I have been out of the country with my wife and I have not posted my weekly newspaper columns  on my blog though they appeared in the Reporter News..

I shall post one today, an other the  next day, and by weekend I shall be caught up. Casey




Life Overflowing Now

Recently I sent birthday greetings to my sister Rebecca.  She replied “I have been living my life abundantly, and am grateful for each day.” Her words mirrored a verse of scripture which I love, John 10:10. In that verse Jesus says, “I am come that they might have life and have it more abundantly.” Please notice three things about this saying of Jesus:

First, he says he came to give us life.

In Deuteronomy 30, God says: “See, I have set before you today life and prosperity, death and adversity….I call heaven and earth to witness against you today that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Choose life so that you and your descendants may live….(verses 15 and  19)

God created all life, and his desire for the human race is life, not death. The Bible story of the Garden of Eden reveals that in God’s original creation, sin and death did not exist. They entered into the world through human rebellion, but God always intended for there to be only life—and he sent Jesus to accomplish that purpose by taking sin and death on himself and defeating them on the cross.   

Jesus says, “I am the way, the truth, and the life! (John 14:6) He also says, “And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.” John 17:3. (Notice the two present verb tenses—eternal life is meant to begin now.) Jesus wants us to have life, not just in the future, but now!
Second, when Jesus says he came so that we might have “abundant” life, the word translated “abundant” can mean “exceptional,” “beyond the norm, of superior quality” and also “overflowing.” The Amplified Version translates the verse this way: “I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance [to the full, till it overflows].”

The word translated “abundantly” can also mean “completely filled up.” Jesus wants us to have a life that is completely filled up with him! A life in which there is no emptiness.

Thirdly, we should avoid spiritualizing the term abundant life. To have true life is to be in relationship with God, and God has created the material world for us. Physical things were invented by God, and they are a gift from God. When material things are in their proper place, they strengthen our relationship with God rather than hindering it. 
The Old Testament lists many of God’s blessings including children and grandchildren, food and shelter, health and healing, and safety and protection. God made the material world, and all of us have received material blessings.  Christians experience God’s hand in all of these things, and we do not take them for granted. We know we have not earned these things. The proper response is to be profoundly grateful to God and to share lavishly!

God wants you, and the world, to have abundant life in Jesus. Life that will never end. Receive it now/Receive him now.

Winfield Casey Jones is a retired pastor and can be reached at wrjones2002@gmail.com.

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