Abundant Living

This is a second entry for the devotional book my church is putting together. I wrote about abundant living as I seek to live my life abundantly for Jesus. I want my desires to line up with God’s plan for my life. I chose the picture of my granddaughter in the ocean to go with this entry. I love the way she plays in the ocean with complete abandon. She is not worried about anything. She is focused only on enjoying the moment. That is how I want my walk with Christ to be, fully trusting, abandoning my will, my wants for His and living abundantly.

Here’s the entry:

So, you love Jesus and you’ve studied His Word enough to know that you should turn to Him for help in times of trouble.  You are surviving.

I have good news – There is more! 

2nd Corinthians 9:8 says, “And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.”

This is not “name it, claim it”.  Jesus is not a magic genie.  This verse tells us that God will bless us abundantly.  As we grow in our walk with Him, our desires, our wants become aligned with His.  This scripture says, “you will abound in every good work” –   Our Father’s work – bringing Him glory – telling others about Him.  Isn’t that exciting? 

Philippians 4:7 says, “And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

This scripture reminds us that no matter the difficulties of this life, we can have an inner calm – “the peace that surpasses understanding.”  When we can remember that our prize is not found on this earth, we can lean into His perfect peace and live boldly for Him – not just surviving this life but THRIVING victoriously in an abundant life.

Cast your cares on Him

The women’s group at my church is putting together a devotional book.  The following is one of my entries for the book.  I chose this topic as this is has been on my heart lately.  My desire is to be in the Word and prayer daily.  I want to be in the center of my Father’s will and that means humbly laying down my wants – my desires – for His.  As 1 Peter 5:7 states, I want to “cast all MY care upon Him because He cares about ME.”

Here’s my entry for the devotional:

Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, …casting all your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you.                                    1 Peter 5:6-7

These scriptures hold a simple yet profound truth that I want to challenge you to focus on today.

In this day and age of self-empowerment and “me-first” thinking, humility and humbleness seem wrong.  The truth is, our loving Abba Father wants us to cast off our worries and give them to Him.  It takes humility to humbly admit we don’t have all the answers and to turn our anxieties over to Him.  When we do, we are set free with the peace that passes all understanding; a peace the world does not understand. Even when answers don’t come when we want or how we want, we can trust that we serve a loving God who will reveal all in the end when we will be set free from all worries and will live with Him forever.

Today, friend, lay your burdens at His feet – whatever is troubling you and keeping you awake at night.  Talk to Him, walk with Him, knowing He loves you, He knows you, He sees you, and He cares for you.



Staying Alert

I was reading in 1 Peter 5:8-9a where it talks about staying alert and watching out for the devil as he is prowling around seeking whom he may devour.  I think satan’s attacks are sneaky and sometimes they are full on attacks that are easier to see but often harder to fight – like cancer, divorce, etc.  Other times, more often, he uses the distractions in our life to pull us away little by little.  CS Lewis wrote about this in The Screwtape Letters.  If you’re not familiar with it, it’s written in the first person point of view of a demon to another demon giving advice on how to draw man away from God.  CS Lewis was a Christian and this book is eye-opening about the sneakiness of the devil.   Here is one my favorite quotes:

    It does not matter how small the sins are provided that the cumulative effect is to edge        the man away from the Light…Indeed, the safest road to hell is the gradual one – the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts.

For me, I think Satan distracts me with the everyday “stuff”.  I start a morning study or blogging and am faithful until something happens to distract me.  Two years ago, I started this blog. A month into it, I suddenly had to plan a wedding.  The blogging fell away.  This summer, I made a commitment to blogging again and I fell and broke my elbow – haven’t blogged since and have not been faithful to my daily Bible study.

I do NOT believe that the wedding or my broken arm are from the devil, but I do believe he uses the “stuff” in our life to distract us from the things of the Lord.  If we’re distracted, we’re not “running the race set before us”.

I went to a women’s thing  at my church.  The speaker was Debbie Stuart.  She challenged us to give twenty minutes a day for the rest of our lives to God.  I love that.  She said that when we do that during the days we’re just going along with no major worries, it prepares us for the difficult times.  I believe that’s how we stay alert.

My challenge for myself today and anyone who reads this is to commit to twenty minutes a day for the rest of our lives.  Let me leave you with this:

     Stay alert!  Watch out for your great enemy, the devil.  He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.   Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith. 1 Peter 5:8-9a

My commitment is to my personal Bible study and I’ll blog when I can.  I hope you’ll join me in a 20 minute a day commitment to your personal study and prayer time.  That’s how we’ll “be strong in our faith”.

Until next time,