Abundant Life and Practicing Real Love

I really enjoy the painting of the prairie dogs with outstretched paws because it reminds me that as Christians, we are to possess ‘the abundant life where we are to be bold and free before God, able to stretch out our hands and receive’.

One of the greatest promises of the bible is that Jesus offers us the abundant life:

“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 NKJV)

Gary Wilkerson writes, “The problem is that most of us don’t believe the abundant life is the norm for the Christian life. We consider those promises and say, ‘Would God actually promise those things to me? Come on, really?’ When we do this, we put ourselves back into bondage under a kind of mental slavery. We don’t recognize the devil’s voice persuading us, ‘You can’t attain that. God didn’t mean it literally. Do you actually think you can have that? Really?’ Tragically, a lot of Christians become convinced, ‘I don’t deserve to have everything God promises. It’s too good to be true for someone like me. I’m just glad to be saved and free from sin, to have a little joy every once in a while. I don’t need to be some super-blessed Christian.’ That isn’t enough! Why? It falls short of what God says He wants for us. The promises of God aren’t just high aspirations; they are bedrock realities for every single believer. They always have been and always will be. We face continual conflicts in this life, but we are not in a war we’ll never win. We are meant to have every victory He promised. Are you still under a mental bondage of some kind? Have you stopped believing the promises of God? Don’t let the enemy rob your expectation of what God can do. The Lord’s promises aren’t a question mark but an exclamation point.”

But I do not want to stop where Gary’s encouragement leaves off. The bible goes on to tell us that there is an ingredient that is vital to seizing the abundant life, and that ingredient is practicing real love:

My dear children, let’s not just talk about love; let’s practice real love. This is the only way we’ll know we’re living truly, living in God’s reality. It’s also the way to shut down debilitating self-criticism, even when there is something to it. For God is greater than our worried hearts and knows more about us than we do ourselves. And friends, once that’s taken care of and we’re no longer accusing or condemning ourselves, we’re bold and free before God! We’re able to stretch our hands out and receive what we asked for because we’re doing what He said, doing what pleases Him. Again, this is God’s command: to believe in His personally named Son, Jesus Christ. He told us to love each other, in line with the original command. As we keep His commands, we live deeply and surely in Him, and He lives in us. And this is how we experience His deep and abiding presence in us: by the Spirit He gave us. (1 John 3:18‭-‬24 MSG)

Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced His perfect love. (1 John 4:18 NLT)

I witness too many Christians who are not experiencing the abundant life that Jesus promises. How do I know? Because they are not ‘bold and free before God and able to stretch out their hands and receive’ as the verses above proclaim. They battle anxiety, fear, anger, and bouts of depression. Could it be, as the verses proclaim, that they are not ‘practicing real love’ as they should? Each of us needs to examine ourselves deeply and take the necessary steps to grasp the abundant life fully. Thank God there is the miracle cure of love! Isn’t it time that you stretch out your arms boldly and receive what your loving God has for you?

About annointing

Defender of the Christian Faith
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