Thursday, December 8, 2016

Live Abundantly

Perhaps the greatest “Ah-ha” moment in my life was the day I realized that the Holy Spirit wants to help me live an abundant life.

"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. (John 10:10 NASB)

It wasn’t that my teachers had tried to sell me a bill of goods.  It was just that I was picking up on the negative, punishment-oriented teachings and missing out on the positive, life-giving ones.  But God doesn’t want to punish us.  That’s why God warns us so much.  Sin leads to death, but righteousness leads to life.

The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you--they are full of the Spirit and life. (John 6:63 NIV)

This battle between sin and righteousness (death and life) takes place in all of us.  Sometimes this battle can be confusing.  Sometimes it is exhausting.  But the battle is worth it, because the victory brings the abundant life.

You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. (Romans 8:9 ESV)

Yes, God gives us the Holy Spirit to help us in this battle.  But it’s not just about the battle.  It’s about the end result.  When we fight the good fight and run the good race, we experience life: true life.

And if Christ is in you…

Yes - the body is dead through sin,

but the Spirit is life through righteousness. (Romans 8:10 Pete)

In the end, though, we still get to choose.  God’s Spirit does not force us to make any decisions.  The Spirit only offers us the truth, righteousness, and life.  Then, God waits for us to decide.

If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you. (Romans 8:9-11 ESV)

So, how about you?  Do you choose to live abundantly?