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Author Topic: Secrets Of The Abundant Life
Carol Swenson
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 - SECRETS OF THE ABUNDANT LIFE

INTRODUCTION

1. Suppose I could offer you a life that is guaranteed to give you...
a. A "joy" that is greater than any other
b. A "blessedness" that is happiness in its fullest measure
c. An "assurance" of entering the everlasting kingdom of our Lord
d. A "peace" that surpasses understanding
-- Would you be interested?

2. I cannot, but Jesus does...!
a. He came to provide the way to an abundant life - Jn 10:10
b. He shares with us the "secrets" to this life through His teaching
- Jn 15:11

3. Through His teachings, then, we can learn the "Secrets Of The
Abundant Life"...
a. Many of which are found in this very chapter (Jn 15)
b. Where Jesus pictures Himself as the Vine and His disciples as the
branches - cf. Jn 15:1-5

[As branches we are to bear fruit, and this leads us to the first secret
of the abundant life...]

I. THE SECRET OF LIVING IS BEARING FRUIT

A. DIFFERENT KINDS OF FRUIT WE CAN BEAR...
1. Winning souls to Christ and helping them to grow - Ro 1:13
2. Sharing with those in need - Ro 15:28
3. Developing a Christ-like character - 2Pe 1:5-8; Ga 5:22-23
4. Praising God and giving thanks - He 13:15
-- These are "fruits" that we can bear as branches of the Vine

B. THE BENEFITS OF BEARING SUCH FRUIT...
1. Joy for those who win souls - 3Jn 4; 1Th 2:19-20
2. Happiness for those who share with others - Ac 20:35
3. Assurance for those who develop a Christ-like character - 2 Pe 1:8-11; Ga 5:23b
4. Peace for those given to thanksgiving - Php 4:6-7
-- Such are the "benefits" of the abundant life Jesus offers

[And what is the secret? Being a branch of the True Vine (Jesus) and
bearing fruit! But Jesus also shares the secret to bearing fruit...]

II. THE SECRET OF BEARING FRUIT IS ABIDING

A. NOTE THE USE OF THE WORD "ABIDE"....
1. Jesus uses the word "abide" ten times - Jn 15:4-10
2. We must abide in Him, and He in us, to bear fruit
3. Without Him, we can do nothing
-- The secret to bearing fruit is abiding in Christ! - Jn 15:5

B. ABIDING IN CHRIST EMPOWERS THE CHRISTIAN....
1. Paul wrote what the power in Christ meant in his own life - Ph
4:13
2. He wanted others to know of the power available to them - Ep 1:
18-20; 3:20
3. He gave examples of how this power could transform people
- e.g., 1Co 6:9-11
-- Abiding in Christ empowers us to bear fruit, and thereby
experience the abundant life!

[But does Jesus also reveal the secret to abiding in Him? Yes...]

III. THE SECRET OF ABIDING IS OBEYING

A. OBEYING THE COMMANDMENTS OF JESUS...
1. By keeping His commands we abide in His love - Jn 15:10a
2. By keeping His commands we will be His friends - Jn 15:14
3. By keeping His commandments we abide in Him - 1Jn 3:24a
-- Obedience is the key to abiding in Christ!

B. THE PRINCIPLE OF ABIDING THROUGH OBEYING...
1. Governed Jesus' relationship with His Father while on earth
a. He kept His Father's commandments, and so abided in His love
- Jn 15:10b
b. Passages which illustrate Jesus' desire to keep His Father's
Will - Jn 4:34; 5:30; 6:38
2. And should govern our conduct as Christians as well
a. We abide in Christ by keeping His commandments - 1Jn 2:3-6
b. Otherwise we are liars if we profess to know Him and do not
keep His word!
-- One cannot abide in Christ without obeying His commands!

[To be successful in obeying His commands requires the right motivation.
From Jesus we learn...]

