|Robert Houk Hitchcock|
Truly, A More Than Abundant Life
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.
I was introduced to the One True God by way of this verse of scripture. It was astounding to my ears, and a revelation to my heart that Christianity was a way of abundance. God's Word made this promise, and He has continued to fulfill it all of these years in my life. Truly, this is a more than abundant life that we are living.
Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?
Despite religion's propounding of the opposite, it was the goodness of God that led us to repentance. Not an escape from fire and brimstone, but God's Goodness. Surely, all of our lives have been filled with the goodness of God: all of the many, many answered prayers, all of the signs and wonders, all of the directing of our paths, all of the sweet, sweet fellowship with God and other believers. See, the goodness of God is greater than all the badness of the devil. Although there may have been tribulation and opportunities to believe God in our lives, the goodness of God has far, far outweighed the bad.
I John 4:7-10
Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.
He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.
In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.
Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
God is Love. This love is not a passive love; not a touchy- feely love. This is an active love. God so loved that He gave. God so loved that He sent. His purpose in sending was that we might live through His son, Jesus Christ. His Love has enabled us to overcome all the bitterness and disappointment of the world, to overcome all the scars and hurts, all the bummers and pains. He Gave and we received.
I John 4:16
And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.
Certainly we have known experientially the love of God. Think of all the many blessings. When beginning to count our blessings, we soon lose count just thinking about all the years, all the times, all the many, many people who have blessed us. We have known God's Love and we have believed God's Love.
I John 4:19
We love him, because he first loved us.
His Love has caused us to love. How could we ever have done what we've done without God's Love? We love ("him" is omitted in most Greek texts), because He first Loved us. He gave us the ability to love, and He gave us the confidence to love. And love is what puts a man or a woman, a boy or a girl over the top. Love gives us meaning, love gives us purpose, and love has given us confidence to be the people that we've always wanted to be.
1 Corinthians 1:30
But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:
No status symbol or material thing will ever give us righteousness. What man needs is righteousness. It's what he desperately desires, it's what he longs for and strives for. We have it. We have been made the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. How comforting that is to know and how edifying it is. What a truly more than abundant life in Christ Jesus! Wisdom and righteousness and sanctification and redemption. Who could have ever imagined this greatness of the more than abundant life?
For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
It's no more fear for this believer. Do you remember how much fear we had in our lives? No more. We do not have a spirit of fear, but a spirit of sonship. Sons of God! We have the absolute proof in the senses world (or senseless world as my friend and colleague likes to say) that we are the children of God: WE SPEAK IN TONGUES!
We aren't just vagabond children; we are heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ. If that doesn't put a charge in your battery, I don't know what will. We are heirs of God, joint-heirs with the Lord Jesus Christ AND we will be glorified in the heavenlies one day. What a life, what a blessing, what a truly more than abundant life we are living.
And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.
Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.
We are not servants. We are not strangers. We are not beggars. We are sons of God with power! We have direct access to God as our Father. We do not come to God like He doesn't know us or like us; we come to God with boldness and confidence because we are His children and His heirs.
I John 3:1-2
Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.
Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
What's your name? Well, now it is "SonofGod." That's your true last name. Sure we go by others names for now, but that's really your last name. We are sons of God now, and we are also going to be changed at the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ. We are not perfect now, but we will be in perfection then.
For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:
Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.
Our conversation- our citizenship- is in heaven. We left this world behind long ago in our hearts; our hearts are focused on the heavenly things, the spiritual things, and the things of God. What do we look for? We look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ. We shall all be changed! This life we are living is wonderful, but the best is yet to come. Now we only see through a glass darkly, but then face to face. Now we know in part, but then shall we know even as we are known.
To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:
I know the first time I heard this, my heart went through the ceiling. How astounding and yet how unknown or unbelieved in the Christian world. It's Christ in you, it's Christ in you, it's Christ in you! "What power we've got if we only knew it." We know it now, and it's ours. It's Christ in us and we are living a more than abundant life in Christ.
I John 1:3
That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.
What this more than abundant life is all about is fellowship with the Father and His son, and fellowship with each other in the family of God. There is no better life out there, there is no better situation, and there is no better lifestyle or purpose of life: THE BEST is fellowship with God and like-minded believers standing on God's Word together.
I John 1:7
But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
To have been given a thorough knowledge of God's Word has been a blessing abundant to all of us, because it has provided the light that we might have fellowship with God.
For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.
This has not been a hodge-podge effort; this has been a continual working of God in our lives. Who you married, where you've lived, what kind of work you've done, etc.etc.etc. All the many, many, many teachings, fellowships, manifestations, counseling, and prayers- all done because God worked within you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. The thread that weaves throughout our lives has been the thread of God working in us to will and to do of His good pleasure.
Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,
What better or more fitting conclusion than Eph. 3:20?
God has done, is doing, and will continue to do exceeding abundantly above
all that we ask or think. He has raised us up out of the hurt of
the world and set us on high in the heavenly places. He has
brought our lives from destruction and replaced it with wholeness and love.
He has given us knowledge of Him through His Word, and He has blessed
us with all spiritual blessings. He has taken all the hurt and pain
and replaced it with joy and grace. He has taken the confusion and frustration
of the world and replaced it with certainty and peace. What a Great
Big wonderful God we love and serve and what a truly more than abundant
life we are living.
© Copyright March 2000