Tag Archives: life

Practical Bible Wealth Tips: 3 BIG Keys to Living in Abundance

I have come that they may have life and have it more abundantly – John 10:10b

Where do we get the idea that God desires for us to live on the  cusp of not having enough and barely making it through? Is it from the word of God or is it from tradition? Unless specifically called to live otherwise (due to something specific and magnificent that God wants to achieve in and though us), the words of Jesus quoted above makes it safe to say that God wants us to live an abundant life.

As hard as it may be for some of you to believe, this was the plan from the very beginning when God made a picture perfect world for our ancestors (Adam and Eve) and made provision for them to live their lives to the fullest (see Genesis 1 and 2).

Unfortunately, our oldest ancestors decided to trade in their abundance for poverty – strange and foolish decision. Now lest we should follow in the footsteps of our ancestors, we need to understand the drivers that led to that crazy decision. Though there are  significant spiritual nuggets that we can take away from the story of Adam and Eve’s crazy decision, there are 3 BIG practical lessons that we need to learn, that if we do not learn, will lead us to trade in the abundant life that God wants us to have for a life of poverty.

Books (B)

The first thing the enemy of abundant life (Satan) did was test what Eve knew about the principle of life in the garden. Specifically, he tested her knowledge of God’s word concerning a specific tree in the garden.

If she had not known God’s word, then he could have hoodwinked her right there. Thus we see that lack of knowledge will always rob us of abundant life.

Friends, we should make reading a habit. Once we know, it is nigh impossible to un-know. Moreover, the things that we know should help us make better decisions, combat falsehoods, and expand our horizon.

Food for Thought: Ignorance is not bliss but blitzes our lives and robs us of the abundant life that has been given to us.

Our top priority should be to feed our spirit (the bible) and then fill our minds with good and useful knowledge.

Individuals (I)

What Eve was doing hanging out with the devil, I will never know. Instead of excusing herself, she carried on a conversation with the creation that was jealous and envious of her position and only wanted her downfall.

The scripture reminds us that bad company corrupts good character (1 Corinthians 15:33). The opposite is also true – good company enhances and encourages good character.

The people we keep around us are influencers. If we want to know where we will be in the next few years, all we need do is take a look at a deep look at the totality of the lives of our influencers.

The people we keep around us will rob off on us and ultimately change our character.

Food for Thought: The best move  we can make is decide to keep company with the Holy Spirit (for He is our standard) and keep company with people that reflect the character of Jesus (for they are our examples).

Goals (G)

The goal of Adam and Eve should have been to get close to the tree of life and munch its life giving fruit the moment they knew of its existence. But no! They did not have the goal of making their lives even better by eating of the fruit of the tree of life.

It was the lack of having a grander vision for their lives that made them susceptible to banter about the tree of the knowledge of evil.

The same is true for us as well. Here is how it works: If you have a goal of attending Harvard, you have no time to entertain thoughts of hanging around the corner wasting time. If your goal is to save $10,000 per year, you will not entertain buying a fancy race car. Why? It is because it does not line up with your goals.

In order words, purpose is what streamlines our lives and keep us focused.

But what if you do not have goals? What if your goals are not big enough? Then you will entertain all sorts of crazy thoughts and find yourself in places you should not be in life.

We should set goals that make something of us to achieve them.

Food for Thought: The best goals are God-sized. That means that nothing other than divine intervention will help us achieve them. These God-sized goals help us keep our eyes on God and keep out feet on the right path.

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Food for Thought – The Excellence of Knowledge

The excellence of knowledge is that wisdom gives life to those who have it (see Ecclesiastes 7:12). Lets face it, there is no shortage of info out there. Simply click a button and voila, knowledge at our fingertips! And since knowledge is power, the more we have of it and can apply, the better off we are right? Not necessarily, for knowledge when misapplied is power misused!

Just as a buttering knife in the hands of a nutter becomes a destructive weapon, so does knowledge in the hands of a person devoid of wisdom. And since the bible tells us that Jesus became our wisdom (see 1 Corinthians 1:30), we can say that the application of knowledge without the help of God (wisdom) is foolishness (the opposite of wisdom) and leads to death (the opposite of life).

Therefore, it is possible to be extremely knowledgeable and still be extremely foolish; to know much scripture without it ever yielding fruit. This is why knowledge alone should not impress us much!

Lightbulb Moment Without God, all Knowledge is misapplied. Thus, Knowledge – God = Foolishness

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The Love Position – Is my salvation predestined or do I have free will?

