Posts Tagged abundant life

Wants Fulfilled

Psalm 34: 10                    Index Card 3

But they who seek the Lord shall not be in want of any good thing.

Jesus said he came to earth to bring us abundant life (John 10: 10). That implies, doesn’t it, that he wants to fill our lives with good things? So, these two verses (and many others) work together. Jesus wants to pour good things into our lives so he had his prophet teach us to seek him. Didn’t Jesus say it himself during his days on the earth?  “Seek and you shall find” (Matthew 7: 8).

In him is everything pertaining to life (2 Peter 1: 3). Now, if I told you that I had a million dollars for you, you would seek me out, wouldn’t you? Essentially that is our position with Christ. He has it all, he wants to give it to you, you just need to go see him to get everything you want, everything you need. You shall not be in want of any good thing. That’s simple, isn’t it?

Overcoming Peace

John 16: 33

These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.

Jesus says to us, in this passage, that we can have peace “in” Him. He has already overcome the world and all of its tribulation and trouble. Being “in Him” means we do not have to participate in that tribulation. Yes, there are always bumps in the road but because He has already overcome, we can keep our peace. We do not have to get all upset and worried. Really we should not. He came so that we might have life in abundance (John 10:10). As we roll all of our care onto him; putting our full trust in Him and in His victory, then we do not have to suffer the emotional turmoil that the world is tortured with. Jesus is with us every day and we are everyday learning to draw closer and closer to Him and into His peace. He is, after all, the Prince of Peace.

Storm Preparedness

Luke 6: 49

But the one who has heard, and has not acted accordingly, is like a man who built a house upon the ground without any foundation; and the torrent burst against it and immediately it collapsed and the ruin of that house was great.

Jesus was imploring his followers to not only listen to His words but also to act upon them. He tells us that by listening and acting upon his words, we build a strong foundation for our lives; a foundation so strong, in fact, that it can withstand all of the storms of life. Those who don’t listen at all and even those who listen but never put Jesus’ words to work in their lives will experience great ruin when the storm comes. What words is Jesus specifically talking about? The first is his commandment to love. We are also taught to be merciful and to forgive, to plant seeds. All we need do is read all of the type which is in red in the New Testament and we will have a great synthesis of the actions that should be evident in our lives. Jesus teaches us how we should behave. His teaching is designed to help us withstand the storms. In other words, it is for our own good that he teaches the things he does. He is not trying to take anything away from us. He is trying to give us life and that more abundantly.

The Heart of the Matter

Matthew 13: 14 – 15

And in their case the prophecy of Isaiah is being fulfilled, which says, “You will keep on hearing, but will not understand; and you will keep on seeing, but will not perceive; for the heart of this people has become dull, and with their ears they scarcely hear, and they have closed their eyes lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart and return and I should heal them.”

 I cannot believe I never caught this before. Jesus was discussing how the Pharisees and those like them keep on hearing but never really hear and keep on looking but never see. They attend every conference, are at church every week but they never, according to Jesus, understand nor perceive. How catastrophic! They are dutiful but still ignorant. Why? Jesus explains in the next verse. He says their hearts have become dull. That is to say that regardless of how devoted we are about attending church and conferences, listening to tapes or streaming video it is all futile if we do not first engage our hearts.

Now, let’s be frank. A person who is constantly listening to CD’s, etc. is probably a true seeker and God has promised that those who seek find. However, those who haven’t set their hearts to God are going to be dull. In other words they have lost their passion and their hearts truly are not engaged. Jesus is telling us very plainly here that we cannot hear him nor perceive him if our hearts are not tender and open to him.

It seems that understanding is a heart matter rather than an intellectual issue. I didn’t know that. I have been seeking God with my intellect but look at the last bit of the passage. Jesus says that we will understand with our hearts. When we approach Jesus with tender hearts, with spirits which are open to him, then he will touch us and heal us. 

Our answers, our met needs are in Jesus and in the life that he came to earth to procure for us. If we are not living the abundant life that Jesus spoke of in John 10: 10 then we might want to check our hearts. Are our hearts bared before him? Does he have an invitation to abide there? The secrets and mysteries, the deep things of God are to be found through our hearts where we will see and hear. Glory to God for this insight!

Abundant Life

John 10: 10

I came that they might have life, and might have it abundantly.

John 6: 63

It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.

Jesus told the world, in his own words, that the reason for his coming into the earth was to bring us abundant life. He also told us that life comes through the Holy Spirit. So which is it, does life come from and by the Holy Spirit or through and by Jesus? In the last phrase of John 6: 63 Jesus said the words he spoke were both spirit and truth. So, abundant life and the Spirit are ours through Jesus and the words that he spoke.

Just before his crucifixion and death, Jesus told his disciples that it was to their advantage, and hence ours, that he go away so that he could send the helper, the Holy Spirit (John 16: 7). When we read these verses together we realize that this increased life, this life of abundance is a product of the Holy Spirit which is realized in us by Jesus and his words. No one comes to the Holy Spirit but by the son and no one comes to the son apart from his words. The words of Jesus lead us into his saving grace.

The Word of God is the seed that yields life. When we plant this seed in the fertile soil of our hearts it produces all good things in abundance including peace and joy. There is nothing of our carnal life that profits us. Only our investment in Jesus and his word lead us to the freedom in the Spirit which is the deep need of every human soul.

The desire of Jesus’ heart is for us to live in the abundance that his life, death and resurrection bought for us. He is passionate about us attaining to this high life. And it is for that reason that he has given us his words directing us to this fullness of life. Enfold Jesus and the revelation of his words into the tender folds of your heart. There let it nurture the life of plenty and fulfillment.