Dead men walking. A difficult phrase but something I see in many of the homeless men that I work with in Bellevue, WA. Life seems to be sucked out of them especially those who are addicted, struggle with emotional issues, or who have been continually on the street. This past year I have led memorials for 3 of these men who didn’t make it–men I have come to love.
Our new pastor this week delivered his first, and by my vote, excellent sermon on Why Jesus. His message: Jesus brings life: “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12 And it has been true for many of the men that we have seen move from “death” to life.
Along with our coffees, emotional support, and career help, we at Living Perspectives, bring the Good News of Life. Jesus pronounces words that continue to encourage: “I am the bread of life, He who comes to me will never go hungry……”; John 6:35. “Jesus answered, “I am the way, the truth, and the life;” John 14:6. “I have come that they might have life and have it abundantly.” John 10:10. Men listen and some respond.
But those of us not in shelters live in a fast paced world. What does the abundant life mean to us? My definition:
- Living with purpose
- Living with peace and joy having brought Jesus into our life
- Living to love others as our selves
- Living to Glorify God in all we do
- Living to appreciate Gods love for us
Abundant living is a state of our mind which is strengthened by maintaining a relationship with the Creator – “To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Colossians 1:27
Fear, anger, victimhood, pride, and addictions create roadblocks to abundant living. Our job is to maintain our relationship with the Creator, to live out the promised abundant life, and then share it with a neighbor, coworker or one of the “dead men walking.” Read the Word” Pray! Meet with others who embrace the Giver of abundance! Abundance will be a lifestyle not a goal. “In Him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.” John 1:4
The abundant life is a gift from God—are your hands open to receive?
BTW-my last blog invited you to the Congregations for the Homeless fundraiser on October 5. 300 abundant lifers came and contributed $130,000. PTL and thank you.