Are some predestined by God to be eternally saved (from eternal punishment) while others are not, or do we all have the option of choosing our eternal home? In other words, do we believe in predestination or do we believe in determination (free-will)? Rather than talk about what we feel, let’s take a look at what God shows us through His scriptures.

In the beginning, God created a perfect abode for man to lay his head. Man had no knowledge of evil in this abode and so there was no shame, fear, or justice to speak of. Man had dominion over every living creature and his only job was to tend the garden. See, God so loved man that he created a world where man could live in perfect and perpetual fellowship with man. How do we know this? He created a world without sin (for sin came with knowledge of evil) and did not keep the tree of life (eternal) away from man. Truly, God predestined man to live the good life forever!

Lightbulb MomentLight-bulb moment: God so loved man that He predestined Him to live an awesome life of perfect and perpetual fellowship with Him

Now, since true love is never forced (for anything forced involves control and torment) but is freely chosen and given, God (who is love) gave man free-will to choose. Too bad man chose to end the good life. But when man did this, God was still merciful to stop him from eating of the fruit of life by removing him from the garden and guarding the way to the tree of life with a flaming sword (see Genesis 3:24). You see, if man had eaten of the fruit of life after his disobedience, he would have lived forever in eternal separation from God. God did not want that! So while putting him out the garden seemed harsh, it was actually done out of love. See, as soon as man disobeyed, God already had a master-plan to redeem man from being separated from Him but rather to be redeemed through the shed blood of Christ.

Lightbulb MomentLight-bulb moment: God so loved man that even after exercising his free-will in disobedience, God predestined him not to be eternally separated from Him but to be redeemed through Christ’s sacrifice

To reiterate, when man exercised his free-will of disobedience, both evil and justice entered the world. Being a just God, He had to mete out the punishment that man’s choice (sin) deserved. But thankfully, He found Abraham righteous enough to make a covenant with him that through his Seed (Jesus) all the nations will be blessed (with the covenant blessings available in the Holy Spirit).

“In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice” – Genesis 22:18

“Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He does not say “And to seeds,” as of many, but as of one, “And to your Seed,” who is Christ” – Galatians 3:16

See, because of Abraham’s faith, God predestined man (all nations) to be blessed through the redemptive work of Christ. Note that is does not say “this” nation or “that” nation, but it says all nations – meaning all peoples or all mankind.  Thus, it is clear that God wants all mankind (all nations) to be saved. But man still has the same free-will to choose Christ, just as the first man (Adam) and subsequent men had the free-will to disobey God in the garden at the beginning. Paul puts it this way:

“For since the creation of the word His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse” – Romans 1:20

Lightbulb MomentLight-bulb moment: God so loved man after the fall that He predestined all mankind to be saved through faith in Jesus Christ

How much God loves us – that He would have His own son slewed in order for us to be saved from eternal separation from Him when we choose to believe in His Son (see John 3:16). All that is required is belief! It is not based on performance or our own self-accessed righteousness (which is as filthy rags) but it is a free gift which is irrevocable!

“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is a free gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast” – Ephesians 2:8-9

“For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable” – Romans 11:29

But the above is not the end of God’s love, there is more. For those that choose to believe in His Son, He seals with His Spirit who upon our choosing can direct our path. When we choose to walk in the Spirit and allow Him to lead us, we are lavished with the fullness of the covenant blessings – riches, honor, life, peace, and so much more. We are able to live heaven on this earth just as God designed it from the beginning! We do not have to wait till we get to heaven (our destination once saved) to experiences goodness.That is not to say that bad things will not happen to us (for we still live in a fallen world), but that things are eventually working for our good (see Romans 8:28)

So, looking through the lens of the love of God from the beginning of the world, it now becomes clear what Paul is talking about in Romans 8:29-30:

“For whom He foreknew (all nations or all mankind), He also predestined (through our acceptance of Jesus) to be conformed to the image of His Son……Moreover whom He predestined (all nations), He called (to accept Jesus); whom He called, these He also justified (though the blood of Jesus).

Thus, predestination does not work completely independent of free-will but in conjunction with it. Based on what we know from scriptures, we can conclude the following:

  • God predestined man to live in perpetual and perfect fellowship with Him when He created the world (God’s choice)
  • Man chose to break that fellowship through sin (Man’s choice)
  • God predestined (called) man to be saved from  separation through Christ’s sacrifice (God’s choice)
  • Man can neglect the call to salvation and justification  (Man’s choice)
  • God predestined man to enjoy the benefits of accepting His call to salvation through the Holy Spirit (God’s choice)
  • Man can choose not to walk in the Spirit although they have already accepted Christ unto unnecessary suffering (Man’s choice)

Lightbulb MomentLight-bulb moment: Predestination is not the problem –  what God predestines is good. Rather, the problem is our choice – for some reason we like choosing death instead of life.  Adam was predestined to live a sweet life, but his choice made him live a “not so sweet” life!

