Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Abundant Life

There are many churches that preach what is known as the prosperity gospel. The basic premise is that faithful believers in Jesus Christ will be rewarded with material blessings. The more you believe; the more you are blessed. Many prosperity gospel preachers use the Holy Scriptures as “proof” of their agenda. Today is one of those readings...
Gospel Reading: John 10:9-16 (RSV) - The Lord said, "I am the door; if any one enters by me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.  The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.  I am the good shepherd.  The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.  He who is a hireling and not a shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf snatches them and scatters them.  He flees because he is a hireling and cares nothing for the sheep.  I am the good shepherd; I know my own and my own know me, as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep.  And I have other sheep, that are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will heed my voice. So there shall be one flock, one shepherd."
When God promises that we will have life “and have it abundantly” it is easy to misconstrue His promise. Here in America, abundant life implies wealth and material amenities such as extra cars, flat screen TVs and boats, among other things. But for believers, an abundant life is more about spiritual abundance rather than material abundance. An abundant life is about heaven rather than earth.

Why else would our Lord say, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6.19-21) By this it is clear that abundant life is not about material prosperity but prospering in heaven.  Just something to think about mid-week.

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