Thursday, December 17, 2009

Reflections - December 17, 2009

"The Gift of Abundant Life"

Most of us have given a gift to someone only to have them lay it aside, making it clear he/she was not interested or appreciative of what we have offered. In such situations, my initial response is either hurt or anger. When Jesus came, God gave us the gift of His Son. His gift was for this life as well as the life to come. In this life Jesus offers us joy, peace and abundance. (If you have not read the past two reflections go back and read about the joy and peace Jesus offers.) Having read of the joy and peace God offers us, read of the abundant life He wants us to have. How it must grieve Him, when we do not open these preci0us gifts and let them minister to our spirits.

In John 10:10, Jesus said, “I came that they might have life, and might have it abundantly.” To fully understand the meaning of this statement, we must understand the words came, life and abundantly. Christmas is about the coming of Christ. He is the incarnation of God. He is the Word become flesh. He came from glory. His coming is about God stepping from the realms of eternity into the realm of time.

He came that we might have life. The implication is that without Him there is no life. The life of which He speaks is obviously not physical. It is spiritual. Paul expresses it this way in Ephesians 2:4,5, “But God being rich in mercy because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ(by grace you have been saved),” Christ came from glory to provide away for us to become spiritually alive. The life that He gives restores us to the relationship with our Heavenly Father that had been broken by sin.

He also came that we might have abundant life. The word abundant means full to overflowing. Abundant life is not about possessions. It is about the inner satisfaction that comes from knowing that you are loved and accepted by your Creator. It is being filled with the eternal hope that Christ brings to us. It is never being hopeless. It is to know you possess something that no one can take from you. It is the culmination of the joy, peace and hope that Christ provides for those who follow Him and are obedient to His Word.

The world is starved for these gifts but when it observes how few Christians have opened them and allowed them access to their lives, the world questions whether they are real or not. My Christmas prayer for each one of us is that we will yield our life to Christ and let His gifts of joy, peace and abundant life light up our lives, making it possible for those around us to see the “Reason for the Season’ displayed in our actions. To do so will not only bless us personally, it will bless those around us.

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