We’re currently very excited at home because we’ve picked up some chooks and the two older chickens are each producing an egg a day. I haven’t had to buy eggs from the shops for a few weeks now. Praise God! God has made this world so abundant, when things work according to his created order. How do we see this abundance spring forward around us?
Made For Abundance
Certainly we were made for abundance. We are meant to give freely of our time, money and attention towards our creator, and then to be turned out towards others just like our God. ‘Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”’ (Hebrews 13:5) ‘Do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.’ (Hebrews 13:16). That’s what it looks like to rule with Christ Jesus. How do we keep ourselves open to God and to his life flowing through us?
Challenges To Abundance
Of course Satan does not want to see us living this abundant life. He would prefer to see us turned towards the wisdom of men, the worship of money and of our own desires. Satan wants to see us taking from others, to meet our needs, and so destroying the lives of those we were meant to bless. How do we avoid the traps Satan tries to set?
When Religion Opposes Abundance
One strategy of Satan’s to be aware of is that if he can’t get us to outright worship another God, he will try and frustrate our worship of the one true God. Just like with the believers addressed in the letter to the Hebrews, Satan tries to take our eyes off Jesus and get us going back to lifeless religion. We see this happening when churches start setting apart certain individuals as it’s ‘priests’ and so dividing life into the sacred and secular. Instead of allowing God to rule and reign in every sphere of our lives, we are tempted to compartmentalise and so think about God at church and maybe in some private religious moments, but then we’re oblivious to Him in most of the rest of the week. We can start making excuses as to why we can't live the abundant life we observe in the Scriptures. How do we keep from being drawn back into lifeless religion?
Jesus Brings Us To The Place of Abundance
Chapter 7 of Hebrews gets quite technical, but thankfully the author summarises for us the main point:
'Now the main point of what we are saying is this: We do have such a high priest, who sat down at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven' (Hebrews 8:1)
Jesus through his death and resurrection to life, brings us to the very throne room of God. He is the perfect priestly mediator between the King on the Throne in Heaven and us imperfect human beings. He restores us to the source of all abundance.
Jesus Brings Us To The Place of Abundance By His Great Power
It’s worth thinking about how Jesus brings us into the throne room. Hebrews speaks of Jesus priestly work in these terms, that He is:
'one who has become a priest not on the basis of a regulation as to his ancestry but on the basis of the power of an indestructible life.' (Hebrews 7:16)
Jesus doesn’t become priest by some religious regulation but by the power of indestructible life. More specifically, this is not a show of brute strength, but a walk of obedience through weakness and disgrace, to live the perfect life, so that Jesus has the right to stand in the presence of God on our behalf. All of this is done, according to the foreknowledge and oath of our amazing God, who knew his plan before it came to fruition. What are we to do about this?
Perceive How Great He Is
The writer of Hebrews says,
‘Just think how great he was’ (Hebrews 7:4)
Literally, he saying, perceive, seek to understand how great Jesus is. Don’t be slack in trying to understand, but press in for more (cf. 5:11, 6:12). All through the Old Testament, we get these pictures which are preparing humanity and teaching us today of the greatness of Jesus. We’re to press in for understanding. Abraham, the Father of God’s people Israel, through whom blessing has come to the whole world, met an enigmatic figure called Melchizadek in the Old Testament. Now Abraham himself in this scene in Genesis 14, acts like a King, Priest and Prophet. As nations rise and fall, Abraham steps in to save four kings from captivity. He becomes the hands and feet and presence of God in a crucial moment on the earth. Yet, even in the midst of victory, Melchizadek shows up out of no-where, blesses Abraham and brings the presence of God to Abraham, and Abraham in turn honours him with 10% of all he has. Melchizadek is a picture of Jesus, our great high priest. That as much as we are made to rule and reign, mediate and speak on God’s behalf, we do so because there is one greater than us, Jesus, who has made the life we are called to live possible. Let’s continue to press in to perceive how great he is.
About the Author
Jai Wright is a Christian Minister, who founded and leads MAKE Church in Mackay, Qld. He recently published the book, Life Plugged In: Connecting with the Source of Peace, Power and Purpose.
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