Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Living the Abundant Life


photo by: Aliza Rin

The Thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I come that they may have life, and have it abundantly. {John 10:10}

thief:
who is he?....satan

I:
who is He?....Jesus

they:
who are they?....us

a-bun-dance
1. A great or plentiful amount.
2. Fullness to overflowing
3. Affluence; wealth.
4.Chemistry. the amount of an isotope of an element that exists in nature, usually expressed as a percentage of the total amount of all isotopes of the element.
5. More than sufficient quantity.

80% of life is just showing up. There are no risks involved. A quote I heard in college from a friend was "to live without risk is a risk of not living." Sometimes we get so caught up in the middle of our life here on earth that we forget what it means to really live. I am not talking about skydiving, bungie-jumping, or swimming with sharks...sorry if you feel you want to do that then that is cool… :) but what I am talking about is getting away, finding solitude, get into prayer, learn something new, fail(its okay), laugh at yourself, etc.

The opposite of abundance is depravity, emptiness, life apart from God, lacking things.....we must learn to recognize the enemy/thief (a.k.a satan).

"I assure you, anyone who sneaks over the wall of a sheepfold, rather than going through the gate, must surely be a thief and a robber! For a shepherd enters through the gate. The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep hear his voice and come to him. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. After he has gathered his own flock, he walks ahead of them, and they follow him because they recognize his voice. They won't follow a stranger; they will run from him because they don't recognize his voice." Those who heard Jesus use this illustration didn't understand what he meant, so he explained it to them. "I assure you, I am the gate for the sheep," he said. "All others who came before me were thieves and robbers. But the true sheep did not listen to them. Yes, I am the gate. Those who come in through me will be saved. Wherever they go, they will find green pastures. The thief's purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give life in all its fullness. "I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. {John 10:1-11}

What is something that you need to change to live abundantly?

What are the "thieves" that steal, kill, and destroy your life?

What are the lies that you hear from the thief?

I have found for myself that the requirement for living an abundant life is hearing God's voice. Taking time to shut off everything around me for a little while and REALLY listen to His voice in humility and love. Life is a choice. Deuteronomy 30:15-20. I notice those that are living in abundance...they are so contagious! I want to be just like them. Those people are the people who know that life and everything around them is not about them. It is about God. I am taking steps out of being lukewarm; being too comfortable with life. The thief steals my courage. I start too feel worried and fear grows with in me to the point where I am selfish with specifically how I spend my time. Instead of spending a moment in solitude each day acknowledging God in all His glory, I tend to fill my time with housework, organizing, sewing, searching on the computer, watching movies, etc. All those things are wonderful things (some of my favorite ways to fill my time), but when I do not acknowledge God first I realize that I am not doing these things to their fullest anyway. I could enjoy them so much more by letting God be a part of it!

“for the Lord His God was with him and made him exceedingly great.”
{ 2 Chronicles 1:1}

6 comments:

Jess said...

Stephanie! I love all your green advice and recipes. I love this stuff but don't really have time to research it all. It makes me happy that you do and share it with us :). Miss you!

randi---i have to say said...

God has been challenging me to quit protecting myself. There are certain situations and people that make me really uncomfortable and I tend to avoid these things. If I am really living and walking in God's ways, I will face these times and allow God to heal my heart and show me how to walk in it more abundantly.

Thanks for the encouragement today!

African Kelli said...

This is such a beautiful tribute to the Lord and a great reminder to look within to find true happiness. Thank you! I am living such an abundant life -- one that would be impossible without my faith.

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