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To find joy and contentment—part of what it means to have an abundant life—you must understand the spiritual blessings you already possess and recognize how the “call to die” brings those things (Luke 9:23). We all want to live happy and exciting lives. We mentally script our life’s storyline and continually edit the details in hopes of capturing life’s blessings.
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Christ - Promise - Followers - Life - John
However, despite Christ’s promise to give His followers a rich and abundant life (John 10:10), many Christians feel that this kind of life eludes them. As they take stock, all they see are disappointments and unfulfilled dreams. If not careful, this thinking can tempt them to question God’s goodness (unbelief) or to give in to cynicism or bitterness.
Their Christian life becomes a “going-through-the-motions” exercise. They have an underlying instability in their souls. They know God’s truths, but their faith is waning (James 1:8). They are at a crossroads, to choose to take the narrow or broad gate. Not from a salvation standpoint, but a sanctification standpoint.
Glimpse - Gate - Mature - Christian - Marks
You get a glimpse of those who chose the narrow gate when you meet a mature Christian who, despite the marks of age and trials, has a sense of peace about them. There is a spark in their eyes and solace in their speech.
Their story is not without seasons of loss or hardship, nor is it necessarily filled with an abundance of worldly blessings. Yet, there is a grace to their conversations, and they are genuinely interested in you. As you speak, they respond by sharing laughs and sometimes tears. Upon reflection, you find that there is nothing extraordinary about them; they just live an abundant ordinary life.
Hand - Gate - Individuals - Response - Life
On the other hand, you will find those who have taken the wide gate; individuals whose response to life in a fallen world has left...
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