Life in Abundance

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Like is a Relay

Take any portion of the Bible and you see a people chain—One person connected to another person to another, one person passing on the torch to another, one person picking up where the other left off—Moses and Joshua, Elijah and Elisha, David and Solomon, John and Jesus, Paul and Titus.

God depends on this human connectivity. Jesus’ life on earth also emphasized the need for this relay. His first step in His ministry was to link what he was going to do with what John his cousin had already done. “He picked up where John left off. ‘Change your life. God’s kingdom is here.’”(Matthew 4: 17, The Message)

The very Son of God chose to begin His ministry with the words of his very human predecessor. He was God. He could have started with a big bang of His own. He could have created a unique solo performance. But instead, he stayed connected with the people before him, and then readied the stage for those ahead of him.

The Christian life is not a solo act. It is a drama that spans from the beginning through eternity. It is about players who are synchronized and connected to tell the story of salvation.

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Remember and Never Forget

by Fylvia Fowler Kline

I will teach you hidden lessons from our past—stories we have heard and known. Psalm 78:2-3

Psalm 78 is the story about telling stories. Asaph, the storyteller, says before you start going off on how bad you have it, remember. Before you dump God for something else, remember. Before you start wishing for more out of life, remember. Before you start forgetting, remember …

Remember the past. Remember where you’ve been, how you survived. Remember the blessings, remember the miracles. Remember how your God has been with you.

Every time the Israelites lost sight of their history, they came to a bitter standstill—questioning themselves, one another and even God. So Asaph tells them to never forget their stories.

It is in the stories of our past that we find hope. In sharing our stories of faith with one another, we find strength to endure today. From the mistakes of the past, we find direction for the future.

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Drawn Into His Arms

by Tonya Mechling

…and in the wilderness where you saw how the Lord your God carried you, just as a man carries his son, in all the way which you have walked until you came to this place. Deuteronomy 1:31

There it was, tucked carefully in the first chapter. I had read Deuteronomy many times, but somehow I had always missed this beautiful gem. I discovered the promise one morning as I was laying all of my burdens at Jesus’ feet. I was going through a career change, and my purpose in life was unclear. As I was crying out to God, He answered me with this special gift.

The Israelites had been through so much. Their forty-year journey through the wilderness mirrors our expedition through life. We thirst and hunger for God’s protection and guidance. We face uncertainties and hardships, but God leads us just as He led the Israelites. As I pondered the image of a father cradling his son, I was comforted with the reminder that God carries me in His arms. Dear friends, take courage and know that God is lifting you up and drawing you to His bosom at this very moment. Nothing you face today is too difficult for Him!

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A New Year Challenge

It began as an ordinary appeal. The pastor had just concluded his testimony when he announced, “Stand if you will commit to leading one person to Christ this year!” Unlike many other appeals, the pastor added a caveat to his request. He proclaimed, “Only stand if you really mean it and will take action.” Without hesitation, I stood.

This week, while pondering how I was going to fulfill my commitment, I read Deuteronomy 32:2. The words let my teaching fall like rain and my words descend like dew, like showers on new grass, like abundant rain on tender plants tugged at my heart. God had sent me an exact blueprint for leading others to Christ! In order to fulfill my commitment, I need to move beyond my customary approach to witnessing. My methods of generic friendliness and broad testimony are not what God is looking for.

God is calling people to stand for Him. He wants our lives to bubble over with His light. It should be apparent to everyone that Jesus lives in us! Rain is dynamic and dew encompasses all. If we follow His promptings, our words and teachings will be exactly what each person needs.

Dear God, I want to lead someone to you this year. Use me today. Help my teaching fall like rain and my words descend like dew on each person.

by Tonya Mechling