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Friday, November 11, 2011

LIVING A LIFE OF ABUNDANCE ON LESS


LIVING A LIFE OF ABUNDANCE ON LESS
“A person’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things which he has”  
Luke 12:15
Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ has made it clear many times in His teachings that  happiness is not derived from material possessions.  It is derived from our relationships, and our overall health and wellness.  Once you learn to detach happiness from acquiring and owning things, you can focus on what truly makes you happy, and that is living a life of giving and receiving love.  Your truest sources of pleasure and joy are free.
Owning things is not a bad thing. The problem begins when our things begin to own us.  In fact, God has promised those that follow Him both spiritual and material blessings on this Earth and in our life in Heaven. “Blessed is the person that trusts in the Lord, an whose hope the Lord is.  For they shall be as a tree that is planted by the waters, and that spreads out its roots by the river, and shall not see when heat comes, but its leaf shall be green and shal not cease from yielding fruit.”  (Jeremiah 17:7-8).  

You can live a life of abundance on less by getting the right attitude about the many things you already have in your life.   The problem many people have today is that they allow the things they own to define who they are. 
Having less does not equate with being less, or missing anything.  Too much “stuff” can cause emotional pain because some are either worrying that they do not have enough to keep up with someone else, or that somehow they will lose it.  
Our Lord is telling us in the verse above not to worry about what you have or do not have.  He is telling us not to worry about what others have.  He is telling us to make our lives a place where peace and calm lives instead of of stress and anxiety.
One message from the Lord Jesus to you and me today is for us not to get caught up in the buying frenzy that goes on during this time of the year.  The job of commercials is to sell you on the idea that if you buy their product, you will be happier.  The truth is that after you have something for a very short period of time,  it no longer holds any value.  I am sure there are many things you have bought for yourself, your children, or grandchildren that are broken, discarded, or stored in a place where they cannot be found. “Lay not up for yourselves treasures on earth...but lay up for yourself treasures in heaven...For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” (Matthew 6:19-21).
You already have an abundance of good things available.  The problem is that you are letting material things rob you of the important things of life.  What we really need this time of the year is more simplicity, more relaxation, more energy, more time, more joy, more freedom, more flexibility, and more of the things we truly value and need to live the life we want.  Living a life of abundance on less is about filling our souls rather than our physical space.  It is about peace of mind rather than just more, more, and more.
No one should feel like they have “nothing” when they can count on God’s love, the love of their family, and the love of a church family.  Even when there is a lack of material possessions and money a person can and should feel very rich if they have these things.  “Great peace have they which love your law: and nothing shall bother them”  (Psalm 119: 165)  The quantity of our “stuff” should not be considered the measure of our success.  God does value your worth on what you have or what you can give.  He loves you because of what the Lord Jesus Christ has done for you.
As you enter the end of this year, why don’t you think about how you can live on less.  Because as you free your life from all the “material things”, you can open space for more spiritual things.
You make be thinking you don’t have much to give to others this Christmas.  You can give more this year than you have ever given to those you love.  This year think about giving more love to your family members and your Christian friends.  That love can be demonstrated in inexpensive and free gifts such as hand made gifts and baked goods.  It can also be demonstrated in acts of service like helping someone with your time.  You can give more with notes of kindness and appreciation.  You can help an elderly person with a repair at their home or take them shopping, or buy them some medicine or food.  You can help a child by tutoring or volunteering in an organization that spends time with them.  
You don’t have to wait until Christmas to give gifts.  In fact you can have Christmas 365 days a year.  You can visit a nursing home and have prayer with someone who never gets a visitor.  You can go to a rescue mission and donate some of the clothes you never wear to someone who has very little or nothing.  “Give, and it shall be given unto you...” (Luke 6:38).  This is not just speaking about money.  It is talking about acts of love and kindness.
You can live a life of abundance on less.  One of the keys to happiness is not to dwell on what you don’t have, but to be thankful for the things you do have.  Remember the song: “Count your many blessings, name them one by one.  Count your many blessings and you will see what the Lord has done.” Don’t think about what you don’t have, but think about what you do have.  Most people in the world today have less than you do. Today, begin to live a life of abundance on less and multiply what you have by giving to others.

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