Food for Thought: When we choose love (God), we are predestined to live a blessed life

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Communion – Why I Love Bread and Wine

Good Friday is so special because it was through the crucifixion (and subsequent resurrection) that we were restored to the Father and so allows us to commune with Him. Communion is an act of sharing, participation or coming together. If we are to commune with Christ, we are to share in all of Him – both in His tribulation (see John 16:33) and His victory. In taking the Holy Communion, we accept this, and remember the broken body of Christ and the blood that was shed for us.

When I take Communion, I remember that He suffered for my sake – to wash my sins away, to bear the judgment for the sins I committed, to reconcile me to God, and to grant me the power to live life abundantly. When I take the Holy Communion, I realize who He is and who I am. I realize who I am without Him (lost, broken, worldly, and depraved) and who I am in Him (found, worthy, righteous, and beautified). I am reminded of His love for me and the sacrifice He made for me; that He did not run away from the Father’s will but was fully obedient because of His love for me and the Father; lowering Himself to be a man so that I can gain an undeserved position as a son of the Almighty God. In dying, He shattered the chains of bondage and granted me His Spirit so I may commune with Him daily.

It was unbelievable love that kept Him there on that cross. It was His love for me that kept Him diligent in His ministry and obedient to the point of sweating blood. When I think about His sacrifice on the cross, it reminds me of my responsibilities and what true love looks like. It reminds me that I am a new creation in Him and it reminds me of my sonship in Him; that He is my all in all; that He is the one in control of my life. When I remember His sacrifice and what it means, it brings me to my knees in total surrender.

Bread

“…this is my body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of me.” – 1 Corinthians 11:24

The body reminds me of the humanity of Jesus. Breaking the bread reminds me of His sacrifice and the painful death He endured to put me in right standing with the Father. What if in His humanity, Jesus had been disobedient? What a tragedy for us all that would have been. His broken body reminds me of His willful obedience, His immense discipline, and His single-minded focus on God and on His purpose. He is the ultimate example of what it is to live a purpose-driven life. Neither the scare tactics, nor the law, nor the certainty of death and the suffering along the way could move our Savior. His broken body reminds me of why He endured it all – His love for me. It reminds me of how I need to live life – in love and in total surrender and obedience to God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

Wine

“…This cup is the new covenant in my blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” – 1 Corinthians 11:25

With the blood came the new covenant. Hallelujah! The blood bought covenant tells me He will never leave me nor forsake me; He has granted me the Holy Spirit as my helper with whom I am sealed. His blood reminds me of his Deity and His Lordship. The power that conquered death and brought forth the covenant lies in the blood of Christ. Because of the blood, that same power resides in me through the power of the Holy Spirit. It enables and strengthens me to do all things – to love, live a better life, produce spiritual fruits (see Galatians 5:22), and manifest all manner of spiritual gifts (see 1 Corinthians 12:7-10).

Bread and Wine

Hallelujah! The broken body and blood remind me that I must daily crucify my flesh and surrender daily to the saving power of our Lord Jesus Christ. They remind me of God’s love for me and that He can and wants to do the impossible for me. His blood and body give me confidence and hope for the future. They remind me that full victory is mine when I discipline my body, mind, and heart, and surrender to the power of the Holy Spirit in full obedience; that I do not have to faint and lose heart.

His body (bread) and blood (wine) cleanses me, reconciles me, seals me, changes me, and empowers me to have total victory over anything and everything that may ever come my way. It emboldens me for it cloaks me with invincibility. It makes me superman! Therefore I ought to make it a point to get fattened with His bread (Word) and to get drunk on His wine (Holy Spirit) on a daily basis. This is why I love bread and wine. You tell me what is there not to love about it?

Lightbulb MomentLight-bulb moment: The only kind of gluttony and drunkenness the bible advocates is gluttony on the Word (bread) and drunkenness on the Holy Spirit (wine). Therefore, if loving bread and wine is wrong, I don’t want to be right!

“‘Man shall not eat by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God’” – Matthew 4:4

“…All scripture is given by inspiration of God…” – 2 Timothy 3:16

“And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit” – Ephesians 5:18

Food for Thought: In Christ, we are free to indulge in all the bread and wine we want

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