The Abundant Life

I often hear that still small voice within whisper in my heart these words: “Take my hand child, and listen to me.” At other times I hear: “Take my yoke and stay close to me.” Hearing these words are an indication to me that I need to pay closer attention to my relationship with Jesus. When I have been listening too much to the noise in the world of unbelief or scoffing at Christianity, I can become discouraged and disheartened. All of the negative news that bombards us everyday can drown out the voice of God if I allow it to clog my mind and my heart.

Jesus promised that His followers would live an abundant life. He does not promise a life free of adversity, but he does promise to be with us during those times of trial. He encourages us to trust Him in all things at all times. I have learned through the Scriptures and through personal experience what is necessary to live an abundant life, a life filled with the awareness of His love for me.

The discipline of studying the Scriptures is the first step. Proverbs 4:20-23 gives this clear message : “Pay attention to what I say, listen to my words. Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart for they are life to those who find them and health to the whole body. Above all else guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.”

The next step is to believe. We are saved by faith. We need only to believe that He exists and that Jesus died on the cross to save us from our sins, that He rose from the grave, and gives us eternal life with Him. Hebrews 11-1 gives a definition of faith, “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” I have no doubt about my salvation through Jesus. And I marvel at the words of Jesus in Matthew 17:20, “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you say to this mountain, move from here to there and it will move.” The power of God is manifested through faith.

After believing that He is truly your Lord, trust Him. We need only to consider who He is to know that He is trustworthy. Jesus said that He is the truth and the life. He is the Sovereign God of creation, omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent. He has a plan,a purpose for our life. We need to trust Him to lead us into His plan. Again, citing the wisdom of Proverbs, in chapter three verses five and six we find the instruction to “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.”

Praise Him for He is worthy to be praised. “From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets, the Name of the Lord is to be praised.” Psalm 113:3. I love to read the Psalms. They are full of praise to Him. When I lift His name in praise my heart is full, and overflows into worship. And as I worship Him, His presence, and His peace, become very real to me.

And be thankful. “Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1Thes 5:18. He didn’t say to be thankful for adversity, but be thankful even while experiencing it. Remember, He is always with you, He will never forsake you.

Know the power of God. It is His power that enables us to love the unlovable. His power enables us to serve Him as we serve others. “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you and you will be my witnesses…” Acts 1:8. Jesus said that love is the defining factor to the world that we are His disciples. “Love must be sincere, hate what is evil, cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.” Rom 12:9-10

Maintain a relationship with Jesus. This is vital. He has said, “As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you. Now remain in my love.” John 15:9. To keep a relationship with Him, obey his commands and worship Him. Seek His face each day, not just once a day but often, and He will reward you with the awareness of His presence.

The abundant life is ours to enjoy forever when He is first and foremost in our life.

To sum it all up…from Ephesians 3:16-19, here is the prayer of the apostle Paul: “I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and deep is the love of Christ. And to know this love that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”

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