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Abundance

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I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. John 10:10

Abundant life! What does that mean? Well, abundant life is a life that is not in need. You don’t need to find food, you have it. You don’t need to find water, you have it. You don’t need to find a place to live, you live somewhere. You don’t need to find a job, you have a job.

It doesn’t mean you have millions of dollars. I think abundance is having enough, plus some for somebody else. And if you live at a certain level, and you have extra, then you live in abundance.

Consumerism can actually kill people, because you get so caught up into buying more stuff when people need and you don’t. That’s the situation we’re in.

I know people are going to tell me, “Well, Jeremy, you have trinkets.” It’s true! I have an iPad, an iPhone, and a laptop. I’ve got three things that get on the internet all at once. Maybe that’s excessive! But I also give to other things that are more important.

I’m not saying that we shouldn’t have anything. But if you never even have a mindset to help someone in need? That’s shallow. I’m not saying that you should never buy anything for yourself. I’m not saying that at all. I’m saying that if our drive, our heart, our focus, is simply to make sure we have what we need, then we have the wrong heart. If we’re always saying, “I want this and I want that, and I know I could live without it but I’m going to get it and I’m going to get that too,” and we don’t have a thought for anybody else, then we have the wrong mindset.

An abundant lifestyle is so much more than having a lot of consumer goods. We think “abundance” and we see dollar signs. I think that’s America. But abundance can mean something really different in other parts of the world.

You could go somewhere else in the world and ask, “What does abundance mean to you?” And they’ll say, “You know when I have abundance? It’s when I’ve got a home. I don’t care if it’s a 600 square foot home. It’s a home. My family now doesn’t have to live on the streets. I’ve got that, my kids are going to school, I’ve got a job, we’ve got food on the table, I’ve got a fresh water well to get well water from, my kids aren’t dying of dysentery. That’s abundance. I know what it was like to not have these things, and so now that I have them? And my family’s safe? That’s abundance.”

We need to help make that happen. We’re ambassadors for Christ! He said He came so that we may have life and life abundantly. He gave us the message, He gave us the example, and He gave us that quality of life when He was on earth. These things didn’t leave with Him when He left. He gave them so that we’d live by them, and if we are to represent Him, we need to do a better job of bringing abundance to others.

7 thoughts on “Abundance

  1. Amen, Jeremy! Love this post! We are fortunate to have what we have living here in the States, but we have to remember that our call as followers of Christ is to share our abundance! Great post.

  2. Where does one start? Your blog
    s leave much to think about Jeremy but where and how does one start? Just a rhetorical question I guess. I’ll keep reading and pondering The Word. I Love that you lead with The Word. God bless you.

    • Valerie, there’s a lot to love about the approach to discipleship that one finds in this blog, but one of the most interesting and piercing is Affeldt’s unflinching analysis of *money* and *work* as central assets to the Christian calling.

      Most preachers seem to avoid these topics, opting for a “spiritualized” discipleship that focuses on what the Christian needs to *believe*. I won’t get into how alienating that is to me! Here we see a refreshing and extremely honest acknowledgement that work and money are central to our lives, and therefore central to our discipleship.

      Sure, Affeldt counsels us on the topics of prayer and belief and attitude, and speaks movingly about a life brought fully alive when centered in scripture, but he never ignores the importance of money and work. He sees these as the things we use to take care of Our Lord everywhere that we find Him hungry, enslaved, sick from dirty water, homeless, and/or orphaned.

      So, while it doesn’t seem like much, donating to a program like his REACH program really is the place to start. Helping Haitian or Ugandan orphans is extremely difficult to do. To be effective, you need to be trained, experienced, and supported by a well-run and respected institution. (Example: Global Orphan Project) You could try to just go and do it on your own, but you’ll be disappointed, discouraged, and burned out within six months. Better to throw in your lot with people who are already doing the work.

      And those organizations need money. It’s that simple. When we work harder — take in piece work, for example, or find a part-time job — and give that money to an organization that is really helping, then we really help. Our labor becomes an act of worship and gratitude, something we do because we see Jesus suffering. Affeldt truly has me convinced that this is the most devout thing anyone can do.

