About our name, Abundant Life Family Practice
When I started this family practice I wanted to name it something that really captured the essence of what we are trying to accomplish here in Bryan/College Station through medicine.
We are certainly concerned with your health and both your physical and emotional well being so we strive to give you the best medical care possible. Our desire for you to have “abundant life” goes far beyond just medical care.
So what is a “saving relationship” with Jesus about? First, it is about admitting that we need help and we need to be saved from something. Saved from what? Let’s face it, we all make mistakes and mess ups in our lives that go against what God wants us to do or be. From little lies, to losing our temper, to hurting the ones we love, to major addictions, we all mess up at times. That is called “sin” and it separates us from God and the abundant life that He wants for us. Scripture tells us, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23), and “if we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us” (1 John 1:8). I think it is not hard for any of us to realize and admit that we are not perfect. I know that I mess up and sin all the time!
So what is the “big deal” about sin if we all do it? The problem is that God is a perfect and holy God that is without sin or fault. Because of His perfection and holiness, He cannot tolerate sin and sin separates us from God. Furthermore, sin has huge consequences that destroys our lives and our relationship with God: “For the wages of sin is death….” (Romans 6:23). So our sin leads to a spiritual death and ultimately an eternal separation from God and the abundant life He wants for us. It is scary, but we cannot ignore that Jesus taught more about hell as being a real place that sin leads all of to, than he did about heaven.
So who will rescue us from this sin and death? It is only through Jesus that our sin can be wiped out and that we may have true life. “But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). God loved us so much that he sent His Son to show us the way to eternal life and to pay the penalty for our sin by dying on the cross. What amazing news! What amazing love! John 3:16 tells us that, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” We must in faith believe that Jesus truly is the Son of God who forgave our sins by the cross and conquered sin and death by rising from the dead on the third day. We must also make Him Lord of our lives- repenting, or turning away from our lives of sin and surrendering our lives and hearts to Him. Romans 10:9 tells us, “that if you confess with your mouth, ’Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” The first step in to the abundant, eternal life that God wants for us is to take that step of faith and surrender your lives and heart to Jesus. If you have never done that before, then there is no greater time to do it than now! Please do not think that you somehow need to be “good enough” to do it, or need to “get your life straight” first. The whole point of the cross is that none of us can be “good enough” to do it on our own. He paid the price for us, and now it is time for us to give him our lives. Ask the Lord to come in to change your life and make you the “new creation” He promises us we will be (2 Corinthians 5:17).
I know that for most of my life, when I heard appeals to “be saved” and “be born again” like this, I basically blew them off thinking that “I was OK.” I thought that I was a “good person” who went to church regularly and didn’t commit any major sins and basically believed in Jesus and God etc., so I figured I was doing just fine in God’s eyes. But I was just “going through the motions” and had not grasped that I needed to make God my life instead of just putting him somewhere on my priority list. A very frightening passage that Jesus teaches us in Matthew 7 tells us that “not everyone who says to me, Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven.” Jesus then lists all of the “good things” these people did in life including performing miracles in Jesus’ name! But then He tells them “I never knew you. Away from me you evildoers.” This passage always confused me until I realized that Jesus is telling us that having eternal life with Him is not about doing good deeds and being good, it is all about “knowing” Him. Jesus tells us that in John 17:3: “Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.” I realized in my life that I knew about Jesus and God, but certainly didn’t actually know them. Just going to church and trying to be good was not enough. I had to give Jesus my heart and my life and realize that He is in charge of me! It was at that point that I began to experience the abundant life that Jesus promises us in John 10:10. I was able to pray, not like I was talking to the ceiling, but as one talking to my best friend. I was able to read God’s Word, the Bible, not like some archaic textbook, but as a love letter from God. I was able to start going through life not alone, but with Jesus living inside my heart (John 14:24). I was able to face the trials and struggles of life, no longer through my weak power, but through the power and purposes of the Lord. The list is endless how my life changed, and I am getting to “know” Him more every day.
The question that each of us must ask is, “Do I really believe all of this?” “Do I really believe that there is a God who loves me so much that He sent His Son Jesus to die on the cross to pay the penalty for my sins?” “Am I willing to make Him Lord of my life and surrender it all to Him?” Or for a lot of us, “Despite going to church and trying hard to do good, do I really have the abundant life that Jesus talks about? If not, have I really surrendered my heart and life to the Lord, or am I just going through the motions?” If you realize today that God is calling you to more in life and that you want to know Him as Lord and Savior, then there is no better time to give Him your heart than now! We are not promised another opportunity. Right now pray to Him, letting Him know that you believe in Him and Jesus, His son whom He sent to die on the cross to take away our sins. Ask Him to truly become Lord of your life. Ask Him to give you the eternal, abundant life that He promises.
Please talk to me, or any of the staff if you have any questions, or want to just discuss this. We would love to pray for you and help you with any of this, or any other struggles that you are going through. We are not perfect and do not have all of the answers, but we believe and know and follow the God who is the answer. Also, don’t panic if you feel that all of this “religious” talk is inappropriate from a doctor’s office. Although we are unashamedly excited followers of Christ, we will not try to force our faith on anyone. We just feel that we have a great thing and would love to share it with everyone.
Thank you for reading this and God Bless,
Rusty Bacak, M.D. and Staff