August 24, 2016

Thoughts from Mark

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. (John 10:10)

There is a thief in every one of our lives. It is any thought, mindset or belief determined to decrease us rather than increase us.

I have purposefully kept myself in connection with successful business people for over 25 years. One thing they all have in common is how they respond to shortfalls and downturns in revenue or the economy. Their first thought is not cutting expenses. (It isn’t their second or third thought either.)

Those who are consistently successful in business first look for ways to increase revenue. It is an abundance mentality. Instead of constricting when things get tight, they determine to expand. They know that the best defense is a better offense.

In John 10:10, Jesus paints a very clear picture for us. Anything in us that attempts to shrink, slow or dull who we are or our momentum forward is the thief. The thief Jesus speaks about here is not the devil. It is us–thoughts, attitudes and perspectives sourced in an identity He did not author. This false “us”steals from who we truly are. And the antidote to the constricting thief is the abundant life in Jesus, freely given to us.

I have seen it in my life and in the lives of so many I love: when problems arise, when challenges confront us, we think in terms of subtraction instead of multiplication.

The business people I spoke of earlier succeed because there is opportunity in every problem. And many times the opportunities are made available by those who decrease in the midst of their challenge. Property, assets and businesses sell cheap when panic sets in. Those who don’t panic – those who think and see abundantly – gladly alleviate the small-minded of their perceived burdens.

A poverty mentality (another thief) will see the above paragraph as one taking advantage of another. Not true. The panicking one is so thankful for his bailout. He walks away unaware of the potential he hastily sold away. He couldn’t see it because the thief was more convincing than life.

The life Jesus offers is abundant. That word means super-high in quality and quantity. It’s life that goes all the way through to every part of who we are. He contrasts His life with a thief that comes to steal, kill and destroy. His life produces increase, while the thief tempts decrease. Abundant life adds and multiplies while the thief kills (subtracts) and destroys (divides).

There are enough stories and scripture to support this:
– The slave who buried his talent. (Matt 25:13-30)
– The man who wanted to go back and bury his loved one. (Matt 8:21)
– Seek first the kingdom and these things will be added unto you. (Matt 6:33)
– Of the increase of His government there shall be no end. (Isaiah 9:7)
– No one, after putting his hand to the plow and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God. (Luke 9:62)
– The glory of the Lord shall cover the earth as the water covers the seas. (Habakkuk 2:14)
– Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch out the curtains of your dwellings, SPARE NOT, lengthen your cords, strengthen your pegs, for you will spread abroad to the right and to the left. (Isaiah 54:2-3)….

There is nothing in the nature of God that thinks in terms of decrease or destruction. He doesn’t remove things to add things. He adds and in the adding, that which is not to remain is naturally removed. I have seen it time and time again. Those who allow the abundant life of God to overcome the thief…..

  • Allow weight added to them to increase their capacity, removing unnecessary things
  • Think in terms of increasing the supply before decreasing the demand
  • See opportunities to get in where others see the need to get out
  • Create in hope instead of constrict in fear
  • Think in terms of “how can I do it?” rather than “I can’t do it”

Here is the key: Instead of killing the thief, receive and live in the abundant life provided. Inherent in His life is creative power to make those things that are not yet in our lives a reality. And, what is good and right for us will naturally take the place of what is lesser. To focus on removing is to fall into the trap of the thief. This is a major mindset shift that will take place when abundance kicks in.

…and test Me now in this,” says the Lord of hosts, “if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows. Mal 3:10-11

May He who is abundant life open the eyes of your heart to see that in Jesus, you can BE a window of heaven from which blessing overflows. Instead of hoping to be blessed, you can BE one who blesses. It doesn’t come from a calling or a special birth. It comes from recognizing we ALL are already blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places. Fear can howl from below this seat but your vision overrides its shadowy echo.

And then, decide to live from this place. It is your place. Made ready for you. Sit firmly and begin to think bigger.

In love,

Mark