PART 1 GOD’S ABUNDANT LIFE
PART 1 GOD’S ABUNDANT LIFE
What is God’s abundant life?
Have you ever wondered what abundant life means?
I’m sure you’ve heard about it in whatever church you have or are attending. Some would say that God’s abundant life refers to the blessings that He bestows upon those who follow Him. These blessings they exuberantly proclaim can take on the form of physical health, financial prosperity, finding the right mate, etc. This sounds good. God wants us to be happy, doesn’t He? Happiness has to do with outward blessings, right?
Others might say that God’s abundant life has to do with living a life of sacrifice. This, they claim, pertains to giving as much as one can financially in tithes and offerings or even all of one’s personal property to the church and living a monastic life. Being obedient to church dogma without questioning or strict conformity to participate in every church activity would be paramount.
After my conversion, I’d heard about the words, abundant life. I didn’t know anything about what they meant, but they sounded like something I would like to experience. Have you ever heard these two words mentioned but are still unclear as to their meaning?
Hopefully, this study will give both of us clarity on this topic. Are you ready to begin reading about what these words not only mean but how they can become an integral part of our Christian walk? I’m excited to find out. Let’s get started by turning to the first chapter.
But before we do, I’d like to leave you with an article to read. I don’t know if you noticed it, but earlier, when talking about what God’s abundant life might be all about, what seemed to be the lynchpin was doing such and such or obedience. Obedience to what or whom? This could refer to obeying the commands that God gave Moses through the institution of the Mosaic Law, or it could pertain to obeying the commands of church leadership. Is this what God’s abundant life is all about?
I think for most of us, we want to serve God. It’s natural to believe that this involves getting involved in the church in some way. And for many churches, this is the emphasis. While I’m not saying that we shouldn’t cooperate, this engagement should wait until we’re grounded in something else. Any idea what this could be? The following article will enlighten us to it.
MISGUIDED RELIGION HAS OUTWARD RIGHTEOUSNESS BY LACK [OF] INWARD TRANSFORMATION
Read Revelation 3:1-6
“You have a name that you are alive, but you are dead.”
The hardest thing to do in the Christian life [is] to be honest about our own spiritual health. If we have any desire to be a Christian, we inevitably see ourselves as a “good” Christian. However, reality [doesn’t] often match the perception. The greatest tragedy is that in our quest for spirituality and a relationship with God, we can hide our true spiritual condition through our religious activities.
Such was the case at the church in Sardis. If this church existed today, it would be regarded as the banner church of any denomination. It would be the church that people flock to for its programs, activities, vibrant [worship,] and eloquent preachers. The pastor would have multiple books on church growth and would be the frequent speaker to tell others how to effectively develop dynamic programs. In verse [1,] we find that this church had a reputation as vibrant and alive. Nevertheless, while we look at the glamour and activities as the mark of a heart, and [here] the church of Sardis is found wanting. Of the seven churches mentioned in Revelations 2-4, the churches in Sardis and Laodicea both receive failing grades. While the church at Laodicea was lukewarm, the church at Sardis was dead.
The danger we have in our Christian life is that we can reduce our Christianity to outward activities which hide the inward heart condition. Our faith becomes superficial rather than transformational. Throughout Scripture, we find numerous warnings against shallow faith. Just because a person claims to be a Christian and even outwardly acts like a Christian [doesn’t] mean that they are genuine disciples (See Mt 7:13-14, 21). A superficial Christian has all the outward appearance of a Christian and even makes a profession of [faith] but never has a genuine relationship with Christ. Emotionalism hides disobedience as we focus upon external activities and behavior rather than the inward transformation of the heart.
To avoid this self-deception, we need to vigilantly watch over our soul by always going back to Scripture and allowing the message of Scripture to reveal our true condition. Perhaps the most significant indicator of our true state is our love or neglect of the Bible. Authentic faith begins with a passion for God’s word.1
1Glenn Dammon. “MISGUIDED RELIGION HAS OUTWARD RIGHTEOUSNESS BY LACK INWARD TRANSFORMATION.” 6 December 2021 <https://bit.ly/31Bq9P2>.
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