The 12 Days of Easter: Day 10, Abundant Life

Easter 6

Day 10: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

abundant [uhbuhn-duh nt]

adjective
1. present in great quantity; more than adequate; over-sufficient
2. well supplied with something;
3. richly supplied, as with resources

Exploring the beachside at sunset, declaring “I do” to the one you love, laughing until your voice gives out – these are times when we truly feel alive. Everything in us bursts with life, and our hearts reverberate with joy.

Those moments are abundant life.

And, in the same breath, they’re not. Not entirely.

When I hear that Jesus came to give me abundant life, I imagine perpetual bliss. Perhaps you do, as well. While bliss is in the picture, it’s not the whole picture. The beautiful, sacred memories we treasure are a slice of abundant life. However, we can also experience abundant life in the midst of stress, pain, and frustration.

The truth is that abundant life isn’t defined by how good or bad life is going. Instead, it’s defined by my heart condition. How tender and open is my heart to God during the ups and downs of life?

The Easter story is the perfect illustration of this. While Jesus was preparing to be arrested and die on the cross, he pleaded with God: “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done” (Luke 22:42). According to the Blue Letter Bible, the word “cup” is a metaphor for “One’s lot or experience, whether joyous or adverse … likened to a cup which God presents one to drink: so of prosperity and adversity.”

Abundant life is about drinking deeply of whatever cup God gives us. It’s about feeling to the fullest, all the while trusting that God will redeem our pain and enhance our joys.

Jesus didn’t turn on autopilot and cruise through life. Whether he was struggling with temptation or celebrating with his disciples, he invited God into every aspect of his day. His life was the very essence of “abundant” – rich, overflowing, and plentiful. Best yet, the abundance of His life spilled over into ours – bringing redemption, love, and grace into our dusty and dry souls.

Perhaps that’s the best part of living life abundantly – the overflow always spills into the lives of those near us.

Whether we’re having a mountaintop or a valley experience, let’s invite God in. I pray that Psalm 66:12b will be true of our lives: “We went through fire and water, but you brought us to a place of abundance.”

points to ponder

How engaged are you in life currently?

What cup is God asking you to drink today?

What’s one way you can invite God into your joys or trials?

prayer

Jesus, thank you for your example of how to live abundantly. Help me to live constantly surrendered to you. When life is difficult and painful, let my trust in you endure. Redeem the hardship for your Kingdom. When life is beautiful, celebrate with me. Let me feel your love poignantly.

I pray you’ll fill my surrendered life with abundance. And I pray that the abundance will spill over into other’s lives and bless them.

Amen.

4555735b4e5338768812a93c15c0e222Thanks to our guest writer, Amber Miller, for writing today’s post! Amber is Jane’s daughter and Mary’s niece. Here’s how she describes herself: Board game fanatic, coffee enthusiast, and proponent of loud laughing. I Live in St. Louis with my incredible husband, trying to further God’s Kingdom one small step at a time. You can read Amber’s blog at LiveandLaughLoud.com.

 




The 12 Days of Thanks Giving: Day 7

Pump OBP Header 12 Day 7:Redemption

He has sent redemption to His people: He has commanded His covenant forever:” Psalm 111:9

 

redemption [ri-demp-shuh n] noun

  1. an act of redeeming or atoning for a fault or mistake, or the state of being redeemed.
  2. deliverance; rescue.
  3. atonement for guilt.
  4. repurchase, as of something sold.
  5. recovery by payment, as of something pledged

Redemption is one of the most beautiful words in the whole of human language. The fact that One would atone for  the sin of another is inhuman … in fact, it’s divine. In Hebrew the word redemption transliterates as peduwth, which means, “a division or distinction; from the primary sense of cutting.” Cutting. The cutting of the whip in the flesh of Jesus … the cutting away of the bonds of sin from our hands and feet. The cutting away of old habits, attitudes and mindsets of the old life. The cutting away of sin and shame by the cutting of Jesus. Redemption enables us to live as God created us to be, righteous and free.

This Thanksgiving, let’s give thanks  to God for His gift of redemption.

Redemption of Purpose: Father, Your Word says we are Your workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which You prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.  Thank You that You created us on purpose, for purpose. We confess we have used our gifts and talents for our own purposes. Please redeem every sinful act. We ask You to recommission our lives  for Your purpose. Thank You for calling us to live effective, significant, purposeful lives for You.

 

Redemption of our Mind: We thank You, Father, that You have given us a sound mind.  Your word says, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind and all your strength. May we use our mind as tools to pursue You rather than instruments of sin. Please redeem every sinful habitual thought pattern  by the truth of your Word. Thank you that You train our mind to think Your thoughts, that we might not sin against You.

