Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Abundance (06/08/06)
TITLE: Life In Abundance (i)
By Roy Proctor
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Many believe, as I do, that the United States is a blessed nation. Many of its citizens enjoy prosperity that is unparalleled in the history of man. Some people can afford to drive $60,000 cars and live in luxurious mansions with amenities that many only dream about.
For one who has tasted of the heavenly gifts of God, there seems to be something missing in the lives of many, in the midst of material prosperity. Whenever I watch a secular television show or even read about the lives of society’s elite, I see emptiness, loneliness and fear. There is little purpose in the things they do and their typical conversation has no meaning.
I now understand what the writer of Ecclesiastes meant when he wrote that all is Vanity. He witnessed the work of the enemy, Satan, that drains the life and vitality from people’s hearts. We can look up, however, because God the Father has sent his Son, Jesus Christ, to bring life in abundance, till it overflows.
The prophet, Isaiah, painted a beautiful picture of one who assimilates the abundant life that Christ gives when he wrote, “The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.” Isaiah 58:11 NIV
What is it like to resemble a watered garden? It reminds me of some plants my son has in the flower beds of his front yard. During the winter months they shrivel to helpless looking brown stalks. But when the growing season comes, they bloom forth at an explosive rate and stand majestically in a wide stance. Their leaves are a healthy green color and they produce huge white flowers. One gets the impression that they are indestructible.
If Isaiah were living today, I think he would see that the condition of people’s lives, without God, would still be likened unto a sun-scorched land in which the waters of life are dry. I’m sure he would be overjoyed to have the opportunity to proclaim the good news of the gospel.
When we accept the life that Christ offers, his leadership guides us through the trials and tribulations of this life. The strength that only he can give under girds our confidence to establish victorious living. There is an indestructible propelling force from within that others see. Such a condition is the best witness that one can hope to achieve.
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