      So, where to start? I say, make a budget. See what you need. Do you have extra for someone else? Send it to Affeldt’s Generation Alive, or pick something else. If you don’t have extra for someone else, how about setting a goal, and then finding a way to earn it? And then tell everyone at your church. Testify.

      If you get your community involved, how much more can you do? There was a post last spring on this blog about getting the women’s group at your church involved with the Global Orphan Project. Help them build homes and families for children who don’t have those things. And then get together, maybe next Easter, and go visit them, and hold them, and play with them. You’ll think you’re in heaven, and frankly, you probably will be. Disciples of Christ playing with children they helped to make happy and healthy? Isn’t that the Kingdom?

  3. a good friend of mine showed me your post today and thank you both! Lately I have such the wrong mind set… I do have an abundant life, healthy kids, a home, a husband who provides. I have just been thinking like you said in dollar signs or trying to” keep up with the Jones.” I need to remeber who I am living for!

  4. The abundant life also means living free of major diseases like cancer. A church friend has been diagnosed and is being treated for colon cancer. The biopsy is not back to know how advanced the very large tumor in his colon has become, but it doesn’t seem good since it got so big. My sister in laws friend’s husband has brain cancer over half of his brain. The prognosis on this one must be dire, considering. This begs the question, why does God allow two fathers to get cancer when they are so needed by their collective five children, one just six months old. Sadly, this is one question relegated to those unanswerable rehtorical questions for all time. Perhaps our human mind is too small to grasp the complexities of this life. I am hopeful for Keith who has colon cancer, but quite worried for Andy with the large brain cancer tumor. I think perhaps Brian Wilson’s dad died of brain cancer, not sure which type of cancer. It does’t really matter. Who is safe from the abundant life being snatched out from under you when an Aireforce son can be fatherless @ 17? NO ONE. Life isn’t fair and that really sucks. Sorry for being such a sourpus on what should be a happy topic. This things have been burening me and stealing my sleep. Perhaps the leason is that the abundant life is letting to and allowing God to be God. So very hard in our human need for control. Anyone who reads this, please pray for Keith and Andy, daddys who need to live.

    • Follow up praise – This church friend is doing just great, Praise Jesus Holy Name! God is so Good, all the time. Victoria

  5. Last Sunday while standing in church it hit me that if I lost everything (all my material things) all that mattered to me was right there with me at that moment. My husband, my 2 kids, and my church family all standing before the one true God.

    It hit me like a ton of bricks and I was humbled about what true blessings or abundance really is. I was carrying a heavy burden that I had laid at the cross. I was to go in on Tuesday the 29th to have a large growth that I was hoping was a cyst removed from my remaining ovary. I was faced with the fact that I may have cancer, the Dr was going to run tests on it and there was a big concern that it had attached to other organs or blood vessels. I had the risk of bleeding very badly during the surgery and organs could be hurt while trying to remove the growth.

    It was the size of a softball. It had connected to several things and Praise God, they got it out without any complications. I found out yesterday that I was cancer free!! Reading your post today shows me again that none of the material things matter. I need my family, my church and My lord and Savior to hold me in the ups and downs of life. I truly live a abundant life!!

    I read the post before mine, I’ll pray for Keith, Andy and the author of the post. I’ll pray for healing and that you’ll really trust in God to be God. You are right in saying that we can’t wrap our human minds around the big picture. I do believe that God doesn’t want bad to happen to any of us. We live in a broken world and things happen to us that are terrible at times. I do believe and trust God. I think he cries right along with us every time we shed a tear. Maybe will never understand his plan until we are standing before him. I don’t think his plan was for any of us to be sick however. Jer 29:11 tells us that he has plans to prosper us, not to harm us. I love that scripture and I hope you look it up and really listen to what it says. It is what I clung to these last weeks as I was faced with maybe having cancer.

    I have grown so much in the Lord as I have walked with him these past weeks as I have dealt with the emotions of the unknown and God has carried me in his hands. I kept a diary of what I heard from the Lord and how letting go and letting him take charge has given me peace. I hope you take the time to read my blog and see my journey. It is a example of what living in abundance is about.

    Thank you for your wonderful words.

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