#AbundanceForDays

7 So Jesus again said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. 8 All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. 9 I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. 11 I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.”

 

When I was just in highschool, I was told by a close friend of mine that I had a tendency to be negative. Oh, when she told me that I felt a loathing I hadn’t felt before. I started thinking of other people I thought that about myself and how they drained the energy from me, and… How could she think that of me? But, I started paying closer attention to my conversation and reactions, etc., and, to my horror, I realized she was right. I cannot tell you how much I hated to admit to that.

At that point, I made it my priority to change that about myself. I didn’t want to be known as the “Debbie Downer” or “Negative Nancy” among my peers. Months went by, and with much effort I took time to think about the words that would escape my lips. But, the thoughts that entered my mind were another story. Although the negativity I dwelt on didn’t get a voice, it still caused damage to my inner peace.

I got so frustrated with myself. What’s wrong with me? Why can’t I fix this? I’m trying so hard!

And then I read this Scripture.

The most important line would be the last- “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” When Jesus gave His life for us, it wasn’t just for our salvation. He ever lives to make intercession for us; to take our sorrows, our grief, our fears, our weaknesses, etc. He came that we may have life… abundant life!

Abundant- more than adequate; well-supplied; abounding; richly supplied; lavish.

When I read that, something new registered with me. I claimed to be a follower of Christ, and yet, for some reason, I didn’t feel that my life was “abounding or richly supplied.” Oh, how wrong I was! I realized I needed to work on the relationship I had with Him. Something was off. I should be experiencing unspeakable joy (1 Peter 1:8), sustainable peace (Colossians 3:15), and overflowing thankfulness (Colossians 2:7). Going forward I determined that my outlook would be clearer and my life would be lived differently.

I can’t say it’s always been easy. There’ve been periods throughout my life that were trying. I battled fear and frustration. Defeat knocked at my door. My words stayed positive, but my mind needed redemption at times. But, that was okay. I knew Who I could lean on and trust to redirect my thoughts. (2 Corinthians 10:3-5)

Just today I heard a clip of a sermon that resonated within me. When you ask, “Why does the enemy keep attacking me?” Remember, it’s because you won’t go down! If you have to face sickness, do it while rebuking it in the name of Jesus. When regret and loss bring you to tears, quote verses of hope through your crying. Should fear take a tight grip on your life, plead the blood of The One that can break every chain!

He came so we could live an abundant life! We will not be defeated! We are blessed, protected, cherished, and provided for! We are His.

Let’s take the words of Apostle Paul and pray them over our lives today:

 

Prayer: “But we have this treasure… to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed.” We can live life abundantly because of You, Jesus. We thank You for that today!

 

Only The Best!

(Deuteronomy 33:13-16 ESV) 13 And of Joseph he said, “Blessed by the LORD be his land, with the choicest gifts of heaven above, and of the deep that crouches beneath, 14 with the choicest fruits of the sun and the rich yield of the months, 15 with the finest produce of the ancient mountains and the abundance of the everlasting hills, 16 with the best gifts of the earth and its fullness and the favor of him who dwells in the bush. May these rest on the head of Joseph, on the pate of him who is prince among his brothers.


When I write a letter, I usually begin with a greeting like this, “Greetings to you in the name of the Lord. I trust that all is well and you are experiencing the best blessings of God!” On one occasion, someone asked me if all of God’s blessings were equal, to which I replied, “I believe God has some very special blessings reserved that exceed the routine provision of the day!” I was probably just trying to be positive, but when I read these verses of Scripture today, it reinforced my belief.

Chapter 33 of Deuteronomy records the blessings of Moses upon the people of Israel just before his death. While Moses handed out some very impressive blessings to the various tribes, when he gets to Joseph he uses some very descriptive terms about his blessings. Notice,

  • “The choicest gifts of heaven.”
  • “The choicest fruits of the sun.”
  • “The rich yield of the months.”
  • “The finest produce of the ancient mountains.”
  • “The abundance of the everlasting hills.”
  • “The best gifts of the earth.”
  • “Its fullness and the favor of him who dwells in the bush.”
  • “May these rest on the head of Joseph.”

God is sovereign. He can bless anyone He wants, any way He wants, at any time He wants. The truth is, that each tribe was blessed in ways that was specific to their own needs. God knew what they needed, and what would produce the most productive results for them.

Why did God bless Joseph so extravagantly? I believe we gain some insight through the phrase, “him who is prince among his brothers.” Joseph required greater resources because his assignment was broader in scope. God would require much more from Joseph than his brothers. Therefore, the choicest gifts were reserved for the one whose responsibility was greater.


PRAYER: Thank you Father for Your abundant blessings! Give me the wisdom to use them in ways that will bring glory to Your name. Amen.

Drink It In!

(Psalm 36 7-8 ESV) How precious is Your steadfast love, O God! The children of mankind take refuge in the shadow of Your wings. They feast on the abundance of Your house, and You give them drink from the river of Your delights.


Let’s  begin our thoughts by stating an undeniable fact… GOD LOVES US! For some, that is all you needed to hear today. You. Are. Loved.

The first sign of God’s love found in these verses is the fact that God allows us to take refuge in the shadow of His wings. This phrase paints the picture of a mother hen who provides protection to her chicks by spreading her wings allowing them to take refuge from the dangers that might threaten them. Likewise, God is always available to provide safety for those who would run to Him.

Secondly, David describes a bountiful feast that takes place at the table of the Lord’s house. Can you imagine having the privilege of dining in the Lord’s house? The emphasis is on the abundance of the feast. In other words, the menu has no limits and the supply will never be insufficient. Let’s make one thing clear, no matter how much you may like Golden Corral, this feast David is talking about is of Heavenly quality! Prepared and provided by the hand of the Lord in His dining room! WOW!

Finally, David speaks of quenching our thirst by drinking from the river of His delights. When I was a kid, we often drank out of the garden hose if we were outside playing in the yard. I’m sure you would agree that drinking from the garden hose did not always produce the cleanest water. It didn’t rate high on the quality scale!

David was talking about drinking from the source that provided refreshing delight to the Lord. It seems that God was willing to share the best He had to offer. Can you imagine what is being said here? God is asking, “What would you like to drink? Let me give you a drink from my river which will satisfy your thirst.”

In closing, let me repeat my first words. YOU ARE LOVED! God’s abundance is yours today. Drink it in…


PRAYER: Thank You Father for providing abundant blessings. You have satisfied my every longing. I’ve feasted at Your table; I’m drinking from Your river and it’s glorious! I appreciate it! Amen.

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