Living abundantly and letting God be king
This weekend I visited Nate in Lincoln, and if we're in Lincoln on a Sunday, we typically hit up Grace Chapel. Here's why we love visiting this church: these people are real---they don't sport that Sunday morning facade that some churches or church goers wear like a cheap spray on tan for some special occasion. They enjoy intellectual activities---in today's bulletin there was a plug for a poetry slam in Omaha; last time we visited there was a book club going on that was studying Tolstoy. The worship is beautiful; the musicians are incredibly talented, the music is simple and consists of hymns gone indie and music for the more contemporary taste: Jeremy Riddle, Derek Webb, Caedmon's Call, etc. If they had a CD, I would buy it. I also love the sermons. Both pastors, Mike and Ben, dig into scripture in unique ways causing me to think about each verse in a way I've never thought of before.
Today the scripture we studied was John 18:28-40, and throughout the service I took 8 pages of notes in my little notebook.
My brain was spinning with new concepts or thoughts that I hadn't regarded in awhile. But the one idea that stuck with me the most is living abundantly. I've heard it many times before, but I'm not sure I know what it means. I think before we can live an abundant life, we have to know Jesus' purpose. And in the conversation Jesus has with Pilate in John 18, Jesus tells us He is a king with a kingdom that is not of this world and that he came to reveal truth. First--I thought, do I believe that Jesus is more than some inspirational teacher or a great leader? Have I made him my king? Sadly, I can't say that I have lately. If Jesus is a king and if he is truth, then he should have claim over every part of our lives----but somehow, I have withheld some parts of my life from him. I struggle with authority; Ben hit on this today in his sermon. He spoke about humans struggling with absolute authority because of the earthly examples we have of power gone sour. We've all experienced corrupt authority---perhaps a boss, a parent, a teacher, a political leader, etc. And once we have a bad taste in our mouth, it's hard to shake it. I think this is why sometimes I run from authority---why I resist it. But---if I am to live abundantly---to live a life of plenty wanting nothing more than a deeper relationship with my Heavenly Father, then I must learn to give Him claim over every part of my life---over my marriage, my family, my career, where I live, my struggles with infertility, etc. Amazingly though, the more I think about this---the more free I feel.
This post just covers two pages of my notes! I won't dive into the rest tonight, but I will be working more this week on letting God reign in every space of my life, on living abundantly.