Good day to each of you reading this column and thank you for taking the time to read all of these articles in this insightful publication.

Before we begin, here are a few thoughts to brighten your day:

An airliner flew into a violent thunderstorm and was soon swaying and bumping around the sky. A very nervous lady happened to be sitting next to a clergyman and turned to him for comfort.
“Can’t you do something?” she demanded.
“I’m sorry, Ma’am, said the minister gently, “I’m in sales, not management.”

Visitor: How long has your minister been preaching?
Member: About 30 years.
Visitor: He should be through soon.

A pastor announced to his congregation, “My good people, I have here in my hands 3 sermons—a $100 sermon that lasts 5 minutes, a $50 sermon that lasts 15 minutes and a $10 sermon that lasts a full hour. Now, we take the collection and see which one I’ll deliver.”

Turn with me to John 10: 10(b) (FF) Jesus says, “I have come in order that they may enjoy life and have it in abundance.”

In today’s world, the news is, well, much of it is “doom and gloom” with so much trouble and strife that affects each of us daily. From the time that we awaken to the time we go to bed, we see, hear and experience of the doom and gloom of this world. Most of the doom and gloom stories don’t affect directly but they impact us in one way or another and, in many ways, affect our day mentally.

If we aren’t bombarded with doom and gloom on the air waves, we listen to those who complain—It’s too hot! It’s too cold! We have too much rain, we don’t have enough rain, I don’t make enough money, and the list goes on. This reminds of the Israelites walking in the desert and grumbling about the food—Turn to Exodus 16 to read about the manna and the quail. God, abundantly, gave the Israelites plenty to eat and they still weren’t satisfied, so they brought up lack of water in Exodus 17 and God provided abundant water from the rock—Now for the rest of the story, turn to Exodus 17:7 (NIV) And he called the place Massahi & Meribah because the Israelites quarreled and because they tested the Lord saying, “Is the Lord among us or not?”

All through the Bible we see examples of people who have abundantly received the blessings of God and, in return, they tested the Lord saying, “Is the Lord among us or not?”

Do you surround yourself with people who look at the glass half full or half empty? Do you live life abundantly or sparsely? Do you enjoy the fruits of the spirit? How is your life being enriched? If you’re happy and you know it, then life will surely show it—remember that Sunday School or Vacation Bible School song—does that fit you?

I ask these questions because, as I tell people, I am happy that I’m six feet above and not six feet under. Abundance of life is a blessing and not something to be taken advantage of, nor to be taken for granted. Abundance of life is breathing, laughing, smiling, feeling, tasting, seeing, smelling, touching, walking, speaking and so many other blessings that we forget to thank God for on a daily basis.

Abundance is having food to eat, heat in your home, shelter, transportation, drinking water, a working mind and most of all, salvation in knowing that Jesus paid for your sins—and that you are saved from death and reunited with Jesus eternally.

Abundance is a promise fulfilled that earth will never be destroyed, that death has been defeated and that we have a Savior who gave His life for each of us. He abundantly gave his ALL for each of us and without any reservations.

Are we to be thankful? Yes, abundant thankfulness for all the physical and mental abilities that he provides each of us each day. God is abundant in his blessings so you may enjoy life and not ask if the Lord is among us—You see, He never left, but was placed in a corner until the abundance of blessings ran out and we needed Him in troubling times.

As we conclude, turn to Matthew 13:11-12 (NIV), He (Jesus) replied, “The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them. Whoever has, will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him.

Jesus says, “I have come in order that they may enjoy life and have it in abundance.” For this is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.

May God Bless you and May You Bless God for abundance in all things.