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Have a more abundant life with a living faith

Are you living or just existing, asks Fr Alvan Ibeh in the second part of his latest Voice of Hope series.

In the July edition, we reminded ourselves that God created us to do more than exist. He wants us to start indeed living life and living it more abundantly: “I have come that you may have life and that you may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10).

He has blessed each one of us with both physical and spiritual blessings: “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ” (Ephesians 1:3). The worst thing that can happen to us as Christians is for us to believe that we have nothing to offer to the body of Christ, which is the Church.

Who is the Church? It is not just the building; it is you and me. If the body of Christ is the Church, and we are the Church, it means that each of us is an integral part of this body, and Christ is the head of this body. “And he is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things he might have the pre-eminence.” (Romans 12:5). Now you can see how important you are in the Church of Christ. Each of us is a significant part of the Body of Christ, the Church, though our importance flows from Him, who is the head because the body can’t survive without the head. Have you ever seen a headless body walking on the street before? You will run for your life if you see one. This calls for humility, knowing that every good gift comes from the Lord and that, cut off from Him, we can do nothing (John 15:5).

So the question again is, “How am I committed to using these gifts God has given me, not just for my good but for the common good of the body of Christ? Apart from just going to Mass on Sundays for a few hours, do I also dedicate some time each day of the week to do God’s work as an important part of the body of Christ? How do I use the time, talent, and treasure that God has blessed me with? Do you know that making time every day to pray for people in the hospital — people in great need — can be a great commitment on your part as a Christian? Are we just comfortable existing as Christians without any commitment?

God says in Isaiah 49:6: “It is not enough for you to be my servant, to restore the tribes of Jacob and bring back the survivors of Israel; I will make you the light of the nations so that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth”.

God is saying to us, “It is not just enough to profess to be a Christian, going to Mass every Sunday, but not wanting to be involved in any other thing that has to do with the body of Christ. There is no doubt that we live in a very busy world and are often distracted by many things, making it difficult to commit ourselves to the things of God. But the fact remains that every committed Christian, no matter how busy they are, places God first above all else: “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and He will give you everything you need” (Matthew 6:33). This is what it means to live and not just exist.

Commit to start using whatever God has given you to the glory of his name. Commit your time, talent, and treasure to build up the body of Christ. This is not meant for just a few; we are all called into it. The body suffers when you are not committed to playing your part. Refrain from allowing anyone to give you the impression that you have nothing to offer.

God has blessed you with many things, and He doesn’t want you to leave this world without making any impact. The earth should feel your impact, not just your existence.

There is a purpose for which you were brought into this world. You must discover what it is and start making your presence felt to the glory of God. Don’t just exist, my dear friend; you must begin Living. May God give us all the grace and strength to start living a more committed life as children of God. Shalom.

Click here to read the first part of this column.