A better life. A happier life. More prosperous, more joyful.
Less depressing life. Life way back then…more youthful, energetic and free.
Most of us crave a comfortable life, if we’re honest. We wouldn’t even mind a little pampering now and then. And when comfort and luxury are a reality, then life is good, right?
Not necessarily. Not that it makes life bad either, the good can be a blessing. But isn’t dependence and want a blessing in its own way too? What is the good life according to Jesus?
My goal is not to argue what the Bible does or does not teach about blessing and/or prosperity, how and when they are linked to Christianity and life in general. I will leave that stuff to wiser theologians (though I have my firm beliefs on the topic).
What I will share is that I lived in want for much of my life, and now I live with way more than plenty. Both of them have their issues, positive and negative. With both, contentment has to be learned (see Philippians 4:12).The bottom line is that “stuff” doesn’t give you a better life, not according to Jesus.
“The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you—they are full of the Spirit and life.” ~Jesus, in John 6:63
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” ~Jesus, in John 10:10
When I was poor, needy & abused as a child, I cried out to God a LOT. He was near.
Now that I’m no longer poor & abused, quite the opposite actually…I’m still needy. I cry out to God a TON, and He’s near.
It is only when I’m abiding in Christ and depending on Him fully that my heart is at rest, no matter what circumstances are surrounding me. When I’m looking to material items or entertainment or anything to make life more comfortable for me, I may be satisfied for a nano-second, but my heart remains restless.
That’s because “the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace.” Romans 8:6
I’m thankful the Lord probed me with this reminder this morning, as basic and simple as it is. Reading through a section of Psalm 119 gave me the needed perspective.Let me leave you with what gave me life to the full today. Read it out loud as a prayer if you can:
“The unfolding of Your words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple. I open my mouth and pant, because I long for Your commandments. Turn to me and be gracious to me, as is Your way with those who love Your name. Keep steady my steps according to Your promise, and let no iniquity get dominion over me…Make Your face shine upon Your servant, and teach me Your statutes. My eyes shed streams of tears, because people (including me) do not keep Your law…trouble and anguish have found me out, but Your commandments are my delight. Your testimonies are righteous forever; give me understanding that I may live.
“With my whole heart I cry; answer me, O LORD! I will keep Your statutes. I call to You; save me, that I may observe Your testimonies. I rise before dawn and cry for help;
“I hope in Your words…
“Consider how I love Your precepts! Give me life according to Your steadfast love.”
(from Psalm 119:129-159, in part)
The good life is experienced when we pursue, love & know the Lord Jesus Christ above all else and then share it with others. Nothing else compares.
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