 

Redemption of our Past: Dearest Father, we thank You that in Christ Jesus we have been completely redeemed. You have bought us back from the  bondage of the Enemy with the precious blood of Christ. We are now free to live as slaves of righteousness. Where we have squandered our talents and treasures on sin and pleasure, Your Word promises to restore the years “the locusts have eaten.” We give thanks that You give beauty for ashes. Every act and deed of our past has been redeemed for our good and Your glory. We truly thank you.

 More Redemption

Redeeming the Time a blog post by Jane VanOsdol

Walking with God a Bible study by Mary Kane

 

Comment

Please leave a comment below in the Speak Your Mind section on what God teaches you today about redemption.

 

redemption. Dictionary.com. Collins English Dictionary – Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition. HarperCollins Publishers. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/sacrifice (accessed: November 15, 2014).

“Psalms 111 (New King James Version).” Blue Letter Bible. Sowing Circle. Web. 22 Nov, 2014. <http://www.blueletterbible.org/Bible.cfm?b=Psa&c=111&p=0&rl=0&t=NKJV>.




The 12 Days of Thanks Giving: Day 5, Restoration

Pump OBP Header 12 Day 5:Restoration

Return to the stronghold, you prisoners of hope, even today I declare, that I will restore double to you.” Zechariah 9: 12

 

 

Restoration: [res-tuhrey-shuh n] noun

  1. a putting back into a former position, dignity, etc.
  2. something that is restored, as by renovating.
  3. the act of restoring; renewal, revival, or reestablishment. the replacement or giving back of something lost, stolen, etc.

 

The Garden of Eden. A place of joy,  fellowship, righteousness and purity. Man gave away the blessing of Eden by believing a lie of Satan. God waits to restore His blessing to man when he believes the truth of the Gospel. The Enemy comes to kill, steal, and destroy. But God comes to replace, renew, revive, rebuild, re-purpose, recycle and restore. But wait- not just restore, check the verse above–restore double. The Hebrew  word for restoration is shuwb, which means to return, to go back, to turn away from sin, to turn back to God. Restoration only comes through God and the power of His Word. According to the definition, our responsibility is to turn from sin, and turn to God. Speak His Word into your broken places, and let the restoration begin.

Pray For Restoration

Restoration for Relationships: Dearest Father, because of our sin, we have many broken, damaged relationships. First and foremost is our relationship with You. Thank You that by accepting Jesus’ death on the cross, our relationship with You is restored. We pray for Your healing in strained relationships with our spouses,  parents, friends, coworkers, in-laws and siblings. Your specialty, Lord, is bringing dead things to life. Please restore our relationships. We give thanks for Your goodness and healing. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Restoration for Hearts: Father, we give thanks that You provide restoration for broken hearts. Our hearts have been shattered because of our choices, the choices of others, sickness, death, and job loss. Your Word promises that You use ALL things for our good. Please restore our hearts to health so they will beat only for You. We thank You, Father. Amen.

Restoration for Minds: Heavenly Father, we thank You for healing of our minds. Help us to think correctly so we may act correctly. Our minds have been influenced and damaged by lies we have been exposed to by the Enemy and by our own choices. Please restore our minds so we will love You with all our hearts, souls and minds. Thank You that You have given us  sound minds. May the words of our mouths and the meditations of our minds be pleasing in Your sight, oh God, our Rock and our Redeemer.

More Restoration

Prayer of Restoration a specific prayer by Mary Kane

Scriptures for a Sound Mind an article by Joyce Meyer

My Peace I Give You Part 2   a blog post by Jane Vanosdol

 

Comment

Please leave a comment below in the Speak Your Mind section on what God teaches you today about restoration.

 

restoration. Dictionary.com. Dictionary.com Unabridged. Random House, Inc. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/light (accessed: November 18, 2014).

Hebrew definition taken form:

“Hebrew Lexicon :: H7725 (NKJV).” Blue Letter Bible. Sowing Circle. Web. 19 Nov, 2014. <http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=H7725&t=NKJV>.

 




Take 5! Ransom by Mary Kane

crossRansom notes are serious things. Ransom notes mean that someone’s life is at stake. Jesus paid a heavy price to ransom us from sin and death. How did God feel about paying that ransom? Click on the link to find out: Take 5! Ransom




Walking with God: A Study on the Book of Ruth, Day Fifteen by Mary Kane

Ruth picEvery young girl dreams of her wedding day, but can you imagine a wedding without a bride, or a ceremony without a kiss? Ruth is no ordinary girl and this is no ordinary wedding! To do day fifteen of the study, please click on the link: Walking with God: Day Fifteen

 

Image courtesy of graur razvan ionut/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net