IV. THE SECRET OF OBEYING IS LOVING

A. THREE DIFFERENT REASONS TO OBEY...
1. We can obey because we have to (the level of fear)
a. In order to avoid punishment
b. Like a child who obeys his parents to avoid a spanking
2. We can obey because we need to (the level of selfishness)
a. In order to get what we want
b. Like a teenager who obeys his parents to gain favors
3. We can obey because we want to (the level of love)
a. Because we love the person we are obeying
b. Like mature children who obey their parents out of love
-- People often obey Jesus because they feel like they have to or need to

B. JESUS DESIRES OBEDIENCE OUT OF LOVE...
1. He appeals to our sense of love - Jn 14:15,23
2. He knows that without love our obedience will falter - Jn 14:24
3. The secret to consistent obedience is loving!
a. Those who obey because they have to or need to will never be
consistent
b. Once they meet their feeling of necessity, they cease to be
obedient
c. As an example, take the command to assemble - cf. He 10:25
1) Those who obey only because they feel they have to or
need to will assemble as little as it takes to salve
their conscience
2) Those who obey because they want to, out of love for
Jesus and their brethren, will assemble at every
opportunity
-- Why do we obey Jesus? Have we matured to obeying Jesus out of
love?

[When true love moves us to obey, we will abide in Jesus and bear fruit
through our union with Him, resulting in the abundant life He offers.
But what is the secret to having a true love for Jesus...?]

V. THE SECRET OF LOVING IS KNOWING

A. THIS SHOULD BE SELF-EVIDENT...
1. Love between husband and wife is based upon knowledge and
understanding
2. Strong friendships are also based upon knowing each other well
3. Brethren who love one another are those who have made the
effort to know each other
-- Should we expect it to be any different with Jesus?

B. THE MORE WE KNOW JESUS, THE MORE WE LOVE HIM...
1. Especially as we grow in understanding His love for us - cf. Jn 15:13; 1Jn 3:16
2. We are more likely to walk in love, if we know His love for us
- Ep 5:2
-- Increase our knowledge of Jesus, then, and our love for Jesus
will increase!

[This leads us to the final secret we shall consider in this study...]

VI. THE SECRET OF KNOWING IS READING

A. THIS IS ALSO SELF-EVIDENT...
1. As seen in our human relationships
a. Where there is communication, relationships grow
b. Where there is none, relationships flounder
2. Even more so with our relationship with God and Jesus
a. The more we communicate, the better we know
b. And how does Jesus communicate with us? Through His Word!
-- The only reliable source for Jesus' words is the Bible

B. THE MORE WE READ, THE BETTER WE KNOW JESUS...
1. As simple as it sounds, Bible reading is the catalyst to the abundant life
a. By reading we come to know
b. By knowing we come to love
c. By loving we come to obey
d. By obeying we come to abide
e. By abiding we come to bear fruit
f. By bearing fruit we experience the abundant life
2. Yet many Christians neglect the Word of God
a. Even though its value in bearing fruit is seen even in Psa 1:1-3
b. How sad when we now have the full revelation of the New Testament
-- Neglecting the Word of God is why many do not experience the abundant life!

CONCLUSION

1. In Jn 15:11, we find Jesus saying...

"These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full."

2. My purpose for sharing these "secrets" has been the same...
a. Every person ought to be filled with the joy of Christ
b. Every person ought to experience the abundant life He offers

Let the words that Jesus spoke, revealed only in the Word of God, the Bible, be the catalyst that begins the chain reaction leading one to a truly abundant life!

Note: The general idea for this lesson was taken from "Five Secrets Of Living", a small booklet written by Warren W. Wiersbe.

http://executableoutlines.com/top/secrets.htm

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Carol Swenson
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Most successful televangelists preach what is called "the Prosperity Gospel." Using select Scriptures, they teach that if one gives his life to Jesus, and if he follows certain biblical principles, God is obligated to fulfill His promises of wealth, health, and well-being. In the end, God becomes little more than a genie-in-a-bottle, granting wishes out of sheer compulsion. To these preachers, this is the abundant life God promises.

