By Brooke Holt
“Set us free, O God, from the bondage of our sins, and give us the liberty of that abundant life which you have made known to us in your Son our Savior Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.” The Collect for the 5th Sunday after Epiphany, Book of Common Prayer
What is the abundant life and how do you live it? That was my question nineteen years ago as I met with a spiritual advisor. She spoke of the abundant life and then took me to John 10:10: “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” This advisor then asked me if I was living the abundant life to which I adamantly answered “not even close”. I wanted to live this abundant life but desperately needed to know how to do so.
Maybe you are wondering the same thing today. Is it possible to live abundantly in this world? Jesus seemed to think so as John recorded his words in John 10:10. The Collect for today provides insight into how to live into the abundant life of Christ as it has us pray: “Set us free, O God, from the bondage of our sins.” The Lord longs to free you from the bondage of your sin, and he made the way for that freedom through his Son and the cross. The plan has always been for you to live free from bondage.
Sadly, many Christians know that Christ came to forgive them and provide the way for salvation, yet they miss the freedom part of the story. The forgiveness of Jesus is complete meaning that your slate is wiped clean – the past, present, and future. Your sins will not be held against you.
Beyond that forgiveness, God has given another abundant gift – the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit equips and empowers you to walk out a life of faith. He will convict you of sin, help you discern right from wrong, guide you in decision making, and help you overcome temptation. As you experience the power of the Holy Spirit and let it flow in and through you, you find amazing freedom.
This freedom from the bondage of sin is the means to abundant life. Fear dissipates as you receive the grace and power of God for yourself. You find joy in obedience and blessing in knowing that God is with you, for you, and working all things together for good (see Romans 8:28-39).
Jesus came that you may have life and have it abundantly! Are you receiving this life from him today?
Are there any bondages of sin that remain in your life? Spend some time confessing those areas and asking the Holy Spirit to strengthen you to overcome. Then receive the grace of God, receive the love of God, and then ask the Lord to lead you into his abundant life. We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
The Crucified Life small group Christian study is designed to reflect upon the Seven Last Words of Christ from the cross and what they mean for us today. Walk the road of Calvary with Jesus in order to grow closer to Him. The Crucified Life small group study examines human suffering as it is mirrored in Christ’s suffering on the cross and what His seven last words say to a hurting world. Find out incredible insights into these words as Jesus teaches us, even in death, how we can use our suffering and triumph over it for His glory. Begin your Crucified Life today.
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