Friday, September 21, 2018
John 10:10 I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.
My grandkids are smart…said every grandparent EVER! When my oldest granddaughter was five, she attended a wonderful pre-school in our city. Every Monday was letter day. They were learning more than just the alphabet. They were learning the sounds the letters make and words that begin with that letter. They were allowed to bring one item to school each day that represented the letter they were learning. I was so proud of her on “p” day. She brought a purple princess purse. She has the van Gorkom alliteration gene.
I have an idea – let’s do our own letter days. Each day let’s study a subject from God’s Word that starts with the letters of the alphabet. There are lots of possibilities for each letter, so I’m going to choose words that have significance in my spiritual journey. Obviously, we’ll start at the beginning, with the letter “a”. I’ve chosen Abundance as our subject.
There are many factors that influence our estimation of our abundance. Unemployment, debt, consumer prices, and spendable income are just a few. Fear captivates the hearts of people who place their hope for the future in the financial markets. Discouragement degenerates into despair. The desire to be delivered demands and authorizes increased debt. The promise of being bailed out appeals to the need for immediate gratification, when it really only prolongs the problem. When seen through the lens of personal prosperity, the picture can look bleak.
But the Bible speaks of unlimited abundance that cannot be taken away. It is an abundance that provides hope when all seems hopeless. It produces peace when all is in turmoil. It offers security that overcomes fear. It brings spiritual prosperity that satisfies more deeply than financial prosperity. It is the abundance of life in Christ Jesus.
Our problem isn’t that abundance is being taken from us – our problem is that we are looking for it in the wrong places. Physical and financial abundance never produce peace and joy. They don’t motivate perseverance and self-control. They can’t, because all those things are fruits of the Spirit of God in our lives. All attempts to use physical and financial abundance to bring security will fail, because everything physical and financial will eventually fail. Only the abundance of the life of Christ in us will never fail.
Jesus warned us about this when He said, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” (Luke 12:15)
However, just take a look at the abundance that is promised us in Christ.
- An Abundance of Grace, Faith, and Love – The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. (1 Timothy 1:14)
- An Abundance of Mercy – Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. (1 Peter 1:3)
- An Abundance of Peace – …peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. (2 Peter 1:2)
- An Abundance of Joy – Ask, using my name, and you will receive, and you will have abundant joy. (John 16:24)
- An Abundance of Comfort – For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort is abundant through Christ. (2 Corinthians 1:5)
- An Abundance of Supply – And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed. (2 Corinthians 9:8)
- An Abundance of Knowledge – “The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them. Whoever has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him.” (Matthew 13:11-12)
- An Abundance of Answers and Power – Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us. (Ephesians 3:20)
- An Abundance of Acceptance – For in this way the entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be abundantly supplied to you. (2 Peter 1:11)
- An Abundance of the Holy Spirit – Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior. (Titus 3:5-6)
Now that’s a lot of abundance! That should change some attitudes about life. Hey, that would have been a great word to study today – attitude. Maybe another day.