But, specifically, what does Jesus Christ mean by "life . . . more abundantly"?

John 10:10: "I have come that they [His sheep, Christians] may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly."


» God is not overly concerned with the physical circumstances of our lives. It is enough that He assures us that we need not worry about what we will eat or wear (Matthew 6:25-32; Philippians 4:19).

» Eternal life, the kind of life in which a Christian is truly interested, is not determined by duration but by a relationship with God . This is why, once we are converted and impregnated with the gift of the Holy Spirit, we are said to have eternal life already (I John 5:11-13), though not, of course, in its fullness.

» Eternal life—the life God offers us through Jesus Christ and His teaching—is thus about quality, not quantity. Put another way, the abundant life is life as God lives it (Ezekiel 33:10-11; I Peter 2:21; I John 2:6), for once we truly come to know God, we will desire to emulate Him.

» Physical blessings, then, may or may not be byproducts of God's way of life ; neither our wealth nor our poverty is a sure indication of our standing with God. Certainly, God desires that we "prosper in all things and be in health" (III John 2), but the bottom line is "I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth" (verse 4), not that we live like royalty.

» Finally, a Christian's life revolves around, as Peter puts it, "grow[ing] in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" (II Peter 3:18). This suggests that the abundant life is a process of learning, practicing, and maturing , as well as failing, recovering, adjusting, enduring, and overcoming because, in our present state, "we see in a mirror, dimly" (I Corinthians 13:12).

As humans, we are naturally oriented toward material things, but as Christians, our perspective must change. Paul admonishes, "Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God" (Colossians 3:2-3).

To us, life—and our perception of abundant life—is a whole new ballgame!


http://bibletools.org/index.cfm/fuseaction/Library.sr/CT/RA/k/1062/Living-Abundant-Life.htm

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Eden
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Regarding the title of this Topic, "Secrets Of The Abundant Life", these things are CLEARLY WRITTEN in the Bible for all to see and are therefore NOT SECRETS.

love, Eden

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Found in Him
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I appreciated your post Carol! May The Lord richly bless you as you are such a blessing to me on this board!

Some here should not speak at all if it is just for the opportunity to tear someone else down. This is contrary to how the Lord instructs us to behave.

--------------------
~To Him That is able to keep you from falling and to present you before His glorious presence without fault and with great joy...to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.~ Jude 24

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Carol Swenson
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Found In Him

I am so glad you are a member here!

I have to think that it would be wiser to read the post than to simply make a derogatory comment about the title.

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Copper25
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quote:
Originally posted by Eden:
Regarding the title of this Topic, "Secrets Of The Abundant Life", these things are CLEARLY WRITTEN in the Bible for all to see and are therefore NOT SECRETS.

love, Eden

[pound]

but in all seriousness Carol, I like it, thank you very much.

--------------------
Isaiah 40:6) The voice said, Cry. And he said, What shall I cry? All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field

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Eden
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Copper25, what was it that you liked?

Thanks, Eden

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Found in Him wrote
quote:
Some here should not speak at all if it is just for the opportunity to tear someone else down. This is contrary to how the Lord instructs us to behave.
I'm sure this is a not-so-veiled reference to me, Eden. I'm not tearing anyone down, I'm correcting or opposing or proposing an alternate rendition of a statement that someone made that I don't think was Biblical. That's not tearing someone down, that's defending the faith.

love, Eden

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Carol Swenson wrote
quote:
I have to think that it would be wiser to read the post than to simply make a derogatory comment about the title.
Really? Wiser to read the post? What if I have many time-consuming obligations and did not have the time to read your VERY LONG post but already saw something unBiblical in your Title? I DID have time to comment on that.

The abundant life that the Lord provides for us is NOT A SECRET but clearly stated in the Bible for all to read.

And let me tell you why I object to that title "Secrets Of The Abundant Life".

