Matthew 22:37

Jesus is the open door to abundant life. It begins by walking through the door, receiving God’s gift of love in Jesus Christ, and losing your love for self to loving God with all your heart, soul, and mind.

Do you want an abundant life? Jesus’ arms are wide open ready to receive you and begin giving you that very thing. What holds you back?

What Stands in Your Way?

”And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Send thou men, that they may search the land of Canaan, which I give unto the children of Israel: of every tribe of their fathers shall ye send a man, every one a ruler among them.” Numbers 13:1,2.

“Send thou men…every one a ruler.” I  wonder if they were among the seventy elders in Exodus 24 who, “saw the God of Israel,” who ate and drank with Him on the mountain? The scripture doesn’t provide the answer, except to say they were rulers in their tribes.

I imagine excitement ran high as these men obeyed Moses as they departed from the wilderness of Paran destined for the land of Canaan.

blog sea-of-galilee-1203497__340

Their objective: “…see the land, what it is; and the people that dwelleth therein, whether they be strong or weak, few or many.” (13:18). They would discover the blessings awaiting them and assess the challenges to receiving them.

Upon their return we see their true character and find ourselves among them. Two would stand and ten would fall. And us? Will we stand to walk in the abundant life God promises or will we die unfulfilled in the wilderness? What stood in their way to standing stands as a warning to us.

Two Reports given“…unto all the congregation, and shewed them the fruit of the land.”

First Report of The Ten-And they told him, and said…it floweth with milk and honey; and this is the fruit of it. Nevertheless the people be strong that dwell in the land, and the cities are walled, and very great…We be not able to go up against the people; for they are stronger than we. And they brought up and evil report of the land…”

“But without faith it is impossible to please him… For all this they sinned still, and believed not for his wondrous works. Therefore their days did he consume in vanity, and their years in trouble.”(Heb. 11;6a;Ps. 78:32,33.)

Without faith, unreasonable fear filled their minds.

“There were they in great fear, where no fear was…for God hath scattered the bones of him that encampeth against thee; thou hast put them to shame, because God hath despised them.” Ps. 53:5.

Fear paralyzes bringing discouragement, despair and finally rebellion, which leads to death. The spiral downward drowns those who receive it.

            “I the LORD have said, I will surely do it unto all this evil congregation, that are gathered together against me: in this wilderness they shall be consumed, and there they shall die. And the men, which Moses sent to search the land, who returned, and made all the congregation to murmur against him, by binging up a slander upon the land, Even those men that did bring up the evil report…died by the plague before the LORD.” Num. 14:35-37

The Report of The Two-“And Caleb stilled the people before Moses, and said, Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it.” Num.13:28,30.

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen… If the LORD delight in us, then he will bring us into this land, and give it us; a land which floweth with milk and honey. Only rebel not ye against the LORD, neither fear ye the people of the land; for they are bread for us: their defence is departed from them, and the LORD is with us: fear them not.”(Heb. 11:1; Num. 14:8,9)

Faith frees from fear.

 “The Lord is on my side I will not fear: what can man do unto me… Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid: for the Lord JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation…If God be for us, who can be against us?” (Ps. 118:6; Isa. 12:2; Rom. 8:31.).

Faith in the word of the Lord gives hope, courage to stand, and to obey, resulting in the abundant life God promises. Caleb and Joshua knew and believed the word of the Lord.

            “I will send my fear before thee, and will destroy all the people to whom thou shalt come; and I will make all thine enemies turn their backs unto thee… Doubtless ye shall not come into the land, concerning which I sware to make you dwell therein, save Caleb the son of Jephunneh, and Joshua the son of Nun…But Joshua…and Caleb…which were of the men that went to search the land, lived still.” (Ex.23:27; Numb.14:30,38).

The rebellion of the children of Israel would not prevent the Lord from being faithful to His covenant. He declares in this same chapter:

“But as truly as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the LORD.” Num.14:21.

Their rebellion could only bring about them missing the abundant life the Lord promised to those who would believe to obedience and victory. Today, we have the same purpose as the children of Israel, to fill the earth with the glory of the Lord.

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Matt. 5:16.

What holds you back from truly living the abundant life showing forth the glory of the Father?