Nature Proclaims Abundant Life | August 12th, 2020
Discovering new places in the world has always been a big thrill for me. I am thankful to have married a man who enjoys traveling the globe as much as I do. Since our first year of marriage, our yearly far away getaway has always been to a place where we’ve never traveled.
While sightseeing, I have kept my eyes open for opportunities to take beautiful and unique photos in nature. They are everywhere! Since we had to cancel our vacation plans this year due to border closings, I recently looked back through many of my old photos, reliving those amazing vacations over the years.
Seeing these nature photos brought to mind a variety of verses I had read in the Bible about the abundant life we have in Christ. Nature expresses it beautifully in so many ways!
The definition of abundant includes “richly supplied; plentiful; overflowing; more than sufficient.” God created us so we would not be satisfied with anything less than abundance. He made us to want more.
We are all created to enjoy a personal, intimate relationship with God. There is nothing else in life that will ultimately satisfy our soul and bring us complete fulfillment. The moment we accept Jesus Christ as our Savior, He provides everything we need spiritually to give us an abundant life to the fullest!
In John 10:10b Jesus said: I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.
Let me take you on a journey to some of the places I’ve traveled and show you the ways I have seen nature proclaiming the abundant life we can have when we follow Christ…
Sunrise: Cancun, Mexico
Sunset: Maui, Hawaii
He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west. Psalm 103:12
As the earth rotates eastward, the sun rises in the east and then makes its way across the sky to set in the west. The sunrise and sunset proclaim God’s promise to remove our sin. No matter how badly we have messed up, we can experience an abundant life of freedom from the bondage of the guilt and shame that is often connected to our sin.
God’s Word tells us: If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9
When the sun sets in the evening and rises again in the morning, it illustrates a fresh start we are given each day to live righteously for Christ so we can experience the fullness of abundant life.
Flowing Stream: Tennessee
But whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” John 4:14
There is no comparison to the abundant life you can have when you depend on the living water that Christ gives. The water from the world’s streams will dry up and will never fully satisfy when seeking continuous happiness in earthly wealth and pleasures. When you drink the living water that He offers, you won’t ever thirst again. This water is like a flowing stream, never stagnant, so refreshing, and quenches the soul’s deepest thirst. Its flow is never-ending and offers eternal life!
Flower Garden: Maine
And the Lord will guide you continually and satisfy your desire in scorched places and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail. Isaiah 58:11
God is the only refreshment our soul needs. He will guide us into all truth so we can stay on his perfect path of righteousness which has everything we need for an abundant life. His love, joy, peace, strength, forgiveness, comfort, and the promise of eternal life are showered on us so we can flourish like a watered garden. We are then able to beautifully bloom as a reflection of Christ.
Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away. Behold, the new has come! 2 Corinthians 5:17
This butterfly was once a caterpillar that spun itself a silky cocoon. While in a protective casing, its body was radically transformed and eventually emerged as a beautiful butterfly.
We are all given an opportunity to become a new creation with a new nature. Once you’ve accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, you are made new inside. You delight in the things of God and detest the things of the world. Your old nature dies and everything changes – your purpose for living, your feelings, your desires – even your countenance is fresh and different! Becoming a new creation is essential to being able to experience abundant life.
Pomegranate Tree: Spain
But they delight in the law of the Lord, meditating on it day and night. They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season. Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do. Psalm 1:2-3
We are sure to prosper in living an abundant life when we delight in God’s Word, meditating on it day and night. Like a tree, when our roots grow deep in truth, we become more established and we receive the nourishment we need to produce plenty of fruit for a life that honors Christ in all we do. We will not wither when we go through seasons of difficulty because we have all we need to remain strong in Him with no fear of heat or drought.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30
What a wonderful promise to know God gives us rest from all that makes us wearied and worried when we submit our will to our Savior. He knew the difficulties of this life would weigh on us causing much stress and anxiety. Because of His compassion for us, He offers to take our burdens from us when we give them to Him in exchange for His perfect rest so we can enjoy all the benefits of abundant life.
How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How vast is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would outnumber the sand. When I awake, I am still with You. Psalm 139:17-18
God loves us with a love that no one can ever match. His thoughts about us outnumber the grains of sand! How incredible it is to think that the Creator of the universe thinks of us at all! We are priceless to Him, so much so that He gave His life for us. Because of His amazing love, we can experience abundant life.
Narrow Road: Puerto Rico
“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” Matthew 7:13-14
Jesus has taken out all of the confusion when it comes to finding salvation through Him. There are only two roads we can choose to take…the narrow road which leads to abundant life eternally (heaven) or the broad road which leads to destruction (hell) with everlasting punishment. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6) We never have to wonder if there is another way or another truth that leads to life. He is it!
If there is no confusion, why does He say only a few find the narrow road? Narrow is not easy and requires a total commitment to Jesus by obeying, worshiping, depending upon, following, and loving Him with your whole heart. Not many are willing to do that because of their pride and natural love of sin. They want to live their life the way they want to live it. The road they choose is broad. It’s an attempt to find an alternative way to God through their own efforts or through a false religion.
Ephesians 2:8-9 tells us: For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.
Jesus died for you because He loves you so much. He took the punishment in your place for your sins so you could be with Him for eternity. He rose from the dead three days later and is coming again soon to take you Home!
Then, together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Then we will be with the Lord forever. 1 Thessalonians 4:17
With all that is happening around us today, this world is becoming darker by the moment. But what wonderful hope we have as followers of Christ! We have nothing to fear and everything to look forward to. He is coming back very soon to take us Home with Him. He tells us we are to be ready and looking for Him. He could come at any moment!
“When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.” Luke 21:28
Through Jesus Christ, we can truly experience abundant life, not only on earth but into eternity as well. Nature reminds us of that…
He has completely removed our sins. He quenches our soul’s thirst. He guides us and satisfies our deepest desires. He gives us a new nature. He helps us to prosper and bear much fruit. He takes our burdens and gives us rest. His thoughts of us outnumber the sand. He died for us in our place so we could have the free gift of eternal life through Him and Him alone. And best of all, He is coming back for us to take us Home!
Ask Jesus to be your Savior while there is still time. Admit that you are a sinner. Believe in your heart that He is the only Way, the Truth, and the Life. Thank Him for the free gift of eternal life that He made possible for you through His death on the cross and resurrection.
If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. Romans 10:9-10
Be ready for Jesus’ return. He is coming soon!
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