Because when I used to be in the occult before I became a Christian, that is exactly how the occultists talk, as if it is a GREAT MYSTERY to discover the HIDDEN SECRETS, and if YOU can discover WHAT the MYSTERY is, then that makes YOU SUPERIOR and MORE ADVANCED than the next "seeker of truth", and thus it becomes an ego thing about "who is more advanced spiritually" in the occult "wisdom", blah, blah, blah.

That's why I object to CHRISTIANS using the Title "SECRETS To The Abundant Life" because God does not play those HIDDEN games, He lays it out right there in the Word of God for ALL to read and see WHAT the abundant life is, which is "Jesus IN US" and "Jesus guiding all of our steps", THAT is the abundant life.

So to repeat what you said to me, Carol Swenson
quote:
I have to think that it would be wiser to read the post than to simply make a DEROGATORY comment about the title.
It WAS wise to make a comment about your title.

love, Eden

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MentorsRiddle
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Proverbs 15:18 tells us:

A wrathful man stirreth up strife; but he that is slow to anger appeaseth strife...


Eden you said:
quote:
Because when I used to be in the occult before I became a Christian, that is exactly how the occultists talk, as if it is a GREAT MYSTERY to discover the HIDDEN SECRETS, and if YOU can discover WHAT the MYSTERY is, then that makes YOU SUPERIOR and MORE ADVANCED than the next "seeker of truth", and thus it becomes an ego thing about "who is more advanced spiritually" in the occult "wisdom", blah, blah, blah.
I too used to be in the occult and know good and well where you are comming from, and also beleive that ego has alot to do with secret things, etc.

But now as a Christian I must be slow to anger, and put aside my pride and ego...

It is amazing how quickly we can become defensive once our ego is hurt...

Car. S. I beleive may have hurt your ego by the response given, which is why you are replying the way you did.

But you admitted, just now, with your own words and mind and heart that you didn't read the entire post when you said:
quote:
What if I have many time-consuming obligations and did not have the time to read your VERY LONG post but already saw something unBiblical in your Title? I DID have time to comment on that.

You came off very offensive by calling Carol's post a "very long" post and un-biblical, within the first couple of lines of your comment.

Are we not supposed to be loving towards one another?

Carol probably took offense by what you said by replying with:
quote:
I have to think that it would be wiser to read the post than to simply make a derogatory comment about the title.
But Eden, you are absolutley right when you say:
quote:
God does not play those HIDDEN games, He lays it out right there in the Word of God for ALL to read and see WHAT the abundant life is, which is "Jesus IN US" and "Jesus guiding all of our steps", THAT is the abundant life
I fully agree with you on this 100% -- but I think the title using the word Secrets was simply ment as a figure of speech and not ment as a true Secret -- please correct me if I'm wrong on this Carol.

Eden, please don't take this as a negative attack against you... because I agree with alot of what you said about God being direct...

But we must be patient with our brothers and sisters... and we MUST ensure we cause no strife amongst each other, unless it is warranted -- which in this case it wasn't because you admitted you didn't read the entire post, which would have allowed you to see that the word secrets were ment only as a figure of speech.

--------------------
With you I rise,
In you I sleep,
kneeling down I kiss your feet,
Grace abounds upon me now,
I once was lost
but now I'm found.
The gift of God dwells within,
To this love I now give in.

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Eden
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MentorsRiddle wrote
quote:
You came off very offensive by calling Carol's post a "very long" post and un-biblical, within the first couple of lines of your comment.
I don't think that I said that her "very long" post was unBiblical...I'm pretty sure that I said that her TITLE was unBiblical.

As for temper, temper, I admit that Found in Him and Carol Swenson annoy me, and no doubt I annoy them. There are memberst that I like a lot and other members who make my old man cringe and makes my old man want to say to "whatever!!!". So I tend to be sharper with the two named individuals than the ones that I am more kindly disposed to.

But I tend to be very blunt and crisp anyway in the way I express things, so when a person is not used to hearing blunt talk in their own life, I will most likely be labeled as "rude" and "insensitve" and "[fill in the blank]".

