Today’s AMI Devotional is written by Jane Oak, who serves at Tapestry Church, Los Angeles. Jane, an immigration lawyer, and her husband Harry were married in 2015.
DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT FOR TODAY
Faith & Work: Abundant Life – In Reality (Abundance vs. Scarcity)
John 10:10: The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.
We have all been victims of the enemy stealing from us, killing us, and destroying us. When we finally hear the gospel, we meet a God who doesn’t want to take from us but rather wants to give to us. For most of us, though, that’s where the gospel of God’s generosity stops. We’re glad that our God isn’t out to steal from, kill, or destroy us, and we hope He sticks to that hands-off approach, like the mob boss you pay protection money to and hope he doesn’t change his mind about looting your convenience store.
However, Jesus said, “I came that [my people] may have life and have it ABUNDANTLY.” When we settle for simply escaping the wrath of God, we completely miss out on the goodness of the gospel, which is expressed in part through the lavish generosity of God. Jesus came so that we could experience abundance! The gospel is not about settling for a middle-class spiritual life. It’s about overflowing, decadent, stuffed-to-the-gills, holy hedonistic ABUNDANCE.
Yet, since I resumed attending church, I’ve noticed an interesting phenomenon: many of us seem to act like we’re poor. We often operate out of scarcity, not abundance. I’ve noticed this especially in the areas of money, time, esteem, and love. Faith-based living in God’s abundance has dramatically differentiated my professional approach from most attorneys.
Operating from monetary/material scarcity: greed, cutting corners, and self-protective deception.
Operating from monetary/material ABUNDANCE: generosity rather than greed, excellence rather than cutting corners, and integrity rather than self-protection.
Operating from temporal scarcity: reducing clients to numbers, cutting people off, making assumptions about people.
Operating from temporal ABUNDANCE: desiring to hear people’s stories/hearts, seeing people as individuals bearing the image of God, which allows me to give the best, holistic legal counsel.
Operating from a scarcity of esteem/value/acknowledgement: gossiping, backstabbing, need to prove your worth.
Operating from an ABUNDANCE of esteem: skyrockets my value because I was bought at the dearest price the universe could ask for—the life of Jesus, Son of God.
Operating from a scarcity of love: social desperation, settling for conditional affection, and people-pleasing.
Operating from an ABUNDANCE of love: gives me unshakeable security, true love, true wisdom, and the ability to say “no.”
In a practical way, ABUNDANT LIFE brings the Kingdom into the workplace. The Kingdom of God operates on the economy of abundance, so abundant living is essentially applying the Kingdom’s operations manual to our workplaces. This understanding makes me work and live differently than most other attorneys.
Challenge and Prayer: Do you notice character flaws/unhealthy behavior patterns that are not pleasing to God? Is the root of these a scarcity mentality? What do you feel that you’re lacking? Ask God to convict you of the truth of His abundance; ask the Lord for the strength and wisdom to work, serve and live accordingly.
Bible Reading for Today: Revelation 6-7