“We are living in a material world and I am a material girl,” pop artist, Madonna sang in 1985.
Jesus said, “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” John 10:10
I know it’s a little odd to quote Jesus and Madonna (that’s how my brain works), but the juxtaposition shows the world vs. the kingdom of God.
An Abundance of Stuff
We do live in a material world where much of our life is striving to accumulate stuff. That is how the world defines abundance. In America we also call it keeping up with the Joneses.
We are driven to acquire the latest model car, follow the latest decorating trend, purchase the newest kitchen gadget, smart TV, appliances, designer clothes, the same sweater in six colors, and on and on the acquiring goes.
This is not to say that you can’t have nice things, but the abundance that Jesus talks about is not in things.
Matthew 6:19-21 says, Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither other nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
While the pandemic has been alarming and frightful in many ways, it has also provided an opportunity to take stock of what is truly most important in our lives.
When I’m faced with a crisis of faith, I’ve turned to my pastor for several consultations. Many of his days are spent at the bedside of a church member in their final days and hours of their lives.
He told me that all the “stuff” of life goes into the shredder at that time. There is never talk of their possessions, of job titles they held, or awards that they won. It all comes down to their relationships with those they love and with their God.
A Society that Promotes Scarcity
The material world promotes scarcity. Advertising tells us that you can only receive this for a limited time, there are only so many left, buy now or you will never get this deal again. That says that there is not enough to go around. You may miss out.
A perfect example of scarcity was the hoarding of toilet paper, cleaning supplies, and hand sanitizer at the start of the pandemic. There was an abundant supply of all these materials. Unfortunately, some people bought ridiculous amounts of these items causing others to go without.
We are in the world but not of the world. We have been given an abundant life, not a life of scarcity.
God’s love, grace, favor, peace, and mercy are abundant, never-ending.
I’ll end this email with the Abundance word from God Notes – Daily Doses of Divine Encouragement.
My abundance is all around you.
There is an abundance of air to breathe, an abundance of sights and sounds from nature to listen to and behold.
There is an abundance of opportunities waiting for you when you stop, listen, and pay attention.
When you seek to receive My abundance,
I will shower upon you an abundance of love, joy, strength, and peace.
I am your God, the God of abundance.
For you, nothing is in short supply.
This season of waiting that we are in is not going away any time soon. May you use this time to cultivate God’s peace, grace, and presence in a deeper way. When you go within and are conscious of God’s presence, you will live with joy and flow in your life regardless of the circumstances outside of you. You will live from a place of abundance and not scarcity.
Stay safe. Stay well. Stay encouraged.