And such is life; we don't like each other very much no matter how much we try and it's terrible but it is the truth.

But there are others on this board that I like a LOT and I'm sure there are others on this board that they like a LOT, themselves included.

love, Eden

Thank God therefore for our eventual glorification.

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MentorsRiddle
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Eden, you said:
quote:
Found in Him and Carol Swenson annoy me, and now doubt I annoy them
I don't know what to say about that.... I suppose we all have our vices... I can not speak for them nor you... nor can I help who you like or dislike... but I encourage you to have compassion...

After all, Jesus said "love one another as I have loved you" He said that is a great commandment.. one of the greatest and thus we must adhere to it. I hope you agree with me on that one.

You sad
quote:
But I tend to be very blunt and crisp anyway in the way I express things, so when a person is not used to hearing blunt talk in their own life, I will most likely be labeled as "rude" and "insensitve" and "[fill in the blank]".

I couldn't help but laugh at this one a little, because I am the exact same way [Smile] so I guess we have something in common there [Smile] . Actually Eden, I think if we had more blunt Christians we would be little stronger of a people.

Honestly my friend... I try to keep the peace -- as that's another commandment we must do as Christians. Blessed are the peace makers [Smile]

I just want everyone to get allong.

I've seen this message board wracked with anger and angry people before... I just don't want this place ruined -- because it's such a wonderful place.

In the Love of Christ,

M

--------------------
With you I rise,
In you I sleep,
kneeling down I kiss your feet,
Grace abounds upon me now,
I once was lost
but now I'm found.
The gift of God dwells within,
To this love I now give in.

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Keeper
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Eden poo...You should have learned by now that no good comes from scanning over a post and then commenting on it. Same with scriptures. All it can do is get you into trouble.

By the way, you are rude, insensitive and an ole' poot. But that is modernistic isn't it?

Don't you know what the secrets of the abundant life are ? Those thing not foretold of you when you were not a christian that can now be made whole.

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Keeper wrote
quote:
Eden poo...You should have learned by now that no good comes from scanning over a post and then commenting on it.
I scan a Topic and if I find something during the scan, I may comment on it. I have had very good success with the scanning method, thank you very much, Keeper.

Keeper continued
quote:
Same with scriptures. All it can do is get you into trouble.]
I love the scriptures, and I thank God that I've learned the ones that I've learned, and I think I use the scriptures to the advantage of God's work to bring children into the family of God.

Matthew 4:19
And He said to them, Follow Me and I will make you fishers of men.

I'm not asking you to use the same bait that I'm fishing with to "fish for men", use the bait that you think will most easily "catch men", and I will use the bait that I think will best catch.

Just don't tell me a fish story about "how big the one was that got away".

And so, with the help of God, men will be fished by both of us, in our own way, each with his own bait. Today, salmon eggs, tomorrow a live smelt!

With your bait, you may catch a certain genre of men, and with my bait I may catch another genre of men. As long as we are all fishing around the pond.

Keeper finished with
quote:
By the way, you are rude, insensitive and an ole' poot. But that is modernistic isn't it?
No, that's apparently how fishermen around the pond talk about other fishermen. [youpi]

love, Eden

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Keeper
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EDEN; This is a bible study forum not a place to play around and waste others time. You do scan the posts and you don't read them right. You do scan the scriptures and very seldom have them right. You think you do all this good because you don't listen when we let you know.

If you speak or question something to do with for example salvation...then you find any old scripture that has the word in it and if it is warm you post it. Doesn't matter what the subject is, just salvation. What do you call that....bait and switch? It is wrong.

As for the name calling issue, you are the one who said they were used by the fishermen around the pond. I just added the last as you asked.

It was true when my buddy told me that I would get fed up on this board. I am. You folks enjoy yourselves.

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Eden
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Ahh, Keeper, you have left the pond before and came back again, and now you leave the pond again and then you'll probably miss us and come back again ... that's how it is with fishing, isn't it? It's addictive.

