Abundant Life by Erin Owens

 

overflowing

Growing up I always thought that the good news, or gospel message, was that through the blood of Jesus I was saved from hell. While the reality of salvation from hell is good news, I have learned that this is only the starting point. You see, we serve a pro nobis (for us) God. God does not just look down on earth and say well, I guess I have to send my son to save humanity. NOT IN THE SLIGHTEST. God, from before creation to the end of time, is for us! God is actively seeking a relationship with every single human. PRO NOBIS! The reality of a God that is for us unveils a richer message. God not only wants to save us from hell, but save us to the uttermost. God yearns to transform us into His image so that we are truly free, liberated from the bonds of sin and the burdens of the world. Too often we get stuck on John 3:16 and do not see the beauty of the entire story. Here are the verses that follow John 3:16:

 “16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. 19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.”

Jesus came to give us life! God loved us so much that He wanted to give us life!!! So what is this life? In John 10:10 Jesus declares that “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” This eternal life is not just for the future, it is for the here and now. Jesus does not merely want to save us from our sins, but rather longs to give us ABUNDANT and OVERFLOWING life. WOW! Now that is GREAT news. So what if we view sin through this lens? I often look at the Bible and say well, I can’t gossip, steal, lie, dress inappropriately etc. It is high time we re-frame our understanding of sin. What if God is saying Erin, I love you so much that I want you to have a relationship with me, and to have the overflowing and free life that comes with that. Therefore, these sins are what steal from that life and introduce darkness into the light. Lust…cheating…judgmental thoughts…envy…all chip away at the overflowing life you are meant to have. Now this approach to sin changes things. God desires holiness not because God wants to take the fun out of life, but because God wants us to have TRUE life! What great news!

Unfortunately, this doesn’t mean life will be easy. Too often I hear people proclaim that if one truly knows Jesus they will have money, great friends and a cushy life. Unfortunately, a cursory view of the Bible reveals the glaring inaccuracies of the so called “prosperity gospel.” All but one of the disciples, according to church history, were killed for their message. Jesus himself warned that life is not easy, and that sacrifice is essential to being a Christian. We live in a fallen world. Evil, disorder and injustice are a part of this broken condition. BUT in light of this grave reality we still serve a PRO NOBIS God and the abundant life does not end when bad things happen, but rather it is God who carries us through. Even when we cannot see past our pain, when the burden of the world is to0 heavy to bear, God will carry us through. (Please note that God does not cause evil, but promises to carry us through it.) Therefore, even in the darkest of times we must remember that we serve a PRO NOBIS God.

That is why the Psalmist could cry out in Psalm 13:

“How long, O Lord? Will You forget me forever? How long will You hide Your face from me? How long shall I take counsel in my soul, Having sorrow in my heart all the day? How long will my enemy be exalted over me? Consider and answer me, O Lord my God; Enlighten my eyes, or I will sleep the sleep of death, And my enemy will say, “I have overcome him,” And my adversaries will rejoice when I am shaken. But I have trusted in Your loving kindness; My heart shall rejoice in Your salvation. I will sing to the Lord, Because He has dealt bountifully with me.”

Since Paul says it better than I ever could, I will leave you with his words. “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us?” (Romans 8:31) PRO NOBIS!

 

Taken from  http://undividedheartministry.blogspot.com/