Our paradigms color our view of the world, like biases they distort our perceptions. They are like wearing blue tinted glasses or spectacles. You won’t ever see the color of truth. We choose our paradigms just like we choose a cool pair of shades. Problem is, its exceedingly difficult to take them off. Jesus’ clarion assertion of His purpose to give us the abundant life in a world where the scarcity paradigm prevails is often missed by believers. The prevalent worldview is that resources and finite, scarce, and running out. Today we will examine the abundance paradigm and practice living through the lens of Jesus’ provision of the abundant life.
I am the Door; anyone who enters through Me will be saved [and will live forever],
and will go in and out [freely], and find pasture (spiritual security). The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance [to the full, till it overflows] I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd lays down His [own] life for the sheep John 10:9-11 AMP
Abundant: περισσός perissós, per-is-sos'; from G4012 (in the sense of beyond); superabundant (in quantity) or superior (in quality); by implication, excessive; adverbially (with G1537) violently; neuter (as noun) preeminence:—exceeding abundantly above, more abundantly, advantage, exceedingly, very highly, beyond measure, more, superfluous, vehement(-ly).
- Jesus came that you would have a life overflowing. How have you embraced this promise for your life?
- What has prevented you from accepting this as the truth for your life?
Perhaps fear is a factor. Knowing that our enemy comes to steal, kill, and destroy, we live in defense, in a protective posture. We work and pray to protect our stuff from the thief. After all, all we have is all we got. So, we don’t trust God for it, we don’t take risks, we put our talents in the ground like the 3rd servant in the parable of talents. We can’t afford to lose what little we have, especially since the view through our spectacles is SCARCITY. Resources are finite, limited, and there is not enough to go around. So, you better hold on tight to what you have. It’s a zero-sum game.
The story of “Richie in” Luke 18 illustrates our common failure of trusting our own economic performance over God’s abundance. Richie came to Jesus seeking the costs of inheriting everlasting life. Jesus listened intently, as always, as Richie gave his glowing spiritual resume. According to Richie, he’d done everything right so far, and not missed a step.
When Jesus heard this, He said to him, “You still lack one thing;
sell everything that you have and distribute the money to the poor, and you will have [abundant] treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me [becoming My disciple, believing and trusting in Me and walking the same path of life that I walk].” But when he heard these things, he became very sad, for he was extremely rich. Jesus looked at him and said, “How difficult it is for those who are wealthy to enter the kingdom of God! For it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man [who places his faith in wealth or status] to enter the kingdom of God.” And those who heard it said, “[a]Then who can be saved?”
But He said, “The things that are impossible with people are possible with God.” Luke 18:22-27 AMP
Jesus does want you to have riches, He just hates it when the riches have you. Richie was bound to his wealth. He could not let them go.
Are you rich?
Household Income $K
The Median household income in 2020 was ~$65K. If you are in the 90% percentile, for instance, then 90% of U.S. Households earn less than yours.
Where does your household fit?
Most people see themselves in the middle. As the view from our window shows some better off than we and some less well off. Fact is, as Americans, we live better than most of the world's population.
The mashup of our material wealth and our trust in Jesus reflects our worldview. Whether it is one of scarcity or abundance, it spans the continuum from fear to faith. Whether we have much our little, our faith defines our view of it.
- What is your view?
- Do you see the world and your provision through the spectacle of scarcity or Jesus’ abundance?
Take a moment to position yourself on this graph.
What quadrant would a silent observer of your life place you in?
(Tight, Needy, Generous, or Content)
Is there a quadrant you would like to move to? If so, what would you need to do?
What would it look like for you to embrace the abundant life?
As Paul asserted in Philippians 4:11-13
I do not speak because I have need, for I have learned in whatever state I am to be content. I know both how to face humble circumstances and how to have abundance. Everywhere and in all things I have learned the secret, both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.
I can do all things because of Christ who strengthens me.
Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly beyond all that we ask or imagine,
according to the power that works in us, Ephesians 3:20 MEV
Is this promise of abundance enough for you?
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