As for how I fish, you are free to respond to my fishing or not, I'm sure there are other fisherwomen like Found in Him and Carol Swenson with whom you find comradeship on the shore of the pond ... enjoy yourself with whom you enjoy yourself ... not everyone is compatible with everyone else.

I do my thing and I enjoy doing it. And you like doing whatever you do, so do that. But I'm not you, and you are not me Quit trying to conform me to your idea of me, okay?

love, Eden

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WildB
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quote:
Originally posted by Eden:
Ahh, Keeper, you have left the pond before and came back again, and now you leave the pond again and then you'll probably miss us and come back again ... that's how it is with fishing, isn't it? It's addictive.

As for how I fish, you are free to respond to my fishing or not, I'm sure there are other fisherwomen like Found in Him and Carol Swenson with whom you find comradeship on the shore of the pond ... enjoy yourself with whom you enjoy yourself ... not everyone is compatible with everyone else.

I do my thing and I enjoy doing it. And you like doing whatever you do, so do that. But I'm not you, and you are not me Quit trying to conform me to your idea of me, okay?

love, Eden

As with any pond you have your bottom feeders that don't make for good eating.

To much **** in their veins.

--------------------
That is all.....

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Eden
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So, WildB, you NEVER ate catfish?

love, Eden

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WildB
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quote:
Originally posted by Eden:
So, WildB, you NEVER ate catfish?

love, Eden

I indeed have had a good catfish dinner. The bottom feeders I speak of are not fish at all.

Wheres your Spiritual discernment?

--------------------
That is all.....

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Eden
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WildB, are you giving any "classes in spiritual discernment" for those of us who so "dearly lack therein"?

I suppose you might title the class, "Secrets Of Spiritual Discernment".

love, Eden

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WildB
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quote:
Originally posted by Eden:
WildB, are you giving any "classes in spiritual discernment" for those of us who so "dearly lack therein"?

love, Eden

You should know your so full of it.

Stop your sillyness.

--------------------
That is all.....

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Eden
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Well, good, I'll continue to give the class then, as I have been doing all along...

love, Eden

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Eden
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WildB, Joseph's brothers said he was "full of it too" ...

love, Eden

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WildB
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quote:
Originally posted by Eden:
WildB, Joseph's brothers said he was "full of it too" ...

love, Eden

Your not Joseph . Your a man that first logged on with a feminine handle leading many to think you were a woman.

Please stop your sillyness.

--------------------
That is all.....

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Carol Swenson
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The abundant life is a spiritual life . Too many sit at the banquet table of the gospel of Jesus Christ and merely nibble at the feast placed before them. They go through the motions—attending their meetings perhaps, glancing at scriptures, repeating familiar prayers—but their hearts are far away. If they are honest, they would admit to being more interested in the latest neighborhood rumors, stock market trends, and their favorite TV show than they are in the supernal wonders and sweet ministerings of the Holy Spirit.

Do you wish to partake of this living water and experience that divine well springing up within you to everlasting life?

Then be not afraid. Believe with all your hearts. Develop an unshakable faith in the Son of God. Let your hearts reach out in earnest prayer. Fill your minds with knowledge of Him. Forsake your weaknesses. Walk in holiness and harmony with the commandments .

Drink deeply of the living waters of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

The second quality of those who live abundant lives is that they fill their hearts with love.

Love is the essence of the gospel and the greatest of all the commandments. The Savior taught that every other commandment and prophetic teaching hangs upon it. (Matthew 22:40) The Apostle Paul wrote that "all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself ." (Galatians 5:14)

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Eden
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Carol Swenson wrote:
quote:
The abundant life is a spiritual life.
That's telling only half the story. I am an earthling and live an earthly life. But before I was saved I did not have access to the counsel of Jesus via the Holy Spirit since the fall of Adam and Eve.

But after Jesus Christ died for me on the cross, I again have access to the counsel of Jesus via the Holy Spirit, Amen?

