Jesus loves you! This is a true, simple and potentially life-changing statement. Once we accept what that three-word sentence actually means, it can become a steering mechanism for everyday of our lives, pointing us to righteousness, godliness and self-sacrifice. Jesus loves you. Pointed and refreshing, but what does it really mean? Does Jesus’ love for us guide us in our everyday experiences? Yes! Does his love for us mean that he wants the best for us? Of course! Okay, so if he wants the best for us does that refer to comfort and abundance in our lives? Does Jesus’ love for us bring us to better living conditions, more financial stability, a much better present and a brighter future? The answers to these questions will vary wildly depending on whose brand of Christianity you look at and this just confuses the matter. Instead of asking different Christians about the role of comfort and abundance in a Christian’s life, let’s find the answer from Jesus’ own teachings and the Apostle’s own words.
First of all, let me be crystal clear...we believe Jesus wants his disciples to live full lives of great abundance! Now the really big question is what does “great abundance” mean? Once we establish its meaning, it stands to reason we can begin to settle in to find and apply that abundance in our everyday existence. To find the meaning we have to look at what Jesus stood for – not what we would like for him to have stood for, but what his ministry was actually about.
When you look at the body of what Jesus taught what you find is the vast majority of his teachings were in place to bring hope to the average person. He focused on love, on personal sacrifice and on putting God first. Much of his ministry was spent building the foundations for his kingdom, and those foundations were revealed in the words “Follow me.” Okay, “follow me” to where, through what kind of experiences and to what end result? Again, looking at what Jesus stood for we see that he was an itinerant preacher – he had no real earthly possessions and no place that he called home. Yet, this man who might be described in this light as a poverty-stricken soul by some, had the power to heal sickness in others, the power to talk down the religious leaders of his time and the power to speak godly hope and direction to the masses of people. So, is this the “abundance” that Jesus wants for our lives?
Not exactly. The abundance Jesus wants for us is actually bigger, broader and eternal. The abundance he wants for us stands in stark contrast with what we would consider abundance by worldly standards. This fact flies directly in the face of what so many preachers of Christianity talk about today. It truly exposes their money-based ministries as not being about the Gospel of Jesus Christ but being about their own personal worldly abundance. Spiritual abundance and worldly abundance are simply contrary and must be revealed as so.
Check out our March 6th, 2017 podcast, “Is Christianity a Greedy Religion?” and follow along with us as we, according to Jesus’ own words, separate worldly abundance from spiritual abundance and learn how to seek that which is eternal. It just might make your life fuller and happier!
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