Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Abundantly Celebrating Life

The Lord is good every day and great worship isn't anything new at the Macedonia church but Sunday the presence of the Lord was more manifest than normal. God truly did a great thing in our service on Sunday from the invocation to the benediction, He was in control.

39.9 inches of snow and counting for the year and yes that is 18 inches of snow that came in one week but the people of Macedonia still came out to church on Sunday Morning.

I preached our church theme for 2015 out of John 10:10 "The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly".

Our theme for this year is Abundantly Celebrating Life: Past, Present and Future. Our church is blessed that this year will mark our 90th year that the Lord has allowed the Macedonia Family to exist. From a mission plant in a living room to our present location, God has been good to this church.

With all of God's goodness that He has bestowed upon us the thought came to my mind, Are we really living Life? Our world is full of unhappy people. Divorce, Suicide, drug dependency, depression, eating disorders, emotional and psychological disorders, THE WORLD NEEDS SOME JOY AND THAT JOY IN ABUNDANCE.

Where do we find it? Educators have failed to lead people to the abundant life. Science has not shown where abundant life rests. Believe it or not even Religion has not done an adequate job in teaching the masses the joy of life in Jesus.

Charles Stanley says we have learned to live an adequate life but not an abundant life. Many people view church as the end of their fun and celebration. The joy that Jesus gives doesn't seem to be reflected in the lives of people who claim He lives in their hearts.

Be Honest! Have you looked at some of the people who call themselves Christians? Do they seem to have joy? Excitement? Pleasure? Zest for life?

Most of our churches haven't taught us how to live abundantly, rather in fact they have taught us how to live somberly. So Christianity is equated with the Thou shalt Not's! We teach people what not to do in life rather than teaching them how to live abundantly in life. So we have created Christians who think its a sin to listen to any other type of music other than gospel. People who we can't invite to the church picnic without them frowning at everyone if someone is playing bingo, horseshoes, or God forbid Spades.

They know the what not to do's instead of doing anything. There is another group in our churches who also have been taught wrong. They believe the abundant life is the life that is marked by things.

Although the word abundantly in the English is an Adverb in the Greek this word is an adjective. It suggests the truly abundant life is not a life that is marked by quantity but it is a life that is distinguished by quality. You can have a house on the hills, four cars in the parking lot and every shoe, purse, bag and gadget available and still have no joy because joy is not found in things, joy is found in Jesus.

How can we live an Abundant Life? How can we Celebrate Life?

The devotional answer is found in the context of Chapters 9 and 10 of John.. Simply put when I understand who I am. SHEEP, and I understand who Jesus is, THE SHEPHERD, I can began to walk in abundance.. All a sheep has to do is two things according to the text. LISTEN AND OBEY.

Could it be that many of us fail to walk in an abundant lifestyle simply because we will not Listen to the Voice of the Shepherd and obey what He tells us to do. It is impossible to walk in abundance while living a life of disobedience.

If we learn what we are to do as SHEEP>>>>>> LISTEN AND OBEY, then the Shepherd can do what HE does best, PROVIDE. PROTECT and PROSPER

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