Thanksgiving Thoughts

The beloved Paul prayed for the Ephesians (and us) that “… the Spirit of wisdom and revelation would enlighten our hearts …” (Eph. 1:18). To be so enlightened means the Lord Himself continually explains to us the reasons for the good and evil on earth as well as His purposes and promises for each of us in experiencing and overcoming what life brings to us! Can anything on earth be more exciting than that kind of enlightenment? Is there any cause or reality more wonderful to live for? Let me paraphrase what this prayer says to me and I trust to you: “I pray that the comprehensions of your mind may be so expanded that you may grasp what is the explosive confidence of the Father selecting you to be His, and what are the magnificent gifts of His that are yours now and forever among His chosen ones!” To increasingly experience the fulfillment of Paul’s prayer is to know and embrace life and meaning at its best. To truly be enlightened by God on all of your issues will bring thrilling minutes and hours into every day you live. Here is one of my enlightenments this month:

The Abundant Life

The abundant life, as the Savior promised it, is measured most accurately by the power and treasure of the “Jesus in you” that you give away to others! The abundant life must not be defined by what you get of what exists in our culture but by what you give away of what is your treasure of the Father’s presence in your life. The Lord Jesus’ gift of abundant life was not to have more of what we value on earth. No! The abundant life He envisioned was to fill our minds, hearts, and purposes with the richest values of Heaven! (John 10:10). The Savior stated it even more clearly when He said, “Seek first the kingdom of God, then everything else really necessary will be yours as well!” (Matt. 6:33, HDM, Greek).

A person’s earth possessions can never make one rich and contented, even if one is grateful. True wealth is determined by the authentic presence of the Savior’s grace (love) and truth (reality) in your daily life, filtered by the cross, that you can share, reveal, and give away to others. Living abundantly is to possess the thrilling reality and assuring that Messiah Jesus is pouring His life into you, and then through you to others. It is seeing them grasp with you the presence, power, and purpose of the Father’s eternal drama of redemption and release. It is to experience life’s most explosive satisfaction!

Hence, it has been my growing, lifelong passion in every relationship, encounter, or responsibility I have to speak my own daily and dynamic experiences of the Lord’s grace and truth into every situation I encounter! Sharing the realities of our own struggles and triumphs, as well as the promises of the Lord Jesus, with another person or persons, as He directs and empowers, is the most important and greatest action you can take on earth.

Three present and eternal results and effects are rendered:

1. People are exposed to the love and deliverance of the Godhead by your witness. “As the Father has sent Me, to be full of grace (love) and truth (reality), so I Am sending you!” (John 1:14, 17:18, 20-21).

2. Praise, along with honor, worth, and glory, is given to the Godhead for His purposes and pleasure. “… we must declare the praises of Him who has called us out of darkness into His wonderful light” (I Peter 2:9).

3. Power flows into you and through you as you are flooded with Godhead purpose in living and significance as His agent. “But thanks be to God, who continually leads us about … using us to reveal and spread abroad the fragrance of the knowledge of Himself and His intentions!” (II Cor. 2:14-15, NEB, HDM, Greek).