So here I am an earthling, but now I am living my earthly life WITH the help of the counsel of Jesus conveyed to my spirit by the Holy Spirit.

So the Holy Spirit HELPS MY EARTHLY LIFE, as the LORD says in the Bible:

Psalm 23
1 The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not lack.

2 He makes me to lie down in green pastures: He leads me beside the still waters.

3 He restores my soul: He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake.

4 Yes, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff they comfort me.

5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies: You anoint my head with oil; my cup runs over.

So the abundant life starts when an earthling begins to listen to the counsel of Jesus via the Holy Spirit; that's the earthling listening to the spiritual part.

But the abundant life itself is played out, not in the spiritual, but in the earthly life. As I, by faith, have ceased from making my own plans and thoughts, I now by faith believe that God meant it when God said that He would guide my steps until death, once I was saved.

And I told the LORD that I would stop doing my own thinking. And that by faith, whatever thoughts and plans now come up in my mind and hearth, those are the counsel of Jesus from heaven who said that He would guide my steps until death once I was saved.

And that is the abundant life: To be counseled by Jesus in my every step. Jesus is in heaven and can see everything around me, but I can only see my own version of what's around me. So Jesus's counsel is much wiser than mine.

So the abundant life begins when Jesus counsels the saved person in every step of the believers life. But Jesus does not just counsel about spiritual things; no, most of the counsel has to do with moment-to-moment mundane things like the Spirit driving me back to the balcony because the Spirit knows that I have left my glasses there, but I don't know that yet.

Yes, Jesus's counsel is Spirit, but the abundant life is a spiritually-guided earthly life.

Carol Swenson also wrote
quote:
Too many sit at the banquet table of the gospel of Jesus Christ and merely nibble at the feast placed before them.
Yes, that's true and I still don't know exactly why some Christians become gung-ho in their pursuit of getting to know the Lord after salvation, while other Christians are seemingly content to "just be saved".

Carol Swenson thinks that if Christians do not gung-ho in their pursuit of the Lord, they cannot be Christians, as in, "they never really believed it sufficiently", or something like that.

But as for me, I am still puzzled why so many Christians are still so worldly in their activities. I don't know why so many "Christians" don't go much beyond "receiving salvation", if indeed they ever really received it. They seem to only "nibble" at the knowledge of the Lord, while others are very hungry to know more about the Lord.

Carol Swenson continued
quote:
They go through the motions—attending their meetings perhaps, glancing at scriptures, repeating familiar prayers—but their hearts are far away.
Okay, there is a scripture which supports that:

Isaiah 29:13
Therefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draws near Me with their mouth and with their lips do honor Me, but have removed their heart far from Me, and their fear toward Me is taught by the precepts of men.

So if it was the case with many of the Israelites that they honored the Lord with their lips but their hearts are far from Him, then that is probably also the case with many Christians.

As Carol Swenson wrote
quote:
They go through the motions—attending their meetings perhaps, glancing at scriptures, repeating familiar prayers—but their hearts are far away.
Carol Swenson continued
quote:
If they are honest, they would admit to being more interested in the latest neighborhood rumors, stock market trends, and their favorite TV show than they are in the supernal wonders and sweet ministerings of the Holy Spirit.
Yes, that is true; their hearts are not there, but only their lips are there; good points.

love, Eden

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Eden
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I thank God that He leads ME into green pastures and that He leads ME beside quiet waters, and I thank God that He prepares a table for ME in the presence of my enemies.

love, Eden

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Carol Swenson
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Most successful televangelists preach what is called "the Prosperity Gospel." Using select Scriptures, they teach that if one gives his life to Jesus, and if he follows certain biblical principles, God is obligated to fulfill His promises of wealth, health, and well-being. In the end, God becomes little more than a genie-in-a-bottle, granting wishes out of sheer compulsion. To these preachers, this is the abundant life God promises.

As humans, we are naturally oriented toward material things, but as Christians, our perspective must change. Paul admonishes, "Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God" (Colossians 3:2-3).

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