Episode 1. Abundant Life
Listen to the radio broadcast
Download audio file
Let’s face it – life can be a bit dry. A bit on the parched side. Maybe we have an inkling that it shouldn’t always be like that, but somehow that can be so hard to believe. Join Berni Dymet …
Let’s face it – life can be a bit dry. A bit on the parched side. Maybe we have an inkling that it shouldn’t always be like that, but somehow that can be so hard to believe.
I don’t know if this has ever happened to you but sometimes we feel like we’re running out of steam. You know what I mean, whatever it is we do in life, at home or at work or maybe at some community group, we give and we give and we give and little by little it saps our energy. All that giving drains us.
And even if we have a bit of a holiday to recharge the old batteries somehow emotionally, even spiritually, there’s still this tiredness, an emptiness, a sense that, well I’m not sure if I have a whole bunch more to give.
You’re a mum with a difficult teenager or a sick child and maybe juggling a job. Or you’re a dad, the bread winner if you like and you’ve been grinding away at this job for what seems like an eternity and one day you wake up and the river has just run dry. There is just nothing left to give.
It doesn’t have to be a full blown burn out you know, even though that happens sometimes, there are so many people out there living, let me call it a sub-optimal life. A life that is not everything it could be or should be. People who are tired and listless. People with a sense that life is drifting or just slipping by. People who are stressed and carrying around these heavy burdens worrying about this and that.
Fears a big problem you know amongst men and women and it all starts to affect your health and your sense of well being and we don’t sleep well. And it seems that all we can do when we open our mouths is to whinge and complain about this or that. You’d be amazed how many people on paper have everything you could hope for. You know, a good family, a loving husband or wife, great kids, a career, a job, financial security. Yet they’re living lives of stress and worry and fear.
I called it sub-optimal living or you can just call it unfulfilled or you can call it stressed and tired and irritable. Call it whatever you like but it’s a life where it doesn’t seem to be what it’s meant to be. Now I’m not talking about the different seasons we go through in life, we all know we go through seasons, we all go through ups and downs and summers and winters and bright sunny days and cold howling brutal days.
I’m not so much talking about that up and down. I’m talking about this ongoing sub optimal inner life, whether or not the circumstances on the outside are good or lousy. I’m talking about having a life inside that’s worth living.
I was challenged the other day by a good friend of mine, Max. Now let me tell you about Max. Max works with me here in the studio. He’s a silent partner in all these radio programs. He produces hundreds of programs each year with me. Max would have to be one of the most preached out guys on the planet earth. I mean he’s involved in other ministries, one called Ellel Ministries, a healing ministry that does great stuff.
And Max gets preached at day after day after day after day after day, bless him. Over a cup of tea and toast with honey the other day he says to me, “Berni, you know you talk as though having peace and joy in your life, 24 x 7 is a normal thing, like everybody should have that? Well … maybe God’s done some amazing things in you and fast tracked stuff so that you can be some high flying preacher but maybe it’s not like that for the rest of us.”
That really challenged me. It really got me thinking. Is that what I believe? You see I see myself as just an average Joe Blow who gets behind a microphone and shares Jesus with people. Am I talking about something that’s realistic or is it a pipe dream? Am I talking about reality?
You see I spent the first 36 years of my life without God. At least I hadn’t turned my life over to God. I did it all on my own or so I thought. I was competent, I was surgically ruthless as a businessman yet I had no real joy in my life. Now I met Jesus along the way when I was about 36 years old and I decided to take to heart what He said.
I didn’t want a religion, I was after a relationship. Not a bunch of rules, it had to be something real, something that worked. And that’s why today I’m working in this ministry called Christianityworks producing these radio programs. The bottom line is, if Gods real and Jesus is who He said He is, He has to make a difference in my life and so I read about Jesus and what He said and just accept Him with simple child like faith.
I think that’s the key. Some of the things He had to say really struck home for me. John chapter 10, verse 10:
The thief (talking about the devil) comes only to steal, kill and destroy but I have come, says Jesus, (get this) that you may have life in all it’s fullness and abundance.
In fact the word that John uses there for abundance literally means “super abundance”. We just don’t have a word that’s an equivalent in the English language. And then again in Matthew chapter 11, verse 8. Jesus said:
You who are tired, you who are weary, are you burdened? Come to me and I’ll give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, learn from me. I’m gentle and humble of heart and you’ll find rest for your souls.
And again, John chapter 7, He said:
If anyone’s thirsty (I love this because this is for me because I was really dry). If anyone is thirsty let them come to me and drink because whoever believes in me, from them rivers of living water will flow deep from within.
By this He meant the Holy Spirit whom those who believed in Jesus were later to receive. And then, when the disciples were going through this turmoil, Jesus said:
Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you. I don’t want to give to you as the world does, don’t let your hearts be troubled. Do not be afraid.
You see, Jesus never promised that bad things wouldn’t happen to us. He never said, “no one’s going to persecute you, no one’s going to hurt you, no one’s going to be rude to you. You’ll have this wonderful life, you’ll have 2.4 well adjusted children, you’ll live happily ever after into old age.”
He never promised that kind of sugar candy coated life. In fact the opposite was true. He said to His disciples, “They persecuted me, they’re definitely going to persecute you. They killed me, they’re definitely going to kill you. Take up your cross and follow me.”
Jesus would not have got a job as an executive in a PR or marketing agency I have to tell you. He told it the way it was. No spin, straight up and down and you know, that reality of life that you and I experience, the ups and downs stands in such stark contrast to these wonderful promises I just read out. Life super abundantly. Rest. Peace. You’re thirsty, come to me, fill up, drink and it will overflow out of you.
Now I believe we all have a choice. We can look at our circumstances and say, ‘I’m going to believe that these things that Jesus promised never could happen to me ’cause you know something, my life’s so bad, the people around me are so bad, it’s so tough, I’ve got this hangover from the past. No, those promises from Jesus aren’t for me.’
We can put our faith in bad things, in our circumstances, or like a child in the midst of all those difficulties we can say, “You know something, Jesus promised this stuff to His disciples and those guys were going through some really tough times. And I’ve given my life to Him, I’m one of His disciples and those promises, those promises are for me. I’m going to believe it like a child.”
I believe that faith is a gift from God and maybe God wants to give you the gift of faith today, simply to believe like a child in the promises that Jesus made.
I have come here (He said) that you may have life and have it super abundantly.
Does that mean the sun’s going to shine every day? No it doesn’t. Does that mean we’re not going to be afraid some days? No it doesn’t. But I believe Jesus Christ wants to make a difference in my life and He wants to make a difference in your life.