Sunday, April 2, 2017

The Revelation.6

"I and my Father are one. 
In his name I have come to you 
that you might have life, 
and that you might have it 
more abundantly." 


In reading Hugh Ross's book, Improbable Planet, How Earth Became Humanity's Home, I'm struck with how many times the word "abundant" is used to describe the formation of the one planet in the entire universe designed to sustain Life.

"...research now shows that Earth is far from ordinary in multiple respects, and certainly in its abundance of elements and diversity of minerals. These rich ore deposits enabled
humans to develop beyond Stone Age civilization. Plate tectonics and bacteria helped provide the soil on which our large population depends for food. The presence of land plants and animals as early as conditions would permit provided humanity with a huge treasure chest of elements, of fossil fuels, and of fossil building materials, such as limestone, marble, and gypsum."
Jesus, as Creator of the universe, endowed this planet with an abundance of resources, and yet even in this richness hinted that there is something more we need to obtain to have an "abundant" Life. 

Why is it when we hear the word "abundant" we tend to focus on what we don't have rather than what we do?  If we are awash in abundance why do so many struggle with meeting their daily need for the essentials?

Ross shares his insights:

"The perfect world we have not been able to attain— and yet still long for— gives a clue to the purpose of our existence. As we strive for peace, wars multiply. As we strive for unity, polarization intensifies. As we strive for liberty, bondage increases. As we strive for wealth, poverty spreads. As we strive for equality, intolerance grows.
Of all the proposed explanations for these realities, the one that aligns most closely and completely with the available data emerges from the pages of the Bible. We are fallen and alienated from our Creator..." --Ross, Hugh. Improbable Planet: How Earth Became Humanity's Home (Kindle Locations 3760-3765). Baker Publishing Group. Kindle Edition. Emphasis added.

MacDonald expands on the idea of God's perfect, eternal plan:
"...I imagine that God has never been contented to be alone even with the Son of his love, the prime and perfect idea of humanity, but that he has from the first willed and labored to give existence to other creatures who should be blessed with his blessedness— creatures whom he is now and always has been developing into likeness with that Son— a likeness for long to be distant and small, but a likeness to be forever growing: perhaps never one of them yet, though unspeakably blessed, has had even an approximate idea of the blessedness in store for him.

Man finds it hard to get what he wants, because he does not want the best; God finds it hard to give, because he would give the best, and man will not take it. What Jesus did, was what the Father is always doing; the suffering he endured was that of the Father from the foundation of the world, reaching its climax in the person of his Son. God provides the sacrifice; the sacrifice is himself. He is always, and has ever been, sacrificing himself to and for his creatures. It lies in the very essence of his creation of them.

...not even the lovingest heart that ever beat can even reflect the length and breadth and depth and height of that love of God which shows itself in his Son— one, and of one mind, with himself. The whole history is a divine agony to give divine life to creatures." -George MacDonald, Life, Unspoken Sermons II. Emphasis added.

So, follower of Jesus, when we think of abundance let it reminds us of our mission: to use the richness of His resources in sharing God's divine desire for Oneness with each one of us! In a world capable of sustaining billions of people we have much work to do!