Memo 1115: A Future Audience
Jesus said, "The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly" (John 10:10, KJV, emphasis added). Abundant life—what is it exactly? Other translations attempt to define it this way:
"The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life" (NLT).
"The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance [to the full, till it overflows]" (AMP).
"A thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I have come so they may have life. I want them to have it in the fullest possible way" (NIRV).
Our goal in this series, however, isn't to define abundant life but to empower you to live it no matter how you define it. For me, it's doing what I love through my purpose all day, every day, as I write, broadcast, travel, and speak. Your definition will vary because you're not me, and you shouldn't try to be. You should only try to learn from me so you can be the best you that you can be. That's why we have been studying David, for by almost any definition most would agree that he did indeed live an abundant life.
This week, let's look at some verses from Psalm 30 in which David was doing what he often did in the psalms—pouring out his heart to the Lord because he was in a difficult place:
I will exalt you, Lord, for you lifted me out of the depths and did not let my enemies gloat over me. Lord my God, I called to you for help, and you healed me. You, Lord, brought me up from the realm of the dead; you spared me from going down to the pit. Sing the praises of the Lord, you his faithful people; praise his holy name. For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning (Psalm 30:1-5).
While these verses aren't unique or special among the psalms, the heading of Psalm 30 is quite remarkable. I'm not sure if the headings in the psalms are inspired like the words are, but the heading for this psalm is noteworthy: "A psalm. A song. For the dedication of the temple. Of David." What's so special about this heading? It's jut that the Temple hadn't been built yet, yet David was amassing resources for its construction (see 1 Chronicles 29) and he was composing songs to be sung at the Temple dedication.
David saw the future, and then planned his present on what he had seen—not the hardships he was enduring. He wrote for a future audience that would gather in a building that had yet to be built, that most people didn't even realize was part of the nation's future. That's important for you to do as well if you want to live an abundant life.
WRITING FOR THE FUTURE
I mentioned earlier that my days are filled with an abundance of creative activity. I write or edit all day almost every day. I love it. However, if I had to live on the earnings from my writings, I would starve! I earn money from editing, speaking, and consulting, and when that money doesn't come in, God provides through the generous donations from people like you. Then you may ask, Then why on earth do you write? I write because, like David, I've seen the future and I'm preparing for it now.
For example, I've written six daily devotionals. For 2,200 consecutive days over six years. I showed up to write and every day, and "saw" something to write about to connect readers to God's Word. What's more, for nine years I wrote a commentary on the entire New Testament, all 8,000 verses, writing about four verses per day. Then I spent three years preparing that commentary for publication, and now I have a 12-volume set called Live the Word. The irony of those two projects that took 15 years of my life is that they don't sell well and probably never will—until I'm gone.
Think of it: your favorite commentaries or devotionals were probably written by people who are no longer here, having gone on to their eternal reward. So I am content with the fact that I have chosen (or did God direct me?) to write large portions of work that no one will buy or pay attention to—yet. Therefore, I'm writing for a future audience, content to give away my daily entries and posts in the hopes that they can help someone—anyone—who is paying attention or who God happens to notify they exist.
Therefore this week's PowerPoint for Living is
God may show you the future so clearly that you give your present to its fulfillment That means your abundant life may be invested something that will have its greatest impact on future generations after you're gone.
Please don't misunderstand. I'm not complaining about the lack of traction or notoriety some of my work has gained. I am willing to accept they aren't worthy of a bigger audience than they have now. There are other things I do that give more immediate satisfaction, but part of the outflow from the abundant life God has provided isn't for today but hopefully for tomorrow.
I accept that after I'm gone, my devotionals and commentaries still may remain obscure, but that's up to God. What's up to me (and you) is following our joy that irrigates an abundant, satisfying life, allowing us to serve God in faith today while we hope for a fruitful tomorrow. Have a blessed week!