He Gives Us Freedom and Abundance
Giving freely is the key to freedom in life. When we withhold from others and hoard in our lives we will only suffer a desire for more. Sometimes our comfort to maintain our current status in life keeps us from giving freely. We feel a need to ensure our standing and place in life; with money, time, status, and even our own emotional vulnerabilities. However, when we give freely, as the scripture suggests, we can see that giving is what actually gives us more.
One person gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty.
Proverbs 11: 24 NIV
We must go through Christ in everything. If He is not in the thing we are a part of it is probably a good indicator that that is not where we should be. There is nothing too small that God doesn’t want us to ask Him to be a part of and thus go through with Him in our lives. Jesus’ reference in this scripture lays out that He is the gateway to life and abundance. When we choose to go our own way we can not hope for true abundance. True abundance is not needing for anything, not because we’ll be supplied with all we could possibly want, but that we’ll take joy in what has eternal worth. Going through life with Jesus will always fill us up, even in the midst of emptiness.
Therefore Jesus said again, “Very truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. All who have come before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep have not listened to them. I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
John 10:7-10 NIV
Considerations for your planner:
- Where are you not allowing God in your life? Take a moment to jot down the areas that are most troublesome for you in your life. He can most surely bring abundance to them.
- Where do you give freely in your life and where do you hold back? Write down how you might begin to give in the areas you hold back.
A Story of Being Filled By God:
I was recently diagnosed with ulcerative colitis after many years of inconclusive tests and trying to control my symptoms with diet and supplements. I was sitting at my son’s sports practice uncomfortable and not feeling well for what seemed like the millionth time. I tried eating supper at an earlier time that day to see if it would help with the painful swelling that comes after supper at night. While sitting there, I got the Christian Planner email with a devotional about what to do in hard times. I noticed the repeating phrase, "God is right next to you." It wasn’t like I had forgotten that He is always close, but more like the Holy Spirit was speaking directly to me, reaching out to offer me the greatest comfort. I felt Jesus with me at that moment. He was sitting with me on the bleachers, there to calm and comfort me.
The devotional basically said to pray and give it to God and don't try to take the control back. So often I give my health issues to God, but take control back almost immediately by meticulously controlling what I eat and the times I eat. Sitting there, I prayed and gave it fully to Him. About five minutes later, my doctor called me. I knew that was divine intervention.
I do my best by giving God my concerns, anxiety, and fear daily, but I have to work hard at it. Most days I fail by trying to take control back. I am grateful that even when I imperfectly handle the hardships, He is there, always next to me, to offer me His comfort and strength.
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