What does the abundant life look like to you? Are you living it now? Is that your plan for the future?
I appreciate our pastor sharing his faith walk with us. But our walks are all different. Does our commitment made at a young age still hold true? What have you had to walk through since that time?
There have been tough times, no doubt. Times when God didn’t feel so close. Satan seemed relentless in his pursuit, not wanting to let God have my heart completely. But, looking back on my life, I can see that God was there all along. He was whispering in my ear that he loved me, even when I doubted it. God was never surprised by anything that happened.
What I would have considered the abundant life in my early 20s is certainly different than my perspective today. Back then, having a nice house, car, family and money in the bank would have been my ideal. Teaching was my chosen profession and that doesn’t exactly lead to a life of abundance… or does it?
When we go out in public, I often see students that I taught years ago. It’s hard to go any where that my husband and I don’t see someone from our years in education. I got along with most of my students, even the ones who caused “trouble”. I always tried to understand their point of view. There was an abundance of opportunities to show the love that Jesus wanted me to share. And when I look at their lives now, I’m so proud of many of them. I see how they contribute to their community and to the world around them in positive ways. I’d say there is plenty of abundance in life… it just may not be in the form you were expecting it.
Jesus talked about the Kingdom of Heaven or the Kingdom of God. When will we see this kingdom?
“The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!”John 1:15
Jesus said this about the kingdom after John the Baptist had baptized Him and John was put in jail.
Jesus was about getting heaven into people. Living out our lives for us is not exactly a dress rehearsal preparing us for the real life to come. But, this doesn’t always lead to the best expression of love in this life.
It’s times when we miss a cue, sing out of tune, or get punched in the face that we think there’s no way God is going to let us into this kingdom where life is abundant. So we either give up, stop trying… or we turn to religion. Rules and laws.
The kingdom of God is not a place we go when we die, but a way of life we can choose to enter now. We need to bring the qualities of heaven into our daily experiences on earth. It’s not always going to be peaceful because people have differing opinions. This sometimes leads to different approaches, arguments. It can get downright ugly when we argue over legalities that we think come from God. But they really come from kingdoms we’ve made ourselves.
The life of eternal abundance comes only from following Jesus.
“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”John 14 :6
Don’t wait until you think you are perfect. God wants us now. We will fail and we will fall. He knows that, but don’t let the devil steal your life of abundance. We must continue to choose the way to eternal abundance and continue to follow Christ. Even when we think we’ve failed. It’s never too late or too hard. You can still make that choice today. One day that door will close, but it’s still open today.
The Kingdom of God is not something that can be observed. It’s not a place or a building. The Kingdom of God is within you. It’s a way of living that exists within the hearts of individuals.
Are you living now the way you want to live forever? Are you being the person now that you want to be forever?
God transforms our lives from the inside out. Start living the life you want for eternity today. Choose the abundant life that Jesus has for you!
Thanks to our pastor, Jon Porter, for leading us into the Word of God every week. And for challenging us to seek the abundance that Jesus has for us.
Need to know more? See us Sunday mornings at 10:30 at Milan Christian Church in Milan, IN. The message is always thought provoking and challenging!