Wednesday, April 15, 2015

The Life We Long For

Dear Friends,

What’s the difference between a Prosperity Preacher and a Politician? (answer: MAYBE NOT MUCH) Last Sunday, Hillary Clinton announced her candidacy to become our next president. The day before, her campaign manager wrote a memo to the staff to state the mission, purpose and “talking points” of the campaign. Clinton’s mission is “to give every family, every small business, and every American a path to lasting prosperity by electing Hillary Clinton the next President of the United States.”

According to my dictionary, “prosperity” means to achieve economic success and wealth. The promise of prosperity plays well with the people most likely to vote for her. Today, 63% of Democrats earn less than $15,000 per year and that’s why political promises of prosperity to that socio-economic group are understandably very appealing. But even if the politician’s and prosperity preacher’s promises come true and you are rewarded with great wealth because you gave money to support their ministry or political campaign, does having lasting prosperity really bring the quality of life that we so desire?

The old adage, “Money Can’t Buy Happiness” is proven true time and time again. America is the wealthiest nation in the world and yet the majority of Americans are among the most unhappy. You may be surprised to hear that a recent Gallup poll surveyed people in 143 countries and found that the top ten happiest nations are all in Latin America. And, these top ten happiest nations are also among the poorest countries in the world.

So if money can’t buy happiness, how do we find, have and keep the joy, happiness and life satisfaction that we all seek? A 2011 report drew evidence from over 1,400 studies and found that Christians live a happier, healthier and longer life than non-believers do. A study of over 20,000 Americans found that income and education had little impact on their quality of life and their longevity, but attending church regularly added an average of seven years to their life and, if they were African-American, their church attendance doubled their life expectancy with an added 14 years!

The studies showed that Christian believers, who attended church on a regular basis, not only had a longer and healthier life but that they also had increased “well-being, life satisfaction, hope and optimism, purpose and meaning in life, higher self-esteem, better adaption to bereavement, less loneliness, lower rates of depression, lower rates of suicide, less anxiety, less criminal behavior, greater marital satisfaction and stability in relationships.” 

The evidence shows that if you want to be happier, healthier and live longer, the answer is not more money, a better job and a nicer house. The answer is to believe in Jesus, follow Him as your Lord and Savior and go to church! 

Too many Americans today are unhappy, angry and dissatisfied with life. The problem is not that they don’t have enough money. The problem is that they don’t have enough Jesus. The Son of God never promised us a prosperous life overflowing with wealth and riches. But Jesus does promise His followers that they will have a more "abundant" life. (John 10:10) and the Greek word He used means a life that is absolutely overflowing with vitality and filled with superabundance! It means a life brimming over with all you could ever desire and hope for – a rewarding life overflowing with His blessings!

Last Sunday, we heard a great interpretative translation of John 10:10 by a Greek scholar that goes like this: But I (Jesus) came that they might have, keep, and constantly retain a vitality, gusto, vigor, and zest for living that springs up from deep inside. I came that they might embrace this unrivaled, unequaled, matchless, incomparable, richly loaded, and overflowing life to the ultimate maximum. That’s the abundant life we all long for!

The abundant life is available to all and absolutely free of charge! No donation to a ministry or political campaign is required. You don’t have to send your credit card info, check or money order. There’s no obligation or contract to sign. And wait! There’s more! With Jesus, your abundant life comes with a 100% eternal lifetime guarantee! Amen?

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