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Archive for John 10:10

The COVID-19 pandemic has many thinking about scarcity. I can remember my dad tell stories about rationing during World War II. While we’re not there (yet), there are those I talk to who have concerns about the availability of toilet paper, disinfecting wipes, hand soap, and hand sanitizer. These conversations reminded me of what Michael Hyatt described as scarcity thinking and abundance thinking in his book, Your Best Year Ever.

Scarcity thinkers are entitled and fearful, while abundance thinkers are thankful and confident.

Scarcity thinkers believe there will never be enough, while abundance thinkers believe there’s always more where that came from.

Scarcity thinkers are stingy with their knowledge, contacts and compassion, while abundance thinkers are happy to share their knowledge, contacts and compassion with others.

Scarcity thinkers assume they are the way they are, while abundance thinkers assume they can learn, grow and develop.

Scarcity thinkers default to suspicion and aloofness, while abundance thinkers default to trust and openness.

Scarcity thinkers resent competition, believing that it makes the pie smaller and them weaker. Abundance thinkers welcome competition, believing that it makes the pie bigger and them better.

Scarcity thinkers are pessimistic about the future, believing there are tough times ahead. On the other hand, abundance thinkers are optimistic about the future, believing the best is yet to come.

Scarcity thinkers see and focus on challenges as obstacles, while abundance thinkers see challenges as opportunities.

Finally, scarcity thinkers think small and avoid risk, while abundance thinkers think big and embrace risk.

You may have seen something like this from another source. You may even have something to add to Hyatt’s list. As people of faith and children of an Almighty God who created the universe, I’m not sure we have the option to choose scarcity. Scarcity is motivated by fear. Abundance is motivated by faith in the God who has promised a more abundant and meaninful life right now (John 10:10).

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Life as Jesus Intended

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If I were going to share one verse in the gospels that best describes life as Jesus intended, it would be John 10:10.
In the NIV it reads, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”
In the NLT, “The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.”
And in Eugene Peterson’s The Message, “A thief is only there to steal and kill and destroy. I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of.”

Does that reflect your present experience with life?

Matthew 6:25 Jesus says that our lives are not to be governed by worry. When is the last time you enjoyed a worry free day? 1 Timothy 1:7 says that fear is not a part of God’s plan nor does it come from Him. Are you afraid? Philippians 4:4 and 1 Peter 1:8 indicate that our lives are to be characterized by joy. Is joy frequent in your life? Or a rare experience?

Life as Jesus intended was to be rich and satisfying, free from fear and worry, characterized by joy. Yet, we find ourselves addicted, compulsive, overloaded, overwhelmed, burned out, and searching for off ramps. We appear to have had enough. Americans are rediscovering simple. At least they are aware of their need to rediscover simple. People are looking for simple because the world has become so complex. A recent survey conducted by Rainer research has revealed that Americans are struggling with four areas in life:

1. Time: Even though our schedules are packed to the limit, we take on more and more.
2. Relationships: We say that our family is our priority, yet our actions betray our commitments.
3. Money: We live without financial margin. Less than 2% of Americans possess a savings account, and routinely spend more than they make.
4. God: We know we need to be spiritually connected, but God gets the leftovers. Studies report that very few followers of Christ maintain any kind of devotional life.
Jesus modeled simplicity. As a result, he was always on point. He was always balanced. Jesus created margin in his life that allowed him to be effective in each of the four areas I just mentioned. Tomorrow I’ll continue this thread from my new series titled Enough.
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