February 27, 2017
- By Ed Powell
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"I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly." John 10:10
As a Christian, how would you describe an "abundant life"? You have experienced the "new birth" and have received the indwelling of His life in you, but what did Jesus mean when He said, "that they may have [life] more abundantly?" I think the majority of Christians would say: the blessing of being saved from the penalty of their sins, having access to the benefits of His grace, the assurance of eternal life by His grace, the blessed hope of eternal life, or the opportunity of serving Him. These are great blessings to us, and most Christians rejoice in these benefits of His grace, but I'm afraid that the majority of Christians respond to these blessings in a spirit of detached formalism. They adhere to, but do not apply, the truth to their lives.
They attend services, sing, pray, read the Bible, and are active in some type of ministry, because they feel obligated as a member of the church. They give of their means, because they feel required to do so, regardless of the amount they give. Their spiritual lives seem to result from following a pattern laid out for them by the church. Form, tradition, ceremony, and custom seem to take precedence over a life transformed by the Holy Spirit. Walking in the path of life that evidences His presence and power living in and through them everyday, being subject in all things to His authority, and living under the joy of His lordship all are foreign to them.
Jascha Heifetz, the world-renowned violinist, described the difference between one who plays a "fiddle" and one who plays a "violin." He said the fiddler plays musical notes. The violinist interprets the notes and the spirit of the composer from his soul, and the result is beautiful music. It's the same in our spiritual life. God wants to make active in our daily lives the "intent and spirit of the Master Composer." This cannot be done by simply following a form of godliness and denying the power thereof. It is when we open our hearts to be filled to overflowing with HIS LIFE, surrendering our "worn-out instrument" into the hands of His masterful artistry. HE will transform the redundant notes of our life into an abundant life in Christ. Then, and only then, will we know what it truly means to be "IN CHRIST."
On July 6, 1947, life took on a new meaning for me. I stood before our pastor and exchanged wedding vows with my soon-to-be wife. He said to me, "Do you take Millie...etc?" and I said, "I do." "Will you be...etc?" and I said, "I will." And she responded the same. Life completely changed for both of us. The past was gone. All that was yet to be was now established as the "beginning." The abundant life before us depended upon our love for each other expressed in a yielding to each other, preferring the other rather than oneself, and having Christ as the authority of our lives. The result has been an intimate relationship that bonded our lives together in His love and in a blessed marriage that has lasted over 60 years. Why? Because we have a self-giving love, seeking to please each other. So, in our spiritual journey, Christ must have pre-eminence in all things. WHEN HE IS LORD, HE GIVES US AN ABUNDANT LIFE!
© 2007 by Ed Powell. Used by permission.
This page was reprinted by permission from: http://litmin.org/dare.php?date=2017-02-27
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