Sunday, April 30, 2017

The Abundant Life

UV 2266/10000 The Abundant Life
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.
John 10 v 10

Jesus and the common enemy of our souls have diametrically opposing agenda. While Jesus wants to give us peace, the enemy wants to steal it. While Jesus blesses us abundantly and with abundance in all dimensions of life, the enemy robs us of abundance and creates conditions of scarcity and deprivation. While Jesus wants to give us eternal life, the enemy wants to destroy our lives in some way or other- physical, intellectual, socially, emotionally or spiritually. Jesus is the Saviour while the enemy is the destroyer. Jesus gives us freedom while the enemy wants to hold us in bondage. Jesus frees us from the heaviest load a man can carry-guilt while the enemy burdens us with accusations and guilt.

Jesus, the Christ or the anointed and chosen One of God, then is the thesis while the enemy is the antithesis-the anti-Christ. There can be no common ground or compromise between the two. Once we have absolution or absolute forgiveness in Christ, we find the solutions to the problems that life throws at us. We have the confidence, the hope and the power to face up to all the bag of dirty tricks the enemy tries against us to steal from us, to rob us, to kill or destroy us. Jesus becomes the high and strong wall around our lives to protect and preserve us from the designs of the anti-Christ. Jesus breaks by His word the power of every curse and removes every limitation on our lives so that we live the life abundant and eternal, life without end, life without spiritual failure, life without condemnation.

Jesus called all those who came before Him in the guise of prophets and leaders as thieves and robbers. These were the sheep in wolves’ skins, the agents of the implacable enemy of humanity. We need to be wary of the enemy and his army of agents. Jesus Himself declared with authority that He is the door to the pasture of abundance, the pasture of freedom, the pasture of security, the pasture of blessings and prosperity, the pasture of joy and peace. When we believe His declaration, we enter through the door into eternity and abundance. Jesus proved the legitimacy and authenticity of His claims by His life, teachings, actions, death and resurrection. The very purpose of the coming of Jesus from His place in heaven to earth is to unfold and reveal the eternal abundant life to us. If we fail to live this abundant and eternal life, we are trying to defeat that purpose. Unwittingly, we become agents of the enemy. The primary abundance that Jesus is promising in Him by reposing our faith and confidence in His assurances is not material or physical but spiritual riches of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, humility and self control. We should revel in such abundance and not in material abundance. Sometimes, the Lord might send material abundance our way but it should not become a snare to our souls. It should enable us to give and help others generously to meet needs and become channels and funnels of blessing. We need to develop our insecurity-inducing scarcity mentality and develop the abundance mindset: everything is possible in Christ if it is God’s will, everything is available in Christ if it is in accordance with God’s will, it is not possible to be defeated in Christ, we can do all things in Christ who strengthens us or reveals His strength in our times or areas of weakness.

Prateep V Philip

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