The Abundant Life: Choose by Speaking

We choose how abundantly we live.

“See, I have set before you today life and prosperity, and death and adversity…  I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live,” Deuteronomy 30:15, 19

Abundant-Life-Choose-by-Speaking-We-Choose-QuoteThese verses are from the Old Testament but they are just as true for our lives today, except God hasn’t just placed the abundant life before us, He’s placed it in us. His grace lives in us because Jesus lives in us. That’s what makes the abundant life available. However, its availability doesn’t mean it will automatically happen for us. We choose whether or not abundance will become a reality.

How do we make this choice?

With the words we speak.

This truth is so opposed to everything we’re told by the world and our experiences. We’re taught to believe that our lives are a matter of chance and that we have little to no control over what happens to us.  This kind of thinking isn’t just from the world, it’s from the devil.  It makes us believe we are powerless. If we believe that we’re powerless, we’ll just accept our circumstances and never use the grace and power of God within us.

Without even thinking about it, we’ll have chosen the curse and adversity instead of the abundant life. We’ll only speak about the problems in our lives and the grace of God will go untouched within us.

Abundant-Life-Choose-by-Speaking-Believe-powerless-quoteBut, if we choose to start speaking abundance even when we can’t see it, our lives will begin to change.

We imitate our Heavenly Father and speak what we want to see, not what we’re seeing right now.

“Abraham believed when he stood in the presence of the God who gives life to the dead and calls into existence things that don’t even exist,” Romans 4:17 (GW)

If all we see in our marriage is strife and bitterness, we need to stop speaking about strife and bitterness. We have to make a conscious choice to speak peace and blessing about our spouse and our marriage. Doing this will release the grace of God in us and allow it to work in our marriage.

We can apply this principle to any area of our lives and see abundance flow, but it’s entirely up to us. Nobody else can make the decision for us. The God-kind of life is waiting on the other side.

Choose the God-Kind of Life

Abundant-Life-Choose-the-God-Kind-of-Life-Walk-out-of-grave-quoteThe death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ opened the door to a new life.

When Jesus walked out of the grave He gave us the opportunity to walk out with Him. He gave us the option to live an abundant life.

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly,” John 10:10 (NASB)

This abundant life is a decision, and it’s one that we have to make for ourselves.

We actively choose to live the God-kind of life. Jesus can’t make this decision for us, neither can our spouse, our friends or even our pastor. They can deeply desire it for us, but they can’t force it on us.

So, if we sense that we are not experiencing all that Christ has to give, we should stop and ask ourselves “Have I truly decided to live the abundant life? Or am I holding onto old mindsets, grudges and habits?”

Abundant-Life-Choose-the-God-Kind-of-Life-Abundant-Life-is-a-Decision-quoteIf we have already accepted Jesus as our savior and continue to hold onto the past, we have walked back into the grave.

For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world by the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and are overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first,” 2 Peter 2:20 (NASB)

However, we don’t need to read that verse and feel guilty, condemned or ashamed. We should see it and realize that we have an amazing opportunity to move forward.

We can make the decision to do exactly what Jesus did and walk out of the grave permanently; never looking back at what we left behind.

We do this knowing that the life Jesus created for us is far greater than anything we’ve left behind.

“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them,” Ephesians 2:10 (NASB)

This is an invitation for us to continually live the resurrected life in and with Jesus Christ. If you haven’t been living the abundant life, make the decision today to live it. Let go of what is behind and move forward.

God’s Kingdom: A New Citizenship

Gods-Kingdom-A-New-Citizenship-no-longer-slaves-quote-photo-from-unsplashmenariaWhen we are born again, we we have a new citizenship.

There was a body of sin that was left behind after we were born again, but it is a dead body.  It was the part of us that was connected to the world. That body was a citizen of the world. It followed the will of the Enemy and conformed itself to the world. Now it is no longer master over us. It is not the lord of our lives. It does not have the authority to control what we do.

Knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin,” Romans 6:6 (NASB)

Being part of God’s kingdom means that we are new creations.

We have no choice about living in the world, but we should not conform to its ways. We should not resemble its people. Our true citizenship is now in heaven and our lives should be a reflection of that citizenship. Gods-Kingdom-A-New-Citizenship-Citizenship-quote-photo-from-unsplashsethwillingham

“For our citizenship is in heaven,” Philippians 3:20 (NASB)

This doesn’t happen by accident, though.  We aren’t going to stumble into a life that is a reflection of heaven. It takes a conscious effort of leaving behind our old ways and living from our new nature.

“Throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy,” Ephesians 4:22-24 (NLT)

It’s a choice we make every day.

We wake up in the morning and choose to be like Jesus until that choice becomes our first nature. It might be difficult at first. It will tempting to forego reading our Bible or praying so we can watch one more episode of our show or spend a few more minutes on social media. However, as we progress and mature we’ll start to desire the things of God more and more and lose our appetite for anything the world has to offer. This is what it means to work out our own salvation.

Gods-Kingdom-A-New-Citizenship-work-out-salvation-quote-photo-from-unsplashimpriscilla“Work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure,” Philippians 2:12(b)-13(NASB).

This doesn’t mean that we should be afraid that God will bring the hammer down on us if we step out of line. It means that we should work out our salvation with a deep desire to get it right. We should also be encouraged because it is not by our own power that this will be done. God says that He will work in us to bring about His good pleasure, and His pleasure is always for our greatest good.

Ministry at Angelus Temple, Church of the Dream Center

Angelus Temple Logo

“Thinking Right”

Message at Angelus Temple, church home of the Dream Center in Los Angeles, CA on Thursday, February 9

I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Angelus Temple and with Pastors Matthew and Caroline Barnett.  What an incredible church led by amazing Pastors.  The ministry they do in the city of Los Angeles is phenomenal.  I am grateful for my friendship with them and am especially humbled by being asked to speak to their congregation.

While the Live Stream did not work due to technical difficulties, they did record the service.  Here is the message, “Thinking Right”.  Enjoy!

Let me know what you think of the message on either Facebook or Twitter. You can also share your thoughts in the comments below.

Angelus Temple Logo In November 2001, Matthew Barnett took over the leadership of Angelus Temple. Angelus Temple was opened in 1923 by Aimee Semple McPherson, and Matthew continues the legacy of reaching the lost, hurting, and oppressed. The church now reaches thousands weekly and, together, with The Dream Center, is showing how churches and outreach centers can work together to make a huge impact for God’s kingdom.barnett_family1

For more information about Angelus Temple and the Ministry of Pastors Matthew and Caroline Barnett click here.

Dream Center logoRescuing people out of poverty, homelessness, addictions, and human trafficking, The Dream Center seeks to provide hope in addition to providing empowerment to the homeless, at-risk, and underserved communities in the inner cities of Los Angeles.  They do this by providing social services, intervention programs, and most of all, the love of Christ.

 

For more information about the Dream Center click here.

Tommy Barnett PhotoTommy Barnett is an author, the senior pastor of Dream City Church (formerly Phoenix First Assembly of God), and chancellor of Southeastern University. Dream City Church has branded itself as “the church with a heart”, and has over 275 active outreach ministries.  Tommy Barnett and his son Matthew co-pastor the Los Angeles Dream Center, a Pentecostal Christian Church mission in the Echo Park neighborhood of Los Angeles, California.

For more information about Tommy Barnett click here

I had the distinct pleasure of sharing a message called “The Real You” at Angelus Temple, church home of the Dream Center, on June 2, 2016. To watch that message click here.