The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. John 10:10
If you take a moment to think about the suffering people of this world, the people who suffer from the effects of theft, death, and destruction, then it will pierce your heart. Sometimes the pain of the world can feel overwhelming. It really can.
But it’s okay, because it helps us truly understand the awesome love of God. Jesus tells us that He has entered a suffering world to bring life. And not just life. Abundant life.
Abundant life! What does that mean? An abundant life is a life that is not in need. You don’t need to find food because you have it. You don’t need to find water because you have it. You don’t need to find a place to live because you live somewhere. You don’t need to find a job because you have a job.
Abundance doesn’t mean having millions of dollars. Not at all! The concept of abundance is humble and deep. Abundance means having enough, plus some for somebody else. If you have enough and you have extra, then you live in abundance.
Abundance doesn’t mean having a lot of stuff, either. In fact, consumerism can actually kill people. You can get caught up into buying more stuff for yourself — stuff you don’t even need — while there are people who will literally die if they don’t get your help.
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 projects that are much more important, like hunger projects, or projects to provide clean water.
I’m not saying that we shouldn’t have anything. It’s okay to have things. But we also need a mindset to help people who suffer. We need a mindset to be like Jesus. If you have enough, plus some for somebody else, then when you give your extra to somebody else you help them have abundant life too.
We need that Jesus mindset to help people in need. Without it, we’re living a life that is shallow. I’m not saying that we should never buy anything for ourselves. 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.
You could go to a lot of places in the world and ask, “What does abundance mean to you?” 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 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, and my kids aren’t dying of dysentery. That’s abundance. I know what it’s like to not have these things. 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.
When Jesus left, He didn’t take abundant life with Him. He gave us the heart and the Spirit to bring it to people in need, just like He did. Giving abundance to others is how we become His ambassadors. If we are to represent Him, we need His mindset.
See you Thursday.