Whenever I share my story of freedom, I'm tempted to remove the dark parts and skip right to the light. Most days I feel as though I’m living “on the other side” (if there even is an “other” side) and the abundance and freedom I’m experiencing now are beyond what I thought possible.
And that’s the thing I want you to see - the thing I want you to experience for yourself. So it would be wonderful to just skip to that part. Skip to the freedom and the abundance and the healing.
But I was reminded recently that there is no light without the darkness, no healing without first having brokenness.
I became a believer at a young age. I was probably seven or eight and I laid in my bedroom, enveloped in the darkness as my father explained the heartache of the world to me. I was in the middle of memorizing the twenty third Psalm when it dawned on me that not everyone had a relationship with Jesus. Not everyone loved him. Knew him. Trusted him.
But I definitely did.
So I prayed to receive Christ as my savior that night, and as much as I knew how, I repented of the sins in my life - the lying and the disobedience, the meanness toward my brother and sister. The bottom line was that I recognized my need for grace and thus my need for Jesus.
As much as that moment sticks out in my mind as the definition of a before and after, the thing I’ve found along the way is that the gospel is not actually a one moment in time kind of thing. It's an every day thing. A wash over me again and again, come heal me Lord, constant prayer.
The gospel of Jesus Christ ensures salvation for those who accept him, of course, but it's so much more than I have ever given it credit for. It is instead, the ability to walk with him daily. Through the terrible, the beautiful, the grief-stricken and the exceptionally praiseworthy moments of life. It’s knowing Him in the bad choices and the good ones. The decisions in which I trust Him and the ones in which I don’t.
It’s a continual coming back to Him after having already fallen away. Again and again and again
Salvation is for eternity. Done. Sealed by the blood of the cross. But the gospel? The gospel is for the moments we live between now and eternity. The gospel covers the sin I committed yesterday, what I will do today and next year. It gives me grace for today and hope for tomorrow. The gospel is for this moment even now.
So what if I told you that Jesus came not just so we might have life eternal, but so we would have life right now. Free. Abundant. Unhindered.
God made it exceptionally clear that even while we are still walking this earth, He wants us to experience fullness of joy, perfect hope, supernatural peace while we are still walking the earth. Jesus said, "The thief [Satan] comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly." (John 10:10)
Are you living abundantly? Abundantly comes from a greek word here that literally means "superior, extraordinary, uncommon." Would that describe your life today?
Maybe you don't know how to get to an abundant life today. Perhaps you don't even know why this is important - and that's okay too. But my sincerest desire is that you would stick with me over the next several weeks as we talk about what it would look like to claim a life of abundance.
Because it isn't just for me, friend, this abundance is also for you.